Salt Water for Constipation: How Effective Is It

Updated on December 12th, 2019
Salt Water for Constipation

Constipation is a digestive disorder that plaques several people across the globe. It is a common condition. However, most of us suffer silently from it. Patients are clueless about the treatment plans that are available for this condition.

Yes, there are several synthetic laxatives one could use, to treat this condition. However, the severity and the implications of the side effects far outweigh the benefits of using these conventional drugs.

Several people have turned towards alternative and conventional medicine. One of the most renowned remedies among the plethora of remedies present is salt water for constipation. Using salt water detox for constipation has proven to be one of the effective methods of alleviating the symptoms of constipation in several patients.

What Is a Salt Water Flush?

salt water
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A saltwater flush as the name suggests is a solution consisting of certain proportions of sea salt and water. It is used to treat chronic constipation(1), to cleanse your colon, and it helps in detoxing your body.

Typically, the saltwater flush involves drinking a mixture of warm water and non-iodized salt.  It has a laxative effect on the body and hence causes an urgent bowel movement within 30 minutes to an hour of its consumption.

It is also known to help in the removal of toxins, old waste material, and parasites that may be lurking in your colon.

[Also Read: Natural Ways to Treat Constipation]

Why Salt Water Flush for Constipation

Saltwater flush is an effective and a short-term remedy that could help in cleansing your colon and could stimulate bowel movements. Though there is limited research on this, we do have plentiful anecdotal evidence of patients who have used it and have been benefitted from it.

However, there has been an upsurge in research on this topic and in a recent study that was published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that alternatively drinking lukewarm salt water and performing yoga postures was effectively able to clean the bowel for a colonoscopy. However, it is still unclear if this is due to yoga or the combined effect of yoga and salt water.

How to Use Salt Water for Constipation

cure constipation

There is no official standing procedure. However, there are several anecdotes of people using this method and reaping the benefits of it.


  1. Dissolve two teaspoons of non-iodized sea salt typically such as pink. Himalayan sea salt in four cups of warm water.
  2. To this, you could also add lemon juice if desired.
  3. Drink this mixture on an empty stomach in one go.

As soon as you drink this, you should feel an urge to empty your bowels. It is recommended that you drink Salt Water Flush in the morning, on an empty stomach.  However, you could do it any time of the day as long as it is done on an empty stomach.

Note: After drinking the salt water, don’t plan on moving around much or exercising for a few hours. This is because you are likely to have several urgent bowel movements(2).

[Also Read:  High Fiber Foods for Constipation]

Risks In Using Salt Water for Constipation

Drinking salt water may cause nausea and a feeling of vomiting. There are also chances of you having cramps, bloating, and dehydration. Consistently using salt water could cause an electrolyte imbalance due to the rapid loss of sodium and fluids from the body. Thereby leading to muscle spasms, arrhythmias, confusion.

Although most people experience the positive effects of using salt water flush, some may not. A salt water flush could increase your exposure to sodium, causing a sodium overload. This, in some severe cases, could cause hypertension in the patient. Hence it is recommended that you use saltwater flush if you are suffering from heart problems, hypertension, diabetes.

A saltwater flush is an easy and quick way to cause bowel movements, that will cleanse your colon and help you get rid of constipation. However, it is to be noted that if you have a serious medical condition or you’re pregnant, it is better if you skip on this.

Also, it is to be noted is that salt water flushes shouldn’t be done regularly. As this procedure, in the long term could be dangerous. Hence, consult with your doctor about the right dosage for you and make sure you use this safely.

[Also Read: Juices to Relieve Constipation]


1. Can a Salt Water Flush Be Dangerous?

Salt water flush is reported to relieve constipation. Salt water flush is reported to relieve constipation. However, if you are under medications, you are advised to refrain from it.

2. What Can You Eat After a Salt Water Flush?

You should not eat anything for about ½ hour after consuming salt water flush. However, you can drink water to avoid dehydration.

3. What Are the Benefits of Salt Water Flush?

Salt water flush helps flush out toxins from the body. It helps cleanse the colon too by forcing bowel movements.

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