Discover Effective Natural Laxatives to Relieve Constipation Naturally

Discover Effective Natural Laxatives to Relieve Constipation Naturally

natural laxatives, constipation relief, high-fiber foods, magnesium-rich foods, probiotic foods, water, prune juice, coffee, senna, ginger, peppermint, aloe vera, abdominal massage, bowel training, regular exercise

Constipation occurs when you don’t have as many bowel movements as usual—typically fewer than three per week. You may also notice your stool is hard, dry, or even painful to pass.

Many people use laxatives to relieve symptoms of constipation. If you’d prefer not to take a laxative medication, you can try incorporating natural laxatives into your diet to improve digestion and regulate your bowel movements.

Natural laxatives can come in the form of foods, drinks, and herbs. However, different natural laxatives may affect your body in different ways, and each come with their own potential risks.

How Do Natural Laxatives Work?

There are several ways natural laxatives like herbs, foods, and beverages work to keep your digestive system working more smoothly. Laxatives can make your stool easier to pass by:

Bulking up your stool

Softening the stool

Drawing water into the stool

Stimulating the intestines

What Foods Are Natural Laxatives?

Certain nutrients and foods are key to staying regular. Try incorporating the following foods into your diet for long-term constipation relief:

High-fiber foods: Whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes

Magnesium-rich foods: Dark leafy greens, avocados, nuts, fortified cereals, chia seeds, dark chocolate, and fatty fish.

Probiotic foods: Yogurt, cheese, broccoli, prunes, soybeans, chia seeds, and figs.

What Drinks Are Natural Laxatives?

Drinks can be just as important as foods for reducing constipation and speeding up the digestive process. The following drinks can work as natural laxatives:

Water: Staying hydrated is important in preventing and treating constipation. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to soften dry stools and improve overall digestion.

Prune juice: Research suggests drinking prune juice can help prevent hard, lumpy stools from forming. It also has shown a low risk of side effects like loose stools and gas.

Coffee: Studies show caffeinated coffee works to stimulate bowel movements by increasing intestinal contractions. Decaffeinated coffee can also help, but it’s significantly less effective.

What Herbs Are Natural Laxatives?

Research suggests these herbs double as natural laxatives, whether as a supplement or in the form of herbal teas:

Senna: Senna is a strong natural stimulant laxative, meaning it triggers contractions in the muscles that line the gut. You can take it both as an herbal supplement and as a tea.

Ginger: Research indicates ginger can speed up digestive activity while also preventing bloating and cramping.

Peppermint: Many people drink peppermint tea to treat their gastrointestinal conditions and symptoms. It has a soothing effect on the digestive tract and can also relieve constipation.

Aloe vera: Aloe vera juice, tea, and supplements work to manage periodic constipation by improving gastrointestinal motility, or the movement of food through the intestinal passage.

Other Natural Laxatives

In addition to the above foods, drinks, and herbs, other natural ways to relieve constipation include:

Abdominal massage: There is some evidence that abdominal massage can treat symptoms of constipation, especially in children and older adults.

Bowel training: Try to go to the bathroom at the same time every day. This can help to “train” your colon to pass bowel movements more easily.

Regular exercise: Getting plenty of physical activity may also help improve stool regularity.


While many natural laxatives are safe and effective, there are some potential risks. When consuming laxatives, especially in excess, you may experience side effects like:

Stomach pain




If you notice any signs of gastrointestinal irritation, stop taking the laxative right away.

Using any laxative excessively or on a long-term basis can potentially make you dependent on it to have a bowel movement.

Seek medical treatment if you consistently notice that you can’t have bowel movements without laxatives, or if you notice any changes in your bowel movements (such as blood in the stool).

If you have any underlying health conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, it's important to talk to your healthcare provider before taking natural laxatives.

A Quick Review

Natural laxatives include foods rich in magnesium, fiber, and probiotics, as well as drinks like water, prune juice, and coffee. Certain herbs, such as senna, ginger, peppermint, and aloe vera, can also help to keep your bowel movements more regular.

Using natural laxatives to relieve constipation is usually safe. However, they may cause side effects like diarrhea and stomach irritation, especially if you use them too often or in large amounts. Talk to a healthcare provider if your bowel movements have suddenly changed or if natural laxatives aren’t working to relieve your constipation.

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