Constipation can be a pain in the… You know..
It makes you feel cramped up – emotionally and physically – and if left unaddressed can potentially lead you to develop some serious health conditions.
Luckily there are some easily acquired constipation remedies – essential oils being one of them.
In this post, we’ll explore using EOs for constipation as well as some other natural remedies. We’ll also discuss some other important factors like diet.
Alright, let’s get into it!
5 Essential Oil Based Natural Remedies for Constipation
Below you’ll find our favorite EO remedies. While these are the best we found, you can see more tips after them too!
1. Hot Honey-Ginger-Fennel Drink
This first recipe is a light drink that will get your digestive system in motion.
This drink is best sipped slowly and followed by a massage with some of the massage oils listed below
- Boil water and mix in your ingredients
- Sip slowly
- Follow up with a massage and/or bath
2. Relaxing Abdominal Massage Lotion
- Combine ingredients in a small non-reactive bowl
- Massage blend over abdomen in a clockwise direction
- Repeat 2 to 3 times daily, or as desired
Alternative Essential Oils to Use for Constipation Massage:
3. Stress Reducing Circulation Boosting Massage Oil
This massage oil will you to relax, improve your circulation and boost your bodies detoxification process.
- 7-8 drops of rosemary, neroli or petitgrain
- 7-8 drops fennel or geranium
- 2 ounces carrier oil (argan, coconut, sesame, sweet almond, jojoba, grapeseed, macadamia)
- Combine carrier oil and essential oils in a non-reactive bowl or 2 oz glass container.
- Get a full body massage if you can! If not give yourself a thorough massage using the oil mixture.
4. Digestive Stimulant EO Infused Warm Compress
Now let’s use some stimulating oils and a hot compress to get your sluggish digestion moving.
- Apply a few drops of the stimulating oils mentioned below to a hot compress
- For the hot compress, you can soak a towel in a bowl of hot water or buy a hot compress
- Once it is warmed just add your oils before applying
Digestive Stimulant Oils to Use:
5. Take A Simple Essential Oil Infused Bath
An easy way to help get your digestion flowing is to take a warm bath and add 8-10 drops of any of the recommended essential oils and some epsom salts.
Here are some more oils you could add to your bath.
The oils on this list are detoxifying, cleansing and haven’t been mentioned yet in the previous recipes:
Non-Essential Oil Based Natural Remedies & Tips for Constipation
Essential oils are a great home remedy, but there are some other really good natural treatments that are worth noting.
Magnesium is one of the most common recommendations for constipation, and rightfully so. It boats such popularity for two big reasons: it relaxes the muscles in the intestines, which helps to establish smooth, consistent bowel movements. It also attracts water as it moves through the body. Once in the colon, it’s full of water and serves to improve the softening of stool. This too makes it easier to have healthy bowel movements.
The best forms of magnesium are magnesium citrate (can also be found in natural calm powder) and magnesium biglycinate. These are not the most inexpensive forms of magnesium – but they are by far the most effective and efficient and worth the price difference.
Healthy bowel movements rely on a healthy gut. And to maintain a healthy gut you need to keep the bacteria in your gut healthy and happy. Probiotic bacteria do a whole lot for the body including aiding enzymatic processes, are at the core of a functioning immune system and help the digestion, assimilation, and elimination of the foods in our diet. Probiotics are very important to take for individuals who have taken antibiotics.
The best source for probiotics is fermented food (homemade preferred). Second are probiotic supplements. There are many probiotics on the market and some do far better than others at improving digestion. On the more inexpensive end, I recommend Accuflora brand. For a high-quality probiotic supplement, I recommend BioKult.
Many people think that coconut oil causes constipation. In fact, it’s actually a great remedy for the condition- thanks to the medium-chain fatty acids that are abundant in coconut oil.
These medium-chain fatty acids (also called MCFAs) provide quick, metabolism boosting energy that stimulates bowel movements and soften your stools in the process. This remedy works for both acute cases and chronic sufferers.
One caution though is to pay close attention when establishing what dosage is right for you. You’ll want to start slow as too much of the stuff can loosen your bowels enough that you’ll have diarrhea-like symptoms.
There’s no definite dosage recommendation – different people require different amounts of coconut oil for constipation. A good place to start though is between 1-2 tablespoons daily. If you have a chronic case of constipation you might want to start with 1 tablespoon in the morning and one more at night. Gradually up your intake until you find the best dose for relieving your constipation problem.
