Laxatives & Purgatives
Laxatives are medicines that induce bowel movements or soften and/or loosen up the stool with the medical community defining a laxative as a medicine or food that makes it easier for solid waste to pass through the body. There are numerous foods, herbs, and other agents that have a laxative effect on the intestinal tract. Some laxatives are gentler than others, while some act as cathartics – a medicine that causes the bowels to be purged, thereby acting as a purgative. A purgative is defined as a medicine or a food that causes the bowels to empty or purge.
[NOTE: This post focuses on various foods, herbs, and supplements that I have tried and continue to use when doing my parasite cleanses. There are numerous over-the-counter (OTC) and pharmaceutical options that are not included in this post, as I do not use them.]
Depending on the type, laxatives relieve constipation or allow for contents of the digestive tract to pass more rapidly. As many laxatives cause the muscles of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract to loosen or relax, one needs to be careful in choosing a laxative best suited for one’s needs as some laxatives can cause dependency. With respect to laxatives, purgatives, and cathartics, there are other cautions and warnings that one needs to consider. Many of these laxatives listed here are not for long term use and some are not without risk, especially for certain people including, but not limited to pregnant women, children, the elderly, those with certain health conditions, and those on certain pharmaceuticals. Long term use of certain types of laxatives may cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, and other issues like bowel obstruction. To minimize these concerns, I consume coconut water, eat and/or juice lots of fresh vegetables, and avoid consuming caffeine containing drinks that would cause these aforementioned issues to be worsened, while doing a parasite cleanse.
It must be noted that stimulant laxatives are definitely not for daily or regular use. This type of laxative may weaken the body's natural ability to defecate and thereby may cause laxative dependency. Certain stimulant laxatives may cause cramping and diarrhea. I have experienced this, but a parasite cleanse is not usually an easy or comfortable process.
I like to use bulk-forming laxatives that come from plants with a high fiber and mucilage content that expand when they come in contact with water; examples include psyllium, flaxseeds, chia seeds, and fenugreek seeds (see below for details) or a gentle herb like triphala, whenever possible. Herbs and foods that are mucilaginous can help sooth an irritated gastrointestinal (GI) tract, as well as help with colon damage due to the overuse of laxatives or the damage done by the parasitic infection. As the volume in the bowel increases, a reflex muscular contraction occurs, stimulating a bowel movement. These mild laxatives are best suited for long-term use in people with constipation or to aid during a cleanse. Another side benefit is that these bulk forming fibers bind with the toxins released by intestinal parasites.
Bulk-Forming and Demulcent Foods* that Act as Natural Laxatives:
Flaxseeds and chia seeds are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) in the form of omega-3 fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids (Flaxseeds have a very healthy 4 to 1 ratio and chia seeds have an even more impressive 3 to 1 ratio) that go rancid quickly.
Other Foods to Support Colon Health and Elimination:
Triphala … in a class of its own:
2. Improvement of digestion.
3. Relief of constipation.
4. Gastrointestinal issues.
Stimulant Laxatives (Purgatives):
Other Elimination Methods:
Thanks for reading! Peace & Love!
¹National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) - Cascara
²Barceloux, Donald G (7 March 2012). Medical Toxicology of Natural Substances: Foods, Fungi, Medicinal Herbs, Plants, and Venomous Animals. John Wiley & Sons. p. 235. ISBN 978-1-118-38276-9. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare provider. This information is not to be used or relied upon for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.
Diverticulitis - inflammation of the lining of the large intestine
Enteritis - inflammation of the small intestine
Gastritis - inflammation of the lining of the stomach
Ulcerative colitis - sores in the lining of the large intestine
Symptoms typically classified as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) or irritable colon.
Other Relevant Definitions:
Mucilage – a polysaccharide substance extracted as a viscous or gelatinous solution from plant roots, seeds, etc., and used in medicines and adhesives.
Emollient – having the power of softening or relaxing, as a medicinal substance; soothing, especially to the skin or tissues.
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I came to learn about intestinal parasites from personal experience. I have a degrees in Research Methodology, Applied Mathematics, & Natural Sciences.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider before embarking on any diet, fast, exercise, or supplementation program and/or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem. Do not use or consume any wild plants based solely on the information on this website. © 2016-2023 I Love Iodine. All Rights Reserved.