Constipation is a very common digestive issue but usually nothing to be worried about. There are a number of natural remedies that can effectively treat constipation including a variety of herbal teas.
People have been using herbal teas as a traditional remedy for constipation for hundreds of years and long before the advent of modern medicine. This is because certain herbal teas can help stimulate your digestive system helping to relieve constipation.
This article will take a look at some of the most popular and effective herbal teas for constipation and help you to make the right choice.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is very common. In fact, around 20% of people in the U.S are affected each year. According to the data, constipation results in around 8 million visits to the doctor every year. (1)
A person is considered to be constipated when they have fewer than three bowel movements in a week. While it is usually no great cause for concern, constipation can be painful and uncomfortable.
Symptoms can include discomfort during bowel movements, bloating in the abdomen and dry, hard stools which cause pain when passed.
There is evidence that regular bouts of constipation can have serious effects on your quality of life as well as both physical and emotional health. (2) (3)
Causes of Constipation
Constipation may be caused by lifestyle choices, diet, certain medications and certain illnesses. However, the causes are not always know.
Some people suffer from chronic constipation with no known cause. This condition is termed ‘chronic idiopathic constipation’.
The following factors can increase the risk of developing chronic constipation :
- Age : Older people are more prone to constipation
- Sex : Women are more likely to develop constipation
- Eating too little fiber
- Being physically inactive
- People who take certain medication including opioids, sedatives, some antidepressants and some blood pressure meds
- People with an eating disorder or depression are more at risk of constipation
How Can Herbal Teas help?
Fortunately, there are a number of home remedies that can help ease constipation and prevent its recurrence. One effective remedy is to drink certain herbal teas, but why do they help?
Staying well-hydrated is very important for your health in general and it is also one of the best ways to prevent and ease constipation.
The more hydrated you are, the better lubricated your intestines are and the more moisture remains in your stools.
Being dehydrated is one of the major causes of constipation. Drinking plenty of warm liquids is recommended because it helps make the stools softer and helps them to pass more comfortably. Warm teas can also help stimulate your digestive system while certain teas have natural, albeit mild, laxative effects.
Please note that you should speak with your doctor before using any herbal remedies to treat constipation.
The FDA does not regulate herbal tea for the relief of constipation. This means you can never be 100% certain what ingredients the tea contains nor whether the tea has been tested for safety and efficacy.
Pregnant women should also avoid some herbal remedies because of the lack of safety data.
Nevertheless, most herbal teas are considered safe for the majority of healthy adults and some may be an excellent remedy for constipation. The following teas are some of the most effective herbal teas for dealing with the condition.
The Best Herbal Teas for Constipation
Senna tea is made with the flowers, leaves and fruit of the senna plant (Cassia angustifolia). Senna has been used as a natural remedy for constipation for many years because of its laxative properties.
According to proponents, senna tea can stimulate the intestines and help move the stools through the digestive tract. It is also sometimes used to promote weight loss. The U.S FDA has approved the use of senna as a remedy for constipation and the herb is sometimes found as an ingredient on certain over the counter remedies to treat the condition.
Senna tea has a bitter taste and many people add a sweetener like honey to make their drink more palatable. As well as being used in tea form, it is also available in supplementary form including powders, liquid extract and capsules.
There are some concerns regarding the long term use of senna tea and supplements made with the herb. You should not take it for more than 2 weeks at a time and you should make sure that you follow any dosage instructions carefully.
Constipation is often oinked to poor digestive health. If this is the case, then a cup of ginger root tea can help. Ginger root tea is a popular natural remedy for various digestive conditions including indigestion, bloating, stomach upset and nausea. It is also used to help maintain overall digestive health.
Drinking a cup or two of ginger tea each day will help the body stay hydrated and help to maintain your digestive health. Drinking a cup of this tea after a meal might also help your body digest its meal and to stimulate healthy bowel movements.
Dandelions are often regarded as an unwanted weed and discarded by gardeners around the world. This is a shame since dandelions root and leaves have a number of potential health benefits.
Drinking a cup of dandelion tea might help improve mild digestive issues including bloating and mild cases of constipation. According to studies, dandelion helps stimulate the production of bile which can improve digestive function and may help treat constipation.
If you are suffering from constipation, try a cup or two of dandelion tea after your meal. Dandelion root tea tends to taste bitter and many people prefer to drink it with honey or another natural sweetener.
Dandelions may have mild diuretic properties so people taking water pills should avoid using dandelion tea.
You can read more about the health benefits of dandelion root tea and how to make it by clicking the following link. Dandelion root tea benefits.
Licorice Root Tea
Licorice root tea is another popular choice for people with various digestive complaints. Studies have found that licorice root has a number of health benefits including anti-inflammatory and digestive health benefits.
Drinking a cup of licorice root tea just after a meal may help sooth the digestive system and might even promote bowel movements.
