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Constipation natural remedies

Constipation natural remedies

Constipation Constipation or constipation is defined as the delayed emission of faeces in insufficient volume and / or increased consistency. Constipation may be present for short periods (occasional constipation) or for longer periods (chronic constipation). The disorder is characterized by: evacuation frequency less than three times a week, hard stools, expulsion effort and partial emptying sensation. Based on the causes we can distinguish: 

- primitive or functional or idiopathic constipation: it originates from an inefficiency of physiological movements of the intestine (peristalsis) and ano-rectal expulsive mechanisms. These circumstances are often aggravated by incorrect living habits and in particular by a disordered diet and low-fiber foods, an insufficient introduction of liquids, hurried rhythms of life, a sedentary lifestyle and therefore characterized by reduced activity. physics, from nervous tension and from the abuse of tranquilizers and sleeping pills;

- iatrogenic constipation: if it depends on the intake of certain drugs (opioids, aluminum-based antacids, antidepressants, calcium antagonists);

- secondary constipation: if it depends on systemic or local organic causes. In this case this disorder is only a symptom resulting from the presence of some pathologies and the possible causes that can determine their appearance are varied: colon cancer, diverticulosis, inflammatory disorders of the intestine, gallstones, hypothyroidism, various gynecological disorders, neurological and psychic.

Among the solutions proposed to tackle the problem of primary constipation, laxatives containing anthraquinone substances are often used which, by irritating the enteric epithelium, increase intestinal motility. These solutions, very useful for solving contingent problems, are instead extremely harmful for prolonged use. Many situations of this type can be addressed and resolved by correcting wrong eating habits (by inserting fruit and fiber and drinking a lot of natural water), with physical activity, and by restoring the physiological intestinal function thanks to the use of specific dietary supplements.

In the case of secondary constipation or iatrogenic constipation, it is clear that it is necessary to proceed to a careful objective examination of the patient, to identify the organic cause of constipation, especially if it arose in a subject with regular alvo before then. In this case the use of the laxative is not only not useful, because it does not remove the determinant disease (for example the constipation reflected by peptic ulcer), but even harmful because it can delay the diagnosis of the basic disease (eg obstinate constipation from sigmoid cancer).

Constipation: natural substances against it

There are several vegetable substances that facilitate defecation by improving or removing constipation:

1) mucilage drugs (eg mallow, marshmallow, flax): if mallow and altea can be considered as emollient drugs, flax seeds, on the other hand, are very important because they have a triple action: - emollient, due to the content of mucilage; - lubricant, for oil; - mechanical, for the supply of non-absorbable fiber. All the drugs that contain mucilages have a similar action: in fact these polysaccharidic active ingredients swell on contact with water forming white, amorphous, viscous and gelatinous masses. The first consequence is the increase in the fecal mass which, from hardened, becomes more voluminous, soft and flowing. At the same time, there is a distension of the intestinal wall and the pressure of the mass on the colon facilitates the intestinal transit of the feces and their expulsion.

2) osmotic laxatives, such as osmotic sugars, which are not absorbed or absorbed minimally during intestinal transit (such as lactulose, mannitol), which cause an increase in the osmotic pressure of the intestine. Water retention, which is not reabsorbed by the intestinal mucosa, increases the fecal volume and accentuates peristalism and therefore the evacuation of the faeces. The sugars with osmotic action are also contained in: tamarind, cassia, ash manna (which contains mannite, used especially in pediatrics) and in other fruits: they are in fact present at 12% in figs, 25% in fresh grapes, 70% in raisins and 50% in prunes.

3) mass-forming agents (bran, psyllium, agar) are substances of plant origin which absorb water and swell in the colon lumen; this leads to an increase in stool volume and hydration, making it easier to evacuate in the case of constipation. Since the action is gradual, a daily treatment of a few days is necessary to normalize the functions of the intestine. In this way psyllium, guar gum, bran, agar but also dietary fiber behave. However, mass-forming agents must be taken in a balanced (not exaggerated) way: flatulence and abdominal cramps are among the most important side effects if taken too long and at doses higher than those recommended and are contraindicated in patients with intestinal obstructions, in those with megacolon and functional dyspepsia.

Psyllium seeds, composed of whole and dried mature seeds of Plantago psyllium or indica, improves the weight and consistency of the fecal mass, both in constipation and in diarrhea. Furthermore psyllium lengthens the transit time when it is short (in diarrhea) and shortens it when it is long (in constipation) further contributing to normalizing intestinal transit of the fecal mass. In constipation, psyllium in particular, by retaining water in the intestinal lumen, prevents excessive absorption of fluid throughout the colon. Under these conditions the fecal mass is more hydrated, increases the volume and therefore accelerates the transit, ultimately reducing the time available for the reabsorption of the fluid. Psyllium has also been used in the treatment of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. It is useful in the treatment of atonic and spastic constipation and when excessive effort must be avoided, following anorectal operations. Psyllium seeds are an excellent laxative to use in chronic constipation, meteorism and flatulence, as long as they are taken at the recommended doses in the recommended times.

