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Thursday, May 26, 2022

Constipation--Risk Factors, Prevention, and Treatment in a Collapsed Society

Constipation is something we’ve all experienced to some extent and which we’d all like to avoid. Most of the time it is easily avoided and just as easily treated. However, it will become a frequent problem in a collapsed society among those who undergo drastic dietary changes. It will be especially prevalent among individuals consuming a diet composed primarily of protein, simple carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, pasta), and fat, with little to no fiber. If that looks like your food storage plan, consider the following:


In addition to the risks a poor diet presents for constipation, there are a few other factors that contribute to constipation:
  • Narcotic use, including for short term pain relief
  • Not drinking enough water
  • Being elderly
  • Anti-depressant use
  • Hypothyroidism


The absolute best methods of preventing constipation include drinking plenty of water and eating a diet high in fiber—whole grains, beans, and dried or canned fruit are ideal. Other foods high in fiber include broccoli, apples, bananas, carrots, potatoes, onions, grapes, apples, prunes, and raisins.


Unfortunately, eating a lot of high fiber foods may not address an acute constipation problem. There are numerous ways of correcting a current constipation problem. The list will go in order from easiest and least invasive to the most difficult and least desirable options.

· Walking may be all that is needed. It will also help keep a body regular.

· Prunes and prune juice were on the table every morning for breakfast at my grandparents’ house. Dried prunes store well.

· 1 teaspoon cream of tartar in 1 cup of water. (Tartaric acid, which is used to make cream of tartar, comes from grapes.)

· Epsom salts, also known as magnesium sulfate, are a fast-acting solution. Use 1 teaspoon in ½ cup of water.

· Stool softeners like Colace (docusate sodium) and Surfak (docusate calcium) are OTC and taken 1-2 times per day to soften stools.

· Mineral oil, a petroleum byproduct like Vaseline, usually works within 6 hours. It is a better choice for those with hemorrhoids as it “greases” the stool for easier passage. For others, mineral oil shouldn’t be the first choice as it prevents vitamin absorption and for this reason it should never be taken with meals. The dose is 1-2 tablespoons at bedtime. It inhibits the absorption of water and nutrients from stool so that the stool passes more easily. Due to the potential for causing pneumonia if it is aspirated, it should not be used by anyone with a cough or who has trouble swallowing. It is generally not for use by children under the age of 12 years, though my pediatrician recommended 1 teaspoon per day for my chronically constipated two-year-old.

· Suppositories with glycerin or bisacodyl are inserted into the rectum and are relatively fast-acting. At least one package of infant glycerin suppositories should be in every family’s medical kit.

· Castor oil works quickly and should not be taken at bedtime. In addition, it must not be taken by pregnant women as it can bring on premature labor.

· Enemas are used in hospitals when all else fails. The fluid loosens the stool and stimulates expulsion. The most effective enema is the M&M. One cup of milk (you can use reconstituted powdered milk) and one cup of molasses are mixed over low heat until combined, then cooled to room temperature. Fill an enema bag with the mixture and insert the tube into the rectum.

· Manual removal is the last resort. Insert a gloved and lubricated finger and start digging. No, it is not comfortable or desirable, but it’s all that will be available if you don’t stock up on other remedies.

Herbs reported to be of efficacy in relieving constipation include the following:
  • Buckthorn
  • Dock
  • Dogbane
  • Green gentian
  • Scarlet pimpernel
  • Wild violet

Only wild violet is safe for use by pregnant women. All the rest must be avoided as they will stimulate uterine contractions.[3]

Links to related posts:

Epsom Salts

Cream of Tartar



Charles W. Kane, Medicinal Plants of the Western Mountain States, pp 95, 124, 125, 157, 218, 261, 262, 323.

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