Constipation can occur at any age. It is not a disease, but it can be the sign of many other diseases. Sometimes, it is just the manifestation of some disturbance in your body. Anyway, it is not a good sign, and it brings out many discomforts to one who suffers it. Below, we introduce you, in our opinion, best five essential oils for constipation.
What is constipation?
Constipation or being constipated is the condition in which the bowel movements are tough or happen less often than normal. Medically, a definition of constipation is fewer than 3 stools per week and severe constipation as less than one per week .
For many people, constipation simply means infrequent passage of feces. The manifestations of constipation vary very differently in different people. In general, the symptoms are infrequent bowel movement, straining when going to bathroom, hard and/or small feces, and discomfort sense of incomplete evacuation after going to bathroom (this means you want to poo but indeed you have nothing to poo), abdominal bloating, anal bleeding or fissures caused by hard feces, occasionally diarrhea due to obstruction of the colon by hard stool…
What causes constipation?
Theoretically, constipation can be caused by the slow flow of digesting food through any part of digestive system. Most of the time, the slowing happens in the colon.
Normally, to be easier to comprehend, there are several main reasons that cause constipation. They relate to the habit, the lifestyle or the diet, stimulant laxatives, and personal condition like medical treatment or hormonal disorders.
Bowel movements are under voluntary control, that means you can hold the normal urge you feel when you need to suppress. Occasionally, it is appropriate to suppress the urge to defecate, like there are not any bathroom nearby, but doing this, so frequently can make the disappearance of urges and result in constipation. For the recommendation, everyone should exercise the daily routine such as going to the toilet at 7 a.m every morning and try not to hold the urge often and let it be natural.
With the development of the technology, people become more and more sedentary. By sitting on the sofa all day long, watching TV or working in front of the computer without exercising, we are leading ourselves to constipation. While exercising, with the activities of the muscles that support the blood flow inside your body, that helps to maintain the regular movement in the bowel, therefore it supports the formation of the stool.
In addition, at the end of the rectum, the colon absorbs the rest water inside the stool and that’s the last step in feces formation. But if the stools are over dehydrated because of staying too long in the rectum, they will become very hard. Hence, they block the digestive system. Lacking activities can cause that happens. So the advice here is to become more active, practicing sports and drink more water.
Fiber plays an important role in maintaining the soft and bulky stools, therefore, in a dietary which contains very less fiber (low in fruits and vegetables) can cause constipation. Many young people now are addicted to the fast food and unhealthy food like pizza, McDonald, KFC, etc. These foods are very high in carbohydrate and low in nutrition including the fiber. So, in a non-logical dietary, or you are just eating whatever you want and ignore the vegetables and fruits, that’d be so frequent if you get constipation.
As an admonition, you should eat natural foods which contain natural fiber like vegetables, and fruits, some kind of whole grains.
Bowel movement decreases as we get older. So for the older people, it’s easier to sustain constipation. There are also several medications which impair the feeling or the sensor in the rectal area (That’s the place which triggers the urge), resulting in hard and dry stools. Or in several underlying disorders/ diseases such as diabetes mellitus, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, colorectal tumor, etc.
Besides the treatments, it’s very considerable to use the natural food supplements for the digestive system, for example olive oil, coconut oil, etc, they are part of home remedies for constipation.
So, getting constipated is not very serious but it can become more severe if there are no treatment or prevention. These are 5 Essential oils for constipation that we recommend everyone to intake them daily to prevent constipation and protect the digestive system. They are all derived from nature and are quite easy to get.
1. Olive Oil – One of the best Essential Oils for Constipation
Olive oil, extracted from the olives by pressing the whole olives. It’s used very commonly in the cooking. It’s also used in cosmetics, pharmaceuticals, and soap. It provides many health benefits. It contains over 33 important bio-actives that resist the oxidant procedure . Plus, olive oil is well known because of many good effects on the cardiovascular health. Many epidemiological studies show that a high proportion of monounsaturated fats consumption may reduce the risk of the coronary heart disease. There is preliminary evidence that daily olive oil consumption may lower the risk of getting chronic diseases.
