How can Herbal Supplements help with constipation?

What causes constipation?

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Chinese herbal medicine for Constipation

How does TCM view constipation?

Which Herbs could help with constipation?

Most herbs occur naturally in the environment around us. That does not mean, however, that we can add them to our diet without understanding the impact they could have. When you begin working with an experienced holistic practitioner, they will evaluate your situation. This will allow them (and you) to better understand which herb or combination of herbs will give you long-term relief and support. Herbal supplements may be only one part of the recommended treatment plan. Lifestyle changes along with acupuncture or massage may complement any herbal remedies.

When you are ready to begin an evaluation, contact the experienced and knowledgeable team at Holistic Acupuncture to begin a healing path.

How do I know which herbs to use?

Constipation is not a topic people want to discuss, but let’s face it, everyone deals with it at some point in life. At its worst, several days can pass by without a bowel movement. The time between each significant event leaves you feeling full, bloated, and unsettled. Everyone in your household often knows what is happening and occasionally celebrates a victory when “it” happens!

Getting your bathroom habits on a regular schedule is essential, but getting there can be challenging. Many factors can have a negative impact on your body. Establishing consistency in your diet and exercise routines will help. Understanding more about what causes your bathroom “problems” and how to avoid those “problems” will get you going again!

Authentic Chinese Acupuncture

There are numerous reasons why people become constipated. Poor diet, insufficient fluids, and stress are a few more common causes. The underlying issue is the pace at which the large colon pushes waste out of your body. When it does not function at the best rate, the process becomes “stuck.” This is when you begin to develop symptoms like bloating, gas, and abdominal pain. When these uncomfortable feelings continue for extended periods, you are managing chronic constipation.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practice focuses on the energy flow or Qi throughout the entire body. This flow of energy allows our body to function at its fullest. When the energy becomes blocked or stagnant, things need to be fixed. The focus of treatment is to regain the balance of energy so that symptoms can be alleviated and prevented in the future. This is done through a combination of acupuncture, herbal treatments, and lifestyle adjustments.

Constipation, like other ailments, is used in TCM to identify an imbalance within your body. Several things could cause your body to become out of alignment.

  • When the Qi, or energy flow, becomes stagnant, you may find yourself going to the bathroom less frequently. You may experience bloating and belching but cannot have a bowel movement.
  • You may have a deficiency that is not allowing your stools to process correctly. Your body could lack an essential element to help your intestines move along.
  • Excessive Heat can dry your body out. As your body’s heat absorbs excess liquids, your stools can become dry and hard, leading to constipation.

When you become constipated, it’s easy to use a quick solution like a laxative. After all, it can give you immediate relief, right? Sure, it can solve the problem now, but what happens the next time? Taking a laxative does not solve the root issue; it only alleviates it for a short time. Later, all the same symptoms of bloating, fatigue, feeling full, and overall uneasiness comes right back, leaving you with no resolution. You may choose to take the laxative again, and the entire process becomes circular. Without addressing the root of the problem, you will continue this circular cycle.

Supporting your body with natural supplements and adjustments to your lifestyle will resolve the issue long term. This process may take a bit more time, but once it is underway, you will feel much better, and constipation will be a thing of your past. Science backs this up with studies like this that show the success of herbal remedies when evaluated.

Here are a few herbs that you may have heard of before. These are common treatments for constipation and overall support of your body. When you begin working with a practitioner, you will likely find many more options available to you.

HERB NAMEINDICATIONOTHER FACTORS
1. AstragalusPowerful Anti-inflammatory/TonifyingProvides overall support for the body

2. Ginger

Reduces inflammationCalms the digestive tract
3. Hemp SeedLoosens the stoolsAdds water to the body allowing stools to pass
4. PeppermintRelaxes the muscles of the intestinal wallGood for ongoing digestive health
5. RhubarbIt helps with the formation of stools.Adds fiber and moisture to the digestive process making it easier for stool to pass
6. Senna TeaCauses contractions of the intestinesUsed as a natural laxative but should not be used as an ongoing treatment