Easing the Strain: Discover 8 of The Best Home Remedy for Constipation

best home remedy for constipation

The human digestive system, an impressive feat of biological mechanics, effortlessly turns food into vital nutrients while clearing out waste.

However, sometimes this system stumbles, leading to irregular and frequently painful conditions like chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.

While these issues can cause substantial discomfort, numerous home remedies exist to alleviate their symptoms.

This article dives deep into the best home remedy for constipation, illuminating their scientific foundations and explaining how they can help promote regular bowel movements and holistic digestive health.

1. Drink More Water

In the grand orchestra of bodily functions, hydration plays the leading role. It’s particularly critical in digestion, assisting in breaking down food and ensuring a smoother journey through the digestive tract for the resulting waste.

Dehydration, or a lack of adequate water in the body, can often lead to more complex, lumpy stools that are difficult to pass.

The scientific basis for this is pretty straightforward. A crucial role of the large intestine or colon is to absorb water from the undigested food moving through it.

When your body is dehydrated, it tries to retain as much water as it can, producing harder stools.

By drinking more water, you supply your body with the necessary hydration to prevent excessive water absorption from the colon, thereby softening your stools and facilitating bowel movements. This is a simple yet effective natural constipation relief method.

2. Eat High-Fiber Foods

Dietary fiber, a group of substances in plant foods that your body can’t fully digest or absorb, is unlike other components like fats, proteins, or carbohydrates.

Instead of being broken down or absorbed, fiber remains relatively intact as it travels through your digestive system.

Fiber falls into two categories: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and becomes a gel-like substance, softening the stool and facilitating its passage through the digestive tract.

Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, adds bulk to the stool, which can help it move more swiftly and efficiently through the digestive system.

By incorporating fiber-rich foods — like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — into your healthy diet, you’re equipping your body with the tools to make your bowel movements as regular and comfortable as possible.

Also, fiber supplements can serve as an effective remedy for those grappling with functional or chronic constipation.

These supplements typically contain soluble fiber, which absorbs water in the gut, increasing the water content and bulk of the stool.

This action stimulates the intestines to contract, moving the stool along and encouraging a bowel movement.

3. Get More Exercise

Routine physical activity benefits your heart and mental health and significantly improves your digestive health.

Exercise stimulates the natural contraction of intestinal muscles, aiding in moving stool through the colon more swiftly.

The science behind this is rooted in the automatic contraction and relaxation of the muscles that line the gastrointestinal tract, a phenomenon known as peristalsis.

Regular, primarily aerobic, exercise enhances this peristaltic activity and reduces stool time in the colon.

As the stool passes more rapidly, less water is reabsorbed, and remains soft and easy to pass. This natural mechanism significantly helps to treat constipation.

4. Eat Probiotic Yogurt

Think of probiotics as the friendly little bacteria that help keep your gut happy and healthy. They live in your intestines, forming a bustling community of microorganisms called the gut microbiome.

This gut microbiome has an essential job in our bodies: they’re like the backstage crew at a theater production, handling everything behind the scenes.

One of their key roles is to process those stubborn fibers in our food that our bodies can’t digest, turning them into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs).

Now, these SCFAs are pretty the multi-tasker. Some types, like butyrate, help make our gut muscles contract more efficiently, like a personal trainer for your intestines. This helps speed up the time it takes for stool to pass through, keeping things running smoothly.

Other SCFAs help keep things moist by regulating fluid balance in the intestines, making bowel movements more accessible and comfortable.

So, where does yogurt come into the picture? Well, yogurt, especially probiotic-rich, is like a delicious delivery vehicle for these friendly bacteria.

By regularly enjoying a bowl of probiotic yogurt, you’re not just treating your taste buds but also helping maintain a balanced and diverse gut microbiota. This leads to more SCFA production and better bowel regularity.

5. Drink Coffee

Coffee, specifically its caffeine, can stimulate muscle contractions in the digestive system. These contractions, like exercise-induced, move the stool through the intestines.

The xanthines found in coffee stimulate the distal colon, which pushes waste out of the body.

This process mirrors the gastrocolic reflex, a physiological phenomenon that controls the urge to defecate following a meal.

However, coffee can stimulate bowel movements but can also lead to dehydration due to its diuretic properties. To counteract this, squeeze fresh lemon juice into your water for extra hydration.

Dehydration can, in turn, worsen constipation. Therefore, if you’re using coffee to remedy constipation, consume enough water to counteract dehydration.

6. Try Flaxseeds or Chia Seeds

Flaxseeds and chia seeds have long been celebrated for their health benefits, particularly their high fiber content.

Both seeds contain a healthy mix of soluble and insoluble fibers. Soluble fiber absorbs water and adds bulk to the stool, helping to prevent constipation.