The nutritional value per 100g olive oil (according to the USDA Nutrient Database) is very noticeable with the main component of olive oil is monounsaturated fat (73g per 100g) and high amount of omega-6 (9.8g per 100g) . This is surely the best oil not for just constipation but for anything that you should eat them every day.
In the digestive system, olive oil works like a safe and natural lubricant. In other words, olive oil helps the colon and the bowel to push all the compartment easily, that means the stool is easier to be formed.
Otherwise, the oil also protects the microvillus on the surface of the colon by coating on them a film of phenolic acid, which is proved as an anti-oxidant and anti-toxicity. This helps the colon to reabsorb efficiently the water and nutrition, resulting in a complete formation of the stool, in which the appropriate consistency is regulated. Plus, olive oil provides very less of the laxative effect, thus it’s very safe and it has almost no side effect.
With some people who are constipated with the abdominal pain as the main symptom, eating a spoon of olive oil is significantly effective in relieving the pain.
How to get rid of constipation using olive oil?
Olive oil is very easy to find everywhere you live, in the supermarket or in most grocery stores. Extra virgin olive oil is considered as the purest olive oil because it doesn’t go through the heating and chemical processing.
The simplest way to use the olive oil is to take a spoon and eat them normally. But to add the flavor, you can try mixing one spoonful of olive oil with a glass of fruit juice or a cup of warm milk. The oil should be used often in cooking or in salad dressing. If constipation is a frequent problem, the oil should have its presence at every dish in your diet.
Do I need to aware of Side Effects?
According to the USDA Nutrient Database, one spoonful of olive oil provides 884 kcal per 100g and suggested calories intake every day should be 2000kcal . So eating too much the olive oil can contribute to weight gain or obesity. We suggest that eating about 2 tbsp of olive oil according to FDA Allows qualified health Claim (with the keyword olive oil) daily is enough to get a possible benefit .
Where to get the olive oil?
It appears in almost supermarket and grocery store, you can find it easily everywhere. But personally, I prefer the extra virgin olive oil which is more expensive but much better and purer than processed olive oil.
With all the potentials that we can profit from olive oil with very less side effect, no doubt that olive oil is one of the best essential oils for constipation.
2. Flaxseed oil – Rich Omega 3 Source and Home Remedy for Constipation in children
Flaxseed oil, commonly known as linseed oil, is the oil obtained from dried and ripened seeds of the flax plant (Linum Usitatissimum) by pressing the seeds . This oil has been talking a lot about its health benefits but it hasn’t been widely used until recent time, specially the potential to be a member of group essential oils for constipation.
Flaxseed oil is a very rich source of alpha linolenic acid (Omega 3 fatty acid), which is one of two essential fatty acids (the other being linoleic acid), these acids are necessary for health but can not be produced within the human body. They must be acquired through aliments.
Importance of Omega-3 fatty acids
The Omega-3 fatty acids group include the fatty acids that human body cannot synthesize. The three Omega-3 acids that involved in the human physiology are alpha linolenic acid – ALA (the one in the flaxseed), eicosapentaenoic acid – EPA, and docosahexaenoic acid – DHA. The omega-3 fatty acids are important for normal metabolism, they provide many health effects in preventing cancer, lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease, improving the inflammation, improve developmental disabilities and they contribute very much to mental health, anti brain aging, maintain the brain and visual functions. And for the children, they are tremendously necessary to shape the nervous network in the brain.
Still, the omega-3 acids are proven to react against inflammation. Inflammation is a good reaction of the body to bad microorganisms such as bacteria, and parasite.
However, not all the inflammation is good. Hormonal disorders, disturbances of the body also can trigger the inflammation. In that case, the cells are damaged not by any threats but the body. Under such circumstances, the damaged cells can become a tumor cell because of its instinct. Hence, through preventing the “bad” inflammation, the omega-3 can prevent the formation of the tumor cell. For instance, applying them prevent the formation of the colorectal tumor, one of the most cause for chronic constipation . So this property of omega 3 acids makes the flaxseed oil one of the best essential oils for constipation.
