There are reportedly several kinds of effective herbs for constipation. Some of the most popular varieties of herbs are used to increase bulk. These include ground or whole flax seed and psyllium husks. When using these supplements, patients are typically advised to drink several glasses of water a day so that the body can accommodate the additional bulk.
There are other herbs for constipation that are used for their laxative effect. These can often be purchased in pill form, though they can also be purchased as leaves and made into tea. Senna, aloe juice, cascara sagrada, and rhubarb are among the most common of these remedies. Some of these remedies — senna in particular — can have an extremely strong effect and patients are often advised to use them with care. The quality of the product can also be an issue, as toxic metals and other drugs have both reportedly been found in supplements.
These herbs for constipation tend to be promoted by practitioners of alternative medicine. Herbs like these are also an important part of traditional Chinese medicine. Herbal treatments can be taken via means such as pills, teas, or tinctures. As herbal remedies do not tend to be regulated by governments, many patients are advised to consult a doctor before taking them and to take care to pick a reputable product.
Besides using herbs for constipation, there are several other methods that can be tried to treat the condition. These methods are generally approved by doctors, herbalists, and practitioners of natural medicine, while herbal treatments tend to be more controversial. Some of the most commonly accepted methods of treating constipation include consuming a larger quantity of naturally fiber-rich foods, increasing physical activity, and drinking plenty of water.
There are also some foods and beverages which are widely believed to be effective in treating constipation. Foods include prunes, papaya, and pineapple. Beverages that can help include coffee and prune juice.
Many medical professionals diagnose constipation when the patient has three or fewer bowel movements a week. Movements that are dry, hard, or difficult to pass can also indicate the condition. There has been no established number of healthy bowel movements to have in a week. Some believe that a minimum of one movement per day is necessary for good health, while others believe that it is healthy to have them less frequently as well. There are also some who believe it is best to have at least two to three bowel movements a day.