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Flaxseed for Constipation

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Flaxseed is rich in soluble fiber. One reader has found a way to utilize this property to prevent constipation: "I purchase flaxseed in bulk at a health food store for about $1.50 per pound. I put three quarts of water on to boil, add two tablespoons of flax seed and simmer for fifteen minutes. Then I cool it and strain it into containers. (It makes just over two quarts.) With two ounces in my orange juice every morning, I am more than satisfied." Other readers have also pointed out that flaxseed is an ingredient in Uncle Sam's Laxative Cereal, which may also be a helpful approach to constipation.

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Did this remedy work? Average rating: 3.5/5 (163 votes)
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You need to buy a coffee grinder just for fresh-grinding flax seed and buy the WHOLE flax seed for it to be effective. Fresh ground flax seed (ground just before eating) is the only way to go...

I mix two table spoons of ground flax seed with a cup of yogurt and take it during dinner. Never had constipation since. I buy whole flaxseeds and grind them.

A year ago, my primary care doctor put me on flaxseed to lower my bad cholesterol. I use 3 tablespoons of organic ground flaxseed each morning on my oatmeal. It did pull my cholesterol down and also, I've no problem with constipation. I plan to continue using the ground flaxseed as a regular part of my diet.

I went to a Naturopath in March in desperation to solve severe GI problems following unrelated surgeries. I was losing weight and could not eat without unbearable upper and lower gas. The Naturopath put me on all organic foods starting with a protein handmade shake. This included a daily tablespoon of ground flaxseed and flaxseed oil. I had the first turnaround in 3 days after months of problems. It took three more months to make it back to normal foods, but I believe she (the Naturopath) saved my life. My cholesterol also has shown a drop. I plan on staying with the flaxseed program

Do you have to grind the flax seed before eating it?

I have been eating flaxmeal as a cereal substitute... about 1/4 cup with a bit of honey... cover with hot water and add some fruit. Banana is good or grapes or raisins... berries also. Haven't had a constipation problem since.

I have not yet had my cholesterol checked but I expect that that it will have improved also.

I pay too much for the flax meal but will try the above suggestion to get it in bulk at a health food store.

I've been using metamucil for years.Recently I've started grinding 2 tablespoons of flax seed and mixing it with metamucil and two teaspoons of pure apple cider vinegar (Braggs). I thought I must have a knot in my intestines but now for the first time in years things work like they should. I will probably stop the metamucil and see how it works. All in a glass of water. Don't forget that--I almost did.

I have been taking two tablespoons of ground flaxseed in orange juice for several years. It works for me. I buy it in bulk, grind it and freeze it, so it does not have to be ground just before using. You can also find it already ground in the refrigerator section of some supermarkets. It has come down in price as well.

Is flax seed safe during pregnancy?

I just learned that you need to grind the flax seeds to get the full benefit out of them. Dr Oz talked about this on Oprah last week.

I travel a lot and have devised this "One Two Punch" recipe for my chronic constipation. I mix about 3 cups of psyllium fiber with 1 tub (The "makes 2 Quarts" size) of lemonade flavored drink mix. (If you have high blood sugar or diabetes, the sugar-free drink mixes are better to use than fruit juices.) I drink 1 or 2 spoonfuls in a cup of water twice a day when I travel. That and a few prunes (also easy to travel with) keep things running smoothly.

I have been taking the flax seed oil capsules for about a year, and have no more problems with being constipated.

As a colon therapist, I see many people with chronic constipation. Once we have eliminated dietary issues, I will then try supplementation with the following...

Magnesium 400-600mg daily

CAPE Aloe capsules 1-2 at bedtime

Flax seed 2 Tablespoons ground every day

Probiotics (multi- strain). Yogurt doesn't count.

Reflorestation (a specialty pro-biotic enema that recolonizes the large intestine within 3 days)

All are safe... but less is better.. see what works for you.

Consider parasites, this is a very common finding in people with chronic constipation.

I have been having Irregularity problems for most of my adult life. This year it seems to be getting worse. I am a 44 y\o female and I have tried a variety of products. I was so happy when my employer had me read this article. I can't wait to go purchase a coffe grinder and flax seed, because natural is the way to Go. Wish me luck!!

I use about 1 tablespoon of flaxseed in a glass and fill it with water, leaving it for about an hour. The resulting stuff is a bit gelatinous but I divide it up between my other daily waters and it goes down a treat...seems a bit easier on the system than swallowing whole with water.
Romany

I recently bought flaxseed on line. Organic 2lb. bag with shipping-$8.40. I bought a small coffee grinder for $14.95. I just recently started using it. I've tried metamucil, senakot, lactulose, amitiza, miralax, activia, chewable fiber con tablets, citrucel, enemas, you name it I've tried it. I've had a colonoscopy and a stomach scan. My doctor says I just have chronic constipation. Which is nothing pleasant anyone wants to have. It really interferes with my daily life. I have a lot of pain and bloating. Sometimes it would be nice if I could just pass gas every now and then. I'm pray that flaxseed is my answer and I will let you know how it works out!

