Chronic constipation is often the result of insufficient digestive and liver function and if you are able to address these underlying reasons then you should experience better elimination long term. The digestive tract is like a long pipe and what happens at the top of the pipe affects the bottom of the pipe and vice versa. Therefore improving digestion will have the best long term effect on the lower bowels and its ability to optimally eliminate wastes.


  • Begin each day with a glass of warm water with ½ lemon squeezed in it. Lemon juice stimulates digestive and liver function and cleanses the bowel
  • Ensure adequate water intake as dehydration is the leading cause of chronic constipation problems. Increasing water intake is the most simple and effect way of relieving constipation complaints
  • Consume more oils in your diet to lubricate the bowels and reduce any inflammation present in the lower bowels. Foods which contain good oils are raw olive oil, fish oil capsules, flaxseed oil capsules, fish, nuts and seeds and avocados
  • Eat more bitter foods to stimulate liver and gall bladder function such as rocket, endive, raddichio and kale. Also eating foods high in sulphur help to stimulate liver detoxification such as garlic, brussels sprouts, cabbage, onions, broccoli, cauliflower and radish
  • Introduce herbal teas such as Dandelion, Chamomile, Peppermint, Burdock, lemon and ginger to support liver detoxification
  • Reduce refined flours and sugars (bakery foods, bread, pasta) in your diet as wheat products are especially abrassive to the digestive tract
  • Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables as these contain gentle fibre to encourage bowel evacuation
  • Have a vegetable juice each day (beetroot, carrot, celery and ginger) as these encourage liver detoxification, alkalise and cleanse the system an provide vitamin C to move the bowel


  • Avoid smoking and alcohol as these reduce liver function, dry up the bowels and dehydrate
  • Address sluggish digestion as this is a common underlying reason for poor bowel movement
  • Check gall bladder and liver function as a decline in the function of these can dramatically affect the bowels ability to eliminate wastes. Bile produced in the gall bladder ensures adequate break down of foods and also helps to lubricate the bowel


  • Specific beneficial herbs to promote bowel function: Rhubarb, Trichosanthes, Bitter orange, Licorice and Plantago
  • A Magnesium deficiency can cause the bowels to become tight and a reduced bowel motility (movement) results
  • Probiotics help to increase beneficial bacteria, as an imbalance of good vs bad bacteria in the bowels is a contributing factor to chronic constipation
  • Vitamin C powder helps to stimulate bowel movement and a deficiency will result in slower bowel transit time
  • Liver supportive supplements can be of benefit which contains specific herbs to encourage liver and gall bladder herbs such as Dandelion, Burdock, St Marys Thistle, Chamomile, Atractylodes, Ginger, Fennel, Cardomom, Gentian and Meadowsweet