Herbs for Constipation: 7 Herbs to Get Relief

Updated on November 12th, 2019
Herbs for Constipation

Constipation is a common condition that causes hard stools in individuals that are difficult to expel. It occurs because of the colon absorbs too much water from the food. This absorption is what makes the feces hard and difficult to pass from the digestive tract.

The most common symptom is not being able to pass stools regularly. Many home remedies, including various herbs, are used for the treatment of constipation.

Even most laxatives used to treat the condition contain herbs. Laxative herbs are rich in anthraquinones, which help increase the contraction in the intestines. Herbs for constipation help give a soothing effect to the intestines with little or no side effects.

[Also Read: Natural Remedies for Constipation]

Did You Know!

  • Constipation is a common condition in the United States. 16 out of 100 Americans(1) suffer from constipation.
  • The state is more common among older people with a prevalence of 33 out of 100 adults.
  • The condition is also common among pregnant women.

Herbs for Constipation

1. Senna

Senna for constipation

Senna is an herb derived from various species of Cassia plants. Since centuries, people are using senna for its laxative properties. Its multiple parts, including leaves, flowers, and fruits, are used to stimulate bowel movements. It is an ingredient in many laxatives.

Why Use?

Senna is also a common ingredient in teas. It is also approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a non-prescription medicine to treat constipation. Many chemicals called sennosides are present in senna(2).

These chemicals irritate the inner lining of intestines, causing a laxative effect. Senna also contains glycosides, which further help in the stimulation of the digestive tract.

How to Use?

Senna is one of the best herbs for constipation. It is more effective when taken with psyllium or docusate sodium. You can also have it in the form of herbal tea.

How Much to Use?

  • In adults, the usual dosage is 17.2 mg daily, which should not exceed 34.4 mg twice daily.
  • For older people, 17 mg is recommended, whereas, for pregnant women, 28 mg should be taken daily, divided into two doses.
  • For children older than 12 years of age, the dosage is 8.6 mg sennocides in the form of tablets, twice per day.
  • Children between age groups 6 and 11 should take a dosage of 1 tablet of 8.6 mg sennocides per day.
  • Children from 2 to 5 years of age should take a ½ tablet of 4.3 mg sennocides per day.

[Also Read: Supplements for Constipation]

2. Peppermint Tea

Peppermint is an essential ingredient used in households for treating an upset stomach or for making refreshing drinks.

Why Use?

Peppermint has many health and beauty benefits with zero side effects. It contains antioxidants, vitamins, and polyphenolic compounds which help improve digestion. It also helps in gallbladder functioning and helps with irritable bowel syndrome.

Regularly taking peppermint tea helps with the movement of food through the digestive tract and helps in staying hydrated. It is also helpful in preventing constipation.

Peppermint is also present in many OTC drugs which are used for digestive problems.

How to Use?

Peppermint is generally consumed in the form of tea. The soothing effect of tea helps relax the digestive muscles and relieves pain or cramps caused due to constipation. Peppermint tea can be prepared in many ways, the most common being the use of tea bags.

Since peppermint works best when fresh, the drink made with fresh leaves is more beneficial. Peppermint is the best herbal tea for constipation to consider.

How Much to Use?

  • For preparing a glass of tea, take 7-8 fresh leaves, crush them and put them in boiling water.
  • You can also add honey or lemon in the tea.
  • You can drink it after every meal or 2-3 times a day to get benefit in the condition of constipation.

3. Ginger

Ginger Benefits

Ginger is a root and has a long spread history of its usage as an herbal medicine in various conditions.

Why Use?

Various herbal teas for constipation are proved to be effective in treating the condition. Ginger tea is one such tea which is recommended by many herbalists for the treatment of constipation due to its laxative properties.

  • It is known as the warming herb and generates heat in your body.
  • It is also helpful in strengthening the digestive system and improves irritation in intestines.
  • Ginger also contains various enzymes that keep the digestive system healthy.
  • This popular ingredient from kitchen contains anti-inflammatory properties and anti-oxidants that help in bowel movement and provides a soothing effect to the intestines.

Ginger tea is the most common and effective way of inducing ginger in your diet.

How to Use?

You can use ginger in tea. Also, adding ginger to your everyday recipes is another way to add ginger in your diet.

You can also use ginger shots or ginger capsules available in the market.

How Much to Use?

  • Prepare ginger tea using two teaspoons of ginger powder or 1 gram of grated ginger for one cup.
  • You can drink a cup of ginger tea, 2-3 times per day to relieve constipation.
  • Also, drinking ginger tea after meals helps in processing food and stimulating bowel movements.

[Also Read: Tea for Constipation]

4. Dandelion

Dandelion is a plant whose roots are used as popular herbs in treating various conditions.

Why Use?

  • Dandelion is being used for centuries in treating various digestive problems, including constipation as stated by the University of Maryland Medical Center.
  • Dandelion root has a laxative as well as diuretic qualities that help with constipation. It is also helpful in the functioning of the digestive tract.
  • Dandelion is also useful in stimulating the liver for the production of bile, which improves the condition of constipation.
  • It also adds more water to the stools, which help them to pass quickly.

How to use?

Dandelion can be used as its roots, flowers, or leaves, but the most effective part is the root, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.