I have a family history of colon cancer which led me to the discovery of flax seed a year ago...it's sold in most produce departments...I grind it and store it in the freezer so it's always accessible. I am hooked and so is my family including my 2 year old granddaughter. I use it the most about 3 tablespoons a day...I sprinkle it on cereal, veggies, salads and meat. It has helped me lower my cholesterol, lose 33 lbs in the past year (along with exercise and lots of water). I am regular and the best news of all is I had my first colonoscopy done 2 weeks ago (age 44) and have a perfect colon (as my doc said).

A bag only costs a couple of bucks at the grocery store and it's truly a miracle seed. It needs to be ground, it's worthless unground because our bodies can't digest the seed. When I first began to consume it I was gassy but after a couple of weeks my body adjusted to the additional fiber and haven't had a problem since.

I highly suggest flax....My name is Linda S. and I approve this message :-)

OMG, I thought I was out in this world by my self with this Chronic Constipation. Medicines after medicines, doctors after doctors. Most things work only for a while. As I read some of the testimonials, I almost started to cry because so many were just like me. I am going today to the health food store and purchase some flaxseed to try.

what can be use for chron's desease?

I make what I call "my breakfast muffins" that call for 2 cups flour. I substitute 1 l/4 cups white flour with ground flaxseed and ground old fashion oatmeal. I have a coffee grinder just for that. Add fruits and nuts plus cinnamon and other regular ingredients and it is a great tasting muffin and laxative.

I had never had a problem with constipation until recently.
I talked to my Primary physician and he suggested a test for B12 levels. He said many older people have a B12 deficiency and this can cause constipation. My B12 level was low so I started B12 injections once a month and had good results. I talked with my gastrologist and he said he had never heard of giving B12 shots for constipation. I realize you do not encourage the use of medication but this is something for older people to check out.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WE ARE NOT FAMILIAR WITH VITAMIN B12 DEFICIENCY AS A CAUSE OF CONSTIPATION, BUT AGREE IT IS SOMETHING TO CHECK OUT.

I recently started having problems with constipation related to a new medication. In addition to treating me with needles, my acupuncturist recommended drinking a "tea" of ground flax seeds regularly. Raw seeds in the grinder as others have mentioned, then into a tea ball (or loose in the cup, if you like eating flax seeds - I do), then soak in near-boiling water. It's got a light, nutty flavor, and is soothing to drink in the evening. I don't notice that my system moves significantly faster, but stools are much easier to pass.

i have been useing flax seed [ whole] for constapation, is that safe? will it pass? i did not know you had to grind it.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT WILL NOT HARM YOU, BUT IT IS MOST EFFECTIVE WHEN GROUND.

I have been having constipation problems for over a year. I tried everything - active, more fiber and soluble fiber to my diet, soluble fiber supplement, Chinese herb medicine, exercise. Nothing really worked.
Then I finally tried flax seed. I brought ground flax seed before and it did not work. This time I use WHOLE flax seed and grind them right before taking them - 2 tbsp everyday with yogurt.

It works like a magic - I am no longer suffering constipation. The only problem I have sometimes is bloating - but it is much better than constipation.
Thank you for sharing the wonderful remedy!

What about flax seed oil?

Sprouts Markets have bulk Flax seeds for about $1.50 a pound. What an inexpensive way to go!

I treat my constipation with one of the following:
1. Flax seeds are super, I grind them too, because if you didn't they will leave your body as they entered :) but they will relieve constipation in any form.
2. one apple a day.
3. two pears a day.
4. Orange juice.
5. WATER.

I have limited time in the morning so I have been making a oatmeal/legume porridge with fruit for my breakfast and freezing in portions to quickly thaw and eat. I would love to add ground fax seeds but don't have the time to ground the seeds each morning to add. Can I grind the seeds and add them when I am cooking the original batch and freeze it all mixed in?

When I first got interested in flax seed I didn't know it was supposed to be ground. I developed a bad stomach.I had a colonoscopy and the Dr.said their is nothing growing in there but the lining is awful red. My first clue to quit taking whole flax seeds.

I was told that for constipation it is best to use whole flax seeds, not ground. Is this correct?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: WHOLE FLAX SEEDS CAN NOT BE DIGESTED. YOU MAY FIND IT HELPFUL TO SIMMER A TABLESPOON OF FLAXSEEDS IN A QUART OF WATER AND THEN TAKE A FEW OUNCES DAILY OF THE STRAINED LIQUID.

My 10 year old son (about 100 pounds) has chronic constipation (always has from birth) and has tried everything with his doctor. Nothing seems to help him. At this moment we are out of our state (6 month job assignment) and he is having a bad episode. Nothing is working. Is 2 tablespoons the amount he would take also? Please help!

