Constipation is an issue many suffer from in silence but according to


“It’s been shown that constipation management accounts for 10% of district nursing time. Prescription costs of laxatives have been rising year by year. National statistics show that from 2004 to 2014 the use of laxatives increased by 40.1%”


The treatment plan for constipation depends on many factors.


  • Is there any moisture in the stools?

  • Are the stools dry?

  • Is there any pain?

  • What does the pain feel like?

  • Where is the pain?

  • What is the patient’s diet and fluid intake like?

  • Does it get worse with stress?

  • Does the patient feel tired and bloated after eating?


These questions help determine what the cause of constipation and how to treat it. The stomach and large intestines are often associated with constipation but there are other organs. In Chinese medicine the liver helps with the smooth movement of Qi and blood. For the process of digestion including the movement of stools, if liver Qi is not flowing smoothly this can stop the movement of stools.


Heat is another cause of constipation. For the stools to flow there needs to be moisture in the intestines to allow enough free movement. Heat can dry up the moisture. This could be caused by diet or lifestyle. Food that are dry or hot in nature can create internal heat. Not drinking enough water or drinking too much alcohol can cause internal heat that can dry up the fluids in the intestines and slowing down the movement of Qi.


A good acupuncturist will be able to advise you on what changes need to made to help your constipation.



Essential oils


Apply all oils with a carrier oil and do not ingest it orally.


Cinnamon leaf is hot in nature, so avoid if you have dry stools or show any signs of heat then avoid this oil.


  • Cinnamon leaf helps stimulate digestion.

  • Sweet marjoram relaxes the gastrointestinal tract and reduces irritability

  • Bitter orange transforms phlegm in the intestines and stimulates digestion

  • Black pepper is commonly used to treat digestive problems like constipation and diarrhoea.




Food that moisten the intestines.


Beetroot, prunes and dates. Eat less dry foods for example roasted meat, cream crackers, crisps and potatoes. Eats foods that are cooling for example pears, radishes, grapes and carrots. Avoid hot spicy food and raw food.


Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water. If you are active with fitness and exercise drink at least 3 litres.

Do not drink until after eating. Eat ginger after every meal. After a heavy meal drink pu’rh tea. If your constipation gets worse with stress then rose bud tea. Camomile tea relaxes the intestines.


Eat at a table, not on a couch, make sure the table is at a regular height. If it is too low then this affect the digestive process by constricting the movement of food passing into the stomach and putting pressure on the rest of the digestive system. Eating and working or working lunches can affect the flow of food, eating on the go and regular arguments while at the dinner table “knots the Qi” (stopping or slowing down the natural descending movement of food as it digests.



These are guidelines and to receive advice that is personal to you then book an appointment with your local acupuncturist and aromatherapist.


  • REN12

  • REN6

  • ST25

  • ST36

  • ST37

  • SP3

  • SP6

  • LI4

  • LI11

  • SJ6