Natural chicory flowers with laxative effects are sitting on a white background.

We are exploring a list of fourteen natural constipation remedies that offer gentle relief in the long term.

This list explores prebiotic elements like inulin and chicory root to the surprising benefits of yellow watermelon, mineral water, and clear soup.

We'll delve into coffee's stimulating effects, the fiber-rich goodness of plums and prunes, and the potential of fruit juices like apple and lemon.

And don't forget the unexpected duo of olive oil and vegetables. And the acidity of vinegar – they might surprise you with their digestive benefits.

So, let's get started and find the natural solution that works for you!


Inulin is one of the best natural remedies for constipation because it acts like a sponge.

It draws water into stools to soften and bulk them up for easier passage.

Inulin, a soluble fiber found in fruits and vegetables, can have a delicate balance between its laxative and non-laxative effects.

Inulin is a family of fructose polymers. Imagine chains made of sugar units (fructose), with a single glucose unit that acts as the starting point.

These chains link together using β(2,1) bonds. And can vary in length from 2 to 60 units.

Although mostly linear, a few branches might exist.

While these sweet giants escape human digestion, they act as prebiotics, feeding the good bacteria in your gut!

Studies suggest it can gently increase stool frequency by up to one per week, particularly for those already experiencing constipation.

It also helps to nourish the gut bacteria, which creates a healthier environment. This thing further supports regularity.

Too much inulin can trigger a fermentation party in your gut, leading to bloating, cramping, and even diarrhea.

This discomfort usually subsides as your gut adjusts, but starting low and slowly increasing intake is essential.

Although inulin has the potential to improve gut health and relieve constipation, it does not work for everyone.

A doctor can assess your needs and suggest the most suitable approach, including lifestyle changes or medication.

According to a medical study about how inulin and isomalto-oligosaccharide alleviate constipation published by the U.S. National Library of Medicine:

“Inulin is a soluble dietary fiber that cannot be digested and absorbed by the body.”
“Many studies have shown that it has a variety of physiological functions. It can be used as a bifidogenic factor to stimulate the immune system, reduce pathogenic bacteria, and relieve constipation.”


Vinegar is a splash of acidity in your salad dressing and a product of a two-step fermentation process.

Sugars are transformed into alcohol by friendly yeast, then the alcohol undergoes a second fermentation thanks to acetic acid bacteria, resulting in delightful sourness.

This final product, vinegar, contains around 5-8% acetic acid dissolved in water.

Trace amounts of other compounds, like flavorings, can add unique twists to their character, giving each vinegar a good taste.

Vinegar lowers the glycemic index (GI) of your meals.

Think of GI as a measure of how quickly a food raises blood sugar.

Vinegar's main component, acetic acid, slows down the speed of food leaving your stomach, giving your body more time to process the sugar and prevent spikes.

This thing benefits everyone, but especially those managing blood sugar levels.

Drizzle some vinegar on salads and marinades, or even dip your bread – a dash of flavor with a potential side of healthier blood sugar management.

Medical experts from the U.S. National Library of Medicine state that:

“Apple cider vinegar is popularly used in salad dressings and cooking. But it's also been used traditionally as medicine. ”
“It might help lower blood sugar levels after a meal by changing how foods are absorbed from the gut.”


Coffee is an excellent remedy for constipation because it stimulates muscle contractions and boosts gastrin.

For many, coffee is a reliable gut stimulant, acting as a natural laxative.

This effect isn't solely due to caffeine.

While caffeine speeds up colon contractions, other components play a role.

Caffeine delivers the kick, but antioxidants like chlorogenic acid and trigonelline work together.

Esters and alcohols contribute fruity notes, while Maillard reaction products lend a roast feel.

Coffee's acidic profile, particularly chlorogenic acid, boosts gastrin, a hormone that kicks off stomach muscle contractions, indirectly influencing the colon.

Minerals like magnesium and potassium add a subtle touch.

This chemical combination creates the unique taste and aroma we know and love.

Even decaf coffee works, suggesting these acids are essential components.

The exact mechanism is complex, but the outcome is clear: coffee stimulates gut movement.

