Today's Post is from my good friend & co-worker Andrew Kessler. In this post he gives some "supplemental" advice to treat constipation. Constipation is so common in today's society, in fact it was once though that an individual was considered constipated if she passed less than 12- inches per day. Those standards have now been changed to every two days as the norm has also changed.
The Holy Trinity for a Clean Colon
I don't know anyone who doesn't deal with bouts of constipation or bowel related issues. I have had issues since I was a child so this is an issue I'm passionate about and have tried everything. These are my three favorites for occasional use. Unlike many drug store laxatives, you can take these for a longer time without your body becoming dependent on them like colon crack.
Triphala-The three fruits
Triphala is an ancient Ayurvedic medicine. The word Triphala means three fruits which is precisely what's in it. They work synergistically in the body to not only help the digestion and elimination but support numerous other systems within. It strenghthens and tones the bowels as opposed to most laxatives that irritate it. Let's take a closer look at the three fruits.
1.) Almaki (emblica officinalis) or in English known as Indian Gooseberry-Supports liver, immune system, and is loaded in heat stable vitamin C. It promotes absorption of nutrients and is said to help with gray or thinning hair. Supports intestinal repair.
2.) Bibhitaki (terminolia belerica)-Good for excess mucous while supporting healthy breathing, good for vision, hair,heart, liver and kidneys. Removes old mucous from the intestinal wall.
3.)Haritaki (terminalia chebula)-In Tibet is considered the "king of medicine." Many images of healing Buddha feature him holding handfuls of the fruit. Benefits the colon, liver, lungs and spleen. Strengthens the intestinal
Triphala is traditionally taken as a tea. It can be purchased as a bulk powder, capsules, or even pre-made liquid. The price is very reasonable and ranges from $5.00-$20.00. Long term bulk powder is the cheapest but capsules or the liquid form will be the most convenient.
I purchased the bulk powder and made tea with it. It was extremely effective at just one teaspoon per night about an hour before bed. It's important to take it on an empty stomach so if not before bed, first thing in the morning. The morning is better if you don't like having those midnight tinkle trips.
Be warned…the tea is quite bitter. I've never drank water from the Hudson River but I would imagine that's what it would taste like! As you sip just keep telling yourself how good it is for you.
Pysllium-Oat bran on steroids!
Psyllium is a husk from the seed of the plantago ovata plant. Generally it is grown and harvested in India.
Psyllium is amazing at soaking up water. Put a tablespoon in water and it will turn to gel very quickly. Imagine a flavorless fiber slushy.
It softens stools and makes them easy to pass. Best of all it makes you feel like you've had complete elimination. It can provide food for benificial microrganisms within the gut and one tablespoon provides you with 5 grams of fiber!
There are a few things however to be aware of before taking psyllium. It is generally tolerated well by most people. With certain conditions such as Crohns or IBS some consider to be amazingly beneficial but others say it makes it worse.
In a very small percentage of the population it can cause an allergic reaction. Signs of allergy can include a rash and/orshortness of breath.
It can cause the opposite effect causing blockage, gas and bloating in some people. It's important to drink plenty of water with psyllium as it soaks up quite a bit.
As with any product that is new to your body start with just a teaspoon in an 8 oz glass of water or better yet a16 oz of water till your body adjusts. Then you can increase the dosage to a tablespoon if you have no negative reaction or perhaps a teaspoon is the right dosage for you.
Psyllium is the main ingredient in many of those drug store chain laxatives. Please avoid those as they often contain chemical additives and are not organic.
It's important to buy organic because psyllium is a crop that is heavily sprayed with pesticides. You can find organic psyllium at natural grocers, vitamin stores and of course on-line. Look for whole husk powder! It will set you back about $10-$12.
Oxygenated magnesium powders
Not to be confused with the drug store magnesium citrate "blow out" formula. This a much more gentle, safer way to cleanse.
Ozonated magnesium releases oxygen over a period of time into the intestines and throughout the body. This is said to help clean the bowels and other organs.
Unfortunately my research has not revealed much aside from info from companies that have a vested interest in the product (selling) or quack sites who dismiss anything not made in a lab.
The reason I am recommending this is because myself and many other people I trust have used this product with excellent results.
As a general rule its best taken at a night a few hours after your last meal. A bowel movement early in the morning is the common result. I take half the dosage recommended on the bottle and it keeps me regular.
There can be side effects depending on the individual.It may be wise to be in the vicinity of the poopie pool the first few days of taking it as loose stools are reported. As have headaches, fatigue, gas and "uneasiness" in the stomach.
These side effects will cease in a few days or after being discontinued.
The most common use for this product is a cleanse lasting about a week. With the holidays coming up it might be something to consider!
The price averages about $30 per bottle. Some might shun the price but it works and one bottle has lasted me a long time as I only take it when necessary.
• I would advise trying all three at separate times. Maybe one or two will agree with you but another will not.
• Out of the three Triphala has the most additional health benefits and has been around for millennia.
• Only buy organic psyllium. As an alternative to drinking the psyllium, you can add a teaspoon to things like oatmeal or sauces. It thickens things up and adds fiber. If utilized right you won't even taste it.
• Take all supplements on an empty stomach and two hours away from medications if applicable.
• I find the ozonated magnesium to be the fastest acting for quick relief and triphala the best for long term use.
I hope this brief article was of help.