The study combined fresh plant extracts from bitter candytuft whole plant, greater celandine herb, angelica root, lemon balm leaves, peppermint leaves, caraway fruit, liquorice root, chamomile flower and milk thistle fruit to identify the extracts responsible for the secretary action.
The angelica extract came out on top, with a lesser contribution of peppermint and lemon balm.
The study suggests angelica may be a key ingredient in novel herb preparations to specifically treat secretory disorders such as constipation.
Angelica can be eaten raw for indigestion or brewed in herbal tea.
Other remedies for constipation include eating plenty of fibre, said Bupa. Fibre is all types of fruit and vegetables, so aim to eat at least five portions a day.
If you don’t currently eat much fibre, increase the amount in your diet slowly, otherwise you may feel bloated and pass wind.
Alternative sources of fibre include:
- wholegrain cereals
- wholemeal bread
- brown rice
- rolled oats or oat bran
- seeds, such as flax seeds
- pulses, such as peas and beans
The health body added: “If you don’t currently eat much fibre, increase the amount in your diet slowly, otherwise you may feel bloated and pass wind.
“Stick with a high-fibre diet even if your symptoms don’t immediately improve, as it can take up to a month to have an effect.”
It is important to stay hydrated too.
Drink plenty of water but avoid caffeine or alcohol.
Exercise may also help to relieve constipation.
In rare instances, constipation can also be a sign of an underlying condition, said the NHS. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) could be the culprit.
Diagnosing constipation usually involves discussing your symptoms and medical history with a GP, added the health body.
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