Monday, May 26, 2008

Constipation/Herbal Laxatives

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal complaints in the United States, resulting in about 2 million doctor visits annually. The most common cause of constipation is an incorrect diet, Constipation can lead to a build up of toxins, which can cause numerous health problems. Constipation and digestive distress are common side effects of iron supplements. A spoonful of molasses with 10-15 drops of yellow dock root tincture in a glass of warm water is a better way to increase iron and improve elimination.

Hemorrhoids are swollen blood vessels in and around the anus and lower rectum that stretch under pressure, similar to varicose veins in the legs, caused due to the pressure exerted when one is constipated and can cause tremendous discomfort. Herbs can help strengthen and tone blood vessels, decrease inflammation and stop bleeding. They can also help the constipation that often accompanies hemorrhoids.

Strong herbal laxatives : Aloes or drug aloe, made from the juice of the dried inner leaves, is a very strong laxative, and is not as widely used as it once was because of the herbs extreme purgative action. Dried, aged cascara sagrada bark is often prescribed for chronic constipation. The bark contains compounds called anthraquinones that are used in commmercial laxative preparations.

Mild herbal laxatives Chicory, dandelion and chickweed all have a gentle laxative properties that are more suited to long term use. Chicory and dandelion are good coffee substitutes that can be drunk in the morning to help prevent irregularity.
Herbal Fiber : Flax seed lubricates the digestive tract, a safe but efficient intestinal cleanser that provides fiber. Flax seed should not be used for extended periods of time and adequate water must be taken with it. Psyllium is traditionally used to treat constipation, the seed husks of P. psyllium provide fiber for a laxative effect. Psyllium is a common ingredient in commercial fiber supplements