It truly is possible to get quick constipation relief naturally and in fact natural constipation remedies can be much more effective because they help to:
- Tackle the real causes of constipation &
- Cure chronic constipation permanently.
OTC remedies that claim to relieve constipation instantly can – on the other hand – lock us into a cycle of repeated problems with our bowels and digestion.
So I have for you here a step-by-step, practical guide to how to relieve constipation quickly naturally so you can get effective constipation relief fast from ingredients you already have in your kitchen.
I’ll take you through what you can drink to make you poop immediately, the best fast acting natural laxatives and foods to avoid when you are constipated.
But I’ll also help you work out what is causing your constipation and identify simple changes to your diet and lifestyle that can make constipation go away for good.
I know from experience how debilitating and awkward constipation can be and just how much it can play on our mental health and overall wellbeing so I really hope these simple natural constipation relief tips help you and yours as much as they have me and my family.
Do let me know how you get on and what worked best for you.
And for more simple, practical tips for healthier living do check out my other natural remedies including my natural remedies for gut health that cover everything from stomach ache to pinworms.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and this post does not provide qualified medical advice. The post includes traditional remedies for constipation that may not be suitable for pregnant women or people on other medication. If you are pregnant or on other medication you should seek medical advice before using these remedies. Constipation can by a symptom of serious medical conditions and you should always seek medical advice if it persists.
How Can I Relieve Constipation Quickly?
When we’re struggling with constipation and want quick relief it’s very tempting to reach for the most powerful laxatives out there. The problem is powerful laxatives – even natural ones – can relieve constipation immediately but disrupt our digestive system in a way that the constipation quickly comes back.
So it always make sense to try to relieve constipation gently first with simple drinks that can make you poop, food that can relieve constipation fast and other natural remedies that really can relieve constipation quickly.
What To Drink To Make You Poop
Not drinking enough full stop is a common cause of constipation. So do make sure you drink plenty of fluids every day to prevent constipation and when you have constipation drink a range of these to make you poop:
Warm Fruit Juice
To help make yourself poop sip a cup’s worth of any of the following juice slightly warmed up with half a teaspoon or so of ginger and cinnamon :
It is worth freezing prune juice in ice cube trays – especially if you have young kids – so it is very easy to have a small amount on a weekly basis or as needed.
Orange juice and lemon juice in water can help but are best avoided if you suffer with heartburn or acid reflux.
Chamomile, peppermint, ginger and dandelion tea can all help to make us poop naturally as they ease our digestion. Chamomile tea also helps our body relax which is key to relieving constipation.
Surprisingly, a cup of warm milk at night can help make us poop in the morning. I know not everyone thinks they get on well with dairy but milk is rich in magnesium which helps to relieve constipation.
If you don’t like milk and you could be magnesium deficient – leg cramps & restless legs are a common sign – you can quickly increase magnesium levels with magnesium rich food.
Fizzy Mineral Water
I know many of us have cut out bottled water in our efforts to go zero waste but there is some evidence that drinking fizzy mineral water can help relieve constipation naturally as well as bloating and gas.
Bicarb & Water
This little natural remedy for constipation is as old as the hills but it help can give instant relief especially if you have constipation and gassy bloating. Simply add a small teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda (baking soda in the USA) to a cup of tepid to cool water and sip slowly.
What To Eat To Relieve Constipation Fast
Constipation is a sure sign our digestive system isn’t working happily. But rather than using laxatives to – literally – blast the problem away, we ideally want to eat food that helps get our digestive system back on an even keel so it relieves constipation fast on its own.
The following foods can all help relieve constipation fast :
- Coconut oil
- Clear broth or soup
- Green soup – this is my go to recipe for very quick green soup.
- Blackberries – fill your freezer for free in the fall with foraged blackberries which are natural immunity boosters as well as being great for constipation.
- Raspberries – it is actually easy to grow raspberries even in the tiniest garden
- Oat porridge
- Pumpkin seeds – these little gems are magnesium rich so great for constipation and for getting rid of worms naturally!!
You could cover a good number of them in a simple meal plan like this :
- Breakfast : oat porridge with flaxseed, berries & pumpkin seeds
- Lunch : clear broth with a little spinach or green soup
- Snacks : figs, dates, prunes, plums
- Supper : have a little sauerkraut as a small side to your main meal plus natural yoghurt & stewed rhubarb
- Bedtime : have a cup of warm milk or chamomile tea and a small spoonful of coconut oil
Do try to eat slowly and try sipping herbal tea with your meal rather than guzzling a huge cold drink.
Herbal Home Remedies For Constipation
Simple every day herbs can be great home remedies for constipation. These herbs have all been used traditionally as gentle but effective quick remedies for constipation :
Simply add them as flavouring to meals rather than salt – which can cause bloating that makes our constipation worse – or drink them in a DIY herbal tea. A little cinnamon and ginger sprinkled on sugar free natural yoghurt can be really calming for our digestive system.
