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Natural Health

Having Trouble Going to the Bathroom? Try These 4 Natural Cures for Constipation


It’s finally that time of year when you’re ready to pick up and go…only to find you can’t go! Indeed, 40 percent of folks have trouble staying regular when they travel. And the last thing you want on vacation is to be uncomfortable or parked in the bathroom. To the rescue: four gentle, natural cures for constipation!

Mangoes are the best snack.

Mangoes’ fiber and polyphenols stimulate digestion while easing painful inflammation. And just one mango can provide more effective relief than if you’d simply upped your fiber intake, Texas A&M University scientists say. For folks who are chronically constipated, related University of Connecticut research reveals that enjoying the fruit daily can as much as double the number of bowel movements you have each week.

Senna is the best tea.

Leaves from the senna plant contain sennosides that stimulate the intestines to get things moving. In fact, a Japanese study found 69 percent of constipated folks who were given one gram of senna (try senna tea before bed) experienced relief in as little as 6 hours. That’s nearly six times better results than those who didn’t take senna. Try: Now Foods Senna Tea (Buy from, $5.10)

Prune is the best juice.

University of Iowa scientists found prunes worked better than psyllium (the main ingredient in Metamucil) to relieve constipation. Prunes are rich in sorbitol, a natural sugar alcohol that draws water into the bowel. Simply savor three to five prunes or sip one cup of prune juice.

Magnesium oxide is the best supplement.

The mineral stimulates muscle contractions that push waste through the GI tract. When taken before bed, research in the Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility found it improves bowel function in eight hours — results better than OTC laxatives. Try: Oxy-Powder (Buy from Walmart, $29.95).

A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.

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