I just started on flax seed.I bought the already ground-The pkg. instructions say 2-3 TBS. daily. I put it in yougurt. I'm only doing 2 tsp. per day, going to work up. I just now was reading about it needing to be fresh ground. I don't know if this is a must or not. What I'm taking seems to be helping. I have the problem because of a medication I'm on. Good luck with your son, I had this prob. since I was a child, so I know what he is going thru!

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: YOUR APPROACH OF STARTING GRADUALLY WITH 2 TEASPOONS AND WORKING UP TO 2 OR 3 TABLESPOONS A DAY MAKES SENSE. YOU MAY FIND YOU NEED LESS THAN 3 TABLESPOONS. MANY PEOPLE COMMENTING ON THIS ARTICLE HAVE REPORTED SUCCESS WITH 1 OR 2 TABLESPOONS OF GROUND FLAX DAILY.

KEEP GROUND FLAX IN THE REFRIGERATOR OR FREEZER SO THAT IT DOES NOT GO RANCID.

Why eat omega-3 fatty acids from flax seed? Dietary deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids can cause long term damage to human health. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has recognized the importance of omega-3 to public health and their importance to coronary health.

Here is a problem:
The omega-3 in American diet has decreased gradually over time with the increased consumption of processed foods. On the other hand dietary levels of Omega-6 fatty acids have increased due to consumption of oils that are rich in omega-6 fatty acids. This dietary imbalance of omega fatty acids has created unfavorable ratio of omega 3:omega 6 in our body.

It is not just the amount of omega-3 consumed but the amount of omega-3 in relation to the amount of omega-6 oils consumed that is important to keep the ratio to a favorable level of 1:4 (omega 3:omega 6).

Solution:
Flaxseed provides one of the only non-animal sources of omega-3 that contains significantly more omega-3 than omega-6. About 57% of total oil in flaxseed is in the form of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), an Omega-3 fatty acid that is essential for human health. To improve omega-3 levels and ratio between omega 3 and Omega 6, it is important to consume foods that contain significantly higher levels of omega-3 than omega-6. There are very few foods that do that – Flaxseed is one of them.

The ALA is converted by the body into eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) omega-3s that are found in fish oils. The EPA and DHA are also essential omega-3 fatty acids for human health. The conversion of ALA to EPA and DHA is not a very efficient process in the body but remember a diet rich in flax seed, will provide all three omega-3 fatty acids that are essential to healthy human health.

I just got home with cold processed flax seed, will that help the constipation as well as whole flax seed?

I understand your problem you are almost identical to me, I just purchased Ground Flax Seeds, I'm also praying it works.

Hey, it's great to find solutions to constipation, but they are only treating the manifestation of the problem not the problem itself. Sounds to me like you and many other readers may be eating too many processed foods rather than mostly vegetables, fruits and other fiber-rich foods. Believe me, if you eat right, you don't have to take anything to get over constipation. You may pay more for food, but you save money on medication and doctor bills in the long run, and when you eat healthfully you're giving your body the nutrients it needs to ward off illness.

I have a question. I recently bought a pack of ground Flaxseed to treat my constipation. I just put 2 tablespoons into a glass of lukewarm plain water , brisk stir and gulp it down the throat. Is this the correct way or should I put it to boil before drinking it ? Thank you.

This works like a charm for me. After having 2 kids I developed really, really, really bad constipation problems. I followed your suggestion and I have been regular since then. It works so well that I only need to take the flax seed and yogurt every other day!

I was diagnosed with Parkinson's about 3 years ago. That is when the constipation started with the medication I use, plus the nature of PD anyway; Things I try, work for a short time, then seem to lose their effectiveness. I have just tried the flax seeds ground today for the first time. I put approx. 2 tblsp ground seeds on my oatmeal after it is cooked in the morning, then on dinner at night I put just about a tablespon on that. I'm hoping t his will help because the doc just put me on miralax daily and it is really giving me nasty side effects; Do you suppose that I can quit the miralax soon and stick with the flax seeds only? Any additional info will be greatly appreciated.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: YOU MIGHT WANT TO TRY THE FLAXSEED CONCENTRATE MADE BY BOILING WHOLE SEEDS IN WATER. THE RECIPE IS IN OUR GUIDE TO CONSTIPATION.

I have GI problems, probably irritable bowel syndrome. I mostly have constipation, but there are times when I have diarrhea. I really need to get my GI regulated because my I feel so tired all the time. Anyway, I have tried every over the counter constipation drug there is and nothing helps -- I get diarrhea. I recently purchased ground flax seed and have been using approximately 2 Tablespoons in my oatmeal in the mornings. I have not gotten the result I thought I would. I have been drinking water as well. What am I doing wrong?

KF, I recommend that you try stopping eating starchy foods and sugar for a bit and see if this helps. So for example you would stop eating oatmeal, and take the flax seeds with something like yogurt, or just water.

