What are laxatives & why you need them?

The field of medical science is coming up with groundbreaking discoveries. These discoveries have completely changed the way we used to treat certain diseases. Not only they turn out to be effective but can yield benefits in the smallest possible time.

You might have at some point come across the term laxatives. A gastroenterologist is likely to recommend them to you if suffer from any digestive related problem. For rightly so the reason. Laxatives are known to aid in the digestive process making the breaking down of substance easier. At the same time, preventing from related illnesses like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.

There are a number of synthetic laxatives that you may get from your nearest drug store. While you may be able to receive the needed advantage, there are other things to consider. Some of these synthetic medications have side effects which tag along. In order to counter that, there is an exhaustive list of natural laxatives which you can use as alternatives. These natural items can treat digestive related illnesses in a meaningful manner in addition to being cost-effective.

This article is your first-hand guide on getting a detailed thorough insight into the world of laxatives. It will discuss some of the natural laxatives you can make use of.

What to know about Laxatives?

If you commonly suffer from conditions that affect a smooth bowel movement, then laxatives are what you need. They are involved in the stimulation of bowel movement, providing a loosened texture to the faeces. Thereby, if you find difficult passing stools on a regular basis, then laxatives may help overcome the problem. They help in providing a bulk which aid in the excretion process. It is important to have a laxative if you have three or fewer bowel movements in one week.

The types of laxatives

Medical scientists have been able to categorize laxatives into five broad types. The classification carried out on the basis of the function each laxative is able to perform. The following table will highlight the five main types of laxatives and what they do as a result.


What does it do?

Lubricant Laxative The main function of lubricant laxative is the soft coating of the faeces. By moisturizing the stool, a person is able to easily carry out the excretion process.
Stimulant Laxative As the name suggests, this type basically stimulates the bowel movement. It is responsible for speeding up the digestive process.
Saline Laxative One of the main components making up your stool is water. A major composition consists of a liquid. Lack of it results in constipation and other related problems. Saline Laxatives draw water into the gut inducing smooth bowel movement.
Bulk Forming Laxative The faeces need a bulk formation to be able to be excreted out from the body. A lesser bulky texture will cause pain during the process. This type of laxative is able to overcome the problem by promoting the bulk formation of the stool.
Stool Softener Laxative Harder stools are essentially what categorize the constipation condition. Stool softener laxatives, like saline ones, enhance the water absorption. This helps in the easy passage out of the stools.


The Natural Laxatives

As mentioned earlier, laxatives can broadly be either synthetic or natural. The former can be consequential if consumed in higher dose without a medical prescription. In known instances, the person was known to suffer from kidney damage. On the other hand, it is advisable to incorporate natural laxatives in your routine. They can be as effective as their synthetic counterparts. In addition, the side effects also remain minimum unlikely to be of any substantial harm.


A number of medical research findings are coming up with numerous advantages of berries. Berries particularly black and blueberries are a vital source of fiber. This high fiber content is what essentially gives a laxative property. Even so, the third type strawberries are also considered to be useful for treating irritable bowel syndrome. One cup of strawberries will contain almost 4 grams of fiber. Endocrinologists all over the USA are now making it a point to recommend all sorts of berries to their patients. Not only do they help in relieving the symptoms of constipation but can cure a range of other chronic illnesses.

Berries typically have two types of fibers: soluble and insoluble. Both of them have an important function to play for a healthy body and digestion. Soluble fiber essentially provides a softening touch to the stool. While insoluble is responsible for providing a bulk. In either case, it is pertinent to include a good portion of berries in our daily diet.


A lot of the people are unaware of the advantages Kefir has to offer. Apart from being a natural laxative, this food item has other health benefits which a person can make use of. Kefir is a milk product that is made out of fermentation. It is loaded with a considerable portion of probiotics. Probiotics are healthy bacteria which our body needs for the smooth functioning of the digestive system. Probiotics contained in Kefir speeds up the digestion process and strengthens the immune system at the same time.

What makes Kefir a natural laxative is in its ability to provide moisture and a bulky texture to the stool. By doing so, it eases the complications associated with constipation providing for easier passage out. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine validated a positive relationship between kefir and constipation. It was found that people, who consumed this food item over a span of four weeks had lessened the problems caused by constipation. People were able to pass out stools more frequently when they consumed kefir.


“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This saying has found its place in the field of medical science. Researchers have released studies that show the innumerable benefits apples have to offer. It is widely believed that consuming one apple a day will allow protection against a wide range of illnesses.

Apples are able to obtain its natural laxative property by being high in fiber content. If you have about one apple a day, you will receive almost 3 grams of fiber. The amount close to being the daily fiber requirement. Apples are loaded with the soluble fiber known as pectin. Pectin helps overcome the problems caused by constipation. It softens the stool and moisturizes it by making up the water composition. This, in turn, allows for smooth excretion and smooth bowel movement.

Olive Oil

It is one of the healthiest members of the herbal oil family for rightly so the reason. Olive Oil is known to be considered effective for patients suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and constipation. It is responsible for the smooth coating of the rectum. This ensures that there are no obstructions when faeces leave out the body.




Areeba Hussain

Areeba is an independent medical and healthcare writer. For the last three years, she is writing for Tophealthjournal. Her prime areas of interest are diseases, medicine, treatments, and alternative therapies. Twitter @Areeba94789300

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