How to get rid of constipation using the flaxseed oil?
Like the olive oil, flaxseed oil is considered as a lubricant for the digestive pipe. It helps facilitate the compartment flow inside the bowel. There are several studies have found that this oil can be able to calm the inflamed intestines by meditating the CD8+ T cell . Another benefit exists that there is high mucilage in the flax and this is the efficient natural laxative.
So instead of taking laxative drugs for stool softening which can damage the intestine (such as polyethylene glycol, sodium magnesium, etc.) to get rid of constipation, just take as much as one tablespoon of flaxseed oil to deal with it.
How to preserve flaxseed oil?
Because the flaxseed oil is one fatty acid in Omega – 3 group, it has a distinctive reaction with oxygen in the air and very easy to be oxidized, otherwise the light and the high heat also catalyze the reaction. Hence, it can rapidly become rancid, with an unpleasant odour. So it’s very necessary to store the oil in the conformable condition. Normally, it is available in liquid and soft gel capsules. The capsules are quite protective to the oil, but the liquid should be stored in a dark glass jar and stayed in the refrigerator.
Side effect when using flaxseed oil
There are not many things to worry about using flaxseed oil. But its primary ingredient is a fatty acid, so there is a potential for side effect and interactions with medications or other dietary supplements. It may slow down the rate of your body in absorbing medications and nutrients if they are taken at the same time. Sometimes it’s hard to define the interactions, so it’s better to take the flaxseed all alone and in several conditions, it’s advisable to seek the advice of a general natural health practitioner.
Where to get the flaxseed oil?
You may find it in many supermarkets, but somewhere it’s harder to find. You can compress the flaxseed to get the purest oil, or there are various supplements in the pharmacy that does contain flaxseed oil in form of capsules or drinkable liquid. It’s better to check on the internet to know where to find them around you.
3. Coconut oil – not only a superfood but also a remedy for constipation
There are many articles about treating constipation at home with coconut oil. This popular superfood is indeed effective with constipation.
Coconut oil is extracted from the core or meat of mature coconuts gathered from coconut palm (Coconut Nucifera). It is edible and it has many applications because of its high saturated fat content, it is slow to oxidize and resistant to rancidification .
How is coconut oil a superfood?
The saturated fat, on the social media, is usually associated with the cardiovascular diseases and cancer. Researchers learned that eating saturated fat seemed to increase the cholesterol level in the bloodstream. This scared many people to limit themselves from eating as less as possible the saturated fat. But the fact that, the human body needs saturated fat to fortify the capillary wall using the cholesterol, as well as increasing the mass of the bone at the appropriate amount.
In addition, there is an evidence that indicates bone mineral density is negatively associated with saturated fat intake, this means, in other words, limiting the saturated fat intake may lead to osteomalacia. The truth is, there are bad saturated fats and good saturated fats, and the coconut oil is the good one.
For the nutritional information, according to the USDA Nutrient Database, the approximate concentration of fatty acids in coconut oil is very high in saturated fat (88.5%), and the highest concentration belongs to the Lauric saturated C12 (48%). The Lauric saturated C12 is proved in some in vitro experiments, they have suggested that is potential to be useful in the treatment of acne .
Besides, Lauric saturated C12 acid brings up total serum cholesterol in result more than any other fatty acid, but most of the elevation is concerning to a rise in high-density lipoprotein (HDL), as known as the good cholesterol. As the result of increase HDL in blood serum, people have a lower risk of getting atherosclerotic, also reduce the correlation with coronary artery disease. Hence, that’s the reason why the coconut oil is considered as a superfood.
How to get rid of constipation using coconut oil
Coconut oil lubricates the digestive tract as well as olive oil and flaxseed oil, some nutritional doctors claim that coconut oil can increase metabolic rate and help food pass through the intestine quickly. In other words, this means more frequent and softer movement of the bowel.
