Looking for a Natural Laxative? 5 Foods and Herbs to Make You Go
A vital part of colon cleansing is flushing the digestive track of waste and toxins, so the majority of colon cleansers contain natural laxatives to help you go. Although colon cleansing, constipation and bowel movements may not be dinner table conversation, they form a large portion of health-related dialogue.
In fact, physicians are estimated to write more than one million prescriptions for simple laxatives every year. But according to most health care professionals, prescription medication is not often needed for people who simply want to get the process going.
Instead, here’s a look at five foods and herbs that help promote healthy bowel movements and cleanse your body. You can look for a colon cleanser that contains these substances, or you can try them on their own depending on your own wants and needs.
1. Raw Fruits
Fiber deficiency is the leading cause of constipation and other bowel-related issues in the United States, with the average American only eating between 5 and 15 grams of fiber every day. Raw fruits like bananas, apples, and berries are a great way to get a healthy dosage of fiber, along with other healthy antioxidants and nutrients.
Bananas are beneficial as a bulk-producing laxative, meaning they bind waste together and make it easier for the body to eliminate what it doesn’t need. Because they are also high in potassium, bananas help restore electrolytes to your intestinal tract and can even encourage beneficial bacteria to grow.
Apples also produce bulk, especially when combined with cider vinegar. Berries will give you a blast of antioxidants, and melons rush straight to the digestive system to be broken down once eaten.
2. Leafy Green Vegetables
Another source of effective natural laxatives is green leafy vegetables. Foods like kale, spinach, dandelion greens, and arugula are chock full of dietary fiber, folic acid and magnesium that help promote digestive health.
Magnesium in particular is instrumental in regulating and maintaining normal muscle function. It enables the contraction and relaxation processes in the intestines, which can relieve constipation or simply stimulate the body to get the process moving faster.
And not only will these vegetables clean out the digestive track, they also help increase the creation and flow of bile, which removes waste from the blood and other organs.
3. Senna Leaf
Senna leaf is an FDA-approved over-the-counter medication that is commonly included in herbal dieting teas or other products. On its own, senna leaf is recognized as a natural laxative that not only promotes regularity but helps the body excrete toxic substances.
Proponents of senna leaf also maintain that this herb can help eliminate parasites and worms that hide in the intestinal track.
It works by increasing the movement of the intestines, known as intestinal peristalsis. Using the chemical sennoside, senna leaf helps keep water in the intestines to stimulate a bowel movement.
Senna leaf can be taken in many forms, either as tea, liquid drops, powder, or pills. It is not reported to have major side effects, though some people do experience urine discoloration.
4. Aloe Vera
One of the most widely used medicinal plants, aloe vera seems to have almost an unlimited array of uses—including as a laxative. The aloe vera plant itself is almost 99 percent water, which means it moves quickly through your digestive system.
The other one percent contains more than 75 nutrients, 20 minerals, 12 vitamins, and 200 phytonutrients. The active laxative portion of aloe vera is a liquid yellow area underneath the skin known as aloe latex.
Aloe latex contains laxative compounds like aloin, aloe-emodin, and barbaloin. Its prime advantage over other natural laxatives is its ability to act quickly—when taken orally, aloe latex can help you have a bowel movement within 10 hours.
5. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is another natural laxative that works through its high fiber content. Taking about half a teaspoon of virgin coconut oil daily will help to speed up your metabolism and increase the amount of waste that’s cleansed from your body.
It’s also a source of quick energy—coconut oil has been shown to boost energy and endurance as well as help provide a quick rush of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
These effects also mean that coconut oil could have some minor weight loss properties. Between boosting metabolism and flushing the body of backed-up waste, coconut oil could be your ticket to a thinner, healthier body.
Coconut oil works especially well with magnesium. One study found that treatment with dry coconut and magnesium sulfate resulted in waste expulsion within 12 hours.
Things to Keep in Mind
Make sure to more fully investigate the laxative and colon cleansing properties of each of these foods and herbs before you begin to use them. There are some side effects associated with each that may not agree with your constitution, and in colon cleansers, they must be included in the right amounts and alongside the right ingredients to have the best effect.
If these laxatives work properly, you should begin to see a more effectively functioning colon and digestive system, as well as a drop of a few pounds around your middle!