Liz Moody, MBG
If you’ve ever experienced the frustration of constipation, you know how desperate you are for something—anything!—that will ease the discomfort. Luckily, Melanie St. Ours, a clinical herbalist and the author of The Simple Guide to Natural Health, says that the solution is actually far more simple than you might think. With only two simple ingredients (and one of them is water!), you can make what St. Ours calls “the safest and most effective stool softener I know.”
The secret? Flaxseed. “After steeping [flaxseed in it], water becomes a gel that can lubricate and soothe your large intestine so that you can have a comfortable bowel movement,” St. Ours explains. “If your constipation is mild, you may have a bowel movement within eight to 12 hours of your first dose. If not, continue drinking the remedy twice per day until you’re consistently having satisfying bowel movements on a daily basis.” Flaxseed also has a number of other health benefits, including aiding in cardiovascular function (due to its high quantity of ALA) and helping potentially balance hormone-related issues, via its lignan content.
One caveat: St. Ours notes that you shouldn’t rely on this remedy for more than two weeks without consulting a medical professional.