We’ve all been there. Things are rumbling in your tummy, you feel big and uncomfortable, but you just can’t seem to poop. Constipation happens to the best of us, and if it happens only occasionally then there are a few quick and simple home remedies to fix the problem.
If it becomes a regular problem, you’ll want to dig a little deeper and maybe even find a nutrition consultant to make some permanent changes to your diet and use proper supplementation.
Water: Drinking water is essential to good digestion. Half our weight in ounces is recommended.
Ripe Bananas: Ripe bananas contain fiber, potassium and digestive enzymes. Avoid green bananas as their starch content is higher and may cause more constipation.
Olive oil: Mix one tablespoon with one to two tablespoons of lemon juice in an eight-ounce glass of water and drink. It’ll get your digestion going, and it’s great for your liver, too!
Rhubarb: Rhubarb cooked into a compote and sweetened with honey provides great relief for constipation.
Sea vegetables: Sea vegetables are high in minerals and aid in healthy digestion. Your thyroid will also thank you.
Milk kefir: Milk kefir has been around for hundreds of years and is commonly used to ease constipation. Just be sure not to drink too much of it, or you’ll actually increase constipation.
Coffee: It’s the bitter components in the coffee that make it a great remedy for constipation.
Peppermint oil: Peppermint essential oil is a well-known home remedy and can be used by itself or with other essential oils.
Ginger: Enjoy plenty of ginger with your sushi, as it has been known for centuries to aid with digestive troubles.
Molasses: Molasses contains magnesium. Mixed in a cup of warm water it can be a great way to relieve constipation. If you don’t care for the taste, add a little bit of honey.
Vegetables: Vegetables are full of natural fiber, which aids in digestion. Load up your plate with plenty of veggies.
Walk: Walking is a great way to get things moving around — and moving south. Go for a brisk 15-minute walk when you’re constipated.
Flax oil: Flax oil coats the intestinal walls and your poop for easier elimination. Can’t handle the taste by itself? Mix it into a small glass of orange juice, as oranges also contain natural fiber.
Apple cider vinegar: Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water taken about 15 minutes before a meal will help increase the release of digestive enzymes and help you poop better.
Sauerkraut: Eat sauerkraut to regulate stomach acid, provide probiotics and ease constipation.
Yoga: Yes, even yoga is a great home remedy for constipation. Look up some spinal twist movements to gently help your digestive system going.
Baking soda: If you can stand the taste, mix one teaspoon into a quarter cup of water and drink. Baking soda is a bicarbonate and will help remove gas from the body.
Prunes: Eat some dried prunes or drink a glass of prune juice to jump-start your digestion. Prunes are high in fiber and sorbitol, which is a stool softener.
Dandelion tea: Dandelion tea is a mild laxative and a great detoxification agent. Have a cup every day and your body will thank you for it.
Fennel tea: Fennel is yet another great herb to relieve constipation. Drink it in tea or use fennel oil. It can also be mixed together with peppermint oil.
Squat: Squatting on the toilet or using the Squatty Potty will align your body perfectly for the elimination of poop.
Massage: Gently massaging your large intestine from right to left can help remove gas and get your digestion going.
Magnesium supplements: Magnesium taken with a large glass of water before bedtime helps you sleep well and promotes a healthy digestive tract.
Epsom salt: You can use Epsom salt internally. Mix one teaspoon into a glass of water, add a little lemon juice and drink it immediately. It doesn’t taste good, but it will get your digestion moving in 30 minutes to a few hours. Or simply take an Epsom salt bath.
Saline enema: If all else fails, a saline enema will do the trick. Just stay near the toilet when using an enema.
Read: Constipation Can Kill: Here are 5 Reasons You Aren’t Pooping Enough
We’re certain you have a few of the items on this list handy. We suggest you save the list or print it out. Of course, we always recommend to eat a healthy and balanced diet to avoid constipation to begin with.
Ute Mitchell is a Freelance Writer and Nutritional Therapy Practitioner located in Portland, OR, where she homeschools her kids, cooks healthy meals for her family, and hikes the forests and mountains around the Pacific Northwest. She is an avid CrossFit athlete, and loves to encourage others to live a healthy and active lifestyle.