I imagine that will be considered controversial advice in a site where most people are influenced by "health food" type nutritional dogma, but my personal experience is that stopping eating starches and complex sugars can work miracles for an irritated stomach/intestines. Foods that you can eat that won't irritate your GI tract that are low in starch would be: meats, fats, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and non-lactose dairy like cheese. The proof is in the pudding, so to speak. It works every time for many people myself included. But flax seeds are still great for constipation.

Hi,

I'm sorry but I have a 14 month old who loves veggies, fruits, and lots of liquids but she's still very constipated since birth. We are seeing a specialist now to get it checked out but I'm starting to believe that is a chronic condition. She's on muralax, drinking Almond milk, eating homemade pure green baby food, other soft foods and lots of water, prune juice and apple juice so "readers may be eating too many processed foods rather than mostly vegetables, fruits and other fiber-rich foods" is not the case in my situation.

Thank you.

I have a special needs 17 yr old with Cerebral Palsy that has suffered with the whole constipation problem since he was a toddler... have tried everything under the sun and am curious to see if flax seed is going to be the answer. My question is about how long does it take to work??

Should I give in the morning and by night time before he goes to bed (around 8) it should work or best doing it at night and by morning before he goes to school it should work??? He does not like "going" in his pants and has been potty trained since 4, which is great for a quad CP child with severe brain injury. Just trying to get an idea. Any comments or suggestions are greatly appreciated.

Hello Cynthia,

My mother told me about this and I've researched it and this is how I do it for my baby. I ground the flaxseed in the blender and stored it in a glass container inside the refrigerator. I use about a teaspoon in each warm meal throughout the day. My daughter loves oatmeal so for breakfast, I add a teaspoon of flaxseed to it. You can add flaxseed to about any food but the key is to add it to warm food and to intake a lot of water (I usually let my daughter drink about 4 to 8 oz a day). I believe that in about a week she let everything out (she gets pretty backed up). Her specialist told me to feed her a whole corn grain to see how long it takes to pass through. If it takes a day than everything is back to normal.

But I did notice that while giving her flaxseed and other food, she was regular and as soon as I feed her the whole corn grain, she got clogged, lol. So that is something I'm going to bring to the doctor. If I learn anything else at my doctors appointment i will let you know. May God bless your heart and your child.

Dear ES,
Thank you for your input... please keep me posted on what your Dr. says about your baby. As my Ronnie eats by mouth (Thank God) and eats a variety of healthy food, no processed whatsoever, you would think we would not have such a problem, but because of low muscle tone in his tummy that helps to contribute... I can tell you and others that since beginning with the flaxseed...everyday in the morning up to 1 1/2 TBS I finally had to give also 2 Magnesium Caps and do a pedilax enema... will try increasing to 2 TBS to see what happens.

Again all suggestions and comments are greatly appreciated.

I also have a special needs daughter who is 18 years old and has a problem with constipation. However, she is tube fed and the flax seed is not an option. Is the flax tea just as effective?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: PEOPLE HAVE TOLD US IT WORKS.

I have had constipation issues my entire life. I can't tell you how relieved I was when at 50 when I had my first colonoscopy (I was awake, by choice and watched it. I was petrified that I had colon cancer due to being on laxatives for over 20 years... what the Dr did say was your colon looks great and YOU HAVE A REDUNDANT COLON.. I asked him what that meant and he said you have way more colon that is necessary and it loops around many more times than normal) Viola... why I had been constipated all my life. So just want you to know that there may be a genetic reason why you are constipated. It was a relief for me to just understand that I was born like this. I find senna pills to help me but I am going to try grinding flax seed and adding it to my oatmeal and yogurt as well.

Nope didn't work for me, tends to bloat you.

Hello to you! I have PD (5 years now) and am 61 years old. I'm at my wits end with the constipation issues I have. I take Stalevo for my PD, miralax and a stool softener and still must use milk of magnesia once a week. OF course when I do that, I dare not go anywhere until the next day.

I have to really push when I want a bowel movement except when I do m.o.m. I am taking 5 mg valium a day, half at a time. I also take thyroid medicine. I just want to have a regular bm like I used to.

I get heartburn when I try prune juice and take omeprazole once a day. I just had a gastrophy and am having a ultrasound soon. Is there something I could try daily even for a normal bm? please help.

I also have a problem with bloating. I cant afford the emergency room and my gastro doc just uses regular stuff like the generic miralax. My tests so far don't indicate any abnormal stuff. Thanks in advance. Doris.

I have used ground flax seed since 1998. I am 65 and my movements are as regular as clock work. The little grinder is still going strong after all these years! I use about 3 table spoons or a little more, and mix it with an ounce of cherry juice concentrate and water. Stir it up, and down it goes. Any juice works fine. I believe flax seed can keep a body healthy far into old age.