4) the anthraquinone laxatives (in particular: senna, cascara, frangola, aloe, rhubarb, aloe in this case titrated in hydroxyantracene derivatives).

The mechanism of action of anthraquinones is not entirely known. These compounds are believed to act on enteric neurons or mucosal cells by stimulating the release or synthesis of neurotransmitters, which increase intestinal motility and stimulate the accumulation of fluid in the intestine. The laxative action of anthraquinones is observed 6-12 hours after oral ingestion. Vegetable drugs containing anthraquinones are recommended for short periods (1-2 weeks) in case of occasional constipation, in some cases of acute constipation and before an endoscopy of the intestinal tract; they are not recommended in case of spastic constipation; together with the fibers, they are frequently used in chronic constipation that affects elderly patients (in these cases we recommend 1 or 2 weekly administrations).

The correct dose is the minimum sufficient to produce an easy evacuation of soft stools. Anthraquinone drugs cannot be used in cases of: obstruction, intestinal stenosis, atony, phlogistic affections of the colon (eg Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis), appendicitis, abdominal pain of unknown origin, severe states of dehydration with lack of liquids and electrolytes. Not to be used in pregnancy or in children under 10 years. Always respect the recommended doses: an abuse of anthraquinone laxatives for a prolonged period could give hypokalemia, which enhances the action of cardiac glycosides and interact with antiarrhythmic drugs and with those that induce reversal of sinus rhythm (such as quinidine); concurrent use with other hypokalemia-inducing drugs (such as thiazide-based diuretics, adenocorticosteroids and licorice root) may aggravate electrolyte imbalance.



If possible, the first intervention is reserved for emollient drugs (Mauve, Flax, Altea), to those substances that increase the fecal mass and its fluidity (such as Psyllium) and to osmotic substances, perhaps in association with the mother tincture of dandelion and, only at the end, it will be possible to use laxative drugs or anthraquinone purgatives.

Constipation: natural remedies that you can find from us

Here's what we recommend in our herbalist's shop:



- among the supplements with mass-forming laxatives there are: Cotipsillium (Cotipsilium Kinetic is a dietary supplement with Psyllium fiber, concentrated Pear juice and dry Tamarindo extract useful for the regularity of intestinal transit. Ginger promotes digestive function and regulate gastrointestinal motility and gas elimination); Psillium Sel (food supplement based on Psyllium seeds, which may be useful to promote the physiological regularity of intestinal transit. It is advisable to take 1 to 3-4 sachets of Psyllium Sel a day, preferably between meals. taking the product in the evening Do not exceed the recommended daily dose).



- among the supplements with osmotic and emollient laxativesCotidierbe Soft (osmotic prebiotic supplement based on soluble dietary fiber and medicinal herbs; contains: lactulose, prune fruit juice concentrate, Ash manna polv., Tamarind fruit pulp es, Mallow leaves and flowers eg, fennel fruits eg According to international literature the ingredients of Cotidierbe Soft can be useful in: ■ all cases of constipation ■ constipation of the child ■ constipation of subjects with delicate or sensitive bowel ■ constipation of the elderly ■ constipation of the pregnant woman.



- among the supplements with anthraquinone laxatives ("medium" action): Cotidierbe Fluid (Cotidierbe fluid is a syrup based on fluid extracts of anthraquinone laxatives such as Cascara bark, rhubarb root, Senna leaves and pods, osmotic laxatives (plum in concentrated juice) , emollients (Licorice root) How to use: normally we recommend taking 1 spoonful (10 ml) in the evening, before going to bed, with a little water); Herbs of medium well-being, for the physiological intestinal function; the tablets contain: anthraquinone laxatives (Cascara, Aloe titrated in hydroxyantracene derivatives, Senna), emollients (licorice, mallow, linseed), an osmotic (mannite), and other adjuvant ingredients: gentian, dandelion (liver, digestive) and fennel (this against intestinal gases).

- among the supplements with anthraquinone laxatives ("strong" action): Herbs of strong well-being, useful for the regularity of intestinal transit. The logs contain: Senna, Frangola, Rhubarb, Cinnamon, Carnation, Verbena odorosa, Aloe. Here, in addition to the anthraquinones senna, frangola, rhubarb, aloe, there are also: cinnamon (digestive, carminative, tonic), carnation (tonic, stomachic) ​​and verbena (tonic-bitter). Given the amount of anthraquinone laxatives it is more recommended for obstinate constipation, which requires more "purgative effect", to be used in strictly recommended doses and always for a short time and to be used for medical advice.

Remain at your disposal for any clarification.

Dr. Laura Comollo

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