Laxative is used to treat constipation

A laxative are various drugs that are used to relieve constipation (Constipation) are used to stimulate bowel activity again and to facilitate or even enable the patient to pass stool. Laxatives are usually used temporarily for constipation, but in some patients laxatives may be part of the long-term medication.

In addition, laxatives are used in diagnostics, for example if one is against in the preventive examination Colon cancer the Large intestine examined. In severe cases, patients can use hemorrhoids Laxatives are also given to soften the stool and reduce the pressure on the stool anus to keep it as low as possible, which in turn should prevent the hemorrhoids from tearing open.

There are different types of laxatives, which are all based on a different mode of action. There are also natural ones Home remedieswhich can be used as a laxative for mild constipation. The point at which a laxative is indicated differs from patient to patient and depends on age, diet and, above all, the previous state of health and any previous illnesses. In general, patients should have a bowel movement once a day, which should have a smooth but firm shape, with the so-called Bristol chair scale is determined. If a patient has not had any bowel movements for several days, he should see a doctor so that he can possibly prescribe laxatives. Before doing this, however, the patient can try to naturally stimulate the bowel movement.

Home remedies

Natural laxatives include some foods, but exercise is paramount. Especially patients who sit for a long time throughout the day are more likely to suffer from constipation. Half an hour of running training can work wonders and thus serve as a natural laxative. In addition, there are some foods that can also be used as natural laxatives and are particularly effective for mild constipation. This includes the plum, which stimulates the intestine, especially in juice form, and also has a disinfecting effect on the intestinal flora. It is important to use natural plum juice without additives, and you should not expect any effect within minutes; it may even take a few hours for the effects to appear.

In addition to the plum, other types of fruit are said to have a stimulating effect on the gastrointestinal tract (Gastro-intestinal drink) act and thus serve as natural laxatives. These include, among other things, dried fruits such as dried figs or dates or fresh grapes. Spicy food is also very beneficial for digestion. This stimulates the intestinal flora and leads to easier digestion, so it can also be used as a laxative for mild constipation, whereby one should eat spicy food rather than prophylaxis.

Another prophylactic laxative is a high-fiber diet, which means high-fiber bread and lots of salad. So-called swelling agents, such as linseed or Indian flea seeds, are also very helpful. These swell, as the name suggests, in the gastrointestinal tract and thus ensure that the receptors on the intestinal wall are activated and thus ensure that there is an improved and accelerated intestinal passage (peristalsis). However, home remedies should only be used as laxatives for mild constipation, and as prophylaxis for people who suffer from constipation particularly frequently. One of the most important things, however, is to always drink at least 1-2 liters of water per day in order to encourage bowel movements (bowel peristalsis).

You should be careful with bananas, as they normally hinder digestion and do not promote it and are therefore counterproductive.

Please also read the article: Schüssler Salt No. 10

Osmotic laxatives

The laxatives that work the weakest, but are very well tolerated, include so-called laxatives osmotic (saline) Laxatives (Laxatives). Osmotic laxatives are not used in the intestinal transit blood recorded. As a result, there is a greater number of particles in the stool; this process is called the creation of a osmotic pressure. Because there are more particles in the intestine than in the blood, the water tries to compensate for this imbalance. Therefore, more water flows from the blood back into the Intestines. Due to the water, a larger amount of particles comes to a larger amount of water, so that on average there is an equal concentration of particles in the intestine and in the blood, since there is now comparatively more water in the intestine to which the particles can be distributed. This principle is known in science as osmosis, i.e. a concentration balance between two compartments, in our case the intestine and the blood. Due to the principle of osmosis, these types of laxatives are called osmotic laxatives designated.

The fact that there is now more water in the intestine (due to the previous osmotic pressure) makes the stool smoother as more water is added. The osmotic laxatives include, for example Glauber's salts (Sodium sulfate) or the Epsom salts (Magnesium sulfate). The sugar alcohols also have an osmotic effect Sorbitol and Mannitol. Even sugar in pure form, such as Lacutlose, Galactose or Lactose, can be used as a laxative. They also have a weak osmotic effect, but what is more important is the fact that they lead to acidification of the stool in the intestine, since the bacteria in the intestine sugar Break it down into acidic components.

This stimulates the intestinal activity and leads to faster processing and faster transport of the intestinal contents. This is how the sugars develop their laxative effect. Since some osmotic laxatives can lead to a loss of water and electrolytes, it is important that the patient drink a lot and drink as little as possible of the drinking water sodium- and magnesium-rich Pay attention to drinking water to compensate for the electrolyte loss. Depending on the active ingredient and the response to the laxatives, it takes about 3-48 hours for a bowel movement (defecation) is coming. The side effects are usually very minor. In addition to the water and electrolyte losses already mentioned, it can also cause Flatulence (Flatus) and rarely too Cramps in the abdomen come.

