Constipation Herbal Remedies



  • Butternut root bark is one of the safest and best laxatives around
  • Other herbs that have laxative properties include rhubarb root (rhubarb is gentle enough for infants), cascara sagrada, ginger root, licorice root, Irish moss, psyllium, and senna leaves. Caution: Do not take cascara if you have irritable bowel syndrome or ulcers and do not exceed the recommended dose, it can cause intestinal distress in large doses. Small amounts of rhubarb produces a laxative effect, however, when large amounts are taken, an antidiarrheal effect results.  Short-term use of senna is recommended, long term dependence may develop. Do not use licorice on a daily basis for more than seven days in a row, and avoid it completely if you have high blood pressure.
  • Dandelion is commonly administered as a home remedy for mild constipation and stomach ache.
  • Slippery elm helps to heal the lower intestinal tract
  • Barberry has a cleansing effect on the colon
  • Alfalfa relieves constipation and the leaves of alfalfa are rich in minerals and nutrients, including chlorophyll, which aids in detoxifying the body and cleansing the breath.
  • Flaxseed oil or freshly ground flaxseeds help to soften stools.
  • Steep red raspberry leaves and flaxseed to make a tea and drink it first thing in the morning


  • Goal is to eat 35-40 grams of total fiber daily. Eat more foods high in soluble and insoluble fiber. Foods likely to prevent and cure constipation include coarse wheat bran, rice bran, fruits, such as apples and vegetables such as cucumbers, prunes, figs, dates, coffee, and lots of fluids. Note-although coffee can be a laxative; caffeine can also contribute to constipation in some people.
  • Miller’s bran is a coarse, high fiber supplement that is very effective in small doses. Caution: Although the same general advice for treating constipation applies to children, it is not a good idea to add miller’s bran or rice bran directly to a child’s’ diet because of their high potency. Concentrate on giving a constipated child lots of fiber such as rich whole-grain breads and cereals, fruits and vegetables and fluids. If that does not cure the problem, see a pediatrician.
  • Gradually add fiber to the diet for increased tolerance and drink lots of fluids.
  • Include garlic in the diet. Garlic destroys harmful bacteria in the colon.
  • Eat fewer refined, simple sugars.
  • Milk and calcium in some people can be extremely constipating
  • Too much iron in the diet or from iron supplementation can be constipating


  • Vitamin E: 400 IU. Caution: If you are taking anticoagulants, you should not take vitamin E supplements
  • Acidophilus: 1 tsp. twice daily. Take on an empty stomach.

In some cases, herbal products can interact negatively with other medications.  Such interactions can be dangerous.  Herbal remedies are not regulated and their quality is not controlled.  Moreover, while there is an abundant supply of information circulating about herbs, not much of it has been scientifically proven.  Consult your physician.  Informing your doctor and pharmacist of what herbal products you are using is just as important as letting them know what drugs you are taking.  Your physician and the pharmacist on duty at your pharmacy can assist you in deciding which herbs
are safe.