Posted on

Herbs and Foods for Constipation

Constipation occurs when bowel movements are not happening frequently or regularly, or are difficult to pass. Most people suffer from constipation periodically.  Sluggish bowels produce chronic bloating and gas and cause significant discomfort. It’s always best to start with diet. The following foods for constipation were selected because they are supported by research and people can easily add them as part of their routine.



There exist many herbs that act as laxatives. Rhamnus is one example. It helps to directly stimulate a bowel movement by activating the bowels. Other herbal laxatives may also help pull more water into the bowels, causing a bowel movement.


Flax Seeds

Flax seeds are rich in fiber and oil which both help relieve constipation.  Flax seeds are natural laxatives that can act as both a bowel lubricant and bulk laxative. They can be consumed whole, or ground. They can be frozen for preservation. Flaxseeds are rich in fiber: two tablespoons have roughly 4 g of fiber. Fiber-rich foods act as bulk laxatives because they absorb water and expands in the bowels.


Olive Oil

Olive oil has numerous health benefits research suggests it can help constipation.  One study showed hospitalized patients given olive oil received the same benefit as those taking the standard treatment. Olive oil acts as a bowel lubricant. When excess olive oil is consumed, it remains in bowels and helps to soften and lubricate the stool.



Drinking prune juice is the most common home remedy for constipation and it has research to support it. Prune consumption was found to be associated with increased bowel movement and improve stool consistency. Furthermore, eating prunes may do more than just relieve constipation. They are loaded with antioxidants. Prunes contain high amounts of sorbitol which has a natural laxative effect. Sorbitol is an “alcohol sugar” that is not readily absorbed and pulls water into the stool.


As always, seek advice from a qualified health practitioner.