We all know the key to digestive health is a good diet rich in veggies and fruits. But we all get stuck sometimes.  There are a lot of completely natural ways to ease digestion and increase bowel movement.  It’s best to avoid commercial laxatives, pills, chemicals or other substances if something all natural can help.  Certainly there are times when you need something stronger, but first try these:

1) Papaya seeds–The small black coated seeds found in the middle of a papaya have many benefits, including easing digestion.  You can blend them up as in salad dressing–they have a spicy, wasabi-like taste–or swallow them whole like pills.

2) Apple-pear-ginger blended–Grab 1 apple, 1 pear–any variety should work–and as much ginger as you can stand: peel, core, blend, and drink like a smoothie. Don’t strain the fiber and don’t use a juicer, this fiber, plus the ginger, is what helps to get things moving.  (If you like, you can blend core, seeds, and peel together, but in that case, use organic, and check that the core isn’t rotten.)

3) Stomach massage–Lay on your back, head propped a bit, soles of the feet together: using the heel of your hand massage your abdominals starting at the top of the stomach area in between the ribs and moving down the left side in a semi-circle ending just above the pubic bone.  Repeat at least 3-4 times, morning and evening, or as you feel necessary. (Don’t press too hard!, particularly if you experience pain or have had surgery.)  This is a good technique to aid in passing gas out through the colon as well.

4) Yoga Twists–Depending on your flexibility, sit on the floor or on a hard bed in half lotus or with 1 knee bent: turn as far around to one side as you can.  You should slowly breathe into your abdomen while continuing to turn further and hold for 5-15 seconds.  Then repeat on the other side.  (Stop if you experience pain, are pregnant, or otherwise advised by a doctor not to do so.)

Have you tried these or other natural methods?  How did they work?  Leave a comment below.