Monday, May 26, 2008

Herbs for constipation : Mild (not bulk) herbal laxatives

Dandelion root is a mild laxative often recommended by practicing herbalists. Susun Weed says it is especially helpful for bed-ridden elders and others with chronic constipation. "The root in tea will have little effect on constipation due to nervousness, diet, fevers, and such occasional causes, but acts reliably when it is chronic, related to age, long-tern illness, or general intestinal blahs; a teaspoon of the root boiled in water three or four times a day." Use dandelion leaves in salad, or 1-2 teaspoons of dandelion vinegar or 10 - 20 drops of tincture taken with meals.

Chickweed as a laxative is controversial but not seemingly harmful. It would seem from the debate surrounding it that the worse that can happen while using chickweed for constipation is - more of the same. Varro Tyler heavily disparages its medicinal use "...there is no indication (in the "extensive scientific literature devoted to chickweed") that any of the plant's constituents possess pronounced therapeutic value; ... most writings concern various methods of controlling this pesky weed.

Those with digestive system problems crave plates of chickweed salad, for mineral-rich bulk and soothing, cooling energies to nourish their weak stomachs and bowels. Chickweed eases and helps those with yeast overgrowth, constipation, hard stools, hemorrhoids,stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, colitis, internal inflammation, stomach cancer, and those healing after treatment for appendicitis, peritonitis, or the like." (Healing Wise, p 121).

Both Susun Weed and Deb Soule also recommend yellow dock root tincture as a remedy for constipation.