How To Relieve Constipation On The Toilet
Basic toilet habits we follow without thinking can also cause constipation and so these simple changes can help relive constipation quickly naturally :
Give Yourself Time
Giving ourselves 15 minutes once a day to relax on the loo – no pressure – can break a cycle of straining that actually causes our body to tense up and hold things in.
Wait A Little In The Morning
many of us are in a rush in the morning and so try to force bowel movements too early. As we get older our bodies can need a good hour or so before they are ready to get moving.
Sitting Properly On The Toilet
How we sit on the toilet can also make a difference. Check out this guide for 7 toilet positions to relieve constipation.
How To Relax To Relieve Constipation
It is easy to be sceptical about “relaxation exercises” but physical tension can be a major cause of blocked bowels. The muscles all over our body are so tightly knotted we just can’t let go, so simple relaxation exercises can help relieve constipation quickly.
Massage your tummy with slightly warmed oil for a few minutes and then put a warm facecloth over it for a few minutes more. Traditionally done with castor oil but not clear has to be. It’s just what people had. This is a really useful leaflet from the NHS on simple self abdominal massage to relieve constipation.
Breathing slowly through our diaphragm can reduce our heart rate and blood pressure which in turn helps our muscles relax sufficiently to allow easier bowel movements.
Use this simple guide to diaphragmatic breathing for digestion issues to learn how to breathe to relax deeply and then practice it whilst sitting on the loo for 15 minutes. It can seriously work wonders!!
Yoga Positions For Constipation
Simple yoga poses can also relieve constipation quickly because they reduce physical tension throughout our body. You don’t have to be a yoga guru or have ever done yoga to get the benefits.
These 10 yoga positions to relieve constipation are super easy and the child’s pose, cat-cow, supine twist & downward dog are doable by anyone.
Best Fast Acting Natural Laxatives
If gentle drinks, food and relaxation exercises do not relieve your constipation there are fast acting natural laxatives you can try. Even though they are natural, they should still be taken with great caution and appreciation of the risks. They may interfere with other medication you are taking and may not be safe for pregnant women so you should always seek medical advice before taking.
What To Avoid When Constipated
Obviously, it makes no sense to take natural remedies for constipation whilst still indulging the dodgy habits that got us constipated in the first place. There are foods to avoid when constipated – although, not always the obvious ones – and there are some other things to avoid that will help the natural constipation remedies do their work fast.
Foods To Avoid When Constipated
When we are trying to relieve constipation we do need to avoid as much as possible :
- Sugary treats of all sorts.
- Caffeinated drinks – except a small jolt of coffee – as they trigger adrenaline which can contribute to constipation.
- Too much alcohol
- Highly processed carbohydrates e.g. white bread, pasta & rice.
As we get older we can find it harder to process even whole grain carbs and personally, I found switching to a lower carb diet helped to reduce constipation.
We are often also told to avoid red meat, dairy and bananas when constipated but it is not as simple as that.
If we are eating lots of red meat on a Keto or diabetic diet the problem may be a lack of fibre rather than the meat itself. Check out these easy low carb side dish recipes that are great low carb ways to add fibre to your meals.
We have already seen magnesium rich milk can help constipation and natural yoghurt and good cheese are full of the “good” bacteria our gut needs to digest food properly and prevent constipation. So yes avoid highly processed cheese and sugary yoghurts and don’t guzzle a gallon of milk but do get small helpings of good stuff.
Bananas are a tricky one because they contribute to constipation in some people and ease it in others. Our digestive systems just don’t all behave in exactly the same way so this is one where we need to trust our own experience of our own bodies.
One final surprising food I would avoid when constipated – or at least be very careful of – is bran.
It’s easy to think a big bowl of bran will relieve constipation quickly. It may move our bowels but so much pure fibre all on its own may cause chronic stomach pain and purge our gut of all the clever little microbes we actually need to digest food effectively and that may mean the constipation comes back or we end up with a whole bunch of other issues like painful bloating and gas.
Other Things To Avoid When Constipated
Other things to avoid when constipated are :
- Fasting – try eating small, gentle meals to keep your digestive system moving.
- Pain killers – Ibuprofen taken for period pain can contribute to constipation which makes period pain worse.
- A sudden surge in fibre – eating more fibre can help prevent constipation but increase it gradually
- Too much exercise – constipation can be a response to excessive stress hormones triggered by over exercise
- Too much resting – bad constipation can make us feel sluggish and unwell, especially as we get older, but we need to resist the temptation to rest up as gentle exercise from movement throughout the day actually helps get rid of constipation.
What Causes Constipation
We’re commonly told that lack of fibre in our diet is what causes constipation.
It certainly can do and many of us will get quick constipation relief by eating a wider range of fruit and vegetables every day. But our digestive system impacts and is impacted by all sorts of other parts of our body from our hormones and heart rate to our posture and reproductive cycle.
So the answer to why do I always get constipated is going to vary from person to person.
Why Do I Always Get Constipated?
