Are you having less than 3 bowel movements per week or your stool is hard to pass? Then you’re suffering from constipation.
What is Constipation?
Constipation is a common digestive disorder that was caused due to an unhealthy lifestyle, dehydration, stress, lack of physical activities, poor diet (lack of fiber), age, hormonal imbalance, usage of certain medications, etc.
This makes the feces to remain in the colon and thus makes it difficult to defecate. If not treated on time, then it results in loss of appetite, stomach ulcers, bleeding, anal fistulas, bloating, upset stomach, acidity, depression, etc.
Are there any Natural Remedies to Treat?
Fortunately, there are many natural remedies like olive oil, prunes, apple cider vinegar, spinach, etc. for preventing constipation and thus makes you not to use any over the counter laxatives to get rid of the problem.
In this article, you are going to know about a natural and most widely used ingredient called castor oil for treating constipation.
Let’s get started…
Does Castor Oil Work for Constipation?
We all know that castor oil is natural oil that was extracted from the castor beans. Since from olden days, this oil is used as a stimulant laxative to treat the bowel movement problems but most of the people don’t know how it works and is it safe to use or not.
Here we are providing you the properties of castor oil that help to get rid of constipation.
- Ricinoleic acid is a fatty acid in castor oil that binds to the receptors on the smooth muscle cells of the intestinal walls. Then it causes the muscles to contract and push out the stool to have a bowel movement (which just do as a stimulant laxative).
- It cleanses the intestines and softens the stool to make it come out easily.
- Unlike over the counter laxatives, it works very quickly and effectively in relieving your constipation.
- The usage of castor oil helps to reduce the straining and also improves the symptoms of constipation.
- It lubricates the bowels without the absorption of any moisture from the intestinal walls.
How to use Castor Oil for Constipation?
Here are some best ways of using castor oil for treating your constipation. Have a look at them and follow them regularly to get rid of constipation and its symptoms.
Method – 1: (Castor Oil – Internal Intake)
Taking this oil by mouth is the most common method used to get rid of the problem but be sure with the quantity of the oil. For adults, it’s 15 – 40 ml to get rid of constipation or else it results in diarrhea.
- Consume the castor oil directly with a measuring spoon or cup
- If you unable to taste castor oil directly then you can mix it with 1 glass of water (or) fruit juices (like cranberry, prune, orange, ginger or lemon juice).
- Or simply refrigerate the castor oil for at least 30 minutes to get cool and consume this chilled oil directly.
- Or consume a castor oil-based supplements.
Method – 2: (Castor Oil – External Application)
You can also apply castor oil pack on the skin to enhance the circulation and thereby to improve digestion and move the things easily to have a bowel movement.
- Apply enough of pure castor oil on the abdomen.
- Massage it gently for few minutes and wrap a warm cloth over the applied area.
- Let it sit for few minutes and clear the area with a wet washcloth.
- Wait for another few minutes to have your bowel movement.
Note: Or simply apply a cloth soaked in castor oil topically on the affected area to get rid of constipation.
Best Time to Take Castor Oil for Constipation Relief:
Castor oil works faster than other laxatives, so the best time is during the day rather than night. Other laxatives are taken at night, which works slowly for overnight and enhances the bowel movement in the morning.
This oil gives relief within 2 – 5 hours by stimulating the bowel movement. So, always prefer to take it in the early morning on an empty stomach but not in the night before bedtime, as it disturbs your sleep.
Who can (or) can’t use Castor Oil for Constipation?
Castor oil usage is not recommended for all the people due to its nature. Here is the list of people mentioned for those who won’t take castor oil to treat their constipation.
- Pregnant Women (as it causes the uterus to contract)
- Nursing or menstruating women
- Children under age 5 (without consulting the doctor)
- Limit the usage of people over 60 years of age.
- If you have any allergies (as castor oil has certain ingredients that affect your allergies).
- People having intestinal blockage or gallbladder disease or rectal bleeding
- People who are taking certain medicines like diuretics, bone medicines, antibiotics, blood thinners, heart medicines, etc. (as castor oil interacts with these medications).
What is the Recommended Dosage?
Always ask the doctor for the proper dosage (or) follow the specific dosage instructions on the bottle. If you don’t have any information about it then go with this general rule. Overdosage will cause electrolyte imbalance and dehydration.
- For adults, it is 15 – 40 ml
- For children over 12 years, it is 15 – 25 ml
- For children of 5 – 12 years, it is 5 – 15 ml
How Long to Take Castor Oil?
Castor oil should not be taken (or used) for a longer time. Over certain time of usage, it exhibits some side effects like reducing the muscle tone in the intestine and thus causes chronic constipation. Also, it lowers the amount of potassium (or its absorption) in the body.
So, avoid taking this oil as constipation medicine for more than 7 days unless it is recommended by your doctor. Stop taking the oil to prevent side effects like abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea and intestinal weakness. Tell your doctor, if you’re suffering from these side effects after the usage of castor oil.
The main thing to remember is to take the castor oil dose at the same time every day to have proper bowel movements.
Castor Oil for Constipation in Babies:
You should not give castor oil for treating constipation in babies or kids, as it causes side effects rather than relieving them from constipation. The best thing is to massage their tummy with this castor oil, which helps to move the things easily and help them to get rid of constipation.
- If you’re suffering from chronic constipation then you have to consult your doctor immediately for proper diagnose and treatment to get rid of the problem.
- Poor fluid and fiber in the diet are the main causes of constipation. So, drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids along with fiber-rich foods in your diet to soften the stool and to make them pass easily through the intestine.
- If you’re suspecting that constipation is caused as a side effect of certain medications (or) due to certain health problems, then consult your doctor for proper diagnose.
- Like other laxatives, the usage of castor oil can make you suffer from abdominal cramping and diarrhea. It also reduces the absorption of certain nutrients into the intestines.
- Lack of physical exercise and poor diet are main causes of constipation. So, exercise regularly to strengthen the intestinal muscles and consume a healthy diet (includes fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, leafy greens) and avoid the intake of oily or fatty or salty or processed foods.
- Make a habit of going to the bathroom at the same time every day and also avoid delaying in bowel movement when nature calls, as it will also lead to constipation. Don’t rush and give yourself some time to have a bowel movement.
- If you’re allergic to castor oil, then avoid the usage of this oil to prevent any allergic reaction.
- Always buy 100% pure cold-pressed / processed virgin castor oil, which is available in most drug stores and supermarkets.
- One drawback of castor oil is that you should not have another bowel movement for 2 – 3 days after it works successfully why because it clean out the entire intestinal tract instead of a colon.
Try this Castor Oil to treat Constipation. Do you think anything about constipation I missed mentioning in this article? Then share it with us in the below comments box.