Is it possible to take a natural instant laxative at home? And if so, which ingredients are best to choose, and what precautions should be taken into account? Here’s what you need to know.
How To Choose A Natural Instant Laxative
Natural laxatives are remedies for occasional use that stimulate intestinal peristalsis, promoting the evacuation of stools and making them softer. They, which are commonly found on sale both in pharmacies and herbalist shops, are found in the form of tablets, preparations, supplements; in some situations of evident intestinal discomfort or in conjunction with episodes limited in time (for example, when you suffer from occasional constipation due to a trip or a change in your eating habits), it is possible to use a home laxative, keeping in mind however that hiring a do-it-yourself purge can have in the long run negative consequences on one’s intestinal regularity.
To avoid constipation, it would be enough to respect a healthy lifestyle, favoring foods rich in fiber (such as vegetables and fruit), drinking at least two liters of water a day, and practicing physical activity. However, in some cases, this may not be enough, so adopting a home remedy can help in an emergency. On the market, there are many preparations based on specific herbs or natural substances with a purgative action. Among these, the most widespread are:
- Soy bran. Very rich in fiber, soy bran is helpful in increasing stool weight.
- Psyllium. _ Psyllium is obtained by grinding particular seeds that have an intense laxative action. They act by stimulating the formation of fecal mass and are soluble in water. Being made up of a fiber with a gummy consistency, in fact, psyllium seeds can retain water and influence intestinal motility.
- Flaxseeds. _ Flaxseeds are not precisely an immediate natural laxative, as they act after some time; however, the functioning is very similar to that of Psyllium.
- The seine. The leaves and pods of this shrub are used to create a remedy with a potent laxative action. This vegetable contains particular compounds called glycosides, which intensify the movement of intestinal peristalsis.
- The bark of the buckthorn. Like senna, the buckthorn plant also has a strong influence on stimulating intestinal motility; furthermore, the extract obtained from this vegetable can make stool softer and more hydrated. Unlike other immediate laxative remedies, however, frangula does not act immediately. Still, approximately 12-14 hours after its intake to be effective on the intestine, it must first be metabolized by the bacterial flora.
- Aloe _
- The tamarind
- The manna
- Rhubarb, which also has a beneficial digestive action
- Chia seeds
- Castor oil
- Cascara is to be used in moderation because it can cause painful intestinal irritation.
- Sodium bicarbonate. Taking a glass of hot water in which a teaspoon of bicarbonate powder has been dissolved is very useful for stimulating peristalsis.
Before taking any home purge, it is essential to pay attention to the preparation methods indicated by the pharmacist, herbalist, or reported on the package and not to exceed the expected doses.
Other DIY Laxatives: Herbal Teas
Herbal teas represent an excellent immediate natural laxative, also because they gently act on the intestine without causing annoying side effects. Among the herbs most used to prepare them are:
- Herbal teas are based on mallow, lemon balm, and coriander. Mallow, in particular, can stimulate the formation of mucilage in the intestine, which is then expelled with defecation.
- Flaxseed-based herbal tea
- digestive herbal teas, such as those containing fennel or licorice
- Deflating herbal teas, which exploit the action of dandelion, mint, and rhubarb
A further fundamental aspect to consider when suffering from constipation, which, at least in less severe cases, can constitute an actual immediate do-it-yourself laxative, is the type of diet you follow. Introducing certain foods, in fact, can actually cause an improvement in intestinal motility and promote the expulsion of feces. The most recommended foods for this purpose are:
- Cooked plums
- Cooked apples
- Boiled courgettes
- Apple and pear juice
- Whole grains
When To Take A DIY Laxative
Immediate do-it-yourself laxatives represent a helpful solution when you are looking for an emergency remedy that resolves the situation in a short time. Although a correct lifestyle and a diet rich in fiber represent the most effective form of prevention, in some cases, there is no time for the plant-based diet to take effect. For this reason, you can resort to a natural do-it-yourself purge, which has an aggressive action on the intestine, forcing it, in a certain sense, to activate peristalsis.
To fully exploit their laxative capacity, it is advisable not to abuse them or take them regularly but only introduce them on a completely exceptional basis. Furthermore, it is always necessary to carefully respect the instructions on the packaging and put into practice the recommendations of the pharmacist or herbalist, taking care to consume a sufficient quantity of liquids (at least 1.5 liters of water per day) without exaggerating the doses.
Homemade Laxatives: What To Watch Out For
Natural laxative methods are widely used; however, to use them without risk, it is necessary to keep in mind some indications. First of all, before taking them, you should ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice, as some of them may be contraindicated. Senna, for example, should not be taken by pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, or people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome. Furthermore, many remedies could be excessively stimulating or give rise to annoying contraindications. People who should be careful when using home laxatives include:
- Children under 12 years of age
- Pregnant or breastfeeding women
- Subjects suffering from chronic constipation. Prolonged use of natural laxative remedies can reduce the ability of the intestine to contract independently and initiate peristalsis.
- People suffering from intestinal obstruction
- Subjects who have pathologies of the intestinal mucosa or diverticulosis
The negative consequences of incorrect or too prolonged use of do-it-yourself purges or other methods to induce fecal evacuation include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Irritation of the intestinal walls
- Electrolyte imbalances
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Difficulty having regular intestinal activity without the use of laxatives
- Interactions with some types of drugs
- Alterations in the functionality of the colon
Also Read: Ten Natural Anti-Inflammatory Remedies