The feeling of not being able to "go" is definitely an unpleasant one. When you find yourself facing this problem, a simple over-the-counter remedy like a laxative tea can be helpful. But what are the ingredients to look for? We've rounded up some of the best teas for constipation relief.
Constipation is no laughing matter, as it can leave a person bloated and uncomfortable, as well as being a compounding problem that gets worse as time goes by. In fact, chronic constipation can lead to a 73 percent higher risk of cognitive decline, according to research presented at the Alzheimer's Association International Conference in July 2023, per CNN.
What tea is good for constipation?
Various types of teas can be helpful in resolving different health and wellness issues. So which types of teas are good if you're dealing with constipation? According to Healthline, the FDA doesn't regulate teas used for constipation relief, so you need to be cautious when consuming herbal teas (and check with your doctor in case they interfere with other medications or conditions).
1. Senna tea
According to VeryWellHealth, senna tea may have laxative benefits. The active compounds in senna may irritate the colon lining, prompting colon contractions and bowel movements. Senna can also increase the amount of fluid in the intestines, acting as a stool softener. However, you should only drink senna tea temporarily (up to one week) to ease symptoms.
2. Green tea or black tea
Healthline also suggests green tea as a possible aid in digestive health. Some have used green tea to help ease symptoms of constipation.
In addition, black tea can be consumed hot or iced to produce a mild laxative effect. This is a good option for constipation relief because you can drink it daily (and long-term) without fear of negative side effects.
3. Ginger tea
4. Peppermint tea
Peppermint tea is another common option for dealing with constipation, per Medical News Today. This may be due to the soothing nature of menthol in peppermint, which can relax an upset stomach and help move the stool through the intestines.
5. Fennel tea
Fennel tea, according to PharmEasy, can help "keep your digestive tract healthy and happy" by helping to deal with constipation and bloating. Plus, fennel seeds can help increase your fiber intake, which is often a root cause of constipation in the first place.
6. Dandelion tea
Dandelion is a common diuretic, meaning it can help rid the body of excess water. And according to BlackLeaves.com, dandelion tea can also help ease constipation by lubricating the gut and softening the stool.
Be cautious when taking herbal teas for constipation.
You want to check with your doctor in case of any potential side effects of consuming herbal teas, particularly if you take other medications. Most of these teas are not something you should drink on a daily or ongoing basis; instead, use them for temporary relief from constipation.
You can help prevent chronic constipation through a high-fiber diet, staying hydrated, and keeping physically active.