15 Remedies for Constipation (That Really Work)

Being backed up can really be uncomfortable, painful, and downright annoying. Whether you are looking for the fastest relief possible or a gentle natural approach you will find a proven solution on our list.

Constipation affects around 20% of all Americans, with over 8 million doctor visits required each year because of it. But before seeking medical treatment, you can try natural ways to relieve the pain right in the comfort of your home. The following 15 home remedies are supported by science and can help you conquer constipation once and for all!…

Castor Oil

Three clear bottles filled with castor oil.

Castor oil has been used for many generations to cure a variety of ailments. When it comes to constipation, castor oil makes no exception. This type of fat is known as a stimulate laxative because it increases the movement of your intestines.

How to Use Castor Oil

  • When using castor oil, you should follow all of the directions on its package.
  • You typically take this oil by mouth, but if you have questions, you can ask your local pharmacist or call your doctor.
  • It is best to consume castor oil on an empty stomach.
  • You should not use a household spoon to measure the dosage because it may not be accurate. Instead, you should use a special measuring cup.
  • Some people vomit when trying to digest castor oil because of the taste, but you can add the oil to juice to help prevent this issue.

How quickly does it work?

Castor oil can take from six to twelve hours before providing relief from constipation, and it is not recommended for pregnant women or anyone with detrimental health issues.

The next solution is a bit more tasty and less harsh…

Molasses Work Wonders

A wooden spoon with a bowl of molasses underneath.

Molasses are another excellent cure for constipation if you can handle the taste. In 2019, a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology looked at pediatric constipation. In the study, Blackstrap molasses was investigated and it was found to be great in aiding constipation.

What are the benefits of molasses?

When blackstrap molasses is processed, it is boiled and then concentrated three times. This process creates a significant amount of minerals and vitamins. Magnesium is one of the minerals produced, which is well-known for its constipation relief properties. While molasses is exceptionally useful in easing constipation, it should not be used as a daily preventive measure.

How much is too much?

Molasses are high in calories, which makes it a poor choice daily. However, using it once in a while for a natural remedy is okay. If you consume one tablespoon before going to bed, your constipation should be gone by morning. You may want to drink a glass of water after consuming the molasses to help remove the intense flavors before trying to sleep.

If molasses is too much for your stomach, the following may be more palatable…

Ginger Or Mint Tea Helps Digestion

A cloth with ginger, lemon, mint, and tea on top of it.

Mint or ginger can alleviate a wide array of digestive problems. Menthol, found in peppermint, creates an antispasmodic effect on your digestive system. This effect helps to relax various muscles located in the gastrointestinal tract.

When consuming ginger, it has a warming effect on the inside of your body. This extra heat helps to speed up sluggish digestion. Experts recommend taking ginger in capsule form or added to tea. Using hot water to create your ginger tea helps to promote digestion also.

If tea isn’t your thing, maybe a more medicinal approach is for you…

The Benefits of Lubricant Laxatives

A hand holding laxatives over a toilet.

Often, one of the first solutions for constipation are laxatives. In most cases, you can take a mineral oil laxative less than two hours after completing your evening meal. You can expect constipation relief within six to eight hours later.

How do you use laxatives properly?

Lubricant laxatives are incredibly effective, but you should only use them as a short-term fix. Over the long term, lubricant laxatives can steal the fat-soluble vitamins from your intestines and make it hard to absorb some prescription drugs fully. This issue means you should never take mineral oil laxatives at the same time as taking medications or supplements.

Other types of laxatives may be a better option for you…

The Benefits of Herbal Laxatives

A wooden bowl holding several herbal laxatives.

The over-the-counter herbal laxative Senna is used frequently to relieve constipation. Senna contains glycosides, which stimulates the nerves in your digestive tract to speed up bowel movements.

How do you use Senna properly?

  • You can take this laxative orally or rectally.
  • You can use Senna for short periods, but it is not recommended for long term use.
  • If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or experience health issues similar to inflammatory bowel disease, you should not use Senna.
  • Senna should be taken at bedtime, so it can work overnight because it takes about eight hours to be completely effective.
  • You must drink six to eight glasses of water a day while taking Senna or constipation may get worse.

