Osmotic chemicals - Saline Carthertics
These chemicals are salts and other compounds that activate secretions of water from your colon walls and into your colon, which are absorbed by the fecal matter. This softens the fecal matter and promotes a bowel movement. This laxative should be used only for a short time since they can become habit-forming.
Osmotic laxatives promote bowel movements by bringing large amounts of water into your colon. In this bowel movement, minerals the body needs are also eliminated in the stool.
Here is a list of osmotic chemical laxatives you will find at the drugstore
* Epson salt
* Maalox - contain aluminum and magnesium hydroxide
* Magnesium hydroxide
* Milk of magnesia - Milk of Magnesia, a saline laxative, causes stools to hold fluid, which promotes peristaltic action. Magnesia can neutralize acids you need for digestion and can give you excess of magnesium
* Sorbitol - is found in fruits and vegetables and can also be created, in the body, through chemical synthesis. It can hold large amount of water in your colon making stools softer.
Do not use osmotic laxatives in high dose. They can be toxic and affect the kidneys. If you have weak kidneys do not use this type of laxative.
Stimulant Laxative Cathartics
Stimulant laxatives have strong laxative action and should be avoided if possible. These laxatives stimulate your colon by irritating your colon walls. This irritation causes peristaltic movement. When these stimulants are used over a longtime, they become habit-forming and can damage your colon wall by desensitizing cells and nerves along your colon walls.
These laxatives have some side effects such as nausea, cramping and diarrhea. But, not every one will experience these side effects.
Osmotic and senna are popular herbs with strong stimulative action. Many other herbs also fall into the category. Use these herbs only when prepared by well know companies. It is also best to use a herbal combination, since these herbs work together to provide colon toning, detoxification, cell building, and colon stimulation.
Use herbal combinations for 5 days or less. Just use them long enough to clear your constipation.
Some of the stimulant laxatives you will find at the drugstore are:
* Cascara sagrada
* Caster oil - not recommend since it will irritate your colon
* Correctol - contains Bisacodyl
* Dialose plus - contains phenolphthalein
* Dulcolax - contains bisacodyl
* Exlax - contains bisacodyl and sennosides
* Feenamint - contains bisacodyl
* Perdiem - contains senna
* PeriColace - contains casanthranol
Some Bisacodyl interferes with absorption of potassium in your colon.
All laxative of any type can produce diarrhea if they are too strong or are used excessively.
If you use caster oil, make sure you take it little by little and not a lot at one time. Caster oil is thick and can get stuck in your throat and cause you to gag.
Laxatives, if abused, produce electrolytic imbalances, sodium excess, esophageal blockage, diarrhea, and constipation.
Drugstore Laxatives contain various chemicals and compounds such as belladonna alkaloids - atropine, scopolamine. They contain Nux vomica a form of strychnine, a rat poison. They also contain podophyllum and aloin, which produce strong bowel action making them unsafe.
If you have been on a drugstore laxative, try one of the Natural Laxative Methods or Herbal Laxative Combinations that I have listed in other articles to normalize your bowel movements or move toward eating foods with high natural fiber.
When using strong laxatives the entire colon can be quickly cleaned out. This means your next bowel movement will not occur for 24 hours or longer. So don't panic thinking you are still constipated.
Rudy Silva has a degree in Physics and is a Natural Nutritionist.