Though there are many chemical products on the market to soften stool, there are also many natural alternatives that have great potential for softening stool, many of which can easily be incorporated into a natural, healthy diet. Best of all, many of these natural stool softeners are easily acquired and may even be in your kitchen already.
High fiber diets have long been known to soften stool by adding volume to the stool by binding water, making stool less dense without a loss of water and, thus, softer. Many fruits are high in dietary fiber, with prunes and raisins being perhaps the best known. Fresh cherries and plums are also high in fiber, as are many other plant based foods such as vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
Another way to soften stool is to add moisture to it, by drinking water. Drinking high amounts of water can greatly soften the stool, especially for someone who does not normally drink much water. This may entail drinking many glasses of water a day, often enough to interrupt sleep with bathroom trips, however the pain saved by softer stool may be worth it. Better yet, when combined with a diet high in fiber, the two habits work together to soften stool even further. The fiber binds the additional water into the stool to soften it even further.
If diet changes are still not enough to soften the stool, there are a few other natural remedies that can help to soften stool before resorting to chemical softeners. One such remedy is docusate salt, which is known to inhibit the colon’s ability to absorb water, thus leaving more water in the stool. Docusate salt can be ingested or injected as an enema, though it should not be used repeatedly as it can dehydrate the body. Mineral oil can also be used to lubricate the colon, though it should not be used with the dulcosate salt, as it may be absorbed in place of water.
Hard stool is a painful affliction that can be very difficult to overcome. Natural stool softeners can be a great way to ease this pain, without taking in unnatural chemicals or toxins, and potentially with additional health benefits from an improved diet.