So, what’s most important to keep in mind…

The Magic of Sparkling Water

If you want to have regular bowel movements, it is recommended to drink at least 8-ounces of clear liquid every day. But if you want to fast-track your way to better bowel movements, you might want to consider drinking carbonated, or sparkling, water.

The Effects of Sparkling Water on Constipation

Sparkling water works to re-hydrate your system quickly because it encourages the gall bladder to empty. It also contains a higher amount of carbon dioxide and has five times more sodium, potassium, and sulfate than regular water. Each of these items works to encourage your digestive system to work correctly, making it a great remedy for constipation.

Is drinking soda good for constipation?

No. No matter how strong your sweet tooth may be, it’s crucial to avoid drinking soda when constipated.

The following remedy is simple and tasty…

The Power of Sesame Seeds

Whether you like them or not, sesame seeds can serve an excellent home remedy for constipation. Before you doubt this flowering plant’s power, hear us out.

The Benefits of Sesame Seeds

Sesame seeds have an extremely oily composition which helps moisturize your small and large intestines. If you’ve been experiencing dry stool and constipation, the moisture of the seeds will work to combat these irritating issues. Sesame seeds are also bulky and rough, which can help break up hard stools.

How to Consume the Sesame Seeds

Within a few hours of digesting the seeds, you should find some relief from your constipation. When consuming sesame seeds, you should not eat more than a half an ounce each day. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water with the seeds to help aid the process.

Of course, sesame seeds are just one part of a healthy anti-constipation diet…

Healthy Fats Aid Health Digestion

Healthy fats, or monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, are an excellent choice for your heart, cholesterol, and overall health. These types of fats can lower the risk of heart disease by reducing cholesterol levels. They are also an excellent source of relief from constipation.

How do healthy fats help?

These types of foods help to lubricate your intestines, which eases constipation. According to Harvard Medical School, you should consume the daily recommended amount for each food to help ensure healthy digestion. However, too much of these foods can cause diarrhea.

What are some good foods to eat?

A salad with leafy greens and a small amount of olive oil can help relieve constipation within a few hours. Another great option could be a handful of nuts or natural nut butter on a piece of toast. These healthy fats can also help you lose weight and are necessary for essential body functions.

You can also add the following popular beverage to your morning routine to “get things moving”…

Coffee Does More Than Wake You Up

Drinking coffee has a reputation for boosting your need to use the restroom. This stereotype is for a good reason, though, as coffee boosts your colon’s function and other muscles of your digestive system. One study even suggests that caffeinated coffee helps encourage gut muscles to move as effectively as a full meal can.

How does coffee help?

Caffeinated coffee is 60% stronger than water and 23% stronger than decaffeinated coffee. Other hot drinks can have a similar effect on your colon. However, some coffees contain small bits of soluble fibers that will help improve the bacterial balance of your gut.

How much coffee should you drink?

Coffee may not be an excellent choice for everyone because it is also a diuretic. This fact means you have to drink plenty of water or else coffee can make your constipation worse. You can brew your coffee the same way you would typically enjoy it. After an 8 to 12-ounce cup of caffeinated coffee, you should find relief from constipation with an hour or two.

The following oil may also help you find the relief you crave…

Exercise Can Get Things Moving

A woman and a man sitting on the grass and stretching.

The Mayo Clinic, as well as other professionals, typically suggest exercise as a way to increase movement and activity in your gut. Exercise may not increase the number of times you have a bowel movement, but it may help alleviate many of the symptoms associated with constipation.

The Benefits of Exercise for Constipation

It is recommended that you enjoy a 15-minute walk every day to encourage food to move through the intestines quickly. When you are feeling sleepy after a big meal, it is much better to walk around to promote digestion.

How does exercise help?

When you exercise after a meal, it can also help you avoid that uncomfortable, painful feeling of being too full. Exercise will also increase the blood flow throughout your digestive system, which helps eliminate stomach cramps and pain.

When will you experience relief?

By lowering the amount of time it takes for food to move through your intestines, exercise can help relieve constipation within an hour or so. It may take longer, depending on your situation, but regular exercise will help prevent constipation before it starts.

You can also grab a handful of the following to promote healthy bowel movements…

Prunes Encourage Bowel Movements

A plate of dried prunes on top of a plaid surface.

