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Constipated? Top 5 Green Ways to Start Crapping Again

First Posted: 08/20/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:40 PM ET

Guest post by Makenna Goodman, Chelsea Green Publishing (

There's never a good time to be constipated. It's not fun. Not fun at all. And if you're reading this, you're clearly one of the millions upon billions of people every day that may be experiencing symptoms (or may know someone experiencing them) of not being able to take a shit. But, hear this: you will crap again!

I've known advertising execs that can't poop because they're too stressed. I've known editors who say they've gone without doing it for two weeks as a result of a deadline, and barely survived. I've known people in new relationships who go to their boyfriend's mother's house on the Cape and are too nervous people will hear through the bathroom door, and then they come home seven days later to find they've forgotten how to poop altogether. And I've known myself. I've known myself quite well. And one time I couldn't go because I had just moved in with a guy, and I didn't want to be "that girl." A girl who poops regularly. Like normal humans.

Well. I became that girl—and I'm proud to be where I am today. How did I get here? I didn't join a support group (although I'm sure they exist). I don't take pills. I don't stop at the gas station every morning on the way to work, and pillage their potty. Nope. I embraced whole foods. So I reach my arms out wide to the population of those of you maintaining repressed bowels—and I beckon to you. Start your system again. Embrace regularity. You can, in fact, become un-constipated. And this doesn't mean lactose intolerant people should go buy a cheese wheel and dig in. There are healthy ways to fight this!

While I'm not a doctor, here are my top 5 green (whole) foods to help you start crapping again, from my new bible: Whole Foods Companion: A Guide for Adventurous Cooks, Curious Shoppers, and Lovers of Natural Foods by Dianne Onstad:

1. Castor Oil (1 tablespoon with a cup of ginger tea)
2. Psyllium (both the husks and the meat)
3. Fresh Flaxseed or Linseed Oil (also whole flax seeds)
4. Olive Oil (mild, and good for children)
5. Raw Pistachios

1. Blueberries
2. Raw or Dried Prunes (very acidic, not recommended for people with ulcers)
3. Grapes (very cleansing fruit)
4. Ripe Bananas (unripe ones cause constipation)
5. Apples (my personal favorite is fresh-pressed apple cider)

1. Asparagus
2. Carrots (carrot soup also combats diarrhea)
3. Chinese Cabbage
4. Cucumbers (one of the most effective, also good for kidney stones)
5. Rutabaga (warning: can also cause flatulence)

1. Millet
2. Rye
3. Whole Barley (also called "sproutable barley")
4. Oat Bran
5. Whole Oats (note: oats also reduce the craving for cigarettes!)

1. Basil (also counteracts flatulence, cramps, nausea)
2. Raw Honey (note: for kids under 1 year, may cause botulism)
3. Licorice (also cleans your teeth!)
4. Hemp Seeds, and Hempseed Oil
5. Coconut

I hope your bowels flow like rivers of gold. Whole foods will be your guide on the gondola of pooping again.

For more information on the history of people in relation to their bowels, click here, or if you're interested in composting your soon-to-be ever-flowing poop, click here.


Filed by Katherine Goldstein  |