Natural techniques for resolving constipation without added fiber that can damage the colon and contribute to inflammatory conditions.
Constipation is a dangerous condition that slowly poisons and ages the body with toxin overload. It is especially dangerous for babies and children.
The diet of most Americans is composed primarily of processed junk and loads of sugar. Eating these types of foods regularly contributes greatly to the problem by unbalancing the gut environment.
It is no wonder that over-the-counter constipation remedies are some of the best-selling at pharmacies and grocery stores.
As many as 15-20% of Americans suffer from chronic constipation. Millions more have intermittent issues.
Some folks have little hope of going to the bathroom on any given day without their morning dose of Metamucil or a bowl of high-fiber bran cereals. This is a very unhealthy situation indeed!
Why Fiber is NOT the Best Constipation Remedy
Eating more fiber as suggested in conventional circles as a remedy for constipation is not a wise move. Fiber eaten in the quantities recommended can seriously damage the colon over the long term.
Think of using fiber to resolve constipation as the “roto-rooter” approach to solving the problem.
The book Fiber Menace warns that high-fiber diets produce large stools that stretch and damage the intestinal tract. In addition, too much fiber upsets the natural balance of beneficial bacteria.
The end result of years of eating a high-fiber diet as a band-aid approach to constipation is more severe constipation. This can contribute to the development of Crohn’s disease, IBS, hernias, colitis, and ironically, even hemorrhoids.
Incidentally, getting a colonoscopy has a similar effect doing more harm than good!
It is simply unnecessary to consume fiber such as psyllium seed husks (the main ingredient in Metamucil) in order to have normal stools.
In fact, many healthy traditional cultures ate diets that included little fiber.
Fiber from grains is the most difficult to digest of all. Consider yourself warned.
The result of the USDA-endorsed high fiber, grain-heavy diet is long-term digestive distress far and beyond the annoyance of constipation!
Natural Remedies for Regular Bowel Movements
As one gradually transitions from high fiber to a low-fiber traditional diet, care must be taken to eat plenty of whole animal fats and bone broths that strengthen the intestinal environment.
In addition, any temporary issues with constipation can easily be handled with the no fiber strategies outlined below.
Tip: As you are working to resolve slow-moving bowels, witch hazel on a cotton pad will soothe and shrink the tissues to help heal rectal irritation, swelling, or hemorrhoids.
Many people do not realize that spinal subluxations can cause infrequent bowel movements which are a form of energy blockage.
Hence, a simple chiropractic adjustment can resolve constipation issues very quickly!
This method is particularly helpful as a baby constipation remedy, where the trauma of the birth process can sometimes result in an imbalanced skeletal system.
On a related note, an inexpensive stool called a squatty potty (I recommend this one) can help align the spine and hips properly while going to the bathroom so that elimination is much easier and more complete.
Exercise has long been known to relieve constipation and promote regular bathroom habits. If jogging or being a gym rat is not your thing, however, it is easy to exercise in the comfort of your own living room with a simple rebounder or exercise ball.
Rebounding stimulates lymphatic activity extremely well and gets things moving very quickly.
Even better, if your kids have a trampoline in the backyard, spend some quality family time with them and tone up your colon at the same time by spending a few minutes bouncing with them each day!
There are many herbs that assist with elimination problems. Triphala and Slippery Elm are probably my two personal favorites. In lieu of becoming an herbal expert, it is easier to use blended detox tea from the healthfood store.
If you don’t enjoy tea or need more convenience, these herbal constipation capsules that include stool softening magnesium are very effective, convenient, safe, and inexpensive.
Taking a non-fiber constipation supplement or a few nontoxic detox teabags when you travel is a good idea.
It helps keep things moving when the stress of travel, changing time zones, and sitting for long periods on airplanes or in cars can throw bathroom habits off schedule.
A good balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut is essential to a healthy colon. A sign that things are in good shape is regular elimination, well-formed stools, and no straining.
Probiotics are best consumed on a daily basis in frequent, small doses in the form of lacto-fermented foods and raw, grassfed dairy. When this is not possible, a probiotic supplement can be used instead.
Not all probiotics are created equal, however, so be sure to always go for quality.
Check out my Resources page for an up-to-date list of the best probiotic brands I have personally vetted.
Note that besides probiotic supplements, homemade 24-hour kefir cultured with live grains is the most potent fermented food for rebalancing the gut.
A glass or two of fresh pressed veggie juice can work wonders with softening up the stools and making elimination a breeze. Be aware that V-8 juice or any other type of vegetable juice in bottles is not helpful at all.
The juice must be fresh, ideally made no more than 20 minutes before consumption. As a result, vegetable juicing and refrigerating to drink later (a la the “cold pressed juice trend“) is not a good idea either.
Also use caution when drinking plain veggie juice on an empty stomach particularly if it is heavy on carrot juice which is high in sugars.
Adding a bit of cream as traditionally done in France will significantly reduce the blood sugar effects of drinking fresh juice. It also assists with the absorption of the bioactive colloidal minerals from the vegetables.
Enemas (NOT Colon Hydrotherapy)
When all else fails to relieve constipation, the tried and true enema works fantastically well.
I don’t recommend colon hydrotherapy because it is expensive and people can become dependent on them. They also potentially wash out beneficial probiotics from deep within the large intestine, something an enema does not do.