One of nature’s best remedies for constipation is prunes. Prunes and prune juice contain fiber, but they also have the natural laxative sorbitol. Sorbitol is a sugar alcohol that promotes an effect similar to a laxative.

What are the benefits of eating prunes?

Each prune has a phenolic compound that helps to trigger an intestinal contraction that makes a person need to go to the bathroom. If you consume three plums, you are eating three grams of fiber. These fiber-rich fruits help to get your digestion issues back on a regular track.

What if you don’t like prunes?

If you are not a prune fan, figs have a similar effect on constipation. Figs are also excellent if you experience bloating because they do not cause as much of an issue as prunes. Most experts recommend you eat 50 grams or seven medium-sized prunes two times a day.

The following sweet fix may also be an alternative…

Prebiotic Foods Balance Bacteria

A bowl of cut up bananas.

Dietary fiber can increase stool consistency and bulk. These two items can, in turn, improve the frequency of bowel movements.

What are the benefits of prebiotic fibers?

When you eat prebiotic fibers, you are feeding your gut a type of friendly bacteria. These friendly bacteria can create a balance between good and bad bacteria in your intestines and stomach.

What foods are prebiotic?

Prebiotic foods include garlic, leeks, asparagus, onions, and bananas.

How much should you eat?

The recommended dose of prebiotic foods is between 25 and 38 grams each day. Each type of prebiotic food has a different amount of grams, so you will need to investigate each one separately.

While reaching for these foods, you may want to sidestep the following…

Avoiding Dairy Can Improve Digestion

A woman refusing a glass of milk being handed to her.

Some individuals have a dairy intolerance that creates constipation. Therefore, one remedy is to avoid dairy products for awhile. If you notice improvement in your symptoms, you may have some form of lactose intolerance.

How soon will you find relief?

Improvement should be evident within a few days of stopping. If you find this relieves your symptoms, you can begin reintroducing dairy products one at a time. Cheese may have a more pronounced effect than milk. If you have to remove dairy altogether, you should replace it in your diet with other calcium-rich foods.

You can reach for the following foods instead to help move things right along…

Fiber Keeps You Regular

AA table with oats, apples, and other fruits displayed.

Fiber will increase the bulk and consistency of the bowel movement. This increase helps the movement to pass easier.

How to Choose the Right Fiber

Soluble fibers are found in peas, lentils, nuts, and seeds. These types of fibers form into a paste, which will soften the stool and improve consistency. The best fibers for constipation are soluble fibers.

How much fiber do you need?

It is best to consume at least 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men every day. This home remedy works better as prevention of constipation because it can take days to be effective.

The following option is a little sour…

Lemons Stimulate Your System

A wooden box filled with lemons.

Lemons contain citric acid, which can act as a stimulant to the digestive system. It is also known to flush toxins from your body. The removal of these toxins can provide constipation relief.

How to Use Lemons for Constipation Relief

Long-term Benefits

In order to reap the benefits of lemons, it is a great idea to squeeze fresh lemon juice into a glass of water or tea every morning. This refreshingly tart drink will support the consumption of a daily glass of water, which is another home remedy for constipation. If you drink a glass of lemon water daily, you will significantly improve your long-term digestive health.

Immediate Relief

If you need immediate relief from constipation symptoms, it is recommended to warm the lemon water because hot or warm fluids are also used as an effective treatment for constipation. This home remedy may work within an hour but may also take days to be effective.

You can also reach for the following…

Final Thoughts

An alarm clock, toilet paper, and fruits.

Many individuals suffer from bouts of constipation which can be extremely uncomfortable. From your eating habits to your age, there’s a variety of underlying causes of constipation. However, if you are experiencing chronic constipation, which lasts more than a week, you should see a doctor in order to help rule out a more severe cause.

When should you see a doctor?

If your constipation comes with dizziness, fatigue, cramping, or spasms, you should see your doctor as soon as possible. If you suffer from occasional constipation, the various home remedies listed in this article can help provide you with significant relief.


These remedies can encourage a quick bowel movement to help you with relief to short-term discomfort. However, you may need to make lifestyle changes to keep constipation at bay permanently. Adding fiber, exercise, and lots of liquids in your daily routine can help you establish regular bowel movements in no time!

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