(06-26-2012 08:27 PM)James Wrote: I also like the fact that slippery elm is not a stimulant laxative live senna, cascara sagrada, rhubarb root or the aloes since these can cause a laxative dependence after a few weeks of use.
Here is some more detail.
Senna, Cascara sagrada, Rhubarb root and Aloe, contain chemicals which stimulate peristalsis of the intestines. These are effective in very severe cases of constipation, and get things moving when nothing else will. They should only be used in very severe cases of constipation, and should only be used until normal bowel movements have been established. Then more gentle things, like Slippery elm, should be used.
The action of these herbs occurs several hours after they are taken. It has been suggested to take them before going to bed, so you will have a bowel movement in the morning.
These herbs can cause a fair amount of discomfort, or pain, when contractions occur in the intestines.
Stimulant laxatives are not recommended for most cases of constipation, but in very severe cases, when nothing else works, these will work.
Some people think drugs have a powerful effect, and herbs have a tiny effect. In some cases this is true. But anyone who does not believe herbs can have a powerful effect, take some Cascara sagrada, then come back and tell us that herbs don't have a powerful effect.
Aloe juice, or Aloe vera juice, sold in shops, normally does not contain the stimulant laxative chemicals. But the whole leaves from the plant do.
There are many other herbs beneficial for constipation, and they work in different ways.
Dandelion is another one.
Bile has a laxative action, so all herbs which stimulate the flow of bile, have a laxative action. The bitter herbs do this.