Hi... I am 8 weeks pregnant and on progesterone to support the pregnancy until 12 weeks. My IVF doc told me the progesterone may cause constipation and boy was he right. I contacted my holistic doc and he told me to try two things. One was to grate raw beets on my salad each day and the other was flax seeds. He said to get whole flax seeds and grind them each day and let them sit for a while in hot/boiling water.

I did it for the first time today and I added a teaspoon of raw honey. It tasted pretty good. It smelled a lot like hot cereal. The flax seeds I got are toasted. At the end when I'd finished all the water I ate the soft slightly sweet (honey) flax seeds. It was pretty tasty. I hope this works!

I too believe freshly ground flaxseed is by far best. The seeds themselves supply some of the fiber we lack. I once read that once the whole wheat berry is ground for flour (I once baked fresh bread regularly w/freshly ground wheat) The goodness of the 'germ' is gone in 48-72 hours. Perhaps also true w/flax. Oxidation? That is why grinding every day best. Not just for oatmeal and yogurt, but wonderful on salads, and dry cereal as well.

can anyone tell me how much food you have to eat per meal? I don't eat very much and have awful constipation. Help?

Can you take too much flax? My husband works night shift so at 4am I just started with two tblsp. ground flax seeds on my oatmeal in the morning, as well as 2 oz of boiled and strained liquid then add juice to make it a cup. I then drink a full glass of water after. At about 7pm at night I take a stool softner. Does this sound like a reasonable course of action?

I'd love to hear feedback on this as its such an important thing right now. Its so very hard for me to have a bowel movement and the doctor hasn't found any reason for this. I do have parkinsons, but I've got to do something and soon. I keep losing weight.

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE GETTING ADEQUATE FLUIDS. IT WOULD BE A PROBLEM IF YOU WERE NOT, AS YOU COULD BECOME OBSTRUCTED.

I have chronic constipation for near a year, and I just started Metamucil with Flaxseed capsule (three times per day). It works for two weeks and then back to constipation again. I wonder if it works for you. Thanks.

Cannot access question from person taking Metamucil, but from the slight info given- I wonder if any other physical limitations? Also daily diet?

What has worked for me is oatmeal for breakfast [or other grain such as Quinoa]. Lots of vegetables throughout the day, some steamed, some raw.. Always whole grains- as in bread. No white bread. Cut down on sugar, all refined products. Don't know about flax capsules. Nothing works better than freshly ground flaxseeds. Mixed in juice or water, but also sprinkled on oatmeal, salads, yogurt {here I also add freshly chopped nuts-raw almonds and walnuts.---frozen blueberries or dried cranberries, a piece of banana} [whatever I have in the line of fruits that day----the reason for frozen/dried is the ease of having on hand] Pills and bottles are not a substitute for the real foods. Fiber all thru day!

Next to consider- which has helped me in this and a number of other health ways-- is taking a 'probiotic'. Good luck.

I lead a stressful life as a teacher, a wife, and a mother of 3. Recently after severe stress and a devastating death in the family, I started to notice my intestines bloating even if I hadn't eaten. I weighed 64kg and after a few weeks of bloating and hard stool passing, I weighed 68kg (which stressed me out big time). I had a colonoscopy (endoscopy) done.

And after the colon cleansing preparation, my doctor told me that my colon was still filled with old, hard stool. I was given heaps of medications, antidepressants, laxatives, stool softeners, and anything you can think of. My stool became a bit softer but the bloating is still present and can be painful and very embarrassing most of the times. I feel like I'm 9 months pregnant most of my times and if I wake up with a flat stomach, half a cup of water will get me looking pregnant again. What can I do????? I feel and look awful.... PLEASE help me!!! How can I clean out my colon? Natural herbal remedies is what I'm looking for!

Please do read all these suggestions above, and try process of elimination.
Oatmeal a good place to begin if your stomach and intestines upset. I grind the flax and take a Tablesp. every nite in just 3-4 oz. water. then follow w/a large glass of water, as a chaser. When really bad, I do this 3x/day. Flax is a food after all... never heard of side effects, like the possible ones u may be having from all that other stuff!

If this bothers your gut, try the other solution I read here about soaking the seeds and drinking the water from the soak. I felt this a waste of good seeds and fiber, but if gut upset, may be the place to start. Have u done any reading about 'probiotics'? Sounds as tho u are out of balance. They have helped me so much.

I read about them years ago but was afraid they were just a fad... But they make so much sense and help so much. I had no trouble w/them, but my daughter had upsets and was too busy to work it out and adjust. Pity.

Stress is a killer I keep reading---yet after some tragedies in my life, I did not deal w/it properly and have damaged my health severely. I wish you much better outcome. Take care of yourself. Try learning meditation. Seek a support group. A university study, if insurance does not cover.