Iso-osmotic laxatives

These agents bind the water in the intestine.

Both isoosmotic laxatives it concerns substances that can bind water in the intestine. This prevents the water from leaving the intestines and entering the blood from the intestines. As more water remains in the intestine, the intestine is stimulated to work more, the so-called peristalsis is promoted, on the other hand, the stool is made very supple and can therefore be transported out of the anus more easily. Since isoosmotic laxatives are only used in rectum work, there is no impairment of the remaining intestinal passage, which has a positive effect on the side effect profile, so the side effects are reduced. Both Mini enema are particularly fast-acting laxatives. The patient has a bowel movement within 5-20 minutes, which is of great advantage especially in diagnostics such as a colonoscopy, as the patient does not have to wait long before he can be examined.


Suppositories (suppository) are also very popular when you want to defecate as quickly as possible and without major complications. Suppositories are in the Rectum introduced, which is usually much more uncomfortable for the patient than a tablet that only has to be swallowed. Nevertheless, suppositories also have many positive effects. For one thing, there is no "first pass effect“That means the drug doesn't have that liver is processed and can therefore be very beneficial for liver-damaged patients.

But even for children who are reluctant to take medication and who do not yet have a fully functional liver (various enzymes that break down medication, for example) are missing, suppositories are the means of choice. Also with Hemorrhoid ailments Suppositories are very popular because they only work locally and do not have any additional effects on the rest of the intestine. In order to be able to insert the suppository more easily, it should be either with the hand or warmed up in warm water. Since suppositories only work locally, the side effects are very low and there are seldom slight intolerances.


Lubricants are also used as laxatives, whereby it is important not to use a conventional drug from the drugstore, but to pay attention to a labeled medical product. Lubricants such as Paraffin oil, as the name suggests, cause the intestine to be covered with a kind of oil film, which causes the intestinal contents to slide down the intestinal passage. In this way, it is not the stool itself, but rather the way of defecation that is made easier and thus more comfortable emptying occurs (defecation), which is particularly desirable for hemorrhoids.

In general, lubricants are not absorbed into the blood from the intestine, but can still be deposited in the organism if used for too long and especially if the doses are too high. Therefore, one should always use lubricants as a laxative only take for a short period of time. Additionally it can too Calcium and Potassium losses come, which can be balanced by food rich in potassium and calcium.

Herbal laxatives

The herbal laxatives mainly include substances from the so-called Senna plant be won. The advantages of this plant are that the active ingredients, which have a laxative effect, only enter the colon (colon) by those who live there bacteria activated and therefore not affect the rest of the bowel movement. The effect of this herbal laxative occurs already 9-12 hours after administration and is mainly for patients with Constipation suitable, but less for patients with hemorrhoids or for use in diagnostics.

In addition to the senna plant, there are other herbal laxatives, including the juice of the Aloe vera heard, as well rhubarb and also that castor oil. Castor oil is a highly potent herbal laxative that has been known for a long time. The castor oil is made from the seeds of the Tropical wonder tree and is available in many pharmacies. However, it is important to use an appropriate dosage, as the laxative effects of castor oil occur within an hour and make it enormous Diarrhea (Diarrhea) can come. Since the castor oil is not absorbed into the blood through the intestine, it has few side effects, including the diarrhea mentioned above and more nausea counting.

Chemical laxatives

Chemical laxatives are substances that stimulate the intestines and are manufactured industrially. The chemical laxatives mainly include the so-called Triarylmethane derivatives how Bisacodyl and the Sodium picosulfate. Bisacodyl is a sparingly water-soluble substance, which must first be absorbed from the intestine into the blood and from there to the liver. In the liver, bisacodyl, which is barely water-soluble, is made into a water-soluble substance that is then released back into the intestine. This process is known as the enterohepatic circulation (entero = intestine; hepatic = liver).

Once in the intestine, the bisacodyl is converted into its active substance by the intestinal bacteria located there, which cannot leave the intestine back into the blood. This creates a concentration equilibrium, i.e. a osmotic pressure, as a result of which water now flows into the intestine and makes the stool more fluid and smoother. Since the bisacodyl must first get from the intestine into the liver and from there back into the intestine, the effect only takes place after about 10-12 hours. Bisacodyl is more effective when it is introduced directly into the rectum (rectum) is applied in the form of a suppository. Here the effect usually occurs within an hour. Sodium piosulphate also develops its effect much faster than bisacodyl, namely it only takes 4-10 hours to take effect when it is administered in the form of tablets, although like bisacodyl it has to go through the so-called enterohepatic cycle in order to be activated to become.