Olive Oil for Constipation
Olive oil lubricates the bowel and provides moisture to the stools

Being constipated is one of the common gastrointestinal problems faced by most of us at least once in our lifetime. When a person doesn’t have a bowel movement for 3 days then he/she is considered constipated.

If the bowel is present in our intestine for longtime, the colon will absorb the water from it. This makes the bowel movement difficult and painful.

Less fiber content in food, lack of physical activity, dehydration, medication and excessive intake of calcium can trigger constipation.

Usually, we try over the counter laxatives to treat constipation but long term usage can make the person dependent on them. This the reason why many people use home remedies to treat constipation like olive oil, prunes, baking soda to treat constipation at home. In this article, let’s learn about olive oil in detail.

How to Use Sweet Oil to Treat Constipation

If you’re experiencing difficulty in passing stool, using olive oil (or sweet oil) may ensure that it passes down your bowel without risking your health and safety.

Olive Oil for Constipation
Olive oil lubricates the bowel and provides moisture to the stools.

Olive oil acts as a laxative which lubricates the bowel and provides moisture to the stools which make it easy to move through the colon. The monounsaturated fats present in it improve the bowel evacuation speed.

Olive oil strengthens the mucus lining of the colon which has weakened or works down due to constipation. It stimulates the muscle contraction of large intestine to make it easy for the stools to pass through the passage.

It is rich in vitamin E and K, antioxidants, omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which help to boost the health of digestive tract. It encourages gallbladder to release bile which is important for fat digestion. Apart from that, it encourages the digestive enzymes production to improve the digestion. The liver produces bile in our body.

Olive oil inhibits the after effects of oxidative stress that affects the bile production in the liver. This helps in maintaining the bile production adequate enough for digestion. Olive oil stays stable in very acidic environments like the ones caused by helicobacter pylori bacteria which can trigger cancer and stomach ulcers (constipation is one of the symptoms of these diseases).

There are different ways of using olive oil alone or in combination to treat constipation.

Uses of Olive Oil for Constipation in Adults

1. Straight Olive Oil

Drinking olive oil is one of the easiest ways to treat constipation. If you are constantly prone to constipation then you can follow this process regularly until you get relief from constipation.

Consume one tablespoon of sweet oil on an empty stomach in the morning and repeat the same before going to bed as well. Follow this method daily for a week or more until you get relief.

It’s important to note that if you have forgotten to drink it on an empty stomach in the morning then you can drink it 1 hour after having the breakfast.

2. Laxative Drink

In this process, you can add olive oil to another ingredient which also has the properties to prevent constipation. Before looking into the process, let’s have a look at what you mix olive oil with.

  • Milk: The combination of warm milk and olive oil helps to loosen the hard stools. It also moistens the colon making it easy for the stools to pass freely.
  • Coffee: Olive oil can be added to your morning coffee which acts as a laxative. This process helps to cleanse the colon after drinking the concoction. It loosens and moistens the stools to makes pass easily through the colon.
  • Fruit or Vegetable Juice: You can add olive oil in any fruit or vegetable juice. Choose vegetables or fruits that are rich in fiber. Fiber bulks up the stools which stimulates bowel movements while the olive oil moistens the colon.
  • Parsley Juice: Parsley is known to be a potent colon cleanser as it flushes out the harmful toxins from the digestive system. It stimulates the bowel movement and forces the gut to pass the stools.

Process:

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of olive oil with any of the above ingredients.
  • Drink it on an empty stomach or before going to bed.
  • Repeat the process whenever required.

3. Olive Oil With Lemon

Lemon contains high acid content that helps to move the things in the colon. The combination of lemon and olive oil prevents the dryness in the colon which helps the stools to move easily.

  • Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon juice.
  • Consume it on before going to bed.
  • Repeat regularly.

4. Olive Oil With Yogurt

If you are suffering from constipation due to bacteria in the gut then this method is for you. Fight it with some probiotics like yogurt which contains good bacteria and strengthens the mucus lining of the colon. This helps to treat severe constipation and its symptoms.

  • Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a cup of yogurt.
  • Stir well and consume it.
  • Repeat the process 3 times in a day.

5. Olive Oil With Fibrous Fruits

For this process, you can use any fruits that are rich in fiber. Fruits that rich in fiber are apple, pineapple, pear, peach, raspberries or oranges. As banana helps in proper digestion and bulking up a stool, it can also be used.

  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil on 1 or 2 cups of chopped fruit or fruit salad.
  • Eat it on an empty stomach daily.
  • Repeat the process daily.