Prunes are helpful for constipation for a variety of reasons. For one, they are filled with fiber – soluble fiber which slows digestion and supports nutrient absorption and insoluble fiber which bulks up your stool and helps it to pass quickly through the intestines. Both of these fibers support natural bowel movements.
They also have sugars like sorbitol (which improve water levels in stool) and natural laxative compounds that further improve transit of matter through the digestive tract. And they are rich in vitamins, minerals and enzymes that support digestive health – compounds like potassium and vitamin A support enzymatic health of the digestive system.
To make use of prunes for your constipation consider taking 3-8 prunes at a time or drinking two glasses of prune juice every day. You can also chop up your prunes and add them to your breakfast foods – or any meal for that matter and/or add your prune juice to a smoothie.
Follow a daily prune intake protocol for a week or so and you should see relief from your constipation.
Ginger is a powerful laxative. It’s one of the first laxatives I experienced at full intensity after drinking a large glass of fresh ginger that someone had prepared. Wow, I had to go to the bathroom fast.
For mild to moderate constipation try adding 1 gram or more of freshly grated ginger in a cup of boiling water to prepare a fresh tea. Alternatively, pick up some ginger tea. Drink 2-3 times daily.
In the East, fennel seed is commonly used to facilitate proper digestion (and to eliminate bad breath). It stimulates the secretion of digestive and gastric juices while limiting occurrences of inflammation in the stomach. It also has antacid properties that support an imbalanced digestion and brings it back to balance. It is safe to use for individuals of all ages and has the added benefit of reducing flatulence. Fennel is best used in a powder form for constipation to benefit from the whole seed.
For your body to function well – especially your digestive system – you’ll need to stay hydrated. A good habit to get into is drinking a tall glass of water first thing in the morning (especially if you’re a coffee drinker!)
Your body is good at regulating water as long as it gets the amount it needs. If you don’t drink or eat enough your body will withhold as much water as it can to maintain important bodily functions like maintaining blood and organ health. The digestive maintenance is of lower priority and in the case of dehydration – especially chronic – can fall into a state of disrepair. Without enough water to properly hydrate fecal matter your stool will become dry and hard which makes it difficult to pass – and painful when it finally does.
As far as how much to drink – just figure out your own needs. Don’t overfill yourself, but see how much you can drink throughout the day and find a comfortable medium.
Lastly, we have some more information and tips about constipation causes and prevention.
The Importance of Diet
Diet is probably the most important factor in cases of constipation. The food we eat day in and day out pretty much determines the state of our digestive system. Some foods tonify and heal our bodies while others irritate and damage it.
Below are two lists of foods – first, foods to avoid for those suffering from constipation. Next foods that should be added to your diet to support digestive health and limit future occurrences of digestive distress.
Foods to Limit/Avoid
- Don’t eat too much fiber or protein
- Excessive fruit/fructose
- Excessive dairy
- Wheat / grains / gluten
Foods to Increase Your Intake of
- Homemade Sauerkraut / kimchi
- Homemade whole milk kefir/coconut kefir/kombucha
- Sweet potatoes, pumpkin and/or squash
- Foods high in saturated fats – lard, tallow, coconut, butter. Helps soften stool
Be sure to get some exercise or at least solid chunks of movement throughout the day. Even 30 minutes or so can help a lot. Physical activity of any kind helps. This alone can prompt sluggish bowels to move. Yoga is very beneficial. Get an abdominal massage if you can, too.
Don’t Over-do Laxatives
It can be risky to use too many laxatives to promote bowel movements. One of the biggest risks is a dependency. If you use them too long your bowels begin to rely on them to have bowel movements and the natural activity of your bowels becomes hindered. This will worsen constipation in the long run. Other dangers of laxatives being overused are damage to nerves, muscles, and tissues in your intestines.
If you really have to use laxatives, opt for a natural laxative that doesn’t have a high risk of causing unnecessary complications.
It Could be Due to Hypothyroidism
One of the major side effects of hypothyroidism is constipation. Others include adrenal fatigue and iron deficiency. You can learn more about hypothyroidism here and get tested for the condition here.
Hopefully, you’ve found this article helpful.
If you have any questions, comments or recommendations of your own please let us know in the comment section below.