Regular bowels means having a bowel movement every 1-3 days of formed brown stool, which does not require pushing or straining to get it out. If you are having bowel movements less than that, if you have to strain and or push, if you have small pellet-like stool, or even alternating patterns of constipation and diarrhea, then you may also have problems with your bladder and urination.
The lower bowel and bladder sit next to each other in the lower part of the pelvis. When one is not working correctly or is being pushed to work to hard, the other often becomes aggravated as well. Thus, for normal, healthy bowel and bladder function, it is important to have regular bowel movements. Here are some tips for natural ways to keep regular.
- Drink at least 1-2 liters of water daily. You want to drink enough to keep your urine light yellow to clear in color. If you stay adequately hydrated, then you stool will not “dry-out” and become difficult to pass.
- Eat at least 20 grams of fiber a day. Read labels on the foods you buy! It is difficult to get all that fiber in with the American diet. Whole grains, bran, legumes, raw fruits and vegetables are the best natural sources of fiber. If you are not able to get enough fiber into your diet, use an over the counter fiber product such as Metamucil. There are many products on the market so find the one that works best for you.
- Drink one cup of senna tea a day. Senna is an herb that is a natural stimulant to the bowels. You can purchase it loose at PCC Natural Food Market or in the health food section of many grocery stores. Senna is also a component of some packaged teas, one is called “Smooth Move” by Traditional Medicines and the other is called “Good Nite Cleanse Wellness Tea” by Celestial Seasonings.
- A glass of 50-50 orange juice to prune juice has also been found to be helpful for many people. You may try adding 2 tablespoons of dark karo syrup to a 6 oz. glass of orange juice or water before bed.
- Try making Yakima Fruit Paste- also know as “the Cannonball Recipe”. Taking this daily will help you keep regular by using 1-2 tablespoons like jam over toast or on cereal:
- 1 pound dried prunes, raisins and figs
- 4 oz. brewed senna tea (or above tea substitutes)
- 1 cup brown sugar (optional)
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 2 cups water
Put dried fruit and senna tea into a pot with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil for 5 minutes or until fruit is soft. Remove from heat, add sugar and lemon juice. Use a hand mixer or food processor to create a smooth paste. Place in a clean plastic container and store in the freezer. It will keep for several months frozen.
- Eat . to 1/3 cup Kellogg’s All Bran Bran Buds (it must be the Kellogs brand) daily until BMs become softer and more regular. Because they do not taste very good, try adding it to your regular cereal, mixing in yogurt, etc.
- Remember to always schedule a time to defecate, try to make it the same time each day. Sit on the toilet with knees slightly apart, feet flat on the floor, and the muscles relaxed.