Olive Oil for Constipation
Olive oil has been used for thousands of years as a cooking oil, skin lubricant and as a religious anointing oil. Every culture in the world has some sort of use for this wonderful oil produced from the diminutive olive. From heart-healthy dietary aids to memory retention and lowering cholesterol, olive oil is known for its medicinal properties. A use for olive oil which has not gotten a lot of mention over the years, is as an aid for constipation.
Constipation occurs when the feces in the bowels become dry or unbalanced. This often stretches or extends the bowels in a painful way. People who are constipated, especially children, will avoid using the bathroom because of this pain. This causes more feces to build up in the bowels and creates even greater pain. Constipation is not a disease of the elderly or the very young, and it can haunt many people for their entire lives. Not drinking enough water, low-fiber diets and lack of exercise can increase the incidences of constipation.
Olive oil is an excellent remedy for a constipated person. Normal bowel movements should be accomplished on a daily basis. This means that a normal person passes feces about one to three times per day. A bowel which is moving less frequently allows toxins to build up within the body. Olive oil can help to move the feces through the bowel more rapidly. An adult can consume one tablespoon of olive oil each day until the bowels move normally. More than two tablespoons of pure extra virgin olive oil per day can cause stomach upset.
The very best way to cure constipation with olive oil is by using a combination of oil and natural fiber. Fiber occurs naturally in many fruits and vegetables. Drizzling olive oil over fiber-rich vegetables is a great way to include olive oil in a daily diet while decreasing the incidences of constipation. Adding olive oil to whole-grain bread, rather than using butter or margarine, will also help to move the bowels regularly.
For very severe constipation, olive oil can be used in an enema. A home enema is made easily from five ounces of olive oil and boiling water. The oil should be added to approximately twenty ounces of boiling water, and then the mixture should be cooled until it is lukewarm. This enema can be retained for as long as possible and then expelled with the impacted feces. Adding several drops of warm olive oil to commercial suppositories is another way to help alleviate severe constipation. The oil lubricates the suppository and restores moisture to the bowels.