The 2015 hit movie ‘Piku’ (played by Deepika Padukone) highlighted the struggle of Piku’s father Bhaskor Banerjee (played by Amitabh Bachchan) to deal with chronic constipation. It is something that 22% of India’s adult population suffers from. According to a recent survey by healthcare firm Abbott, constipation is emerging to be one of the most common medical problems in India after common cold and cough. People with irregular diet patterns, increasing consumption of junk foods, low intake of water and unhealthy lifestyle habits are more likely to suffer from infrequent bowel movement or face tremendous difficulty in passing stool, experts point out. Various lifestyle disorders like diabetes and hypertension are also associated with symptoms of constipation, the survey noted.
“The study succeeds in highlighting the issue existing around constipation. One of the key aspects being how people neglect the problem and delay seeking medical help. In fact, constipation can be completely avoided by leading a healthy life style, eating right, embracing physical exercises, having ample of water (1 litre / every 20 kg weight) to keep body hydrated. However, anyone can face the issue but it should be managed or treated early to avoid complications later on,” Medicare Hospital coloproctologist Kushal Mital said.
Here are some drinks that may help you rectify the bowel movement:
Staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water can help you relieve constipation. Hydration makes digestion easy and supports muscle function. Having enough water can process nutrients faster thus aiding the bowel movement on a regular basis. When the body has sufficient water level it also ensures a better functioning colon as it absorbs less water. Constipation also occurs when the colon absorbs too much of water or if colon’s muscles are too slow leading to hardening of the stool. So stay well hydrated.
How much is enough: 8-9 cups of water is ideally good for healthy people. You can also consult your doctor for advice.
Lemon juice is one of the most effective and easy-to-make home remedies to cure constipation. The citric acid, a natural laxative, present in lemon fights the toxins in your digestive track. Lemon juice acts as stimulant and flushes out the toxins from the body providing quick relief. Lemon is also loaded with Vitamin C that is helpful in treating indigestion. Vitamin C softens the stool and ensures an easy passage for food.
How much is enough: Warm a glass of water and add about 1 teaspoon of lemon juice in it and drink it every morning to improve your digestion in the long-term.
Many people begin their day by having a cup coffee, mostly to get through the day. But incorporating some amount of caffeine in your body can stimulate the muscles in the digestive system as it contains small amounts of soluble fibers. These soluble fibres maintain the balance of your gut bacteria. Coffee also promotes peristalsis- the coordinated contraction and relaxation of intestinal muscles that accelerates bowel movements.
How much is enough: A cup or two will do the trick. Please note that having too much coffee can lead to dehydration which can lead to constipation.
Ginger is said to be a preferred remedy for constipation, especially among practitioners of herbal medicine. Also known as the ‘warming herb’, ginger increases the heat generation in body that can help speed up sluggish digestion. The hot water in tea further stimulates digestion and provides constipation relief. Ginger tea also has mild laxative effects that promote bowel activity.
One of the most delicious and healthiest herbal teas, peppermint has two properties namely antispasmodic and carminative menthol that helps in relaxing the muscles of digestive tract and allows easy passage for food. The carminative property also relieves flatulence
How much is enough: Have either of the tea twice in a day to ease the bowel activity.
Derived from castor plant, castor oil has several medicinal purposes that have been mentioned even in ancient Egyptian history. From curing stomach ache, curbing menstrual cramps to treating bruises, is also beneficial for constipation. Castor oil is known as a stimulant laxative, cleanses the intestine and facilitates motion. The strong aroma of the oil can make it hard for people to consume it directly. A teaspoon of the oil can be had with milk, juice or water.
How much is enough: 1-2 teaspoons on an empty stomach is sufficient.