Natural Cure Constipation

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by PVLady, Nov 24, 2006.

  1. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I know some of us here have this problem occasionally. I am not sure I could do all what is recommended but the juice blend and massage and accupressure sound good.


    Judging from the number of laxative commercials on television, Americans must be in the throes of an epidemic.
    Nobody needs to tell you what constipation is. Besides the obvious, there are headaches, abdominal pain and a full, bloated feeling to suffer through. While many people don’t have bowel movements every day, having fewer than three a week or passing small, hard stools usually signals a problem.

    While constipation is rarely serious, it usually means you’ve been depriving your body of essential stuff such as water, dietary fiber and adequate exercise. A long-term solution to constipation can be as simple as a daily walk and a few dietary changes. The natural remedies in this chapter, used with your doctor’s approval, may help prevent or relieve constipation, according to some health professionals.

    See Your Medical Doctor When...
    Your symptoms last for more than three weeks in spite of extra fiber, fluids and exercise.
    You notice blood in your stool.
    Your constipation is accompanied by severe abdominal pain.

    PROBIOTOCS - VERY IMPORTANT!! - These can be purchased from immunesupport store.


    When proper eating and exercise fail to relieve constipation, try these acupressure points to relax the abdomen, reduce discomfort and encourage regular bowel movements, says Michael Reed Gach, Ph.D., director of the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, California, and author of Acupressure’s Potent Points. While lying down comfortably, press CV 6, the Sea of Energy point, which is found three finger-widths below the navel. Close your eyes and breathe deeply as you use all of your fingertips to apply gradual pressure. Dr. Gach suggests pressing the point for two minutes.

    You can also press each LI 11 point, situated at the outer edge of the elbow crease, says Dr. Gach. He recommends holding one LI 11 point for a half-minute, then switching to the other side. Repeat this remedy three times a day, he adds.

    For help in locating the CV 6 and LI 11 points, refer to the illustrations beginning on page 564.


    Try a gentle abdominal massage to stimulate elimination, says Greenwich, Connecticut, aromatherapist Judith Jackson in her book Scentual Touch: A Personal Guide to Aromatherapy. She says to add six drops each of rosemary and thyme essential oils to one ounce of a carrier oil such as olive or almond. (Carrier oils are available in most health food stores.) Massage the stomach area up the right side, across the top and down the left in a circular motion, she suggests.

    For information on preparing and administering essential oils, including cautions about their use, see page 19. For information on purchasing essential oils, refer to the resource list on page 633.


    There are three types of constipation: mild, medium and hard, says Vasant Lad, B.A.M.S., M.A.Sc., director of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. According to Dr. Lad, each type of constipation corresponds to one of the Ayurvedic doshas. (For more information about the doshas, see “All about Vata, Pitta and Kapha” on page 28.)

    Pitta constipation is usually mild and is easily cured by increasing physical exercise and adding more fiber to the diet, explains Dr. Lad.

    Medium, or kapha, constipation is a little more intense, says Dr. Lad, but usually responds to the use of this mild laxative: Stir a teaspoonful of ghee, or clarified butter (see “How to Make Ghee” on page 26 for the recipe), into a glass of warm milk and drink at bedtime. Senna leaf tea is another remedy for medium constipation, he adds. (You can find senna leaf tea in most health food stores.)

    For hard or chronic constipation, which Ayurveda says is caused by a low gastric fire (agni) and an excess of vata dosha, the most reliable long-term cure is triphala, says Dr. Lad. One of the best-known and most popular Ayurvedic herbal remedies, triphala combines the fruits of three tropical trees: amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki. Together, these herbs stimulate digestion and aid elimination, according to Dr. Lad.

    To use triphala, says Dr. Lad, mix ½ teaspoon of the powder with one cup of warm water and drink it a half-hour before bedtime. He says not to eat after drinking the tea. Used regularly, triphala will cure constipation and keep it from returning—or it can be used regularly to prevent constipation and keep your digestive system running smoothly, says Dr. Lad. Triphala is available in Indian pharmacies and some health food stores; to order by mail, refer to the resource list on page 634.

