How to Wean Off of a Laxative

Many cleansing products use laxatives like senna to help move waste out of the body. The problem is that most people don't realize that it's in there or that senna is a true laxative (even though it is natural).

Let's start by going over how a laxative works versus a non-laxative herb...

A laxative is recognized by the body as a toxin. When the toxin enters the intestines, your body will draw water from all parts of you to the intestinal area to dilute the toxin (or poison) then your intestines (colon included) will spasm to eliminate the diluted toxin.

On the other hand, there are herbs like cascara sagrada, triphala (an Indian herb) and even aloe vera that work by causing the release of hormonal oils. These oils in turn stimulate peristalsis of the intestinal tract.

The latter will help your body to restore it's natural peristalsis without becoming dependent on a stimulant. Remember, the intestinal tract is made of of muscles that create the wave-like motions. When a muscle is used more, it gets stronger. It's that simple.

Why doesn't the laxative retrain the muscles? Think of this; when you go to a gym and workout, you start with light weights and work your way up to heavier weights to get stronger. If you went straight to the gym, grabbed the heaviest you could lift and lift it as fast as you can, you will hurt your muscles and not be able to work out for a few days. Your muscles become exhausted. Ask any trainer and they will tell you the proper way to build strength is slow and steady. All muscles work like this.

So - if you have been taking a laxative and now want to restore your normal function, how can you? Let's explore the different ways.

First of all, it probably won't do much good to suddenly stop taking the laxative. It is best to cut your dosage in half. If that constipates you, then cut only a 1/4 of it out. Stay on that dosage for a week before cutting out another 1/4.

While you are doing this, try adding aloe vera pills or triphala. In either case, you will need to start right away with at least the full recommended dose. You will still be taking the laxative, but that's okay because no matter which you use, they do not work right away. They take at least two to four days to feel the effects. Many people don't even feel it in that time if they have been taking heavy laxative dosages.

If you are in this category, a colonic may help. Check with your local therapists to assure they use only water and disposable speculums. It may take a few, but patience is a virtue.

If your problem is a difficult one, try doing the above while consuming only cherries and prunes for a day. These both help to flush the system. You could also try a veggie juice fast for two or three days using 1/4 beet in your fresh made veggie juice.

How long it takes to wean off will depend on how much you have been taking for how long. I've had clients who were addicted to laxatives for over ten years. At this point it was very difficult for them to stop taking it because of the mental attachment.

If this is the case, you may need some extra help in counseling, hypnotherapy, spiritual help, etc.

The most important thing is to pay attention to your body. Cleansing is supposed to be slow, steady and gentle. It is in this way that you become attuned to your bodies' needs. Also, it is slow and steady that gives lasting results.