Flax on cereal, salad, yogurt, soups, cottage cheese straight [ground] -many times a day, even if small servings to start. Oatmeal w/ flax, ground walnuts and almonds. Fruit and lots of veggies---many RAW. No white sugar, flour. No junk foods. AND learn about probiotics. Good luck, and good health. Oh yes, WATER and DEEP BREATHING.

Hi there. I 100% agree with you about the bloating. I swear I've tried everything but the bloating is just not gonna leave me alone. If you find any answers, please be sure to share them! and I'll do the same. Heck, I'll try anything. I've just had a whole bunch of expensive tests done (they have done at least 3 to 5 thousand dollars worth). Docs say its " merely" irritable bowel syndrome. I've lost a lot of weight because who wants to eat when its such a miserable experience? I'm a 61 year old female who has no money tree in the back yard, so I try to make each penny count. You're welcome to email me anytime you want to talk or discuss this. Have a great day............ Sincerely, Doris

I have bought some flax seeds and put one TBLSLP unground flax seeds in a quart of water. I then let it simmer for 17 minutes, strain into clean glass container. I keep it refrigerated. Each morning I shake the bottle well, then fill cup with two oz flax, water and juice of my choice up to 6oz in a cup. I drink it down easily, but it doesn't really seem to give me constipation relief. Are my quantities correct? Do I need to drink more water right after? A second dose? I really need to get a handle on this, so any ideas you'd care to share would be very appreciated. How much is too much? HELP....

I have used flaxseed (whole) for constipation for years. If you use it everyday, you will have regular BMs. I use a rounded tsp. in my cereal every morning. You can put it in other foods too. I also buy products that have whole flaxseed. Trader' Joes sells tortilla chips with flax. Works really well if you do it every day.

Yes, so you can release the oils that are so important to helping with constipation. Read Fats that Heal and Fats that Kill.

Hi everybody, check out "candidiases or candida', inform yourself about the condition. You will be surprised to know that you can live without all of those symptoms!

There are a lot of comments on this, too many to read all so I apologize if this is repeat info, but I wanted to mention a note of precaution to those who haven't tried this:

maybe it's because my body got used to it over time, OR maybe it's because I bought the pre-milled kind (bob's red mill), but, the first time I ever tried flax seed, I GROUND MY OWN and put just (I don't think it was a teaspoon, or even half a teaspoon, it was maybe 1/4 teaspoon or less!) and added it to my nutrition shake ...a few hours later I had to RUN to the bathroom, and it wasn't no big deal, it was the most PAINFUL episode I've ever experienced, my lower stomach had intense burning and stinging - I do not want this to happen to you!

...I threw those seeds away, and almost never dared to try flax again, but one day I bought the pre-milled kind and, took a teeny bit and didn't have any problem with THAT, so I inched my way up and now I can have flax without a problem...

...I don't know if what happened the first time was just a shock to my system, or because it was fresh ground — flax has a lot of (healthy, omega) fat (and in some people, eating fatty things can cause upset — but I am not usually sensitive to that) and maybe because it was fresh ground it was more powerful or something...

...So I do have to wonder if the pre-ground flax I'm eating isn't giving me as much benefit, BUT it is still an excellent source of fiber so I'll definitely continue taking it for that! ...Sorry I wrote so much, good luck everybody!

Hi All,

I have suffered all my life with constipation. This is probably due to the medications I am on. Everything that I tried left me with severe gas and bloating. Also, it only worked for about 2 weeks. I am now on whole ground flax (2 tbls) and seems to be working some what. My fear is this... does anyone know if this works "forever" or if it's another temporary fix?

No doubt flaxseed is good for constipation. However, it works better with some other combining factors such as the kind of foods you eat, what times you eat at night, and the kind of juices you drink. Stress and anxiety are also major causes of constipation and flaxseed oil is rich source of alpha-linolenic acid, which can reduce stress or anxiety. I learn you have to consult a doctor to use flaxseed oil.

Have you tried digestive enzymes? Take them with food. As we get older we may not make as much of the enzymes needed to digest food properly. Supplementing doesn't hurt if you don't need it, and will help if you do. There is a lot of info on the web about that.

Hope you've found relief!

2 TBSP of ground flaxseed is the amount most recommended...BUT...start with a much smaller amount. I started with 1/2 tsp and 2 glasses of water and saw results. The water is crucial.

I take prescription digestive enzymes. They do nothing for my constipation and bloating.
Since taking a minimal amount of ground flaxseed, my severe constipation is beginning to be relieved. I am looking forward to increasing the amount to 2 TBSP. I sprinkle the ground flaxseed on yogurt and oatmeal and drink plenty of water.

I have history of many small bowel obstructions. Thought ground flax seed (2 Tbs per day) would be beneficial in keeping everything moving. After reading some of negative regarding obstructions am I safe to keep taking it?

About the flaxseed for constipation 26 June 2012.