The enema has been used since Biblical times. The Essene Gospel of Peace (from the Vatican library) mentions it specifically.
Used to flush the colon of impurities and assist with regularity, this safe home remedy has been all but abandoned in recent decades in favor of over-the-counter drugs.
Many alternative cancer treatments make liberal use of the coffee enema to detoxify and cleanse the colon. However, a plain water enema is simple, fast, and highly effective at treating an occasional bout with constipation.
Enema bags can be purchased at the drug store for about $10.
Even easier, ready-to-use, saline enemas are available for about the same price. Be sure to get one without chemical additives, however!
Nothing literally illustrates the old adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” better than the old-fashioned enema!
Sarah, just found your sight. Good info, wondering about prune juice. I soak prunes 6+ hours and then just whip up in the blender and add water and drink but I have a cup a day. Would that be ok to just keep your system in check – to keep things flowing well, so you won’t get constipated?
Prunes are a safe way to keep things regular if you find that approach helpful!
I have used a squatty potty in the past. Recent research has informed me that the standard ones don’t raise the knees nearly high enough. One truly needs to be in a squatting position with knees up near the chest. I did price some and for now they are too expensive so I was looking for alternatives. At Goodwill I found 2 plastic waste cans that I turn upside down and once I am sitting on the toilet I put my feet on them. If older, like me, it helps to have a grab bar within reach. These work really well! I just push them aside (stacked) after use.
Greetings Sarah, and Thank You! ! A little bottle of “Magnesium Citrate” is always on hand at our house, for constipation. Magnesium deficiency is known to result in constipation and almost every other malady in the human body. Long term “Ancient Minerals with MSM” lotion is a lovely way to use magnesium. Epsom Salts Baths, foot soaks. – A Quick Remedy – “Magnesium Citrate”
Thanks for sharing. While this does work, have you noticed the other ingredients? “blue 1, citric acid, flavors, purified water, red 40, saccharin sodium”
I personally would never take this … the artificial colors are particularly dangerous…. there are far safer ways to get magnesium. The herbal capsules suggested in the article have magnesium with no unsafe ingredients.
Hi Sarah and thanks! I only have fresh, raw goats milk which doesn’t have a cream layer on top. Can that still be used with juices with similar blood sugar reducing effectiveness?
Goat milk doesn’t get a cream layer on top like raw cow milk. Goat milk is naturally homogenized. I would suggest stirring in a bit of coconut oil in the juice instead if you can’t get a spoonful of goat cream. The milk would not have enough fat.
I’ve been a colon Hydrotherapist for almost 20 years, and also a Weston A Price chapter leader in my area. I am now able to do lab tests to prove that people do not lose good flora. I have been able to test people that I’ve done colonics on and off for many years and this is now proven. It would be very nice if when you made your opinion on colon hydrotherapy, that you would consult a national board certified therapist like me – and others. Also, a therapist who instructs proper diet & lifestyle (I’m also a clinical nutritionist) does not encourage dependence on any adjunctive therapy – esp not colonics. I follow you Sarah- but have to admit That I cannot agree on this one. You are not correct.
Thanks for sharing your perspective on this!
hi! thx for the excellent article! i know you mentioned in the article that colon hydrotherapy is expensive, but is it ok to have it done or is a coffee enema better? also, if someone did not constipated, should they still do a coffee enema? thx!
It’s really up to you. Enemas only clear out the last portion of the large intestine. The coffee stimulates the liver to produce glutathione … a strong antioxidant.
Colon hydrotherapy goes much deeper into the large intestine and helps clear away fecal impaction.
Here’s more on coffee enemas. https://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/coffee-enema-unmatched-detoxification-for-health-and-recovery/
Are the remedies trip gala tea and senna safe for a two year old? Thanks!
I personally would not use a senna product except as a last resort, even for adults. It basically shoves the bowel movement out. Once in a while, for a rare moment, I think it is fine but I personally would caution against any sort of regular use. I don’t know about trip gala tea.
You can get try some of the gentler herbs that Sarah suggests. Often you can sprinkle herbs in food by opening a capsule or grinding up the capsule. But I would follow that usage with lifestyle changes to try to fix the situation. Food allergies can sometimes be a cause of constipation in little ones, as can poor diet and even unmanaged stress. They can also really benefit from a squatty potty, or any potty where their feet touch the floor, because any potty usage where the legs are dangling is far from ideal as a potty position.
Good luck caring for your little person with constipation.
I read about garlic enemas to reduce a fever in book Prescription For Nutritional Healing.
Also mentioned in that book is you can give a catnip tea enema for fever reduction too.
When mine were younger I used the small enema bulb syringe. Do not recommend using the “ear syringe.” Buy a child’s enema bulb syringe.
Now older, I give enemas with the 2 quart red rubber enema bag.
Some say using the red rubber enema bag will leach chemicals into the enema water. I have found no proof of this.
Also go to OptimalHealthNetwork dot com. Kristina has many health articles there. She sells the enema bag, bucket and bulb.
Always consult with your doctor before taking or giving an enema. This is not medical advice. Only what I have done.
awesome article. I hope everyone who needs to follows your leads, the constipation problem is complex, and you are on all of the right tracks. Thanks
Hello I’m Emma I’ve been suffering badly how do I fix it? I’ve done a lot of things but it still won’t work! I need some advise or information to tell me what is good to eat or drink to get it out.