Otherwise, because the ingredients of coconut oil are mainly saturated fatty acids so when you eat it, it takes time to degrade to be absorbed.
Theoretically, the coconut oil will stay for a longer time in the bowel, thus create the oncotic force to pull out the water from cells to the intestinal cabin – this also works like a laxative substance or a laxative oil, to soften and decrease the consistency of the stool, and the consequence is to get rid of constipating situation by defecating out easily. So, undoubtedly, coconut oil is one of the most laxative essential oils for constipation.
Side effect while consuming the coconut oil?
As a laxative stimulant due to its structures, coconut oil should be introduced slowly and gradually in the diet. Some people who are sensitive to coconut oil could get some irritations, which appear as indigestion or slow digestion, stomach cramping, or even diarrhea. The recommendation is just to take a teaspoon at the first meal and build up from there.
Consider if you can take note of your condition since the day you start adding it in your diet, check it carefully if constipation improves. But the oil is still saturated fat even it’s good, so just take an enough amount daily to assure your health.
Where to get the coconut oil?
The oil can be easily made using the Wet Mill Method from coconut kernel or coconut meat . But if you don’t have time to make it yourselves, try to go to the grocery store or pharmacy because there are many products from coconut oil. But considering read the label of the products to be sure that’s the purest and that’s the most nutritional and most natural coconut oil.
4. Fennel essential oil – Doterra fennel for constipation
Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare) for a long time, is very well-known worldwide and traditionally used as a curative herbal therapy for the treatment of epilepsy, digestive, and gastrointestinal disorders. It is very popular in the world as a strong, flavorful, and aromatic herb in culinary uses.
Fennel essential oil, which is gained through the steam distillation process of the crushed seeds, is a potent and powerful aid for digestive health. For the nutrition, per 100 grams of fennel seeds provides 1440 kJ (345 kcal) of food energy, which is also a very rich source of protein, dietary fiber, and vitamins. It is also very rich in minerals especially calcium, iron, magnesium, and manganese (According to USDA Nutrient Database) .
The licorice aroma of the oil is very special with a combination of sweet, fresh and comfortable. That triggers delicately the olfactory sensation and build in a relaxation of the upper part of the esophagus, respectively improve the taste. That’s the reason why it is very commonly used in the cuisine.
In addition to the digestive support, it is also functional in hormone balancing. So let’s say if the causes of gastrointestinal disorders are hormones, and in some case, hormones lead you to eat more junk food (exp. the high concentration of insulin in the blood results in eating more and more carbohydrates) and make your bowel bloating, then fennel essential oil is your friend and your treatment.
Relieve the constipation
While a lot of vegetables can cause abdominal cramping, and bloated stomach, and produce many gases, the fennel seeds oil can do the opposite.
You can see in this table the nutritional information of fennel oil according to USDA data. The fennel essential oil contains a high amount of moisture. That can tell you literally the laxative effect of the oil. The influence can be equivalent to the effect of some laxative drugs but much safer.
Furthermore, the fennel essential oil, as compared to other foods such as apples, oranges, bananas, grapes, dates, has fewer nutrients. But noticeably, the oil has much more calcium than those fruits . This is a suggestion as an alternative treatment for functional constipation due to the cause of hypocalcemia. Because the calcium ions can trigger the contraction of smooth muscles thus increase the peristalsis frequency.
Yet, fennel essential oil is proved in some researches which show that the oil has the effect in recovering the hepatorenal damage and thus it helps stabilize the digestive regulation made by the liver and the kidney . In other words, fennel essential oil is somehow a herbal medicine to both prevent and cure constipation.
The oil can relieve the poor condition of the stomach, by inhaling or rubbing it on the tummy.To profit this essential oil for constipation, just take a few drops of fennel oil and combine it with some olive oil or vegetables oil and make a massage on the tummy, let it permeate for several minutes and the magnitude of the pain will go down.
