Having discomfort when trying to pass a stool can be extremely debilitating and without treatment, it can lead to more complex conditions later on that will need fixing. Constant constipation can lead to anal fissures and haemorrhoids and both these conditions can be very painful indeed. So how do you soften stools so they can be easily evacuated? Herbs to the rescue once more!
One of my favourite herbs for constipation and for softening stools gently and for conditioning the gut lining is Aloe resin. You can take this as either the Aloe juice or a powder which you then mix with water. It’s gentle on your gut lining and it really helps to smooth the stool and also to protect any fissures which may have developed in the anus or rectum from the pressure of a hard or retained stool. You need to take the juice each day, gradually building up the amount until you feel the stool ready to move. You shouldn’t take it for longer than 8- 10 days at a time and pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid this as well. Lastly with Aloes, it’s probably not a good herb to take if you have IBS or any gastrointestinal inflammation.
While many folks suggest Senna pods, I find them a little too harsh and so I prefer Cascara. Like Aloe, it softens the stool and helps it to be shifted more easily but also like Aloe, it should be used for short term periods only and never if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This is also a herb that may be too strong for children and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it for folks with IBS or gastrointestinal inflammation. It tends to be more active than Aloe and so caution should be the word here. Cascara also needs to be taken with fibre so make sure you’re having your fruit and veggies.
Finally, I strongly suggest that you eat organic fruits and veggies and drink lots and lots (yes, reinforce that “lots”) of water. Constipation is something that can often be avoided or lessened with enough water intake and this will be a primary inclusion in any constipation treatment. Herbs for constipation can be supportive but your diet and water intake need to be healthy too.
Smiles and abundant health, Ziggy