Natural remedies to get bowels moving and reduce risk of kidney disease

Constipation is not just a painful inconvenience. It can be very dangerous for your health. Huffington Post reports a study that found people who experience frequent and severe constipation are at a higher risk of chronic kidney disease and kidney failure.

The study, which examined health records from more than 3.5 million U.S. veterans, is just one of many linking constipation to kidney disease. One of the study’s co-authors, chief of nephrology at the Memphis VA Medical Center Dr. Csaba Pal Kovesdy, told Huffington Post that the link lies in changes in gut bacteria and chronic inflammation caused by slow moving food in the digestive system.

Approximately 42 million Americans suffer from constipation, reports the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. That means 42 million Americans are potentially at risk for kidney disease. Here are the 8 best home remedies for treating and preventing constipation.

1. Sesame seeds

Sprinkle sesame seeds in your salad, yogurt, or smoothie to soften stools. Reader’s Digest says this home remedy is an ancient solution used by Amish and Chinese populations.

2. Blackstrap molasses

Eating a tablespoon of blackstrap molasses before bedtime is an excellent way to get things moving, while also infusing your body with magnesium and other gut-healthy vitamins and minerals, says Reader’s Digest.

3. Lemon water

This simple solution stimulates the digestive system and flushes toxins from the body. Reader’s Digest recommends drinking a glass of water with fresh lemon juice each morning.

4. Yogurt

Probiotics like yogurt, sauerkraut and kimchi have healthy, live bacteria that help prevent chronic constipation and rebalance gut bacteria. Authority Nutrition says probiotics contain short-chain fatty acids that make it easier to pass stool.

5. Bananas

There are probiotics, and then there are prebiotics. These foods include bananas, garlic, and onions. Authority Nutrition explains prebiotics improve bowel movement by feeding healthy gut bacteria and increasing frequency of bowel movements.

6. Prunes

This age-old home remedy really works. Authority Nutrition explains prunes are rich in fiber and contain a natural laxative known as sorbitol. If you suffer from chronic constipation, make it a habit to eat 7 medium-sized prunes twice daily.

7. Acupressure

The Conception Vessel 6 pressure point, also known as the Sea of Qi, is located three finger widths below the belly button. To stimulate the bowels, Modern Reflexology says to use your fingertips to firmly press the Sea of Qi for 30 seconds. Keep your eyes closed and breath normally as you push the pressure point.

8. Aromatherapy

This alternative therapy has been long used to treat a range of ailments. The scents best at beating constipation are rosemary, sweet basil, lemon, orange, fennel, and peppermint, says When you are feeling constipated, it may be helpful to diffuse any one or a combination of these essential oils in your home, or to inhale the essential oils directly.