Constipation is a common disturbance of die digestive tract. In this condition, the bowels do not move regularly, or are not completely emptied when they move. This condition is the chief cause of many diseases as it produces toxins which find their way into the bloodstream and are carried to all parts of the body.

Appendicitis, rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, cataract and cancer are only a few of the diseases in which chronic constipation is an important predisposing factor.

Causes and Symptoms

The most common symptoms of constipation are infrequency, irregularity or difficulty in elimination of the hard faecal matter.

The other symptoms include a coated tongue, foul breath, loss of appetite, headache, dizziness, dark circles under the eyes, depression, nausea, pimples on the face, ulcer in the mouth, constant fullness…

Pear: Pears are beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Patients suffering from chronic constipation should adopt an exclusive diet of this fruit or its juice for a few days, but in ordinary cases, a medium-sized pear taken after dinner or with breakfast will have the desired effec.

Guava: Guava is another effective remedy for constipation. When eaten with seeds, it provides roughage to the diet and helps in the normal evacuation of the bowels. One or two guavas should be taken everyday.

Grapes: Grapes have proved very beneficial in overcoming constipation. The combination of the properties of the cellulose, sugar, and organic acid in grapes make them a laxative food. Their field of action is not limited to clearing the bowels only. They also tone up the stomach and intestines and relieve the most chronic constipation. One should take at least 350 gm of this fruit daily to achieve the desired results. When fresh grapes are not available, raisins, soaked in water, can be used. Raisins should be soaked for twenty-four to forty-eight hours. This will make them swell to the original size of the grapes. They should be eaten early in the morning, along with the water in which they have been soaked.

Orange: Orange is also beneficial in the treatment of constipation. Taking one or two oranges at bedtime and again on rising in the morning is an excellent way of stimulating the bowels.

The general stimulating influence of orange juice excites peristaltic activity and helps prevent the accumulation of food residue in the colon.

Papaya and Figs: Other fruits specific for constipation are papaya and figs. Half a medium-sized papaya should be eaten at breakfast for it to act as a laxative. Both fresh and dry figs have a laxative effect. Four or five dry figs should be soaked overnight in a little water and eaten in the morning.

Spinach: Among the vegetables, spinach has been consi¬dered to be the most vital food for the entire digestive tract fro® time immemorial. Raw spinach contains the finest organic mated for the cleansing, reconstruction, and regeneration of the intestinal tract. Raw spinach juice—100 ml, mixed with an equal quantity water and taken twice daily, will cure the most aggravated of constipation within a few days.

Other Remedies: Half a lime, squeezed is a glass of hot water, with half a teaspoon of salt is also an effective remedy constipation. Drinking water which has been kept overnight in a copper vessel, first thing in the morning, brings good results. Linseed (alse) is extremely useful in difficult cases of constipation. A teaspoon of linseed swallowed with water before each meal provides both roughage and lubrication.

Dietary Considerations

The most important factor in curing constipation is a natural and simple diet. This should consist of unrefined foods such as wholegrain cereals, bran, honey, lentils, green and leafy vege¬tables, fresh and dry fruits, and milk products in the form of butter, ghee, and cream. The diet alone is not enough. Food should be properly chewed. Hurried meals and meals at odd times should be avoided. Sugar and sugary foods should be stricly avoided. Foods which constipate are all products made of white flour, rice, bread, pulses, cakes, pastries, biscuits, cheese, fleshy foods, preserves, white sugar, and hard-boiled eggs.

Other Measures

Toning up the muscles also helps in the treatment of constipation. Fresh air, outdoor games, walking, swimming, and exercise play an important role in strengthening the muscles, and thereby preventing constipation.

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