Can juicing help with constipation?

Constipation can be an uncomfortable and frustrating condition that impacts many individuals. The inability to have a regular bowel movement causes physical discomfort and affects one’s quality of life. Fortunately, nature provides an effective remedy that has been used for centuries: prune juice. This comprehensive guide delves into the science behind prune juice, its benefits, recommended intake, and additional lifestyle changes that can help alleviate constipation.

Understanding the root causes of constipation is essential to appreciating how prune juice can aid in treating this condition. Constipation occurs when bowel movements become infrequent or difficult to pass. While what is considered “regular” can vary widely, typically, fewer than three bowel movements a week can be classified as constipation. This condition is accompanied by several uncomfortable symptoms, such as abdominal pain, bloating, hard or lumpy stools, and a feeling of incomplete evacuation.

Constipation can arise from various factors, including low fiber intake, insufficient hydration, lack of physical activity, certain medications, delayed bowel movements, and medical conditions like irritable bowel syndrome or neurological disorders. Understanding these causes lays the groundwork for recognizing how dietary changes, particularly the inclusion of prune juice, can offer relief.

The Natural Properties of Prune Juice

Prune juice, derived from dried plums, is a staple in natural remedies for constipation. Its effectiveness lies in its unique composition. It is rich in sorbitol, a type of sugar alcohol that acts as a natural laxative. Sorbitol is poorly absorbed in the gut, which means it draws water into the intestines, thereby softening stools and stimulating bowel movements. This osmotic effect can provide gentle yet effective relief from constipation.

Moreover, prunes (dried plums) are high in dietary fiber, primarily soluble fiber, which helps form a gel-like substance in the intestines. This aids in softening stools and promoting regular bowel movements. Additionally, prunes and prune juice contain phenolic compounds and antioxidants, which contribute to overall digestive health and may prevent chronic diseases.

Balancing Prune Juice Intake: Recommendations and Precautions

While prune juice is a potent natural remedy, moderation is crucial to avoid potential side effects. For adults new to prune juice, starting with a four-ounce serving in the morning is recommended. If well-tolerated, a second serving before bedtime can be added. Children should consume half the amount recommended for adults. Overconsumption of prune juice can lead to diarrhea, bloating, and gas, so finding the right balance is vital for your body.

It's worth noting that while prune juice is effective, it lacks the fiber content found in whole prunes. Therefore, incorporating a mix of prunes and prune juice can benefit. The Mayo Clinic suggests that adults aim for 4 to 8 ounces of prune juice each morning to stimulate a bowel movement. However, always remember that more isn’t necessarily better. It’s advised to stick with one serving per day, approximately six dried plums, to avoid adverse effects.

Integrating Prune Juice with Lifestyle Changes

While prune juice can provide substantial relief, it is most effective when integrated with a comprehensive approach to bowel health. Several lifestyle changes can further promote regular bowel movements and overall digestive health:

  • Increase Fiber Intake: Consuming a diet rich in high-fiber foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes can help soften stools and enhance bowel movements. Soluble fiber is particularly beneficial in foods such as oats, beans, and apples.
  • Stay Hydrated: Drinking sufficient water is essential for preventing constipation. Fluids help dissolve soluble fiber and maintain stool bulk, facilitating easier passage through the intestines. Aim for at least 8-10 glasses of water a day.
  • Engage in Regular Exercise: Physical activity stimulates the natural contraction of intestinal muscles, promoting regular bowel movements. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days of the week.
  • Practice Good Bowel Habits: It’s important not to ignore the urge to have a bowel movement. Establishing a routine, such as setting aside time after meals, can help train your body to have more regular bowel movements. Proper positioning during bowel movements, such as having your knees higher than your hips, can also facilitate easier passage of stools.
  • Manage Stress: Stress can negatively impact digestive health. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and deep-breathing exercises can help alleviate stress and promote better digestive function.
  • Ensure Adequate Sleep: Poor sleep patterns can affect digestive health. Strive for 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to support overall bodily functions, including digestion.

When to Seek Medical Advice

While prune juice and lifestyle adjustments can significantly improve constipation, seeking medical advice is essential if constipation persists. Symptoms such as blood in the stool, unexplained weight loss, severe pain during bowel movements, or constipation lasting longer than three weeks warrant a consultation with a healthcare professional. Persistent constipation can be indicative of underlying medical conditions that require targeted treatment.

Healthcare professionals can conduct a thorough examination and may recommend additional interventions if lifestyle changes and natural remedies are insufficient. These may include over-the-counter laxatives, stool softeners, or other medications. In some cases, further diagnostic tests may be required to identify the root cause of chronic constipation.


Prune juice is a powerful natural remedy for constipation, backed by its high sorbitol content and beneficial nutrients. You can effectively manage and prevent constipation by incorporating prune juice into your diet and making supportive lifestyle changes. Remember to consume prune juice in moderation to avoid potential side effects and seek medical advice if symptoms persist. Embrace this natural approach to digestive health and enjoy the benefits of regular bowel movements and improved overall well-being.

About the author



Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

We’re Social

The Latest