Constipation is an uncomfortable and embarrassing problem that causes less than 3 bowel movements in a week. This irregular bowel movement is caused mainly due to unhealthy diet, improper lifestyle and lack of physical exercises, which in turn causes slow movement of stools through the colon.
Hard stools, nausea, abdominal pain, straining during bowel movements, etc. are some symptoms of constipation. Stress, dehydration, low fiber diet, laxative abuse, hormonal imbalances, etc. are other causes of constipation.
Constipation has to be treated immediately, or else it results in other serious complications like anal fissures, hemorrhoids, rectal prolapse, etc.
However, there are many ways to treat constipation but choosing the natural ways are the best and most effective for treating constipation.
Epsom salt is one such natural remedy that acts as a laxative to clear constipation. Here in this article, we will know about Epsom salt for treating constipation.
Let’s get started…
How Does Epsom Salt Treat Constipation?
- Epsom salt is an FDA – approved laxative that helps to relieve your constipation naturally. It is composed of minerals – magnesium and sulfate, which are well known to soothe the aching muscles or body pains.
- When it is taken internally, it works as an osmotic laxative that increases the water in the intestine, softens the stool and thereby cleanses the colon to remove wastage.
- The magnesium in this salt helps to promote the contraction of bowel muscles and thus excrete the stool easily.
- It acts as a detoxifying agent that helps to cleanse the colon and enhance regular bowel movement.
How to use Epsom Salt for Constipation?
Instead of using stimulant laxatives, you can use Epsom salt for a faster and gentle way to relieve your constipation. You will get bowel movement within 30 minutes to 6 hours after using Epsom salt, so stay near to bathrooms.
Method – 1: (Epsom Salt – Internal Intake)
Epsom salt can be taken internally for treating constipation. Here is the recommended dosage to take the Epsom salt for constipation.
- For adults and children (12 years or above) – dissolve 2 to 4 teaspoons of Epsom salt in 8 ounces of water (prefer warm water) and drink immediately.
- For Children (6 – 11 years) – dissolve 1 to 2 teaspoons of Epsom salt in 8 ounces of water and drink it immediately.
- If you’re unable to tolerate the taste of Epsom salt then try adding some fresh lemon juice into this Epsom salt water and drink it.
- Never ever exceed more than 2 doses of Epsom salt daily and also avoid the usage of Epsom salt for more than 1 week continuously without consulting your doctor.
- If the first dosage of Epsom salt doesn’t work then you can repeat the same process after 4 hours to get relief from constipation.
- Or you can mix Epsom salt in the fruit juice and drink it.
Method – 2: (Epsom Salt – External Application)
The external application like bathing will also help you to relieve constipation. Soaking in this warm Epsom salt water will relax the gut muscles and absorb magnesium through the skin to soften the stool to enhance the bowel movement.
Here are few ways of following Epsom salt bath for treating constipation.
- Dissolve 5 cups of Epsom salt in your bathtub filled with warm water. Stir well and soak in this water for 10 – 15 minutes. After that, rinse your body thoroughly with water. Repeat the same process regularly to get rid of the problem.
- Mix 1/2 cup of baking soda and ginger powder and 2 cups of Epsom salt in your bathtub filled with warm water. Stir well and soak in this water for about 30 minutes to get rid of toxins and constipation. Repeat it once a week and thereby thrice a week until you cleared the problem.
- For children above 6 years of age, mix 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in lukewarm water filled in their bathtub. Soak them for 10 – 15 minutes and rinse off with normal water. Dry their skin and apply some olive oil or castor oil or hemp oil onto their abdomen and massage gently on 2 – 4 inches from the belly bottom.
Note: Make sure to drink plenty of water and other fluids while using Epsom salt, as it dehydrates the body or electrolyte imbalances.
Choosing the Right Epsom Salt:
Epsom salt which you’ll find in the pharmacy is not meant for human use. So, you should be careful while choosing the Epsom salt. The package should be marked as USP (United States Pharmacopeia) and also check that in the drug facts box should indicate that it met the standards of U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
You can easily find this Epsom salt in many health food (or) drug stores (or) in online stores.
Do Pregnant Women use Epsom Salt for Constipation?
Internal intake of Epsom salt is not suggested for pregnant women, as it would harm the unborn baby. So, if you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant then consult your doctor before using this salt for treating your constipation.
It reduces the body absorption of calcium and causes bone problems to your unborn baby. Epsom salt bath is not that much harmful and you can enjoy this warm mineral salt water bath to get rid of constipation along with pregnancy pains.
Breastfeeding or nursing women can use Epsom salt for constipation with some precautions. So, consult your doctor before using the Epsom salt.
Diet Tips While using Epsom Salt for Constipation:
- Drink plenty of water and other healthy fluids to stay hydrated, prevent electrolyte imbalance and also to flush out the toxins from the body easily.
- Include more of fiber in your diet and fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and green leafy as a part of your diet to get all essential nutrients into the body.
- Avoid the consumption of alcohol, caffeinated and carbonated beverages, as they dehydrate the body and worsen your constipation problem.
- Avoid drinking more than 2 glass of Epsom salt in a day, as it results in diarrhea, nausea, abdominal cramps, bloating, etc.
Tips and Suggestions:
- Always prefer to use plain varieties of Epsom salt while consuming it, rather than using any scented varieties.
- Children over 6 years old can use Epsom salt but children under 6 years old should not use this Epsom salt both internally and externally.
- People who are suffering from kidney problems, severe abdominal pain, vomiting, magnesium restricted diet and having any sudden changes in your bowel habits for few weeks then consult your doctor before taking this Epsom salt for constipation.
- Remember that usage of Epsom salt will give a temporary relief from constipation and more you depend on laxatives, which in turn make constipation even worse.
- Do some regular exercises along with doing yoga, meditation, and deep breathing exercises to get reduce your stress and also to have proper digestion and bowel movement.
- Consult your doctor if you didn’t get any relief from this constipation after using Epsom salt, for proper diagnose and treatment, as certain medications or health problems will cause this problem.
- Don’t take any medicines 2 hours before or after using this Epsom salt, as it may interact with certain medications. Also, avoid this salt while taking certain medications like antidepressants, antibiotics, diuretics, blood pressure medicines, supplements, antacids, etc.
Try these Epsom Salt methods for treating your constipation. Do you know any other successful Epsom salt methods for constipation? Then share it with us in the below comments box.