I swear by ground flaxseed, but I must say---with bowel obstructions, this is another story.
If Joe does not have recommendation---
Best you get info from your doc.
Best of luck

Can I buy the flaxseed that's already ground to get the same affects or do I have to buy it whole and grind it myself?

I have problem with calcium level and take calcium, constipating me severely. Do I have to grind flax seed or can I buy it ground?

PEOPLE'S PHARMACY RESPONSE: We have seen it ground both in the supermarket and the health food store. You may have to ask for it, though.

Grind it and mix it in applesauce. Great for kids, even if they're not constipated. Easy peasy.

Yes, linseed is good for regulating constipation, and I take it for chronic constipation. I moved to Germany three years ago, and I find processed linseed in natural food stores, grocery stores, and health food stores here. In grocery stores it is usually in the cereal section with the wheat bran and oat bran. It soaks up water and adds bulk to the stool, and you achieve gentle regularity without worry of getting the runs. I add it to butter, cream cheese, and margarine spreads on bread. I add it to soups and sauces. I add it to milk, potatoes, scrambled eggs, etc., etc.

One of the best use of flax seed for constipation is to boil four tablespoon of flaxseed in two cups of water(16oz) for fifteen minutes let cool and store in fridge, take two tablespoonful in eight ounce of water with one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar. Take one dose before going to bed and one dose as you awake.

As not to take credit for this remedy, I read it in the apple cider vinegar book after trying five other remedies this one worked best for me it is quite easy to use. It might just work better if it is ground.

Be consistent with this remedy and your body will carry less toxins.

I suffered for years with this problem.

Three tbsp of ground Flaxseed in juice in the morning did it like a charm.
Oatmeal is also an excellent carrier.

My question perhaps belongs elsewhere, but do not know where.
I have often read that cooking/heating many seeds [and nuts] destroys their nutritional goodness.

Because of this I have stopped cooking oatmeal with the walnuts and flax seed. Rather sprinkle on top when served up. It this to be considered? Or does it not matter?

For best to get the goodness of flax, not only the fiber?

As always -so grateful for the Peoples Pharm!!
Merry Christmas. Peace and Joy to all

Flax. I usually grind my flax at time of use. Coffee grinder.
I am wondering if buying the ground has any 'nutritional' value left in it?

I once read that the 'germ' of the wheat has none 72 hours after grinding.

True? True also for flax?
If buying pre-ground, keep in freezer?

For those with IBS symptoms: pain, gas, constipation, diarrhea, etc.causing stress. I found relief from hypnosis tapes. Very relaxing 15 minutes a day for a month then once a week. Check it out.

Flaxseed does not have a lot of soluble fiber only 1 grm.

I love flax seed water, fresh ground flax seed and whole flax seed for good digestion and as an aid for constipation. I personally feel two ounces of the liquid is way too small of an amount for constipation. 8 ounces minimum for me of the water, a tablespoon or two of the fresh ground flaxseed per serving is also good for me in liquids, on salads, cereals, etc.

Looking through the posts I didn't see anyone with my problem. I take a ton of Morphine every day for a very painful brain disease and opiates cause constipation. I am currently trying Oat Bran, banana smoothies, whole wheat bread and my doc said to try Flax Meal. I have Bob's Red Mill but they only seem to have elaborate recipes. I guess I'll just add some to my smoothie. With Wheat Germ I learned from experience to start small and slowly. But I quit the WG because it clogged me up if I used just a tad too much. My doc said I would have no problem with the Oat Bran instead of Meal but I did a little. So, I'll give the Flax meal a try, with water, I again learned the hard way, lol.

What does your doc think about probiotics? Ground flax should work in your smoothie, but as you said it is best to start slow. I use it in baking, sprinkle it on salads, in yogurt, on cereal. Friends I know keep it on the table in a sugar bowl to sprinkle on all their foods.
Also might add chopped nuts to the mix for fiber if they agree with you. Walnuts and almonds especially good.
Many more great suggestions in the earlier posts.
Best to you.

I am 61 year old female. In the last few years I have been getting constipated to the point of pain. In the past I had used prune juice with great result but now it seems too harsh for me. I've tried flax seed (1 - 2 tablespoons, ground) in my raisin bran or yogurt in the morning. It works great. Stools are much easier to pass and I just don't worry any more. It's a real relief!

