Constipation is a common condition that can cause extreme discomfort. When your bowels won’t move waste out of your intestines, the pressure can be intense — and the desire for relief can make you feel pretty desperate.
For centuries, people from all over the world have relied on Ayurvedic remedies to relieve constipation without causing additional pain. In fact, clinical studies are starting to catch up to what the Indian culture has understood for generations about traditional herbal ingredients and other Indian cures for constipation.
From what we know so far, some Indian remedies are more effective for treating constipation than others. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Indian remedies for instant constipation relief, including what the science says and how you can try them at home.
A 2018 research reviewTrusted Source showed that ginger has a long and established history as a digestive aid. Ginger decreases the pressure on your lower intestines, which may help you have a bowel movement when you’re constipated.
A 2015 research review of clinical trials showed that people who took 100 milligrams (mg) of ginger extract had increased movement in their bowels when compared to a control group who took a placebo. What’s more, ginger may also help you manage other symptoms that often come along with constipation, such as nausea, cramping, and bloating.
Ginger is generally considered safe for children as well as people who are pregnant or nursing. In fact, ginger is even recommended for people who experience nausea and constipation during pregnancy.
Lemon (and other citrus fruits) contain high doses of vitamin C, as well as water-soluble fiber. Citrus can also sometimes stimulate your colon. That’s probably why some people use warm lemon water as a way to get things moving when constipation becomes a problem.
One 2021 study with miceTrusted Source showed that lemon peel powder helps relieve colitis.
The good news is that this remedy is safe for pretty much any child who is old enough to drink diluted lemon juice, as well as for people who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Ghee and milk
Ghee, also known as clarified butter, is popular in Indian cooking as well as home remedies. There are some people who swear by adding ghee to warm milk or warm water and drinking it before bedtime to relieve symptoms of constipation.
There isn’t a lot of research to back using cow ghee and milk to treat constipation. Dairy products tend to worsen intestinal blockages and symptoms of gastrointestinal distress, such as cramps. The evidence we have for using ghee in milk for constipation is mostly anecdotal.
Other natural remedies for constipation
There are plenty of other home remedies that you can try for constipation. You can combine these remedies with traditional Ayurvedic ones, or you can opt to take it slow until you find something that works for you. Here are a few suggestions:
- Drink plenty of water.
- Try an over-the-counter laxative.
- Do a brief yoga session using poses for constipation relief.
- Go for a jog or try other light exercise.
- Use an osmotic laxative to soften your stool.
- Eat a fiber-rich food known to help relieve constipation, such as prunes, apples, figs, or spinach.