Side effect while using the fennel essential oil
The oil has almost no detrimental effect against for anyone to apply it. However, it contains many components that you may feel uncomfortable for sensitive organs like the nose, eyes while exposure to it. Just use the oil little by little and let it go slowly through your skin. It’s is also advisable for anyone who is pregnant because, in addition to the digestive support, the oil is also very helpful in reducing the symptom of antiemetics. Besides, it’s also useful as a herbal laxative to prevent the candida, main cause for candidiasis in the woman .
Where to get the fennel essential oil?
Beside making itself at home by imitating the distillation procedure, as it is not easy, you can go to many pharmacies to buy it easily. There are many products made of fennel seeds oil. Also, you can take the whole fennel more often in your diet, that’s the easiest way. The truth is, fennel goes very well with the seafood and fishes, so that’s our recommendation.
5. Peppermint – one of the most effective essential oils for constipation
Peppermint is a hybrid mint between watermint and spearmint. It is very widespread all around the world in cultivation. It is occasionally found in nature with its parent species.
There are various chemical compounds found in peppermint which have many health benefits. The most compound found in the peppermint is menthol, it is able to chemically initiate the cold-sensitive TRPM8 on the skin so it provokes the cooling sensation when inhaled, eaten or applied to the skin . It’s widely used in dental care as an antibacterial substance.
Essential oil for constipation in adult and children
Some studies show that menthol acts as GABA receptors sensitive allosteric modulator and increase the transmission of the GABA-ergic system . This is quite a property which characterizes for the anesthetic quality of the menthol. In addition, GABA occurs in all organisms that have a nervous system, including digestive system. So that, peppermint can relax the smooth muscle in the stomach and digestive tract. In other words, it helps calm down the bloated bowel or irritated bowel and quite effective in IBS (irritated bowel syndrome).
Alleviating the indigestion is also another gastrointestinal benefit when using peppermint. It is thought that it not only relaxes the smooth muscle but also increases the bile flow, thus support the peristalsis and innervate the bowel movements.
Also, peppermint oil is very good for constipation based on its chemical components. It’s also high in fiber and minerals like potassium and magnesium, which are oncotic chemicals that make peppermint oil a laxative for constipation.
Side effect while using peppermint essential oil for constipation
Besides many benefits from peppermint oil in treating constipation, it is considered to use it carefully in children and toddler. Applying a small spoon of peppermint essential oil is enough for an adult, so for the children, the amount is much less.
Because of its properties, peppermint essential oil is a strong remedy for constipation, but if you are under some medical condition in which you have to take the drugs like cephalosporin, it’s not advisable to consume the oil because it can diminish the effect of the drugs, thus lengthens the condition.
Also, there are several side effects if you take the peppermint essential oil in wrong way. Excess amounts of peppermint oil may be toxic, and when applying directly the oil to the skin, it may cause skin rash or itching or urticaria due to the hypersensitive reaction.
Where to get peppermint essential oil?
It’s not too hard to get the peppermint oil for constipation, almost can be found at the pharmacy in many products. Demand the nearest pharmacy or cosmetic store or grocery shop, they can give you a peppermint oil product. Buying the oil on the internet is also a good option for you, there are also many good online products.
Constipation is very common and its appearance can be anywhere. This may be a manifestation of some diseases or just a symptom of a sedentary lifestyle and fiber insufficiency. Anyway, this always gives us a very specific and uncomfortable feeling.
Constipation can drag on temporarily or chronically. In case constipation continues to persist for a long time even you practiced the methods, consider to go the hospital because, sometimes, constipation may be a sign of a more serious condition that needs the medical intervention like bowel construction or colorectal cancer. And the prolonging of constipation can lead to many more other severe conditions.
All the five best essential oils for constipation we have introduced, have a significant effect on the condition but they are not considered as the real treatment. It’s better to consume a becoming amount of oils every day rather than intake a large amount of them while you are constipated.
Remember the moderation is advisable, if you want to add them to your diet, it should adjust slowly and gradually to fit your body.
We hope that Top 5 essential oils for constipation can help anyone who is struggling with constipation. If you find these essential oils for constipation useful, please LIKE and SHARE this article.
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