Constipation is way more common than you would ever imagine. A report in the journal Gastroenterology (Jan. 2013) suggests that the median prevalence of constipation for all households is 16%. One third of people over 60 report consternation over constipation. There are lots of contributing factors, from a low-fiber diet and depression to surgery and adverse drug reactions. That’s right, a bunch of medications can cause difficult BMs. However, there are solutions. One of our go-to recommendations is Power Pudding for constipation! Watch the video to learn how to make it.
Recipe for Power Pudding for Constipation:
Q. I have read in your column about something called “power pudding” for constipation. Years ago I made the recipe, and it worked really well for my husband when he was suffering.
I seem to remember that it had bran and applesauce, but I cannot remember the other ingredients. Could you please share it and any other remedies that might be helpful? I don’t want to use laxatives.
Nurses Shared Their Secret:
A. We first heard about this recipe from nurses who were taking care of hospitalized patients. This approach requires a lot of fluid to prevent obstruction in the throat.
Power pudding contains 1 cup of applesauce, 1 cup of coarse wheat bran and ¾ cup of prune juice. Mix the ingredients together and take one to two tablespoons daily with a full eight-ounce glass of water.
Keep the mixture refrigerated.
You will find this recipe and another dynamite option, pumpkin bran muffins, in our book, Recipes & Remedies from The People’s Pharmacy. For those suffering from the opposite problem, we include a recipe for coconut macaroon cookies.
Modifying the Power Pudding Recipe:
Sometimes people would like to improve on a home remedy they read about. At least one person asked about some minor changes to power pudding for constipation.
Q. I’m excited to try power pudding to ease constipation. Can I add it to food like potatoes or squash? I think that would disguise the taste. Then I’d drink the full glass of water.
A. Power pudding, made of unprocessed wheat bran, applesauce and prune juice, is a time-honored remedy for serious constipation. We first heard about this approach from a nurse taking care of patients after abdominal surgery.
The usual instructions involve swallowing one tablespoon of this “glop” followed by eight ounces of water. If you think it would be easier to tolerate this remedy disguised in food, that should also work. Always drink a full glass of water afterwards, regardless of how you take the power pudding.
There are two eGuides that you may find helpful. Look for Graedons’ Guides to Controlling Constipation and Overcoming Digestive Disorders. Either should help you find useful approaches to avoiding constipation.
Other Questions from Readers:
We frequently get asked questions like these.
JoAnn has tried everything and is still constipated:
“I’m female, 74 years old, 5”7″ tall, weigh 125, walk 2 miles a day and am in very good health. My problem is constipation (chronic, I guess). I have gone up to over 2 weeks without a BM. If I don’t take a laxative I would be stopped up even longer.
“I have gotten so sick (to the point of throwing up and just laying on the floor) from chronic constipation. I have resorted to enemas when it gets really bad.
“In 50 years I have tried EVERYTHING on the shelf and many more things recommended by friends and maybe a few foes. Absolutely nothing works – I have truly tried everything.
“My doctor is an internist but he doesn’t seem too concerned although after the last couple weeks I am going to make another appointment soon. I have had a barium enema and recently had a sigmoidoscope to rule out something serious.
“There’s just got to be something I can take that will work. I just want to go at least once a week.”
Jennifer worries that she might be “addicted” to laxatives:
“I was born with severe constipation. I’ve tried everything from prune juice when I was a child to high fiber, Miralax, milk of magnesia, to laxatives. I am now dependent on laxatives. In fact, I’m afraid I have become addicted. My fear of constipation has made me add more and more laxatives throughout the years. Can you help me please? I’m so afraid!”
Power Pudding for Constipation:
We could go on and on with other examples, but you get the idea. We think “Power Pudding” is one possible solution. As described in the video at the top of this article, nurses have been recommending this approach for decades. If you have ever tried Power Pudding for constipation, please let us know how it worked.
Ingredients in Special Power Pudding For Constipation:
- Coarse unprocessed bran (one cup)
- Applesauce (one cup)
- Prune juice (three-fourths cup)
Details on how to make this recipe are in the video and in our pamphlet.
We also have a number of other suggestions in our two Guides:
Responses to Power Pudding Recipe:
Deb in Michigan adds a refinement:
“You just mix the All Bran cereal (the cereal that looks like twigs ~ not the flakes) in with an equal amount of applesauce; let it sit to soften until it makes a coarse paste. Add prune juice to reach pudding-like consistency.
“After terrible suffering from post-surgical neuropathy (including weeks of catheterization), I became so constipated that I was becoming impacted. My home care nurse recommended the very same power pudding for constipation using all bran cereal and it worked. It may not taste the greatest, but it works!”
“Give it a couple of days to kick in and drink plenty of water.”
Alxzba offers a word of caution about power pudding for constipation:
“Go very slow with the pudding at first — diarrhea, especially after constipation, could be debilitating.”
Carolyn has her own version of power pudding:
“I ate a bowl of this power pudding for constipation. I find it is very tasty and effective”
2 cups stewed prunes
1 box raisins
2 cups applesauce
1 cup dried cranberries
2 cups bran flakes
16-oz. can apricot halves (drained)
2 cups half & half
W.B. offers his own power pudding formula:
“Blend 1 cup prune juice, 1 cup bran cereal and 1 cup applesauce. Cover and refrigerate up to one week. Take two tablespoons (one ounce) daily.
“Please make sure you drink 8 ounces of water after swallowing power pudding for constipation!”
That is very good advice. Otherwise, the power pudding for constipation could cause blockage.
Tells us Your Constipation Story:
Let us know about your constipation story and/or solution below in the comment section. And please vote on this article and video at the top of the page. You will find Kit Gruelle’s famous high-fiber “Pumpkin-Bran Muffin” recipe that is also dynamite when it comes to combatting constipation. It is available in our Guide to Constipation. In our Guide to Digestive Disorders you will find information on heartburn, flatulence and ulcers as well as constipation.