The insoluble fiber in these seeds helps increase the movement of the digestive tract, promoting bowel regularity.

Furthermore, when mixed with liquid, flaxseeds and chia seeds swell and form a gel-like substance.

This change in consistency can help increase stool weight and size, stimulating a bowel movement. It also adds a lubricating effect to the stools, making them easier to pass.

7. Eat Prunes

Prunes, or dried plums, have a long history as a natural remedy to treat chronic constipation. They contain a high concentration of dietary fiber, but they also harbor sorbitol, a sugar alcohol with a natural laxative effect.

Sorbitol works uniquely. It’s a non-digestible carbohydrate that draws water into the intestines by osmosis.

The increase in water content within the intestine softens the stool and increases stool bulk, which can stimulate the urge to defecate.

Besides, prunes contain phenolic compounds that stimulate beneficial gut bacteria, further promoting bowel health.

8. Use Castor Oil

Another effective home remedy for constipation relief is castor oil, a liquid from the castor plant. For ages, this oil has been a go-to remedy for its impressive laxative properties, primarily credited to its ricinoleic acid concentration.

Ricinoleic acid is a fatty acid that forms almost 90% of castor oil. Its mechanism of action involves interacting with the muscle cells lining your intestines.

This interaction triggers the muscles to shrink and expand, inciting peristalsis. Peristalsis refers to the rhythmic motions that thrust waste materials through your digestive system.

So, a sip of castor oil could efficiently ignite your bowel movements in no time.

But it’s essential to remember that castor oil is a quick fix, not a long-term solution. Its chronic use isn’t advised due to potential negative consequences.

For instance, you may experience abdominal pain and discomfort, upset electrolyte balance, or even develop a dependency on the oil, rendering your bowel incapable of functioning naturally without its aid. So, use it judiciously.

What Causes Constipation in the First Place?

Understanding the potential causes of constipation is also essential in managing and preventing this uncomfortable condition. The following are some key factors:

  • Dietary Factors: Yes, what you eat can backfire! A diet lacking fiber-rich foods (like fruits, veggies, and whole grains) can make stool hard and tough to pass. Not enough H2O or other liquids can leave your stools high and dry, leading to constipation. And if you’re a fan of dairy and processed foods, too much of these can throw your bowel movements off balance.
  • Lifestyle Factors: Being a bit of a lounge lizard can make constipation more likely. Exercise helps jazz up the muscle activity in your intestines, making way for regular bowel movements. Conversely, lack of movement or being bedridden can slow down your digestive system. Also, constantly hitting the snooze button on the urge to use the bathroom can eventually lead to constipation, as your body might ignore the call.
  • Medical Conditions and Medications: Certain health issues can be the sneaky cause behind constipation. This includes neurological disorders like Parkinson’s or multiple sclerosis, metabolic problems like diabetes or hypothyroidism, and tummy troubles like irritable bowel syndrome or colorectal cancer. Various meds, including antidepressants, iron pills, calcium channel blockers, and some pain meds, can also have constipation as a side effect.
  • Age and Hormonal Changes: Being older can make you more prone to constipation. This can be due to moving less, dietary changes, or increased use of certain medications. Also, the hormonal rollercoaster ride during pregnancy can slow down the food journey through your digestive system, making constipation more likely.


Struggling with functional constipation, whether persistent or occasional, can hinder daily life. Nonetheless, it’s often a situation that can be handled right home.

These home remedies for constipation are all practical, organic methods to get your digestive system into gear and encourage regular bowel activities.

However, if these attempts don’t alleviate your symptoms, you must consult your doctor to eliminate the possibility of more serious underlying issues.


How can I relieve constipation fast?

To relieve constipation fast, you can increase your dietary fiber intake (found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains), drink more water, and exercise regularly. Also, try not to ignore the urge to go to the toilet.

What is the fastest home remedy for constipation?

The fastest home remedy for constipation is usually a warm liquid, like herbal tea or warm lemon water, first thing in the morning. It helps stimulate your digestive system. Also, eating high-fiber foods such as prunes can provide quick relief.

What simple trick empties your bowels?

Establishing a regular eating schedule is a simple trick to help empty your bowels. This can regulate your digestive system. Also, practicing a “squatting” position during bowel movements can help.

What are fast-acting natural laxatives?

Some fast-acting natural laxatives include aloe vera, psyllium husk, and certain foods like prunes, pears, and apples.

Rahul Malpe

Rahul is a nutritionist and personal trainer with 3+ years of experience in the field of health coaching. He specializes in nutrition science, with a keen eye for how food choices, lifestyle habits, and physical activity impact our bodies. 

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