This "gastrocolic reflex" triggers bowel movements 20-40 minutes after drinking.

Interestingly, this doesn't happen with other caffeinated beverages like soda.

It's the unique blend of coffee's components that creates this effect.

However, coffee's laxative influence isn't universal.

Some experience no change, while others find excessive coffee leads to loose stools or diarrhea.

Individual sensitivity and gut health play a role. If coffee disrupts your digestive rhythm, consider limiting intake or switching to decaf.

Medical experts from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics state that:

“Coffee also contains small amounts of some nutrients, including potassium, niacin and magnesium.”
“Three to five 8-ounce cups of coffee provide about 400 milligrams of caffeine, which is the most that is recommended per day for healthy adults.”


Senna is one of the most known natural remedies for constipation.

Senna, a plant-based laxative, owes its muscle to a group of chemicals called sennosides.

These sneaky molecules irritate the lining of your intestines, triggering a cascade of events.

Sennosides stimulate special nerve endings, sending a "move it!" message to your gut muscles.

These muscles respond by contracting more vigorously, propelling the contents along their journey.

Sennosides prevent water absorption from your stool, keeping it softer and easier to pass.

It's not instant relief, though.

Senna typically takes 6-12 hours to work its magic, making it a bedtime buddy for many.

While effective, overuse can be problematic.

Sennosides can weaken your gut muscles over time, leading to dependence.

Additionally, dehydration and electrolyte imbalances are potential risks.

So, listen to your body: use Senna sparingly and only for short-term constipation relief.

Consult your doctor if symptoms persist or worsen.

To have better results, doctors may recommend senna as an over-the-counter medication:

“Over-the-counter (OTC) medications and stimulant laxatives such as senna stimulate the GI tract to help move BMs.”


Fresh plums offer a delightful mix of health benefits!

They're packed with water, keeping you hydrated.

Sugars like fructose and sucrose provide sweetness, while fiber adds bulk and aids digestion.

Vitamins C and K contribute to immunity and bone health.

Additionally, polyphenols and antioxidants fight free radicals.

Fresh plums pack a digestive punch beyond just their juicy sweetness.

Each plum packs around 1 gram of fiber, bulking up stools and softening them for easier passage.

But fiber isn't alone.

Plums also harbor sorbitol, a sugar alcohol partially undigested by our gut.

This process draws water into the colon, further softening stools and stimulating movement.

Though less researched, dihydroxyphenylisatin (DHP) might also contribute to mimicking stimulant laxatives.

Remember, individual gut health and sensitivity affect the strength of this effect.

While generally mild, overindulgence could lead to gas or loose stools.

A few fresh plums can be a delicious way to lead your digestive system in the right direction.

However, for persistent constipation, always consult your doctor for personalized advice.

So, enjoy this juicy treat for its refreshing and beneficial chemistry.

Medical experts from the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders state that:

“FODMAPs are short chain carbohydrates that are poorly absorbed in the small intestine and rapidly fermented by bacteria in the gut.”
“Foods that are rich in FODMAPs include fruits such as mangoes, apples, pears, avocados, blackberries, and plums.”


The chicory roots are excellent natural remedies for constipation because they have gentle laxative effects.

While not as widely known as prunes or senna, natural chicory roots harbor a gentle laxative composition.

This composition is rich in inulin, a prebiotic fiber.

The indigestible starch composition reaches the colon, acting like a water magnet, bulking stool and easing its passage.

Additionally, it nourishes gut bacteria, promoting movement and overall digestive health.

Chicory also boasts vitamins and minerals like potassium, contributing to various bodily functions.

Unlike digestible fibers, inulin escapes our digestive enzymes, reaching the colon intact.

There, it acts as a magnet, attracting water and bulking up stool, making it softer and easier to pass.

Additionally, inulin feeds the good bacteria in your gut, further stimulating gut movement and promoting overall digestive health.

Think of inulin as a friendly nudge for your system, promoting regularity without harsh stimulation.

However, individual differences in gut health and sensitivity can affect the strength of this effect.

While generally mild, overindulgence in chicory might lead to bloating or gas.

