Herbal remedies: Treating constipation with green tea
12/15/2021 / By Joanne Washburn / Comments
Herbal remedies: Treating constipation with green tea

Constipation is one of the most common gastrointestinal issues in the United States. In fact, there are over 2.5 million hospital visits due to constipation every year. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent yearly on laxatives as well.

Constipation is often caused by dehydration, but it can also occur as a result of changes to your diet and physical activity levels, as well as the use of certain medications. Thankfully, there are many natural remedies that can help relieve constipation. One such remedy is green tea.

Green tea for constipation

Green tea is made from the unoxidized leaves of the tea plant (Camellia sinensis). As such, green tea is a “true” tea, and it contains caffeine, a natural stimulant also found in coffee. Green tea has been used for thousands of years in Traditional Chinese Medicine as a remedy for everything from fever to heart disease.

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Today, green tea is the most commonly consumed drink after water. Most people drink green tea because they want to enjoy its many health benefits, which include relieving constipation. Experts believe green tea is able to relieve constipation thanks to caffeine, which is known to stimulate bowel movement.

Meanwhile, compounds called catechins in green tea bind to toxins, such as heavy metals, that we ingest through foods and flush them out of the colon.

But there are certain factors that affect green tea’s effects on constipation. For instance, drinking only a cup of green tea per day won’t make you pass stool. Likewise, drinking green tea with a meal won’t make you pass stool as food can slow down the activity of compounds in green tea that stimulate your digestive system.

But if consumed in the morning, a cup of green tea can make you pass stool easily. How long you brew green tea also affects its benefits. The longer you brew the tea, the higher its caffeine content will be. Green tea brewed for around 60 to 90 seconds is enough to stimulate bowel movements.

Note that you may experience loose stools upon drinking green tea because of caffeine, especially if you’re not used to drinking green tea. Loose stools can cause dehydration. To avoid dehydration, drink only one cup of green tea a day. As your body gets used to it, you can drink more without worrying about loose stools.

Other herbal teas to relieve constipation

Staying hydrated is a great way to ease constipation and keep it from recurring. Drinking warm liquids like tea is also a great way to get more water into your body. The warmth of the tea may also stimulate your digestive system.

Aside from green tea, the following herbal teas can help relieve constipation:

  • Senna – Senna tea is made from the leaves and pods of the Senna alexandrina shrub. The shrub is well-known for its powerful components called glycosides that stimulate the digestive system. This can produce a laxative effect. In fact, many over-the-counter laxative pills have high concentrations of senna, mainly because of the plant’s laxative effect.
  • Peppermint – Peppermint contains a compound called menthol, which can relieve stomachache. Menthol can also help move stool through the colon. As such, peppermint tea is a popular natural remedy for digestive issues, including constipation.
  • Ginger – If your constipation stems from poor digestion, drinking ginger tea may help. Ginger has long been used as a digestive aid because it helps decrease pressure on the intestines. This action may help you pass stool more easily when you’re constipated. Ginger tea can also relieve irritation in the gut.
  • Dandelion – Dandelion stimulates the liver to produce bile acids, which promote bowel movements by softening stool and speeding up its transit through the colon. Dandelion tea may also help ease bloating and occasional constipation.
  • Chamomile – Chamomile tea possesses calming properties. It can help relieve constipation by soothing stomach muscles.

Though usually no cause for concern, constipation can affect your quality of life. Fortunately, you can alleviate constipation fast by drinking green tea or any of the herbal teas mentioned above.

Sources:

GI.org

FoodsForBetterHealth.com

MedicalNewsToday.com

ScienceDaily.com

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