    Food Therapy

    “A high-fiber diet is the answer for constipation,” says Julian Whitaker, M.D., founder and president of the Whitaker Wellness Center in Newport Beach, California. Most Americans eat only between 11 and 18 grams of fiber a day, he explains, but experts say that if you’re constipated, you should shoot for more than 35 grams, the amount you’d get from eating five servings of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as a heaping serving of high-fiber cereal, such as oat or wheat bran, each day. Most fruits are high in fiber, as are prunes, whole grains such as rice and oatmeal and legumes such as lentils and garbanzo beans.

    Chronic constipation may be caused by congestion in the elimination system, says Elson Haas, M.D., director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin in San Rafael, California, and author of Staying Healthy with Nutrition. He recommends unclogging your system with his three-week detoxification diet (see “Detoxing Your Ills” on page 48).

    Herbal Therapy

    Cascara sagrada, prepared from the bark of a small tree native to the Pacific Northwest, is the best herbal remedy for constipation, says Varro E. Tyler, Ph.D., professor of pharmacognosy at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. You can find the most effective form of the herb, cascara aromatic fluid extract, in most health food stores. The average dosage is one gram (about ½ teaspoon) daily, says Dr. Tyler. He suggests following label directions for dosage.


    If you have hemorrhoids and develop constipation along with a full feeling in your stomach or abdominal cramping that is temporarily relieved by passing gas, try Graphites, suggests Cynthia Mervis Watson, M.D., a family practice physician specializing in homeopathic and herbal therapies in Santa Monica, California. If you alternate between feeling constipated and having diarrhea and suspect that it may be caused by anxiety or medication, Dr. Watson suggests Nux Vomica. And if your belly is bloated, your stools are hard and dry, you have a painful anus after defecating and you feel depressed and run-down, try Natrum muriaticum, she says. For each of these remedies, Dr. Watson says to take either a 6X dose three or four times a day or one 30C dose once a day.

    Graphites, Nux Vomica and Natrum muriaticum are available in many health food stores. To purchase homeopathic remedies by mail, refer to the resource list on page 637.


    Constipation is often a sign that you’re not drinking enough water, says Agatha Thrash, M.D., a medical pathologist and co-founder and co-director of Uchee Pines Institute, a natural healing center in Seale, Alabama. Along with proper diet and exercise, drinking 8 to 12 eight-ounce glasses of water a day is often enough to cure constipation for life, according to Dr. Thrash.

    When constipation does occur, Dr. Thrash often recommends a hot enema to stimulate the bowel reflex. (For instructions, see “How to Perform an Enema” on page 76.) She cautions that children under ten years of age should not be given more than one enema a day, since water can be absorbed and can cause blood sodium to drop dangerously low (a condition called hyponatremia).

    Juice Therapy

    Start the day with an eight- to ten-ounce blend of equal parts apple, fresh ginger, beet and carrot juices or an eight-ounce blend of equal parts apple and pear juices (dilute with a little water if it’s too sweet), says Cherie Calbom, M.S., a certified nutritionist in Kirkland, Washington, and co-author of Juicing for Life. “Apple juice contains sorbitol, a natural sugar with laxative properties,” explains Calbom.

    And because a folate deficiency can aggravate constipation, Calbom also recommends eating or juicing dark green leafy vegetables such as parsley, spinach and asparagus, all excellent sources of this nutrient.

    For more information on juicing techniques, see page 93.


    In her book The Magic of Massage, massage therapist Ouida West recommends the leg rub (page 578) to relieve constipation. West recommends doing the massage before attempting a bowel movement as well as once in the morning and once in the evening. Be sure to massage up the thigh, from the knee to the hip.

    You can also use Swedish massage, says Elliot Greene, past president of the American Massage Therapy Association. Lightly lubricate your hands with vegetable oil. Then lie on your back and begin massaging your abdominal area. Using your palms or fingertips, press in lightly and stroke down the left side of your abdomen (toward your feet). Then move your hands to the right side of your abdomen, just below the ribs, and stroke across your abdomen to the left. Finally, starting on the right side just below navel level, stroke upward along the abdomen (toward your head). Do this for five to ten minutes.