Use natural chicory as a complement to a balanced diet.

According to a medical study called Back To The Roots: Revisiting the Use of Fiber-Rich Cichorium Intybus published by the American Society of Nutrition:

“Chicory roots consist of a mixture of inulin, pectin, and (hemi-)cellulose and also contain complex phytochemicals, such as sesquiterpene lactones that have been characterized in detail. ”
“Nowadays, chicory roots are mainly applied as a source for the extraction of inulin, which is used as a prebiotic fiber and food ingredient.”


Prunes are excellent natural constipation remedies, thanks to a potent mix of gut-friendly chemicals.

Prunes contain water, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Prunes also contain Sorbitol.

Water keeps you hydrated, sugars like fructose provide sweetness, and fiber aids digestion.

Vitamin C and K boost immunity and bone health, while polyphenols and antioxidants fight free radicals.

Sorbitol, a unique sugar alcohol, contributes to their laxative effect.

Fiber is helpful, with a single serving boasting 6 grams that bulk up stool and softens it for smooth passage.

Prunes contain Sorbitol, a sugar alcohol partially undigested by our gut.

This thing draws water into the colon for further softening and movement stimulation.

Additionally, dihydroxyphenylisatin (DHP) might mimic stimulant laxatives, though research on its role is ongoing.

The laxative effects vary.

Individual gut health and sensitivity play a role, and while generally mild, overdoing it can lead to fermentation or gas.

So, prunes can be a delicious way to support healthy digestion.

However, always consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice.

Medical experts from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics state that:

“The daily recommendation for dietary fiber is 14 grams for every 1,000 calories, which is about 25 grams for women and 31 grams for men per day.”
“Sources of dietary fiber include: Fruits, such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pears, apples with skin on, prunes (dried or stewed) and raisins. ”


Apple juice contains mostly water (88%).

The remaining 12% is mainly carbohydrates, with 9% sugars.

However, it's low in protein, fat, and micronutrients, providing only 46 calories per 100ml serving.

Natural apple juice can have a mild laxative effect, but it's not a guaranteed solution, and individual responses vary.

While significantly less than whole apples, natural apple juice still contains some insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stool and aids its passage.

Apple juice is rich in fructose and sorbitol, two fermentable sugars known as FODMAPs.

These are poorly absorbed in the gut, drawing water into the colon and softening stool.

However, FODMAPs can also cause bloating and discomfort in some people.

Malic acid in apples might stimulate digestive enzymes and gut movements, though research on this specific effect is limited.

The laxative effect depends on factors like gut health, overall diet, and even the type of apple used for the juice.

While mild and generally safe, excessive consumption can lead to diarrhea.

Medical experts from the Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI) state that:

“Apple juice is commonly marketed a clear juice, but fresh cloudy apple juice is more popular among consumers for its softer taste, richer flavor, and higher nutritional value.”
“Cloudy apple juices are richer in dietary fiber, polyphenols, and mineral compounds and exhibit higher antioxidant activity than the clarified ones, as they are obtained without enzymatic and clarifying treatments.”


Lemon juice is one of the simplest natural remedies for constipation because:

  • It helps digestion.
  • It hydrates the body.
  • It lowers the glycemic index of carbs.

Lemons contain vitamin C, citric acid, water, fructose, and fiber.

Water hydrates you, while citric acid provides the signature tartness.

Sugars like fructose add a hint of sweetness, and fiber aids digestion.

Vitamin C supports immunity, potassium benefits muscle function, and antioxidants fight free radicals.

Lemon juice boasts a reputation for aiding digestion, but its laxative effect is mild.

Lemon juice has potential laxative properties.

Vitamin C pulls water into the gut, softening stool.

Citric acid may stimulate digestive enzymes and gut motility.

Some studies suggest low iron levels, linked to lemon juice, might trigger laxative effects in specific individuals.

Studies lack conclusive proof of lemon juice's laxative effectiveness.

Excessive consumption can irritate the stomach and worsen some digestive issues.

Gut health and sensitivity greatly influence the effect.

While lemon water might offer a refreshing start to your day, it should complement constipation relief.

