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Constipation Relief

Constipation often effects almost everyone at one time or another. One way to avoid it is to treat yourself well by watching your diet and maybe some small changes in lifestyle. From diet to travel, to every day stressors, constipation is one of the most common digestive complaints in the United States. Frequency of bowel movements can vary widely from person to person, from once a day or more to three times a week. In general, if you are constipated, you will notice you are passing hard dry stool less than three times a week. Constipation occurs when stools are crowded together in the colon. Constipation can also make you feel bloated and uncomfortable and you may strain during bowel movements which can lead to hemorrhoids. There are many causes, both organic and functional and among some of the organic causes are, intestinal obstruction, diverticulitis and tumors. Among the functional causes it can occur in bedridden individuals or in the elderly. Although it can effect anyone, it is more common in women and in people over the age of 65. It also can occur during pregnancy, after childbirth and surgery, as well as with certain medications such as opioid pain relievers and with conditions such as multiple sclerosis. Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS, is a disorder of the gastrointestinal system. And common symptoms may include pain and cramps in the stomach or intestines, gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation. A change in bowel movements often occurs before diagnosis, with some individuals experiencing predominately diarrhea and others experiencing constipation, some experiencing both. There is no known cause for the disorder, but the intestinal muscles are often sensitive to movement and pain. Here's what you need to know if you are experiencing difficulty in passing stool, it is 100% reversible/healable and there is a plethora of herbal remedies that address this conditon to assist you in overcoming the epidemic of constipation. Maus has put together a list of natural herbs and herbal remedies that may help you feel less bloated and keep the body at its best.
Also called sacred bark, Cascara Sagrada is an herbal remedy that has been used traditionally for the relief of constipation. Cascara Sagrada contains large amounts of cascarosides, which are types of hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides that can stimulate muscle contractions in your intestines. This action can help promote bowel movement in a similar manner to conventional stimulant laxative. Additionally, Cascara also contains tannins, linoleic acid, lipids, resin as well as other glycosides such as emodin. Emodin is a laxative chemical and is also currently being investigated for possible anti-tumor and anti-inflammatory properties. After being converted into its active form by intestinal flora, emodin acts on the intestinal walls as a smooth muscle stimulant. When you consume anthraquinones it will typically result in bowel movement within 6 to 8 hours after taking the herbal supplement. 
Buckthorn Bark produces a laxative effect in both humans and animals., and the juices from the bark can also produce diuretic and tonic action in the body. The common chemical anthraquinone is biologically active in Buckthorn bark and it has been recommended by Commission E, the German government agency responsible for the evaluation of herbs, for the treatment of constipation and indigestion. Buckthorn can also help to cleanse the blood and prevent the formation of gallstones, gout, rheumatism and blood poisoning. It may also lead to sweating and help to reduce fever. Buckthorn bark may also have cancer fighting properties. Today, the herb is used in small amounts to treat skin disorders and parasites. "Nursing Herbal Medicine Handbook" states that Buckthorn bark tinctures ease the evacuation of bowels in individuals with hemorrhoids or anal fissures, and people that have had rectal-anal surgery. 
Barberry was traditionally used as a treatment for digestive problems, including constipation, diarrhea, dyspepsia (upset stomach), loss of appetite and heartburn. It is said to work by increasing the flow of bile, and on this basis it has been used for liver and gallbladder problems. Barberry may also have analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antihypertensive, antihistimatic and fever reducing effects. The berberine alkaloids also help to stimulate activity of the immune system. Barberry, like
Oregon Grape and Goldenseal, contains the chemical berberine, which inhibits the growth of micro organisms, including fungi, protozoa and bacteria. Barberry has also shown promise for psoriasis. Barberry may also be an effective treatment for diarrhea (including traveler's diarrhea and diarrhea caused by food poisoning). A few studies have suggested that Barberry improves symptoms faster than antibiotics but may be less effective at cleaning out the bacterial organisms in the intestine. Barberry has also been touted for producing an overall sense of well-being and promotes vigor. 
Goldenseal is one of the most popular herbal supplements sold on the American market and has recently gained a reputation as an herbal antibiotic and immune system enhancer. American Indians used Goldenseal as a medication for inflammatory internal conditions such as respiratory, digestive and genito-urinary tract inflammation induced by allergy or infection. The Cherokee used a decoction for general debility, dyspepsia, and to improve appetite. It was popularly used as a bitter stomach digestive (to help stimulate digestion and improve appetite) and to treat skin disorders and conditions of the eyes.
Goldenseal's numerous uses are attributed to its antibiotic, anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. Goldenseal cleanses the body and promotes healthy glandular functions by increasing bile flow and digestive enzymes, thereby regulating healthy liver and spleen functions. It can relieve constipation and may be used to treat infections of the bladder and intestines as well. In particular it is the alkaloid berberine that is most likely responsible for Goldenseal's effectiveness against bacteria, protozoa, fungi, and it also promotes easier removal of  bacteria by inhibiting the ability to adhere to tissue surfaces. Berberine is a strong anti-fungal and strongly anti-diarrheal. Its properties, berberine, hydrastine and canadine alkaloids help stimulate white blood cells to destroy such bacteria as E. coli (traveler's diarrhea), salmonella and cholera which can cause diarrhea. 
Those who suffer from constipation, and other digestive issues, can find relief with Red Raspberry Leaf. Due to the high content of vitamin C and other potent nutrients, Red Raspberry leaves are also found to be useful for the treatment of bacterial and viral infections as well as dehydration and fevers. These nutrients are also helpful for leg cramps, anemia and morning sickness. Prized for its astringent qualies, Red Raspberry Leaf acts a drying agent in the intestine, clearing up mucous, and is recommended for the treatment of diarrhea and to soothe inflammation of the intestine as well. 
Fennel Seed can benefit your health in many ways, and it is especially good for constipation, as well as indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). By relaxing the muscles in your digestive tract, Fennel encourages bowel movement and helps to get rid of the bloating, often associated with constipation. The seeds also encourage smooth muscle movement, particularly in the digestive tract and it encourages proper digestion with normal bowel movements, and so it can prevent constipation as well. The volatile oil in Fennel, known as antehole, has a very healing effect on digestion and it mitigates the gas and bloating from spicy foods. The carminative action prevents spasms in the intestinal tract, thereby relieving gas and cramps and may prevent diarrhea. 
Like Buckthorn and Cascara Sagrada, Turkey Rhubarb encourages bowel movement by inhibiting the smooth muscles that retain stool and stimulate the smooth muscles that push stools through the intestines. Turkey Rhubarb Root acts as a remedy that increases the activity of the stomach, liver and bowels by increasing the flow of digestive juices, including bile. For this reason, this root is often used as a component of many choleretic formulas for liver and other digestive disorders. It makes an excellent strengthening tonic for the stomach. Rhubarb's purgative action is very effective for severe cases of constipation and it offers an astringent action following the condition. Therefore, Turkey Rhubarb results in a thorough cleansing of the intestines. Turkey Rhubarb is also used as an anti-diarrhea and anti-inflammatory agent, and antioxidant and a cellular regeneration agent. In those who are underweight, it can stimulate the appetite. Once that is restored, the immune system can function much better and a person's energy levels soar. 
In relation to constipation, components in Ginger Root may help your body digest food, giving your body a chance at relief of the bloated feeling and even prevent this condition. Ginger promotes bile by the liver, aiding in the digestion of fats. It also promotes emptying of the stomach and improves contractions of muscle in the intestinal wall. The anti-inflammatory action of Ginger extracts may also lessen or slow inflammation that has been thought to be a cause of colitis. Ginger root may help improve digestion on several fronts, as well as relieving the discomfort of digestive issues. It helps to neutralize the acids in the stomach and stimulates secretions of digestive juices to improve digestion. It tones the muscles found on the wall of the gut and has been found to be beneficial for reducing the symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 
Lobelia has been used for pain and gas in the bowels, and if you are a fan of herbal remedies, you may have heard of this wonderful herb. It was commonly used by the American Indians to treat a variety of ailments and the natural remedy has been used for hundreds of years. Many find Lobelia herb to be quite beneficial for what ails them. In addition to respiration and smoking cessation, Lobelia also has quite an impact on muscle-related concerns and is commonly used as a muscle relaxant. One of the active ingredients lobeline relaxes the muscles and decreases blood pressure. And the same properties that work for assisting breathing seem to come into play to help with chronic and even acute muscle spasms, strains and pain. Appetite and digestion have been found to be improved by small doses of Lobelia leaf extracts. It has frequently been used for indigestion and dyspepsia and for a "sick" headache due to constipation and other digestive complaints. 

