An ideal intestinal transit doesn’t exist. We each have our own rhythm. Nevertheless, the slightest change in this rhythm may cause bloating, flatulence, difficulty eliminating stools, pain … discomfort.
Speaking about constipation is unusual and uncomfortable even if 50% of women and 20% of men suffer from it. The first advice to avoid these discomforts is to respect a diet rich in fiber, drink water abundantly and “move” in order to stimulate the intestines and colon. Then, if chronic or severe constipation prevails, the only alternatives proposed are unfortunately enemas or laxatives. These solutions have many side effects, create dependence and do not necessarily avoid recurrences. However, natural solutions to stop constipation exist, regulate quickly the intestinal transit without attacking it and thus rebalance sustainably the organism.
Choose Plants with Anthraquinones Properties
Plants with high anthraquinones content are known for their natural laxative properties.
Senna, Cascara, Rhubarb, Aloe and Buckthorn contain, in their natural state, anthraquinone (between 2% and 40% depending on the plant). The natural derivatives of anthraquinone, usually glycosides, are endowed with a proven therapeutic power to cure all intestinal disorders such as functional colopathy and constipation (1).
The glycosides of these different plants are transformed in the colon and act directly on the intestinal mucosa:
– They promote the secretion and transportation of active chloride in the intestine causing an increase in the subsequent excretion of water.
– They stimulate the peristalsis of the small intestine and increase the peristaltic movements of the colon (propulsion movement of food and waste in the intestinal tube).
– It reduces intestinal transit time, which reduces water reabsorption in the colon, makes the stools more liquid and facilitates bowel movements.
Some of these natural laxatives could be irritating if consumed too much over a long period of time. For their action to be effective but gentle, it is recommended to associate them in measured quantities (Séné, Cascara, Rhubarbe, Aloe and Bourdaine) in order to increase their effectiveness without overdosing or side effects.
4 Plants with natural Laxative Properties
MALLOW, helps combat intestinal inflammation
Rich in mucilages (2) (polysaccharides) the Mallow has a beneficial action on constipation. Indeed, the mucilages form a gel performing a kind of barrier protecting the mucosa. Then, they swell and increase the volume and hydration of the stool. They act by expanding but also by fluidising and lubricating faecal matter, thus facilitating its elimination.
At the same time, this emollient-softening plant helps to calm the pain due to colon inflammation and spasmodic colitis, especially in the case of chronic and/or old constipation. Associating the soft, soothing, constipation relieving of marrow, with plants with laxative properties, protects the mucous membranes from possible irritations and/or inflammation.
CINNAMON, rich in fibers it has digestive, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
Cinnamon, the inner bark of Cinnamon, is one of the main aromatic and stimulating spices of Indian cuisine. It also has powerful medicinal virtues enabling it to enhance immunity and relieve digestive problems.
Cinnamon is one of the three most powerful natural antioxidants in the world. It helps stimulate the brain and body and fight against fatigue, thanks to its antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Its action on the gastrointestinal sphere is very complete. Indeed, it improves digestion while preventing bloating and intestinal gas, intestinal inflammation, colitis and colic, but also diarrhea, gastroenteritis (high antibacterial activity), and various intestinal diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease, etc. (3)
In Indian medicine, Convolvulus is renowned for being a mild laxative, antiulcer (4) urinary tract disinfectant, antioxidant, cerebral and nervous stimulant, and anxiolytic (5). Convolvulus is particularly ideal for acting on intestinal transit when constipation is related to insufficient bile secretion.
Indeed, it lingers on the liver, facilitating the evacuation of bile without causing irritation. The bile produced in the necessary amount and time acts as a natural laxative, creating a slight excitation of the intestinal mucosa, stimulating the peristaltic movement and bringing a quantity of fluid into the stool. Convolvulus owes its properties to the presence of a particular resin to which tannins, glucose and mucilages are associated.
CLOVE, powerful intestinal relaxant
Clove has many culinary and therapeutic virtues, due to its high content of Eugenol (which gives it its peculiar aroma) which is known to be rapidly metabolized and excreted and considered as non-carcinogenic (not cancer-causing).
It has been used for millennia as a local anaesthetic and antidepressant of the central nervous system. It has also antiseptic, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory ( a potent inhibitor of platelet aggregation) and antispasmodic properties. Finally, it is an excellent gastrointestinal tonic which allows it to overcome recurrent digestive problems. It helps fight not only stomach pain (6) but also diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Eugenol in Clove has the essential ally to fight intestinal dysfunction caused by stress, acting on the hormonal axis HPA (hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis). A recent study has shown that administering Eugenol to rats reduces stress retention by 80% by a combined action on this axis (7).
Finally, thanks to its antibacterial property, Clove effectively fights against the bad bacteria of the “Helicobacter pylori” type in the intestine. Finally, it overcomes recurring digestion problems.
4 Plants to Combine for Effective and Global Action!
Each of the plants described above has components with their own potencies, that sometimes seem to overlap, but the important message here is that to get a comprehensive and targeted action they work best “associated” together for their synergistic action.
Only a synergistic complex allows the body to effectively promote good intestinal transit and combat occasional constipation by acting on several “aspects” of the condition.
Meanwhile, be aware that consuming complex of plant extracts can be potentially dangerous and, due to the wide variation in the composition of natural products on the market, it is essential to ensure the origin, the strength, and the concentration of the active ingredients in the products.
On the other hand, if one can find many complexes containing dried extracts from one or more of the four plants mentioned above, microgranules few offer blends designed for maximum efficiency with a comprehensive and synergistic action. Indeed the synergy of the active ingredient is an additional information given to the body delivering the message of when and how the actives will act without interacting.
Images Credit: DepositPhotos
 De Witte P, Lemli L. The metabolism of anthranoid laxatives. Hepatogastroenterology 1990 Dec;37(6):601-5.
 Tomoda M , R Gonda , Shimizu N , Yamada H . Plant mucilages. XLII. An anti-complementary mucilage from the leaves of Malva sylvestris var. mauritiana.Chem Pharm Bull (Tokyo). 1989 novembre; 37 (11): 3029-32.
 8. Lai PK, Roy J. Antimicrobial and chemopreventive properties of herbs and spices. Curr Med Chem 2004 June;11(11):1451-60.
 Sairam K 1 , Rao CV , RK Goel .Effect of Convolvulus pluricaulis Chois on gastric ulceration and secretion in rats . J Exp Biol indienne avril 2001; 39 (4): 350-4.
 Verma S 1 , R Sinha , Kumar P , Amin F , J Jain , Tanwar S.Study of Convolvulus pluricaulis for antioxidant and anticonvulsant activity. Cent Nerv Syst Agents Med Chem 2012 Mar; 12 (1): 55-9.
 Issac A, Gopakumar G, Kuttan R, Maliakel B, Krishnakumar IM. Safety and anti-ulcerogenic activity of a novel polyphenol-rich extract of clove buds (Syzygium aromaticum L). Food Funct. 2015 Jan 21.
 Garabadu D1, Shah A, Singh S, Krishnamurthy S. Protective effect of eugenol against restraint stress-induced gastrointestinal dysfunction: Potential use in irritable bowel syndrome. Pharm Biol. 2014 Dec 4:1-7.