Constipation is a very common condition that is characterized by infrequent bowel movements, bloating, pain in the rectum, incomplete evacuation of the bowel, and strain during bowel movement. Laxatives are compounds, food items, or drugs that help induce and regularize bowel movement. Drinking a natural laxative tea that is rich in antioxidants will not only help treat constipation, but also strengthen the immune system.
Herbs such as senna, licorice, psyllium husks, aloe gel, alfalfa, and cassia pulp can help induce and regularize bowel movements. These have been incorporated in weight loss programs and detox diet plans due to their properties. Senna leaves, licorice root, rhubarb, dandelion, and buckthorn bark are commonly used for making herbal infusions. While senna and rhubarb root are stimulant laxatives, rhubarb is somewhat milder. Ginger, fennel seeds, caraway seeds, and anise seeds also improve digestion, and impart an interesting flavor to the tea.
How to Brew a Laxative Tea
The market is flooded with brands that offer such teas. You can either buy one from the market or brew it on your own. Here is one herbal laxative tea recipe:
- Senna leaves, 3 tablespoons
- Elder flowers, 2 tablespoons
- Fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon
- Anise seeds, ½ tablespoon
- Put a cup of water in a container and place it on a flame.
- Once the water starts boiling, add the aforementioned ingredients to it.
- Reduce the flame and cover the container with a lid and let it steep for five minutes.
- Get hold of a strainer and strain the tea into a cup.
Most of these teas are marketed as being therapeutic and energizing, but are these safe? Certain herbs such as senna and rhubarb are stimulant laxatives, which is why excessive consumption of these could lead to certain problems. It has been seen that excessive consumption can cause diarrhea, nausea, stomach cramps, or vomiting. Electrolyte disorders (low potassium levels) could also be caused due to the overuse of laxatives. Pregnant women and nursing mothers must consult their doctor, if they are planning to take such teas.
Though the benefits of herbal teas are numerous, these must be taken in moderation. If you experience any side effects, discontinue its use.