Constipation is one ailment that you need never have again. It is certainly important to put the right kind of food into your body, but it is also essential to get wastes out. Naturopaths frequently address illness, bowel first, and with good reason. Scientific studies have shown increased incidence of diverticular diseases, heart diseases, and cancer among constipated persons. It is common for arthritics to have a history of chronic constipation.  Probably at least one third of all diabetics would require less insulin simply if they had more fiber in their diet.   
Throughout much of Africa and Asia, people eat a great deal of vegetables, grains and legumes (beans, lentils, etc.). These people have a digestive transit time of 18 hours or less. This means that what's left of the food they just ate will be excreted as a bowel movement about 18 hours later. In Westernized cultures, a transit time twice as long (36 hours) is the rule, and 48 to 72 hours is not uncommon. This means the wastes stay in the body much longer, allowing greater opportunity for those toxins to be reabsorbed. 
Your colon (or bowel) is designed to collect and hold wastes, but only for a while. If the colon is not emptied regularly, it begins to resemble a backed-up sewer. Fecal matter packed into the bowel can stretch it out of shape, which reduces muscle tone, and poor elimination is the result.  Wastes then become more and more compacted and concentrated, and harder still to eliminate. Stools become foul smelling as normally beneficial colon bacteria give way to a polluted, pathogenic bowel.  
Here are ways to end constipation. 
 1. Become a vegetarian. Less meat and more produce guarantees easier bowel
 2. Eat lots of fresh, uncooked fruits and vegetables. Salads are the answer, not laxatives. 
 3. Drink a glass of water, preferably warm, right after you awaken in the morning. Store-variety herbal teas are good, too. 
 4. Make a habit of sitting on the toilet for five minutes right after breakfast. Your body will soon get in the habit of an early morning bowel movement. 
 5. Adding fiber to your diet is easily accomplished by eating better snacks. Popcorn, vegetable sticks, fruit, and nuts are excellent. 
 6. Molasses is a good natural laxative if you need one. About one third cup will do it. 
 7. Freshly made raw cabbage juice is even better. Juiced zucchini works equally well. One or two 8-ounce glasses will probably be enough. 
 8. A can of sauerkraut, juice and all, is a fine laxative. 
 9. 4,000 to 6,000 milligrams of vitamin C taken AT ONE TIME has a laxative effect. Adding two teaspoons of calcium-magnesium gluconate powder is even better. 
 10. You can encourage a bowel movement with a gentle abdominal massage. Generally, you follow the bowel. Begin in your lower belly, below and to the right of your navel. Move up, and then across. Then, move down your left abdomen and finish just above the groin area. Repeat this a few times, and in a while you will likely notice an urge to have a bowel movement.  This is especially helpful for children. Do not massage if there is a pregnancy or any medical or surgical reason why you shouldn't. 
 11. Walking, yoga postures, bicycling and other light-to-moderate exercise is always helpful for regularity. 
 12. Stewed fruits (such as prunes) still work well for many people. When I was a kid, my Mom invited a friend over for lunch one day. I was sorry to see that dessert consisted of stewed prunes. I did not like stewed prunes. To my genuine amazement, my friend not only ate his serving but mine as well. He then proceeded to have additional helpings. After lunch we went out to play, and my Mom counted pits. There were about thirty pits on my friend's plate. My mother dutifully telephoned his mother, and apologized for inadvertently letting him eat so many prunes.     

It all came out (the story, that is) about two days later. It seems that the neighbor's toilet was working overtime. That, of course, is not surprising.  What IS a surprise is that we stayed good friends. 
 I do not seem to remember if he ever had lunch at our house after that. 
 The moral?  Perhaps thirty prunes at once is more than you might want. Or need. 
Now, who would buy an expensive car with a bad exhaust system? Even a Rolls-Royce needs to get rid of wastes properly, if you expect it to operate well. 
So do you. Just take it easy with the prunes. 

Copyright  C  2004 and prior years Andrew W. Saul. 

Andrew Saul is the author of the books FIRE YOUR DOCTOR! How to be Independently Healthy (reader reviews at ) and DOCTOR YOURSELF: Natural Healing that Works. (reviewed at )

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Andrew W. Saul


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