    Use the corresponding golf ball technique (page 588) to work the adrenal gland and digestive system points on both hands, say Kevin and Barbara Kunz, reflexology researchers in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and authors of Hand and Foot Reflexology. Since constipation can be triggered by tension and lower back stress, they also suggest working the lower back and tailbone points on both feet and the solar plexus points on both hands.

    To help you locate these points, consult the hand and foot reflex charts beginning on page 582. For instructions on how to work the points, see “Your Reflexology Session” on page 110.

    Relaxation and Meditation

    When you feel constipated, try doing autogenics for 15 minutes two or three times a day, suggests Martin Shaffer, Ph.D., executive director of the Stress Management Institute in San Francisco and author of Life after Stress. Practicing this relaxation technique longer but less frequently than what is normally recommended (two minutes, ten times a day) has a powerful physiological effect on the digestive system and may get your bowels moving quickly, he explains. To learn how to do autogenics, see page 120.

    Sound Therapy

    Some people find relief from constipation by listening to relaxation tapes, says Janalea Hoffman, R.M.T., a composer and music therapist based in Kansas City, Missouri. Slow, steady music helps release tension that can subconsciously lead to constipation, according to Hoffman. She suggests her own tape, called Musical Acupuncture. For other selections, see “Sailing Away to Key Largo” on page 129. Many of these pieces are available in music stores. For mail-order information, refer to the resource list on page 642.

    Vitamin and Mineral Therapy

    The nutrients vitamin C and magnesium can help keep you regular, says Julian Whitaker, M.D., founder and president of the Whitaker Wellness Center in Newport Beach, California. “In fact, in Germany, they actually sell powdered vitamin C as a laxative,” he says. His advice: Take at least 500 milligrams of vitamin C and 400 milligrams of magnesium in supplement form every day to prevent constipation. When constipation occurs, he says to increase the dosages for both nutrients by 100-milligram increments each day until you get relief, up to a maximum of 5,000 milligrams of vitamin C and 1,000 milligrams of magnesium. Go back to the preventive dosages once the problem has cleared, he says. If you develop diarrhea, he adds, decrease the amount of vitamin C to 500 milligrams.


    The spine twist (page 614) can help with constipation, says Stephen A. Nezezon, M.D., yoga teacher and staff physician at the Himalayan International Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. He says to try to practice the pose every day if you frequently have problems with constipation.

    [This Message was Edited on 11/26/2006]
  2. makezmuzic

    makezmuzic New Member

    Thanks for posting this, great info. I'm going to try the Natrum muriaticum. I've used nux Vomica before, it's great! I'm on a lot of pain medication and of course that stuff plugs one up. I recently started drinking unsweetened cherry juice. Last month I started blending the cherry juice with a banana, 1 apple and 1 pear. I blend it like a smoothie and drink it down with apple & pear skin et all. Works wonders.


    Attendem to 11/23 mess.

    Its the end of the month, I'm waiting on my SSDI, haven't shopped for fruit lately and am paying the price. I spent hours in the ER last night due to constipation/ blockage that had me on the floor crying and close to tearing myself open yesterday afternoon. I have NEVER had constipation like that before, I had NO idea it could be like that.

    I try to stay on top of my bowel movements - I'm on narcotics for costochondritis and Fibro. I also believe my CPAP machine is set too high and that has been forcing air into my stomach. Between the air/ gas and the constipation I was is agony yesterday afternoon after unsuccessfully passing a very hard, dry, large mass of fecal matter. I was so dehydrated, I could feel all moisture disappear from my mouth, tongue & lips in minutes. When I pulled the skin up off the back of my hand, it stayed up in a ridge. I became dizzy, faint, nauseated ( finally threw up in ambulance) Distended stomach. Pain up into my esophagus. It was terrible!!!!

