Why Put Up With Constipation?
Saturday, October 1st 2005
Creating a Healthy Colon
What Causes Constipation?
Proper elimination is very important, as the bowel is a potential source of toxins.
Constipation can be caused by modern day living including not drinking sufficient water and eating over-refined foods resulting in a lack of fibre in the diet. Normal bowel movements are one or two per day. Less than daily movement is abnormal, unless the person is not eating!
Constipation and other bowel disorders can be a sign of possible serious organ dysfunction. If you don not respond to the inclusion of dietary fibre in your diet, an ample amount of water intake and moderate exercise, you may need medical help.
There are several herbs that have traditionally been used to help with constipation.
Dr John R Christopher developed this product as a bowel tonic. He considered that it was a herbal lower bowel cleanser that helped retrain and provide tone to the bowel to help restore normal function. Although mildly laxative, it also contains herbs that tone the bowel, act as digestive aids as well as antispasmodics and mucus membranes restoratives.
Cascara needs to be properly aged (at least one year) prior to processing so that the active principles become milder.
Cascara acts as a mild laxative, which stimulates the peristaltic action of the bowel, often providing relief overnight (6-8 hours).
Psyllium has been used since the time of the early Greeks. Psyllium's mucilage is both soothing and has the potential for very high water absorption. It swells in water to provide a gentle bulk laxative by encouraging normal peristaltic (contracting) action of the bowel.
Psyllium helps stabilise bowel movements and is often used in cases of alternating constipation and diarrhea. Psyllium also encourages the growth of "friendly" intestinal bacteria such as Lactobacillus acidophilus, which are helpful in regulating bowel movements. Drink plenty of water with Psyllium husks. It is suitable for use by the elderly and during pregnancy.
What is There for my Constipated Child?
Parents often become extremely concerned about constipated children. Check that there is sufficient water being drunk and ensure plenty of vegetables and wholegrain foods.
Christopher's Kid-e-Reg is an extremely gentle bowel tonic consisting of a combination of herbs in a base of fig syrup that has been specially formulated to strengthen and cleanse the colon in children. This formula can also be useful for adults of small build or who are elderly.
Caution: Do not use stimulant laxatives during pregnancy and always avoid prolonged use.
Reproduced unabridged from the October - December 2005 issue of Health and Herbal News, with the kind permission of Health and Herbs International Ltd.
Footnote from Ideal Health:
The following products are all useful for the relief of Constipation:
Aloe Vera Juice
Chlorella 500 tabs
Formula 825 - Verm Expel
Thisilyn Cleanse with Herbal Digestive Sweep
Bowel Biotics Powder
Quick Fibre Plus Chocolate
Related health information can be found here:
Cat's Claw, ideal for immune defense and digestive disorders
FOS to assist with candida, diarrhoea, constipation or other bowel problems
The benefits of fasting & detoxifying
The Good Health Diet
Water, the elixir of life
Related articles can be found here:
Don't Forget Your Liver
Enzymes: The weakest link in your digestive system
Importance of Effective Cleansing
Probiotic update - Reuteri
Repair gastrointestinal damage with Colostrum
Soothe your stomach with Slippery Elm
Why take Primadophilus?
If you need help or advice, you are welcome to email our naturopathic team with your health question.
Disclaimer: The health information presented here has been written for the New Zealand health consumer. It is of a general nature and is only intended to provide a summary of the subjects covered. The information is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide medical advice to you. While all care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the information, no responsibility or liability is accepted, and no person should act in reliance on any statement contained in the information provided. All health ailments should be treated by a qualified health professional.
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