Marshmallow tea is another popular herbal beverage with a number of possible health benefits. It can have a similarly soothing effect on the digestive tract as licorice root tea.
Try drinking a cup or two after your evening meal to ease the discomfort caused by constipation and keep your body hydrated.
Casgara sagrada, also known as California buckthorn, is a constipation remedy made from the bark of a shrub native to north America.
Casgara sagrada has ben used for many years as a remedy for constipation. It contains compounds with potent laxative efects called anthraquinones. The herb can also improve muscle tome in the colon.
Casgara sagrada works as a laxative by stimulating the contraction of muscles in the intestines. These contractions help the transport of the stools through the bowels.
The herb was used as an ingredient in over the counter laxatives for a number of years but in 2002, the U.S FDA ruled that the herb was not a safe and effective treatment for constipation. Because of this ruling, OTC laxatives containing the herb are no longer available but it can still be purchased as a supplement and as an ingredient in certain prescription laxatives,
Before using casgara sagrada tea or any other supplement containing the herb, you should consider the safety concerns. It can potentially cause abdominal cramping and electrolyte loss. It may also cause constipation when taken for more than two weeks.
If you are planning on using casgara sagrada in tea or supplementary form, it is important to speak to your doctor in advance.
Green Tea and Black Tea
Drinking caffeinated tea like green tea or black tea may help treat constipation by speeding up your bowel movements. Other caffeinated drinks including coffee may also have natural, laxative effect.
Many people find that drinking coffee or caffeinated tea in the morning helps stimulate the body into action and helps encourage regular bowel movements.
A few cups of caffeinated tea or coffee a day should not have a negative effect but some people may have an adverse reaction to consuming too much caffeine.
Peppermint tea is another popular remedy for a number of digestive issues including indigestion, nausea and stomach upset. Peppermint extract is often found as an ingredient in OTC medications to treat digestive troubles.
Peppermint tea has a soothing effect on the digestive system and can help move the stool through your intestines.
Peppermint tea is a popular natural remedy for digestive issues, and many OTC medicines for digestive issues contain peppermint extract. Drinking a soothing cup of peppermint tea following a meal might help ease an upset stomach caused by constipation. It can also keep you well-hydrated and help soften the stools.
How to Prevent Constipation in the Future
You can go some way towards preventing future bouts of constipation by making certain changes to your diet and lifestyle. However, they are unlikely to be enough if your constipation is a symptom of a more serious medical condition.
Keeping your body well-hydrated is one of the best things you can do to prevent constipation. This is also why many people have success with warm herbal teas. make sure that you get plenty of fluids inside your body especially if you live in a hot country or you have been doing strenuous exercise.
How much fluid you need depends on a number of factors including age, sex and weight. However, most experts recommend drinking at least eight glasses of water a day. Unsweetened fruit juice and herbal teas are also a great way to keep hydrated.
Many modern diets do not include the amount of fiber that your body needs. A diet high in fiber has a number of benefits and can help to prevent digestive issues like constipation.
High fiber food includes leafy, green veg, whole grains and certain fresh fruits. You should try to eat a certain amount of fruit and veg with every meal. Try replacing white bread and white rice with whole grain and brown varieties.
Lack of exercise is also a known cause of constipation in some people. If your lifestyle is too sedentary, try exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. Even gentle exercise like walking the dog can help.
Set some realistic goals and try to improve your fitness gradually over time. Not only will exercise help to prevent constipation but it will have a number of other health benefits too, both mental and physical. Walking, jogging, swimming and cycling can all help reduce the risk of constipation.
- While the herbal teas mentioned in the article are generally considered to be safe for most people, you should exercise caution before using any herbal remedy.
- It is important to speak with your doctor to make sure that the herb you are taking is safe for you.
- Some herbs have medicinal properties that may not be suitable for people with certain pre-existing conditions.
- Some herbal teas and supplements may also interact with certain prescription medications. Your doctor can advise you on the possibilty of interactions with any medicine you may be taking.
- Similarly, women who are pregnant or breast-feeding should speak with their doctor before using any herbal supplement.
- The FDA does not regulate herbal remedies in the same way as it regulates prescription drugs. It is not always certain what ingredients are included in your herbal products nor whether they are safe to use.
- Make sure that you read any dosage instructions on the labels carefully. Do not exceed the recommended dose and do not use the remedy for longer than the recommended period of time.
Constipation is a very common condition with a number of potential causes. Most people can help prevent and treat constipation with no more than a few lifestyle changes including dietary changes and exercise.
Staying well-hydrated is also important. Drinking certain herbal teas can help keep the body hydrated while some also have mild laxative effects that can help stimulate bowel movements naturally.
Before using any herbal remedies, you should speak with a doctor. this is especially important if you are pregnant or suffer from a pre-existing condition. Some herbs can also interact with prescription medication that you may be taking.
Have you ever used a herbal tea to treat constipation? Did it help treat your condition?
Please let us know, we would be delighted to hear from you.