6. Olive Oil With Black Pepper and Garlic

By following this process, you will make a paste. You can add this paste to the fiber-rich vegetable salads or meats and poultry on daily basis.

  • Combine 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 – 3 teaspoons Curcuma powder, a pinch of black pepper and 1 garlic clove (crushed).
  • Mix the ingredients well and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

7. Sweet Oil For Massage

If you are not a fan of the olive taste, then you can just massage it to get relief from constipation. The skin absorbs the olive oil and the massage reduces the pain and discomfort caused by hard stools.

  • Pour 4 – 5 drops of olive oil near the navel on the stomach.
  • Massage gently in circular motions for 5 minutes or until the skin absorbs the oil completely.
  • Repeat the process twice in a day.

8. Olive Oil Enema

If none of the remedies work, then the last resort is to try an enema. It has to be performed under the strict supervision of a health professional.  Enema is a process where it is pumped into the colon which softens the stools and speeds up the bowel movements.

  • To 1.5 liters of warm water, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
  • Pour the solution into enema pump.
  • Under the strict supervision of qualified professional, pump the solution into the colon through anus.
  • Wait for 10 minutes to let the enema solution work.

Note: This process should not be followed on regularly. Enema is only prescribed to people with severe constipation.

Olive Oil for Constipation in Children

Children often get constipated if their diet doesn’t include fiber. To avoid potty training, kids often hold in the stools which accumulate in the intestines. This makes the stools dilate and painful while passing. Olive oil is also very helpful in treating constipation in kids and toddlers. Olive oil helps to encourage gallbladder to release bile which acts as a natural laxative.

Method 1:

  • Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil into fiber-rich fruits or vegetable juice or pear sauce and feed them in the morning on an empty stomach. You can feed meals prepared with olive oil during lunch and dinner.
  • If your child is more than 6 months, then drizzle olive oil over their food or use it while cooking. You can add 1/4 teaspoon of olive oil for every 2 ounces of food. Feeding more than this limit can cause diarrhea. Few supermarkets supply olive oil specially formulated for kids. You can also use them as they contain mild flavor and less acidity which makes it easy for kids to digest.

Method 2:

  • Massage few drops of olive oil on your baby’s stomach. This helps to loosen the muscles near intestine and reduce the pain.
  • Follow the process regularly to improve bowel movements.

Is Olive Oil Good for Treating Constipation? A Glance at the Facts…

A study was conducted by scientists from Spain in 2006. As per the study published by them, they have surveyed over 414 individuals with age over 55 years old. 97.7% people were given olive oil to treat constipation while 2.7% people were given laxatives for the same.

The results published by them in the year 2007 said, “the participants who took extra virgin olive oil have seen an improvement in bowel movements”. So it is proved that olive oil is helpful.

Side Effects of Olive Oil for Constipation:

Even though olive oil helps in providing relief from constipation, there are some reports that claim the negative effects of olive oil with prolonged use. Below are the side effects and risk factors…

  • As olive oil contains a lot of calories (120 calories in 1 tablespoon), you may put on weight if used for longtime without keeping an eye on calories.
  • Our body can handle small doses of olive oil but large doses of olive oil can lead to diarrhea. So, it is better to stick with the quantities mentioned in the article.
  • People with diabetes and other chronic conditions should speak to their doctor before trying out olive oil for constipation. Regular usage of olive oil can decrease your sugar levels.
  • Avoid giving olive oil for constipation in babies or newborns as it can lead to non-stop diarrhea in them.

Tips to Treat and Prevent Constipation:

Olive alone cannot treat or prevent constipation completely. You should follow certain dietary and lifestyle changes. Read on to know…