Vitamin C and citric acid reduce the glycemic index of glucose. This process improves digestion.

If experiencing persistent issues, consult a healthcare professional for personalized advice and treatment options.

According to a medical article called Interactions of Lemon, Sucrose and Citric Acid in Enhancing Citrus, Sweet and Sour Flavors published by Oxford University Press:

“Citric acid constitutes nearly 5% of lemon juice and contributes a sour gustatory flavor quality. Sugars constitute about 2.5% of lemon juice.”
“But even at this concentration, which would be readily perceived as sweet when dissolved in water, the sugar in lemon may not contribute a detectable sweet gustatory quality, because the sweetness would likely be at least partly, masked by the citric acid.”


Fresh orange juice is a delicious natural remedy for constipation because it contains lots of fiber.

Each 250ml serving packs a hydrating quantity with 88% water.

While it's naturally sweet with 21 grams of sugar (part of its 26-gram carbohydrate content), it also offers 2 grams of protein.

It also offers 0.5 grams each of fiber and healthy fats.

One cup boasts 112 calories and a whopping 149% of your daily vitamin C needs.

One cup also contains essential amounts of potassium, thiamin, and folate.

Its refreshing tartness comes from citric acid, which gives it a slightly acidic pH of around 3.5.

As research continues, studies explore the potential of orange juice to further contribute to our health and potentially even impact cardiovascular health.

While fresh orange juice offers some fiber and vitamin C that could aid digestion, its laxative effect is mild and indirect.

Fermentation can alter this slightly.

Fermented orange juice contains probiotics, which might support gut health and indirectly influence regularity.

However, research on its specific laxative effect is limited.

Individual gut sensitivity plays an essential role, and if facing persistent constipation, consult a healthcare professional for diagnosis.

According to medical research from the Journal of The American Society for Nutrition:

“In summary, whole orange fruit produces the most favorable postprandial glycemic profile, followed by orange juice with pomace and then 100% orange juice.”
“Orange juice is a beverage commonly consumed at breakfast, and with the addition of enzyme-treated pomace fiber, it can provide a beneficial optional food source to improve the general public's total dietary fiber intake. ”


Yellow watermelons are a treasure trove of nutrients, supporting your body in various ways.

Vitamin C helps your immune system and fights off illness.

Potassium is a fluid level regulator, keeping you feeling balanced.

Copper works behind the scenes, building healthy connective tissues for flexibility.

Beta-carotene converted to vitamin A, safeguards your vision and promotes healthy organ function.

Magnesium helps control blood pressure. Calcium ensures your bones and teeth stay strong.

Phosphorus and vitamin B5 add to the nutritional feast, providing further support.

Watermelons contain citrulline, an amino acid that helps lower blood pressure, and even the rinds hold value with their fiber content, aiding digestion.

Even the seeds contribute, offering trace amounts of zinc, magnesium, folate, and iron.

While the vibrant yellow hue might spark curiosity, yellow watermelon, like its red counterpart, primarily fills your stomach.

Once consumed, the flesh breaks down into easily digestible sugars, vitamins, and water.

These components are absorbed in the small intestine, leaving the undigestible parts like seeds and fiber to move further.

This process contributes to healthy gut movement.

A balanced diet with diverse fiber sources remains crucial for optimal gut health, not just relying on this specific fruit.

According to a research article called Potential Synergy of Phytochemicals in Cancer Prevention: Mechanism of Action:

“Tomatoes, watermelons, pink grapefruits, apricots, and pink guavas are the most common sources of lycopene; 85% of American lycopene intake comes from processed tomato products such as ketchup, tomato paste, and tomato soup.”


Clear soup is an excellent remedy for constipation because it helps the stool move.

Clear soup, while not a magical gut-moving potion, can offer beneficial intestinal stimulants.

Its warm broth provides hydration, essential for keeping stools soft and easing passage.

Electrolytes like sodium and potassium in broth can aid in maintaining fluid balance. This thing facilitates healthy gut function.

However, the real gut-movers in clear soup often come from added ingredients.

Broth-based soups with chopped leafy greens or vegetables like carrots add fiber.