    They Xrayed my abdomen and did a barium CT scan and found me very "back-up". I was given a pain pill and IV hydration. I left late last nigh with a RX of magnesium citrate. Today I have been drinking warm prune juice w/ aloe. I finished of the magnesium/citrate this am. I'm drinking H2o by the gallon. And I hope to NEVER!!!! Have to go through that again!!

    I was home alone at the time. I had to call 911. The sent the fire department . Four of the most HANSOM men in the world saw me on the toilet yesterday in PAIN!!!.
    All I could do was cry, explain, apologise, look at those VERY FINE FIREMEN and shake my head in shame, laugh and say how STUPID I felt and cry some more. It was the worst day in my life. Is it a prerequisite that Firemen must be gorgeous???????????????????????????[This Message was Edited on 12/03/2006]
  3. cct

    cct Member

    Thanks PVLady! This is great information. It is very helpful.
  4. NancyMystic

    NancyMystic New Member

    But I didn't see any mention of Probiotics.

    Daily intake of Probiotics provides health benefits including <b>alleviation of constipation</b>, improved digestion, increased absorption of dietary minerals, reduced blood cholesterol levels, and enhanced protection from tumors.

    You can get good Probiotics supplements here at ProHealth.

  5. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    I've had this problem to a certain extent since childhood. T3 has helped some, but certainly not solved the problem.

    About a month ago, I got a couple of colonics (colon hydrotherapy) in the hope that it would help a yeast herx. (I had been particularly constipated around that time.) It was very successful with the yeast herx, but the professional who did it (who seemed obsessed with colon health) said after feeling my abdoment that she thought it was very clogged.

    I decided to try a colon cleanse with Colonix, a mixture of psylliium, herbs and a bit of senna. (There are plenty of other such cleanses around.) After feeling sick about a week after I started, I decided maybe I was detoxifying too fast (especially since I was about to start an AV).

    Since then, I have been alternating between the Colonix and just plain Metamucil capsules (with a very small amount of senna or cascara sagrada each day).

    I now am having at least two decent bowel movements each day. I'm not sure how much I'm cleaning the gunk that is (perhaps) stuck to the walls of my colon, but I feel better. (The feeling that I've had all my life after bowel movements that there was still "something left" has started to dissipate too.)

    This is a lot of progress for me, and so I intend to continue.

    As for the senna/cascara sagrada.....I had a discussion with the colonic hydrotherapy specialist, and she said that she thought that if I had been that constipated for a long time (along with her observations) it seemed that my peristalsis (muscle action of the colon) was very weak to begin with.

    Her hope was that if I got the stuff she said was congealed on my colon walls to gradually get scraped off, my colon would be able to move more easily and thus to get in much better shape than it is now.

    I don't know if she's right, but not being constipated any more (recently I had been having only one or two bowel movements a week) seems to me a really good thing even if my system is getting some mild help at the moment.
  6. spacee

    spacee Member

    Yoga definitely helps but there is one move that particularly addresses the colon. It is where you ly on your back and bend your knees, then raise your legs up and up bend. It is called the plough. I like it too for lower back pain.

    Lisa, my twin is coming for a month in Jan. She has had a terrible time with constipation so I have ordered us each the colonix. We will do it once at week. I told her she could tell her friends that she will be spending some time at a wellness spa..haha.

    Also, my hubby is having a routine colonoscopy on Tuesday. What this doc is putting him through to make sure he is cleaned out is grueling. I guess the doc runs into too much stuff in there and tries to get it out.

  7. PVLady

    PVLady New Member

    I agree about probiotics - I added it. Actually there are alot more helpful things for constipation not in this article.

    In the extreme there is prescription, harmless drug called Miralax that helps alot. It only helps retain water in the colon.

    After reading your post I jumped up and took my probiotics.

    Thanks for reminding us.
  8. Slayadragon

    Slayadragon New Member

    Do filters get the fluoride out of your water? Are you talking about things along the line of the Brita jugs, or something else?

  9. NancyMystic

    NancyMystic New Member

    And then I ate some celery.

    The exercises and massage described in the article do give me a nice feeling of well-being.

  10. Redshadow

    Redshadow New Member

    Thanks that is great info!!
    (((soft huggies)))

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