Though “potty problems” are something we all occasionally face, it is an embarrassing condition that people like to keep to themselves rather than consult a doctor or talk to a friend.

In medical terms referred to as dyssynergia defecation, constipation is basically a prolonged and painful process when the body cannot pass bowels properly.

Constipation is no laughing matter! It, in fact, can be downright debilitating, causing headaches, wind formation, stomach aches, bloating and sluggishness which can seriously impede day to day life.

When plagued by the problem, our first instinct is to skulk out to the drug store for a quick fix laxative. Though over the counter medicines work, there are many simple home remedies to relieve discomfort and get back to a “regular” morning routine.

Get moving
People adhering to an active lifestyles tend to suffer less from constipation than those who are sedentary. Regular exercise can help relieve constipation naturally. Try and engage in around 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (brisk walking, jogging, cycling, rowing, specific stretches and work outs) at least 3 or 4 times a week.

Water therapy
An important ingredient for bowel regularity is water. Dehydration can cause the waste matter in the colon to get clogged akin to a cork in the neck of a wine bottle. Drinking 6 to 8 glasses of still water day not only flushes out the toxins but works well for constipation.

Honey
Honey is a natural laxative. If suffering from constipated, take one tablespoon three times a day. You can also take honey in a warm cup of tea or just hot water with a dash of lemon to help things pass through your gut.

Aloe vera
Aloe vera is known to soothe your tummy. The pure gel straight from the plant is best but if it is not available then drinking aloe vera juice is equally effective. Mix two tablespoons of pure gel with fruit juice and drink in the morning, or sip one cup of aloe vera juice.

Fiber
An essential ingredient for healthy bowel function is fibre. A diet rich in whole grains and greens like spinach and broccoli, kidney beans along with peas help move things through. Fresh fruits with their skin also add fiber in your diet. On the other hand, limit the intake of dairy products, alcohol, red meat, bread and processed foods.

Coffee
A morning cup coffee does more than perk you up. Caffeine is a natural stimulant for the digestive system that sends you running to the bathroom shortly after you drink it.

Miscellaneous
Indian herbs like asafetida, cumin and coriander aid smooth movement of the food through the system. Triphala churna, an Indian Ayurvedic medicine, figs soaked in water and dates in milk, teaspoon of almond or castor oil can also rectify constipation.

If your constipation is chronic and does not respond to these natural remedies, then consult a doctor as it may be due to an underlying medical issue.

Edited by Neelam Goswami on 08-02-2014.

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