Fiber is essential for bulking up stool and stimulating muscle contractions in the gut.

Lean protein sources like chicken or fish can provide some fat.

Fat slows digestion and adds lubrication, further promoting regularity.

An excellent example is the Chicken Noodle Soup, packed with protein and comforting noodles.

Or, savor Minestrone's Italian flair, a vegetable fiesta in a light broth.

The New England Clam Chowder is a delicious and creamy example.

Clear soup alone isn't the ultimate gut savior, but it can be a hydrating, nutrient-rich addition to a fiber-focused diet for optimal gut health.

According to a medical study called “Vegetable Soups and Creams: Raw Materials, Processing, Health Benefits, and Innovation Trends” published by The Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI):

“Soups are broadly classified into two types—thick soups and thin (clear) soups. This is done based on the texture of the soups.”
“In conclusion, vegetable soups can be considered a suitable source of vegetables and nutrients which can be easily reformulated to fulfill nutrient requirements for specific population groups or with regards to health benefits, without misleading their gastronomic value.”


Mineral water is an excellent natural remedy because it hydrates the body and the intestines.

Certain types, especially those rich in magnesium sulfate, have potential laxative effects.

Magnesium draws water into the intestines, softening stool and facilitating movement.

Studies show improved bowel movement frequency and consistency in subjects with constipation after consuming magnesium-rich mineral water.

However, research is ongoing, and individual responses may vary.

Staying hydrated is crucial for gut health, and addressing the root cause of constipation is helpful.

Beyond H2O, natural mineral water boasts dissolved helpful chemicals.

Calcium for bones, magnesium for muscles, and potassium for balance join the party.

Bicarbonates buffer acidity, while sulfates aid digestion.

Trace minerals like zinc and iron sprinkle in additional benefits.

Experts from the medical publication called “Clinical Cases in Mineral and Bone Metabolism” recommend:

“Drinking mineral water rich in magnesium sulphate and sodium sulphate can confer significant benefits for healthy digestion, in terms of improvement of constipation symptoms, overall bowel movements and stool consistency.”


Olive oil is one of the most underrated natural remedies for constipation.

Olive oil helps vegetables digest because it creates an environment that facilitates nutrient absorption.

Vitamins A, D, E, and vitamin K are fat-soluble.

This thing means they require fat for proper absorption in the intestines.

Olive oil, rich in healthy fats, acts like a carrier, enhancing the bioavailability of these vitamins.

Some vegetables boast solid cell walls that enclose their nutrients.

Olive oil can slightly soften these walls, making it easier for digestive enzymes to access and break down the good stuff inside.

Olive oil in your meal encourages the efficient extraction and utilization of valuable nutrients (from vegetables).

This thing contributes to better gut health and nutrient utilization.

Too much oil can overwhelm your digestive system.

Olive oil boasts an impressive collection of health-promoting molecules.

Monounsaturated fats, led by oleic acid, contribute to heart health.

Polyunsaturated fats like linoleic acid are essential to digestion, while vitamin E acts as a guardian against free radicals.

Medical experts from The Journal of American Socity of Nutrition state that:

“The concentration of antioxidants in oils is influenced by the oil extraction procedures.”
“Extra-virgin olive oil, which is obtained from the first pressing of the ripe fruit, has a high content of unsaponifiable matter that is rich in α-dl-tocopherol and phenolic derivatives, i.e., tyrosol and hydroxytyrosol, both of which exhibit antioxidant properties. This oil conserves all lipidic and antioxidant qualities of the olives.”

Last medically reviewed on 22.02.2024


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2. Balancing reactive oxygen species generation by rebooting gut microbiota. Vandna Singh, Shruti Ahlawat, Hari Mohan, Sarvajeet Singh Gill.

3. The Benefits of Water from Nitrodi's Spring: The In Vitro Studies Leading the Potential Clinical Applications. Ilaria Mormile, Fabiana Tuccillo.

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My name is Sebastian D., and I am the senior editor of constipationguide.com. With the help of my mentor, Dr. Horia Marculescu, I decided to create a practical guide to constipation relief.. read more

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