It’s not everyday an acquaintance complains of gastro-intestinal problems at the office. And while that may very well be a nice thing (there’s such a thing as too much information!), it does work against us in one way: when stomach troubles ail us, we just don’t know what to do about them.

Seeing as to how yesterday we talked about natural remedies for diarrhea, we figure while we have the conversation open we might as well go all the way with it. Just like with diarrhea, constipation is a very common ailment that affects many people several times a year. And yet, its natural remedies are rarely brought up in conversation.

What to do? Natural remedies have a long history of being shared by word-of-mouth, but these days we must depend on the internet. Especially when it comes to topics people are less comfortable discussing. For starters, here’s a list of remedies for constipation by Everyday Roots:

16 Home Remedies to Relieve Constipation

1. Oil…it gets more than cars running

Pure olive oil is more than just a healthy and tasty fat, it can also help relieve constipation. It’s not surprising really when you consider what olive oil’s texture and consistency is like- it’s practically the poster child for constipation home remedies. It stimulates your digestive system, which helps get things moving through your colon, and taken regularly it can prevent constipation as well.

You will need…
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-1 teaspoon of lemon juice (optional)

Directions
In the morning consume one tablespoon of olive oil. It works best on an empty stomach, so have it before you eat anything else. If you forget, wait until later when you haven’t eaten for a while. You can mix it with a little bit of lemon juice if you like to lighten the flavor (lemon juice also acts as a natural aid for constipation.)

2. Freshen up from the inside out

Ah the scent of a fresh lemon…did you ever think your stomach might appreciate it as much as your nose? The citric acid in lemon juice acts as a stimulant for your digestive system, and can also help flush out toxins and undigested material that may have built up along the walls of the colon. Mixing the juice with water not only lessens the intensity of the lemon flavor, but helps get you the fluids you need to get everything moving normally again.

You will need…
-1 fresh lemon
-1 cup of warm water

Directions
Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into 1 cup of warm water. Drink or sip until finished completely.

3. Molasses makes the world go ‘round

Blackstrap molasses has been a sweet savior for more than a few sufferers of constipation, be it chronic or occasional. The reason blackstrap molasses works so well is because of how it is made. Regular molasses is essentially pure cane sugar juice boiled to concentrate and crystallize the sugar. The third boiling results in blackstrap molasses, which is crystallized but contains significant amounts of vitamins and minerals, specifically magnesium, which is what helps the constipation. It’s natural, tasty, and while you thank goodness someone decided to repeatedly boil a bunch of sugar, your body will thank you for the natural remedy.

You will need…
-1 teaspoon of blackstrap molasses
-warm water or tea (optional)

Directions
Consume one teaspoon of blackstrap molasses. Start slow and small here-if you don’t like the flavor of molasses, you can add it to a cup of warm water or tea to dilute the taste. If you find that a teaspoon has not been effective, you can go as high as 1-2 tablespoons, but try less at first.

4. Coffee is our friend (sometimes)

A lot of people love their morning coffee, but it does more than just give off heavenly aromas and help you perk up. Caffeine is a natural stimulant for the digestive system, so indulging in a cup of joe will help get you up and running in more ways than one. 1-2 cups is fine, but make sure you don’t overdo it-too much can actually have the opposite effect. Coffee is a diuretic and makes you urinate more frequently, and if you drink it an excess, it can cause constipation by dehydrating your body and drawing out water that would normally soften your stool.

If any of the above don’t appeal to you, don’t give up! Remember that there are actually 16 available remedies over in the original article, as well as countless other resources online. These days, there’s never a good excuse to find yourself lacking in information. Especially when it comes to natural healing!