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GR8NESS expert Expert Reviewed
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7 Natural Laxatives That Won’t Wreak Havoc on Your Gut [Slideshow]

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For those looking for relief from constipation or lack of bowel movements, laxatives may be the only place to turn. Laxatives are doses of medication designed to stimulate bowel movements in the body by loosening stool and easing irregularity. Mostly, they interact directly with the gut.

How Laxatives Hurt Your Gut

Over-the-counter laxatives can be dangerous, particularly when overused. They can provoke serious side effects including, dizziness, abdominal pain, blood in the stool, and even worsening of constipation.

Laxatives can negatively affect your gut by causing dysfunction of bowel motility. Intestinal paralysis, irritable bowel syndrome, pancreatitis, cathartic colon, and other issues about the digestive tract can occur.

Total abuse doesn’t need to happen for laxative use to be too much for your body and gut, however. Avoiding the adverse effects that over the counter laxatives can have is more simple by choosing to go with more gentle, natural alternatives.

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Chia Seeds 

Chia seeds may offer assistance in stool formation as they absorb liquids to form a gel-like substance. They also primarily consist of soluble fiber, which aids in digestion. Because chia seeds feed off water, it's paramount to stay hydrated while eating them.

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Berries

Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries contain high amounts of fiber, and increase the amount of fluid rushed through the intestines, which helps speed up digestion. However, the seeds in these berries should be avoided for certain conditions like diverticulosis, which is common in 50% of the people over the age of 60. 

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Castor Oil

Castor oil can be considered a stimulant laxative, meaning it causes the bowel to contract and squeeze harder than usual. It should be used sparingly, as too much can cause nausea or vomiting. 

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Aloe Vera 

The gel produced by the aloe vera plant contains antioxidants and natural laxatives called barbaloin. This gel also assists with overall digestion by adding extra lubrication. 

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Artichokes 

Artichokes are a great source of fiber that are ideal for bulking your stool and increasing the amount released. In addition, studies show they can potentially benefit as a prebiotic. 

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Dates 

Dates contain a high amount of soluble fiber that eases the passage of food through the intestines. In fact, they can also be used to treat intestinal disorders. 

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Greens 

  • Spinach, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli are rich in fiber and substantial sources for magnesium which helps to balance stomach acid and move stool through the intestines. 
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Amanda
GR8NESS Writer
Amanda is a GR8NESS contributing writer who lives in celebration of self care, and endeavors to approach all things with a student mentality. Her love for the study of self-development is rooted in fitness, holistic wellness, and skin care. She is an advocate for mental health; and hopes to connect others to their own way of daring to care.
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