You can find the dandelion root herbal tea at various stores, or you can grow your plant at home. If you use fresh dandelion roots from your garden, make sure to dry them properly before use.

How Much to Use?

  • For making the tea, you can add one teaspoon of dried and chopped dandelion root in the boiling water.
  • Boil this for 10 minutes and drink this tea for treating constipation.
  • Drink one cup of this dandelion tea three times a day to get relief.
  • You can also have this tea after meals.

5. Licorice Root

benefits of licorice root

Licorice has large tuberous roots and is a native plant of Europe. The root of this plant has many benefits and is also used as one of the herbal remedies for constipation.

Why Use?

The healthy properties of licorice are derived from its high flavonoid content. According to the author of “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” licorice can treat chronic constipation by promoting peristalsis. Peristalsis is the process of forcing out of stool from the gastric system and into the large intestine.

Licorice root also has anti-inflammatory properties, which further soothes the pain and cramps caused due to constipation.

How to Use?

You can take licorice root raw or in the form of tea.

How Much to Use?

  • For making tea, add a small portion of licorice root in boiling water and let it simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Drinking a cup of licorice tea 2-3 times a day can help in soothing the digestive system and stimulate the bowel movement.
  • You can also take 50 mg of root extract twice a day after meals to get the benefit.

6. Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera has many beauty benefits and is a common plant grown in most households. Along with its uses in various soaps and skin care products, aloe has many benefits for your digestive system.

Why Use?

  • Consuming Aloe Vera for constipation may prove to be beneficial in improving bowel movements. It is used as a natural laxative in treating the condition.
  • Aloe Vera is proved to be a very effective treatment for Irritate Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which can cause constipation.
  • Aloe latex has a soothing effect, which further helps with the symptoms of constipation. There are also many safety concerns associated with aloe latex, so use it with precautions.

How to Use?

Aloe vera can be used as a juice, gel, or even capsules.

How Much to Use?

Aloe Vera can be taken in two forms:

  • Aloe Vera Juice or Gel: Extract aloe vera juice by using a whole leaf. It is not only helpful in treating constipation but also fights infections. You can purchase Aloe Vera gel from the store or can make it at home. Don’t more than 1-2 tbsp of aloe gel a day as it might have some side effects. Take this juice ideally or mix it with some other juice or smoothie to add flavor. You can also use it with melon, lemon or mint juice.
  • Aloe Vera Capsules: Generally, it is advised to take one capsule, three times per day. Take this capsule with some tea to get relief from constipation. Stay hydrated while taking these laxatives.

7. Fenugreek

Fenugreek Seeds

Fenugreek is an herb, which has its usage in home remedies. It is also proved to be beneficial in treating various digestive problems, including constipation(3).

Why Use?

Mostly the seeds of fenugreek plant are used in treating different health conditions, but sometimes leaves are also used.

The high levels of fiber content in it make it one of the natural herbs used for constipation. The anti-oxidants present in fenugreek also help flush out toxins from your body.

The lubricating properties in it help soothe your digestive system.

How to Use?

You can use fenugreek as a decoction or add it to your recipes. Fenugreek is a popular ingredient in many dishes, and it is always beneficial to take it in its natural form. Fenugreek supplements in the form of capsules are also available.

How Much to Use?

  • It is recommended to take the decoction in the morning for dealing with constipation, and you can make it by adding one tbsp of fenugreek powder in hot water.
  • You can strain this mixture and drink it.

You can also use slippery elm for constipation as it softens the stools. The lubricative effect of slippery elm on digestive tract makes it even more useful herb. Slippery elm is also helpful in treating IBS, which is one of the causes of constipation. You can take it in the form of capsules.

Constipation is common and sometimes painful condition most prevalent among people of older age groups. Various home remedies and herbs prove to help treat the condition. Herbal teas, including peppermint tea, ginger tea, senna tea, and dandelion tea, have laxative properties and help relieve the condition of constipation.

Herbs are not even useful but also cause little or no side effects. Some of them, including aloe vera and fenugreek, are very common and readily available. Adding ginger and fenugreek to your meals is also very beneficial. Also, you can take advice from your healthcare expert regarding the usage of these herbs.


1. What Are Some Other Home Remedies for Constipation?

Constipation is a common condition, and various home remedies can help treat it. Drinking more water is the most common remedy to cure constipation. Other home remedies include eating fiber-rich foods, doing regular exercise, including caffeine, eating prunes, and avoiding dairy products. You can also use various supplements for this condition.

2. What Are the Symptoms of Constipation?

Constipation occurs in the situation when the colon absorbs too much water. The primary symptom of constipation is difficulty in passing feces and straining. The various symptoms of constipation are:

  • Passing fewer stools
  • Hard stools
  • Less bowel movement
  • Stomach ache and cramps
  • Bloating and nausea
  • Not feeling hungry

3. Name Some Herbs That Can Help Get Relief from the Condition of Constipation.

Some herbs help get relief from constipation. They have anti-inflammatory and soothing effects on intestines and help stimulate the bowel movement. Some of the common herbs used for constipation are senna, aloe vera, slippery elm, fenugreek, dandelion, nettle, ginger, sorrel, sea buckthorn, and licorice roots.

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