I am a 39 year old mom of 3 and have been suffering from constipation for a few years now and it is such an uncomfortable feeling to experience. In order for me to have a bowel movement i must take some type of stool softener once a week if not i don't go at all. I remember being in my teens and having bowel movements everyday of my life but things changed after having kids. Your body changes as well, i do have thyroids hypothyroidism so i must take medication everyday and perhaps constipation is one of the side effects of that medication. I have reached a point where i wanted to try something different so i started buying activia yogurt and oatmeal high in fiber as well as cereals. I also bought flaxseed today for the very first time to try but after reading everyone's post i realized i must get a grinder since i bought the whole flaxseed :( but i am very curious and excited to try it once i grind it and put some on my oatmeal and yogurt. Hopefully it will be a great success for me. But i want to thank everyone for sharing their stories to help other's that are in such an aggravating and uncomfortable situation. By the way i have been eating belvita breakfast bars and has been some what a bit helpful in having a bowel movement ;)

P.S
Any other suggestions in how to use ground flaxseed would be greatly appreciated. Can i use it in cold cereals as well? such as raisin bran? I'm very open for the suggestions and the help. Many blessings to you all and once again thanks for sharing, we can all learn something new from one another and together we can make aifference. GOD BLESS!!!!

I dont like the taste of flaxseeds in my food or smoothies, would it be beneficial to take flax supplements? If so would I still have to drink lots of water so they don't obstruct? And how many tablets are best to start with?

I suffer from something like CFS. Bad. Doctors pretty much useless in my case. I solved 75% of problem myself by returning my colon to health... I always had slow GI. No sugars and cut out high glycemic foods. Home made kefir every morning with a glass of five spoons of ground flax seed. Five years now and although hardcore diet it saved me. Quality of life tripled.

Was that 1 Tbsp. each of the seed and the oil in your daily shake?

I am 81, having constipation for years. TRIED every type of Medicines. Are Flaxseed Ground or Flax Seed oil CAPSULES effective for Constipation at this age, with no side effects?

S S- This is my experience, hope it makes sense and helps you. If it is off base perhaps Joe and Terry will correct.

In my opinion medicines are to be avoided whenever possible when natural is available--[and works]. Years ago I regularly ground about 1 Tablespoon flaxseeds every nite in a coffee grinder. Poured it into a bit of water, swallowed it down-- then followed with a full glass of water.

Some use juice.

I think it helped my skin, and my joints in addition to the constipation.

Can it hurt you asked. I personally do not see how, it is a food. Along those lines--I would grind some in the morning to top cereal, oatmeal, yogurt. It is yummy. I also add a few chopped raw almonds and 1 walnut -both halves. Later, grind more to top salad of the day.

I have stopped putting it on cooked food because I feel 'raw' is the healthiest. Many people sprinkle it on steamed veggies like cauliflower and broccoli. One friend keeps it in her sugar jar on the table and puts it on everything all day.

Grinding as needed for use has got to be the best way to get the nutrients in addition to the fiber. Why pass that up! A cheap coffee grinder does the trick. Years ago when I was baking whole grain breads, I would take grain to someone to grind 10#. Would use some, freeze the rest. But not for long - only 1 week to 2, as I read years ago that once the wheat kernel is split the nutrients are gone withing either 48 or 72 hours. Made sense to me. So that buying whole wheat flour in the grocery meant it was useless nutritionally. I feel strongly about grinding as needed for that reason. Freshest, most nutritious.

For ease sometimes, mostly when traveling or lazy I do take the capsules. They do seem to work but not as efficiently for constipation in my opinion. However capsules do have other additional benefits.

And then there is the flaxseed OIL. Very fragile, kept in freezer, but used on salads. Or some people with joint problems just take a spoonful a day. Not the best tasting I have found, but might be delicious for someone else. The expense and the freezer need have stopped me using.

Either here or other article some people said they experienced cramping. I believe if you begin slowly and perhaps even consume the ground flax with other foods this may be avoided...........For starting out.

Ground flax is sold everywhere, but even if kept in the freezer I do not find this a good thing. Really--who knows how long since it was ground?

Our grocery carries bulk organic seeds. They are a bit more expensive, but weigh so little it seems worth it.

Ok then, that is all I know, hope it is some helpful information. And thank you for reminding me to get back on track, I needed a reminder.

PS-- Have you checked out probiotic capsules? Read about them in the 70's and friends all told me it was 'snake oil'. More in the 80's--still worried and no Peoples Pharmacy website yet for me to check with. Finally just KNEW they had to be good. And they also help me. I get them at Whole Foods where they are refrigerated: not sure if the shelf stable ones are any good or not. Do not need the most expensive. For example if you take vitamins you may not want to pay more for vitamins 'included'. I forgot the exact lowest number of billions of bacteria, or the number of strains necessary--just get high numbers of both. AND that you will use them all b4 the expiration date. Refrigerate. Again begin slowly. Might be best to start with flax, let intestines adjust [I never needed that adjustment, but some have]--- then add the probiotics.
Cannot tell you about acidophilis, but also read it helps.

Good luck and take good care............
Cheers to good health and the Peoples Pharmacy!

Aurica, do you mean you substitute 2 cups of white flour with a MIX of 1 1/4 cups of oatmeal and flaxseed, or 1 1/4 cups of each? What temperature do you bake the muffins, and for how long? Sorry, I just hate to cook so don't know about this stuff.
Thanks for the recipe.

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