  • Which olive oil to use for home remedies? In order to receive effective results, it is better to use cold compressed extra virgin oil for all home remedies.
  • Dietary Changes: Low fiber diet is one of the reasons for constipation. Add fiber-rich fruits, vegetables and green leafy vegetables in daily diet. Foods rich in vitamin C are also helpful in treating constipation.Include probiotics as well because they are effective in improving digestion and regulating bowel movements. As most of us don’t have enough time to eat the daily requirement of probiotics, we recommend taking probiotic supplements for the same. For your convenience, we have gathered the top picks at one place, you can read them here…
  • Olive Oil for Cooking: Using olive oil for your regular cooking or drizzling it on salads helps to maintain your bowel movement normal.
  • Stay Hydrated: Lack of moisture hardens the stools which are caused due to constipation. Drink at least 8 glasses of water throughout the day at regular intervals. In addition to it, you can also drink up to 3 glasses of fruit or vegetable juice. You can also consume fruits and vegetable rich in water content to stay hydrated.
  • Avoid Foods that Trigger Constipation: Cut down foods and drinks that cause constipation. Processed foods, fried foods, and foods that contain high amounts of fat, refined sugars and artificial additives should be avoided.
  • Maintain Proper Weight: If you are obese, then it might be a reason for your constipation. If you are overweight as per your height then it is time to shrink some inches to get rid of constipation.
  • Avoid Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol dehydrates the body and worsens the condition so it is better to avoid it at least till constipation is cured.
  • Physical Exercise: Lack of physical exercise is often the main reason for constipation. So make sure to do some stretches or walking to improve bowel movements.
  • Squats in Toilets: Squatting is considered the natural position to pass the stools. When you have an issue passing the stools, consider squatting over the toilet and check if it works.
  • Bowel Movement Schedule: Our body can adapt a time schedule to pass the stools. Visit the bathroom in order to empty the bowl movements at a particular time every day. This makes your body adapt to the time schedule and trigger bowel movements at the same time daily.
  • Replace the Medication that Trigger Constipation: If you observe dealing with constipation after taking certain medications then ask your doctor to lower the dose and change the medication.

Olive oil is helpful in treating mild cases of constipation. But even prolonged use of olive oil is not helping then you should consult your doctor, as sometimes it can be due to serious health conditions like lupus, colon cancer or others.

Did you try olive oil to get relief from constipation earlier? Do you have any other remedies that work better than this? Share your experience and suggestions in the comments section below.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How Long Does it Take for Olive Oil to Relieve Constipation or Make You Poop?

You should start a bowel movement within few hours. If you don’t see any movement then repeat the process again. If you haven’t seen any improvement with the second dosage then stop the process and try different methods like castor oil or prunes. Or else you can consult a doctor.

What is the Dosage of Olive Oil for Constipation?

Apart from cooking your meals with it, you can drink 1 tablespoon of olive oil once in the morning and 1 hour after the dinner. Avoid consuming in large quantities of olive oil as it can trigger diarrhea. For kids and toddlers, you the dosage is 1 – 3 teaspoons.

38 comments
  1. I was in the hospital recently for a partial small bowel obstruction, I am fine now but haven’t had a good bowel movement yet. Do you believe the olive oil work in this situation?

    1. Yes, it can. Try it. If you didn’t see any results within few hours, try prune juice, baking soda or castor oil methods.

    1. It entirely depends on a person. If a remedy works for me then it may or may not work for you and vice versa. Both castor oil and olive oil have properties of passing the hard stools. Choose any one as per your convenience and try it. If one doesn’t work then try another.

    1. Wait for 3 – 4 hours, if you are not feeling any movement then repeat the process again. You can repeat the process 3 – 4 times a day.

  2. I always eat a high fiber diet and have normal bowel movements. Over a period of a few weeks I took about 2 tablespoonfulls of olive oil each day in addition to adding 2 tablespoonsfull to a salad daily. For 3 weeks I have had “cow pie” stools. All lab reports are normal. I have decided I need to reduce my intake to salads only. How long does it take for the excess Olive Oil to completely clear the body?

    1. Instead of depending on olive oil, detoxification helps in clearing your body. You can try fruit and veggie detox, smoothie cleanse, juice cleanse, sugar detox or hypoallergenic detox. You can find various detox programs online.

  3. How much extra virgin oil should i give to my 3 years old chlid for constipation .is it safe. I m giving laxopeg daily to my baby for constipation . should i give both or one of them.

    1. Yes, olive oil is safe to consume. Avoid giving both of them. Stop using the medicine and try the methods to see if the child is able to have free bowel movements. If olive oil is not working then you can continue with the medicine.

  4. i live. in thailand and 73 years old…About 6 months ago i started having problem with constipation ..i been tp doctor many times but no real succes…My stool seems to reach my bowel ok,,everyday i get up 3am drink i glass of prune juice and lots of water after 2 hours the same..my stooll starts to get soft after about 2 to 4 hours…i continue to drink water tea coffee until about 12.00 midday…sometimes my stool comes out but mostt days have to use a very small enema and always the full stool comes out…from yesterday i started taking olive oil….why my stool takes so long to get soft…..i have no pain passing food..thanks hope you can help

