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Beneficial herbs for the bowel

By Karen Morris

In addition to good diet and nutrition there are many herbs to benefit the overall health of the digestive system.  

Cascara: A stimulating herbal laxative that can help with the evacuation of the bowel. Cascara is used in cases of constipation, flatulence and other conditions where easy defecation is required.

Fennel: This aromatic herb is well known for its ability to assist with many common digestive complaints such as abdominal pain/cramping, bloating, colic, flatulence, indigestion and irritable bowel syndrome. Fennel contains volatile oils responsible for its aromatic properties and relaxes the muscular tissue of the digestive system, soothing intestinal pain.

Psyllium: This herb is known as a bulking laxative that is gentle and non-irritating and contains a good percentage of a type of soluble plant fibre called mucilage. Mucilage soothes the digestive tract as it travels through the bowel, lowering transit time, absorbing toxins and providing extra bulk and fluid so contents become soft and light and easily passed.

As the fibre in Psyllium absorbs water from the intestine, a good quantity of water must be drunk, too little water can result in the opposite, constipating effect. Ensure an adequate amount of fruit and vegetables is part of your diet if you intend using Cascara for any extended period.