Prunes as a Laxative

You've probably heard of using prunes as a laxative, and the people who recommend this approach know what they're talking about. Prunes and prune juice are two of the most commonly used fast-acting laxatives. Prunes and prune juice are considered a safe laxative that can be counted on to deliver results time and time again.

Why Do Prunes Act as a Laxative?
Prunes and prune juice contain high concentrations of simple sugars, which are known as sorbitol. These simple sugars cannot be digested, causing your intestines to flood with fluid, softening your stools and moving your bowels. One cup of prunes contains 12 grams of fiber, which will help get your system going even faster than the juice alone. Prunes also contain dihydrophenylsatin, a natural laxative agent.

Who Should Use Prunes as a Laxative?
Prunes are safe for use at any age, but some people find prunes more palatable than others. You may find it difficult to eat the amount of prunes or drink the amount of prune juice needed to get your bowels moving. Some people find mixing prune juice and either apple or pear juice makes it more palatable. Apple juice and pear juice are also good laxatives on their own, so these are excellent choices. If you eat dried prunes, make sure to follow them up with a glass of water to aid in the process.

How Much Prune Juice Should You Drink?
You'll want to err on the side of caution when it comes to prune juice. If you drink too much, you could have an explosive and painful experience. Start with a half cup of prune juice mixed with a half cup of pear or apple juice. Follow this with a glass of water if the taste bothers you or if you suspect you are dehydrated. If you are hungry, nibble on a bran muffin and wait for signs that you body is responding. It's a good idea to go for a short walk or to move around as you wait. Movement helps your bowels move; sedentary lifestyles contribute to constipation.

If you don't feel any movement in an hour, try a quarter cup of prune juice mixed with a quarter cup of pear or apple juice, followed with a half cup of canned pears. Follow this with another walk. After this, try drinking water. Pretty soon, you are going to feel the effects. This is a process you don't want to rush, so take your time and be patient.

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