Before I go on to the tips, it should be remembered that while constipation by itself is uncomfortable and annoying, it becomes more than an annoyance if it is allowed to continue. Constipation plays a role in the onset of ailments such as cancer, heart disease, appendicitis, diabetes, hernia, abnormal menstruation and other diseases. If you are not able to move your bowels at least one time per day, then you need to take some action now if you want to prevent serious health problems later on in your life.
It is better not to try to solve the problem with laxatives alone. Like many medicines, laxatives treat the symptoms but do not offer a long-term cure to the problem. Here are some natural ways in which you can fight constipation:
1. Get plenty of fresh air each day
If you are cooped up in a room or office and don't go outside then your digestive system will not work properly. Kids who play outside seldom get constipated, and likewise for anyone who has a job which entails outdoor labor. Make it a point to go outside and take a walk in the fresh air each day. Breathe deeply and walk until you have worked up a sweat and then you will know that you have taken enough air.
2. Drink a lot of water
Water helps your digestive system to function. It is said that "water is a cure for all diseases." A healthy person should drink around four liters (quarts) of water per day. Start the day with a glass of water and keep drinking continuously through the day. It is not good to drink all the water at one time, and it is especially bad for heart patients to drink a lot all in one sitting. If you have constipation in the morning, start drinking and keep drinking; the water will act as a natural laxative. It is also helpful to put a little bit of lemon and salt in the water.
3. Use the toilet as soon as you get an urge to "go"
Another old saying says that "If you are in doubt about whether to eat or not, then don't eat. However, if you are not sure whether or not to use the toilet, then use the toilet." Listen to the demands of your body and as soon as you get the call of nature, then respond. If you delay, then it may not be possible for you to move your bowels later on.
4. Eat fresh and fibrous foods daily
It is very important to include fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains in your daily diet. If you only eat processed foods and refined starch products then you are inviting constipation. When I am troubled by constipation I like to cure it with a "leafy lunch." I eat a big lettuce salad and a large portion of steamed spinach and it usually does the trick.
5. Squat at the toilet
In many parts of Asia you have no choice in the matter. The toilets are holes in the ground or porcelain holes and you are obliged to squat down to relieve yourself. This is the natural position for defecation and it is superior to sitting on the "porcelain throne" that is found in western toilets. You don't have to rip out your plumbing and dig a hole in the floor. You can get a better position by squatting on the rim of your toilet bowl. (You may find it strange, but no one will see you and it will definitely help you to eliminate the waste that is accumulating in your body).
6. Learn and practice yoga postures and mudras
There are several yoga postures that prevent constipation. These postures put gentle pressure on the digestive system and help the natural process of your body. Visit a competent instructor and ask for yoga postures that help the digestive system.
7. Exercise daily
One of the causes of constipation is a weak liver, and a major cause of liver weakness is lack of exercise. Combine exercise with the taking of fresh air, and walk briskly, jog or run, or practice some outdoor sport and you can overcome one of the root causes of constipation.
Finally, if you really want to relieve the problem immediately, you can flush out your intestines with a half liter to one liter of warm water. Here's how to do it: add the juice of one lemon to the water and then add plenty of salt (a tablespoon should do the trick and the solution should taste both lemony and salty). The more salt you add the surer the water will move through the body without being absorbed. If you do a full day's fast or a half day's fast before taking the lemon water, then you can get excellent results.
Incorporate these points into your daily life and you will seldom be troubled by constipation.
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Article Added on Friday, December 14, 2007
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