To cure chronic constipation permanently and stop it coming back we need to understand what particular combination of these common causes of constipation are actually a problem for us :
- Lack of fibre
- Poor gut bacteria
- Persistent stress
- Lack of sleep
- Menstrual cycle
- Sitting down a lot
- Lack of exercise
- Too much exercise
- Magnesium deficiency
- Pain killers
- Lower back pain
- A slow or sluggish gut
- Blood pressure
- A major dose of antibiotics
- Processed food & sugar
- An unbalanced diet
- Too many carbohydrates
- Too much protein
- Switching between faddish diets that cut out whole food groups
- Not fasting long enough at night
The good news is, most of won’t need a detailed investigation to work out which of these causes are relevant to us and once identified many of these causes can be addressed through simple lifestyle changes.
How To Cure Chronic Constipation Permanently
How Can I Stop Getting Constipated?
It is possible to cure chronic constipation permanently naturally. And luckily we can make constipation go away with very simple practical changes to our lifestyle and diet.
Enjoy as wide a range of fruit as you can in your diet including apples, pears, berries of all sorts including blackberries and raspberries, plums, rhubarb, kiwi, citrus fruits. Freeze fruit that doesn’t keep well in small portions so you can quickly poach and eat with yoghurt or creme fraiche both of which are good for the gut.
A Bowl Of Soup
Get into the habit of a bowl of quick soup every day. It’s the age old way to eat plenty of veggies and lots of leafy greens daily.
Big Pots of Yoghurt
Always have a big pot of natural yoghurt – with no added sugar – on the go in the fridge so the whole family gets a good few dollops daily. It’s a super easy way to keep our gut healthy.
Garnish Your Gut
Common herbs and spices like parsley, cumin, coriander, fennel, turmeric, ginger & cinnamon help restore our gut and prevent constipation. Simply garnish your meals with them day in, day out as a no effort gut booster.
A short mile long walk every day can ease a whole load of the causes of constipation from stress, posture and lower back pain to heart rate and blood pressure.
Simple stretches daily can do the same turning down our stress hormones and unwinding all the physical tension that makes it hard to let go.
It may sound crazy but lots of us do need to practice our breathing. Deep down diaphragmatic breathing reduces heart rate, stress hormones and physical tension and so helps us release our bowels easily, regularly.
Eat supper earlier and push breakfast back later so your digestive system can finish yesterday’s processing before being hit by another load.
I know it’s hard but for many of us one of the easiest ways to cure chronic constipation permanently is to cut down sugar. That doesn’t necessarily mean going low carb – though it can help – but pure sugar in cookies and cakes just isn’t worth the pain and discomfort of constipation.
Sip Sip Slowly
If you are a real guzzler – I certainly am – try and slow down and sip, sip your drinks slowly so your digestive system actually has a chance to absorb the liquid rather than peeing it straight out!
A Nice Cuppa
Get into the habit of actually stopping and sitting down for a little cup of herb tea. Mint, chamomile and ginger all help us relax and give our gut that little extra helping hand to get through the day’s work.
The Time Of The Month
If you get constipated during your period swap some of these easy low carb side dish recipes that are high in fibre for your normal pasta, potatoes and rice, the week before your period. But do keep up your meat intake as iron deficiency is also very common during our periods.
Time blocking is a great way to be more productive every day but it also helps make sure we don’t sit in one position for long periods of time. Getting up every 45 minutes for a short break on the move helps prevent constipation associated with lower back pain and a sluggish gut from a slow metabolism.
Lack of sleep and irregular sleep can stop our bowels getting into a rhythm of regular movements. This is one of the reasons constipation can be such a problem for mothers with a new baby or who are breastfeeding.
If you can’t get enough sleep at night, try if at all possible to build a power nap into the early afternoon. Or if you have a new baby sleep when they sleep – it is the single best bit of baby advice you will ever get!
Go A Bit Nutty
If you suffer from magnesium deficiency – also a cause of leg cramps – a little handful of mixed nuts like almonds, cashew and pumpkins which are rich in magnesium can help.
And there you go a big practical guide to getting quick constipation relief naturally and actually understanding the causes of constipation so you can cure chronic constipation permanently.
I do hope it helps. Bookmark or save for later and please let me know how you get on and what worked best for you.
For more simple natural remedies for gut health check out these posts :
- Quick Natural Bloating Remedies
- Instant Heartburn Relief Naturally
- 20 Simple Natural Antibiotics
- 50 Foods To Restore Gut Health
- 7 Natural Remedies For Stomach Ache
- 45 Natural Remedies For UTI Infection
Original image sources : Yoga Position, Rawpixel.com and Sliced Plums isolated above white background by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0
Very helpful information. I try to avoid white bread as this is the main food that always puts the breaks on!
So glad you found it helpful Rachel. I think the thing about white bread is balance – the French obviously eat loads of it traditionally but also had soup & salad every day and plenty of pulses in their diet so never short on fibre to keep it moving. Also think “white bread” can mean so many things. I find a fresh loaf that is nothing more than flour, yeast, water, salt and little olive oil has a completely different impact on me than something full of “flour improvers”, preservatives, “flavouring” etc etc.