  5. I’ve extremely chronic constipation. If I don’t take strong laxative like a bottle of senna, there will not be any bowel movement. I know taking regular senna is not good which is why I choose to take it only once per month to go clear my intestine once per month. There will be times even if I take laxative, there isn’t any bowel movement at all which will cause me in extreme pain and exhaustion and extremely depressed for not being able to clear out all those food that has gone rotten inside me. I’m scared…really very scared… I really wish God will help me.. free me from life and let me die in my sleep or give me a miracle so that I could live on normally once again to know what is life again…

    I’ve long given up on any remedies because I’ve almost tried all of them… I’ve went to countless doctors but all they gave me were fiber and more fiber till the last few doctors recommended to cut off the colon.. I cried almost everyday.. Doctors took too much of our hard-earned money but never cure us… Cutting off the colon will make it worse..

    I’m still breathing, once in a while, I will still look out for a miracle hoping that one day, all bad stuff will just disappear..

    I’m in pain all the time.. I’m extremely exhausted.. no matter how much I’ve sleep, I’m always exhausted and tired. Because I’m in full pain almost all the time, there’s no way I could have a proper job.

    Can anyone really help me n guide me on…

    Ps..

    1. You can use any method mentioned above in the article to work as a laxative. Apart from that, you have to make changes in your daily lifestyle.

        Drink plenty of water
        Eat a nutritional food that is easy to digest.
        Include at least one green leafy vegetables in your diet.
        Do some physical exercise like walking or jogging.
        Squatting is considered the natural position to pass the stools. When you have an issue passing the stools, consider squatting over the toilet and check if it works.
        Avoid foods that trigger constipation can sugars, artificial additives and high amounts of fat.
        Use olive oil for cooking or drizzle in in your salads.
        Consume fruits and vegetables rich in fiber and water.
    2. You have what I have I did cut all of my large bowels and its been a year and in still having problems try home enemes bye a kit morw water more healthy i find all those laxitives work at first then they make me sick after or try actilax liquid it soften stool . im a vagen now ive tryed all diferent diets . its a depressing problem ..

  6. I’ve been taking a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil twice daily for about a month along with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar. My poop has been a leafy green color for the past few days. Could my olive oil/apple cider vinegar regimen be causing this change in my poop color?

    1. Nope, consumption of olive oil or apple cider vinegar cannot change the color of the poop. There could be any other issue. So, we recommend consulting a doctor as soon as possible and discuss about the problem you are experiencing.

  7. Hi i have constipation in Day 4 started in sunday and i cant poop i always drink water and every morning i drink warm salt water nothing happens i am just farting i feel so full or its heavy but i can still run and walk thou i am teenager 14 years old should i use olive oil in adult one or for child? Thanks hope you reply admin 🙂 i have virgin olive oil i hope this works to me i hope its not serious i cry if this is serious this is my 1st time having it uggh! My virgin olive oil brand is capri

    1. Yes, you can use olive oil for adult one. Olive oil acts as laxative and helps to move the stools. To prevent constipation in future, we recommend drinking plenty of water, eat fiber rich foods, and exercise regularly.

  8. If I don’t have olive oil on hand would vegetable oil work in the mean time, I have gastritis and was told it would help

  9. Hi my name is Jamie and I have spinal bifida and all my life I have had a problem with going to the bathroom and I want to know the safest way to help me cuz it hurts when I go

  10. So i went to hospital approx 3 weeks ago cause my insides where rattling and i felt bloated when i ate anything, i could not enjoy a meal, they took an xray and told me everything was ok even the blood work, still felt like crap and couldnt really eat, i know my body and know when something is wrong, so i did the olive oil thing, 45 mins later bam, a bowel movement, keep in mind i dropped all processed foods etc, even if the label says organic watch the ingredients , companies are sneaky and will add organic but will throw in cream of tartar, natural flavors which is all processed genectically modified , so i went to a different hospital and explained to them what i felt , amazed the xray showed lots of undigested food from me thinking akaline water was the way to go, i killed all my stomach acids which is important for food digestion, was prescribed miralax , never got it went home pulled out the olive oil a litlle lemon bam 45 mins later some came out, you cant eat crap and expect this to work you have to give up all unreal food! Magnesium citrate will be the finishing touch ! Good luck be pateint natural way works but stop eating use bone broth fasting , your body can heal itself if you trigger it

  11. its my day 6 that i cant bowel. ive already taken suppository once and i think it works coz there are tiny wet poops going out but there is a hard stool that i cant bowel. why some poop can pass even there’s a hard stool that i cant release? what will i do to the hard stool tha5 cant go out?

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