A Good Laxative for Constipation - Take a drink consisting of 2 parts tomato juice and 1 part sauerkraut juice.

1. Laxative Tea - Borage leaves and flowers (2 parts), Dandelion root (1 part), Lobelia (1 part), Buckthorn bark (1 part). Steep 1 tbsp. of the mixture in 1-1/2 cups boiling water. Take unsweetened, in mouthful doses.

2. Laxative tea - Hyssop leavesYarrow leaves and flowersSenna leaves, and Caraway seedMix equal parts. Add 1 tsp. to 1/2 cup simmering water, bring to a boil, and let cool. Take 1/2 cup, morning and evening.

3. Laxative tea - Buckthorn barkChamomile, Garlic, and Yarrow leaves. Mix in equal parts. Steep 1 tbsp. in 1/2 cup boiling water for 10 minutes. Take 1/2 cup before eating in the morning. This mixture is a mild laxative.

4. Laxative tea - Buckthorn barkSenna leaves, Pansy, and Yarrow flowers. Mix in equal parts. Soak 1 tbsp. in 1/2 cup cold water for 3 hours, then bring quickly to a boil. Take 1/2 cup, morning and evening.

5. Laxative Tea - Angelica and Buckthorn bark. Mix in equal parts. Take 1/2 to 1 cup a day, unsweetened, in mouthful doses.

An Herbal Enema for persistent constipation - Centaury (2 oz.), Dandelion leaf (2 oz.), Shavegrass (2 oz.). Mix in equal parts. Bring the mixture to a boil, in a qt. of water, then let steep until lukewarm. Use in the evening.

Arnold Ehret's Herbal Intestinal Broom - Note: All "ground" ingredients should be about as coarse as loose tea, the "powdered" ones about as fine as powdered sugar. Ground senna leaves (6 parts), Ground buckthorn bark (3 parts), Ground psyllium seed husks (1 part), Powdered sassafras root bark (1/10 th part), Ground anise seed (1/2 part), Ground buchu leaves (1/10 th part),  Powdered Irish moss (1/8 th part), Granulated agar-agar (1/8 th part), Ground fennel seed (1/2 part).

  • Mix the first 3 ingredients thoroughly. Then combine the remaining 7 real well, and add this to the mixture. If you have a blender, it makes an ideal mixer for preparing the formula. Use low speed.
  • The "Intestinal Broom" is easy to use. Usually a small amount, about the quantity that fits on half a teaspoon, or less, swallowed with a glassful of water, is sufficient for adults. It may be increased or decreased according to your own reaction.
  • It may also be used sprinkled over salads, or brewed as a tea: 1/2 tsp. to a cup of boiling water. Remove from heat and allow to steep for 10 or 15 minutes. Strain and enjoy. It has a fascinating flavor.

Disclaimer - The information presented herein by Mountain Maus’ Remedies is intended for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent disease. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplements, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.