I used to think it was normal to “skip” a few days of #2. Turns out when I am regular even my skin looks so much better! Who wouldn’t want that?! We have every incentive to try to “go” every day — at least once.
While there is “stuff” on the market you can buy, natural methods are always my go-to for healthy belly and overall better health. In my experience, some pharmaceuticals provide solutions and create problems.
As a person who constantly “manages” my digestive health, I alternate between these remedies and often use them in combination.
Caution if you have any health concerns to consult with a professional.
In any form I’ve found it beneficial to some degree. Here’s the most beneficial way for me:
- 1” piece of ginger (organic)
- 1 lemon (organic)
- 1 teaspoon of Raw Honey or Manuka Honey
Add the peeled ginger to a smoothie cup, squeeze half the lemon, cut the other half with the peel in chunks, add the honey. If it looks too think for your blender, you can squeeze another lemon in it. Blend until smooth. Eat a tea spoon every morning and throughout the day. Rinse your mouth after each time to prevent tooth decay form the acidity.
Ginger Tea or any Ginger Drink could be beneficial but it depends on how concentrated the ginger is. Back before I knew better, I used to drink GingerAle and that was of some benefit. I’d recommend staying true to the original form if possible.
Half a cup of prune juice (organic) mixed with water usually does the job for me. Alternatively, you can add pitted prunes to your smoothie, or soak 2–3 overnight in a glass of spring water and drink the water in the morning. You could eat the fruit if you’d like — I usually do.
Vitamin C and Sea Salt
This is a new discovery for me — apparently vitamin C in larger amounts caused a bowel release. It’s called Vitamin C Chelation and it’s really more for detox.
My version is more gentle and quite effective on a typical “backed up” day. Any vitamins we take needs to be as natural as possible, so our bodies recognize them and absorb the nutrients. This is the vitamin C I get: https://healthforcesuperfoods.com/product/truly-natural-vitamin-c/
- 1 heaping teaspoon of Vitamin C powder
- ½ teaspoon of Celtic Sea Salt*
- Mix in a glass of water and drink on an empty stomach if you can
*Optional for healthy people without underlying conditions.
Sauerkraut Juice or Kvass
If you like salty and sour foods, this is quite the treat. Did you know that naturally fermented cabbage leaves a wonderful pro-biotic juice that is edible…well, drinkable? Other fermented vegetables have similar benefits. I get my sauerkraut juice from a farm store, but I see that it’s available online, too. Make sure to buy certified organic, or else you may end up with the extra toxins from herbicides and pesticides.
Pour a ¼ cup of sauerkraut juice in a glass of water at night. Fill the cup with spring or distilled water to the top and drink. It’s best before bed. Make sure to rinse your mouth after to protect your teeth from the acidity (as with any sour food).
The reason I point out to homemade Kefir as opposed to store-bought is because I am not confident in the culture content. Kefir is sour. To make it yummy, manufacturers may cut the fermentation process short so it is more appealing to purchase while sacrificing the benefits.
You can buy starter kefir cultures online (or ask around in your network). Cultures can be preserved in the freezer for months. When we make kefir regularly, the cultures grow a great deal and we always have extra to give away.
I only use Goat Milk because of my dairy sensitivities. Full-fat cow milk is much tastier. Please don’t get “double-pasteurized” milk — that’s just processed food, if you ask me. It’s best to use raw farm milk, but pasteurized milk also works.
With goat milk, the kefir is more watery and sour but works like a clock…if you know what I mean. Wink-wink.
Place a tablespoon of cultures in a cup of milk. Leave out in room temperature (warmer days means faster fermentation) for 24-48 hours uncovered or slightly uncovered if you’re worried about dust.
- After 24-48 hours the cultures will be floating on top
- The milk will be visibly thicker (may still be a bit watery if you’re using goat milk or highly pasteurized one)
- Drain the cultures with a tea strainer (some people eat the cultures, so don’t worry if something slips)
- Place the cultures in a fresh cup of milk to make more kefir or in a sealed container in the freezer to store
- Drink the kefir as is or watered down if it’s too sour for you
To preserve the cultures for 4-5 days, leave in a cup of milk in the fridge. To preserve the cultures for a few months, place in a sealed container in the freezer. Be advised that cultures are alive beings that have a temperament of their own and you’ll be learning about your “guys” in the process. It’s good to save some cultures in the freezer in case you forget the milk out or in the fridge and your cultures die. I’ve lost a few colonies and luckily was able to “borrow” more. Now I aways keep a few small containers in the freezer for “emergencies” of the #2 kind.
Making kefir is really fun and once you do it once or twice, you’ll be laughing at how easy it is. There are also a ton of videos and articles. Of course, lots of people know how good it is for them.
Senna Leaf Tea
This I consider a last resort. Senna Leaf Tea is known for its weight loss benefits, though I would not recommend you over-do it. It gives me a bad stomachache and a very loose stool. My goal is to be regular and normal…and unfortunately, for me Senna is not meeting the mark.
That said, I do keep a box of senna leaf tea. Any organic brand typically would do “the job.” Don’t try it the morning before you plan to attend your cousin’s graduation, though. Make sure you will be home for a few hours in case the tea has a delayed effect on you. Usually takes half a day before I see a result.
Because of the far superior and beneficial alternatives stated above, I haven’t used senna in years. And hopefully, you won’t have to either.
This is a new one for me and I have not tried it yet. Apparently, it’s an old traditional method and a well known traditional laxative. I found this article in a quick search, but there is plenty more on the subject.
Good luck with your gut health! Please do comment about any successes and challenges.