Peppermint. Proven to reduce symptoms of IBS, including constipation.

Fennel. Soothes the digestive tract and reduces stress, which can support the colon.

Ginger. Relaxes the smooth muscles in the gut lining and helps food move along.

Marjoram. Relaxes the digestive system with its sedative properties.

A 2007 study used peppermint oil to treat irritable bowel syndrome. After four weeks of peppermint oil therapy, patients reported a 50 percent reduction in symptoms, including abdominal bloating, abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, constipation and pain during elimination.

Home Remedy
Constipation Ease Blend. Take 1 to 2 drops each of fennel oil, peppermint oil and ginger oil in a spoonful of honey or applesauce just before meals.

Constipation is slower than normal movement of food waste through the digestive tract. This slow movement leads to difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened feces. Estimates suggest that as many as 63 million people suffer from constipation in the U.S.76 It is often accompanied by symptoms such as bloating, gas, back pain, hemorrhoids or fatigue. The main cause stems from a lack of water, healthy fats, probiotics and fiber in the diet. Stress, inactivity, certain medications, an imbalance in intestinal flora, thyroid problems and a magnesium deficiency
can also cause constipation. For some people, being constipated is just the prelude to other major health problems. Lifestyle choices are key—move more, drink more, eat clean and take the right supplements, including essential oils.

Suggested Supplements

» Magnesium. Improves gut motility.

» Chia and Flax Seeds. High in fiber and healthy fats; help to lubricate the colon.

» Probiotics. Support normal levels of flora that may improve constipation.