I felt compelled to share this for many reasons, but for one, it hits very close to home for me. Strap on your seatbelts because this blog is gonna get real…like, for REAL. (Don’t be scared, but instead try and be open-minded.)


For 30+ years of my life I have suffered from constipation.


I remember as a young child not having a bowel movement for days on end, and once I finally did it was extremely painful. I had to endure the humiliation and extreme discomfort of anal suppositories, and the old “trick” of drinking prune juice was a regular occurrence.


I always suffered from digestive upset, and often it was accompanied by vomiting and diarrhea. I truly believe these episodes were the direct result of holding in my waste for long periods of time and finally my body would just purge it out.


Family vacations were a real special kind of treat, where I would either not move my bowels the entire time, or would be stuck inside our hotel room with a stomach ache or vomiting episode.


This has led me into my adult years with a deep fear of traveling because of the discomfort I had to endure. This is a pattern I have been trying desperately to unwind the past few years, and let me tell you it is very difficult to do. (We can talk about unwinding body patterns in a different blog).


Before I get into herbal formulas, I want to be clear about the reasons for constipation, and there are many.


First, constipation can be caused by eating binding foods. What this means is, when we eat binding foods, it sticks like glue in our intestines and cannot move through and out of the colon. Instead is stays locked up inside of us, burying deeply into pockets in our intestines.


In short, binding foods are: meat, dairy, grains, processed/packaged foods. There are no if’s, and’s, or but’s about it. These foods bind in the intestines slowing down digestion, period.


Some of you may be saying, “But wait…when I eat dairy, grains, etc. etc. I don’t have problems.” Yes, this is very possible. Every person’s system is different, but in general, let’s recognize that the above listed foods are binding foods whether you can feel it or not.


Second, constipation can be the result of stress and/or overused and weak adrenal glands. Our adrenal glands are the gas and break pedals for the bowels. When our body is in stress (fight or flight) mode, our adrenals are activated and the bowels are turned off. When we are relaxed, they press the gas pedal on the bowels once again.


There is a physiological reason for this, and it is a very primal function of the human body. If we are being chased by a bear, we have to run. If we are running from a bear, is there time to stop for a quick poop? Absolutely not.


It’s the same thing in this lifetime. We are constantly being faced with life’s challenges and stresses, and it is rare to actually be able to relax for a period of time. And our bodies are so intelligent, that they do exactly as they are supposed to. We are stressed, the adrenals shut off the bowels. It’s that simple.


Of course there are other various reasons for constipation. Perhaps you have had a digestion related medical diagnosis. Perhaps you are taking certain medications that have a side effect of binding. Perhaps you have some hormonal changes taking place.  


Whatever the reason may be, the formula I will share with you today is one that I have been experimenting with over the past few years and has produced great results. I have finally found the perfect formulation for me, and want to share this information with you all. Because I know the discomfort, embarrassment, and agony constipation can cause first hand. It’s downright awful.


A few notes on this formula, before you choose to use it.


1) Please only use this formula in conjunction with a healthy, whole foods, plant-filled diet. If you are eating binding foods all the time, this formula may help but it is only temporary and very short term. I cannot stress enough how important it is to be eating clean while using this formula. (If you are unsure of what a healthful diet means for you, contact me! Let’s talk!)


2) If you have been eating a healthy whole-foods-based diet for a while and are still backed up, you may choose to try this formula, but please opt to start small. One or two a day is fine, and you can always work up to more. This formula produces a lot of change and very quickly, and you WILL notice a change. This formula is for those who truly need it and want to see results…so be prepared and start small!


3) If your constipation is due to stress and adrenal weakness (again, if you’re unsure, contact me and let’s talk!), you can still choose this formula if you wish. Regardless of the reason, this formula helps train the bowels to move again. If we have been constipated for many years (as in my personal case), our bowels have grown to become “lazy” so will need some re-training. This formula exercises the colon to train it to move again, as opposed “forcing” it to move. There’s a difference!


4) This is NOT the same thing as a laxative, so please do not use it as such. Herbs provide the body with opportunities to heal itself. When we take herbs, the body will take from them what it needs, and discard the rest. The body uses herbs as tools for healing, rather than relying on an outside source to do the work. Herbs make the body work, not the other way around.


5) Finally, if you are taking a heavy amount of medication, or any medication at all, consult with your healthcare provider or a qualified practitioner to determine if this formula is right for you.


All right, let’s get down to it! Here is my favorite bowel formula. There are many versions, but this is the one I like best:

2 parts Cascara Sagrada – Colon exerciser

1 part Turkey Rhubarb – Colon exerciser

2 parts Slippery Elm – Allows waste to eliminate easily

2 parts Licorice – Adrenal support

1 part Ginger – Great for the stomach; opens blood vessels to allow for deeper penetration of other herbs


I purchase all my herbs online from They have very high quality and organic herbs. I have been buying my herbs from here for many years and have never been disappointed!


I recommend purchasing all the herbs in powder form, mixing them together well and then capsuling them on your own. It is the most cost effective way to do it. Capsules can be found at your local health store or Mountain Rose Herbs. I recommend size “1” or “00” capsules (“00” are the larger size), and make sure they are veggie capsules if you can.


I encourage you to take your health very seriously, and consult with a qualified health practitioner if you want to go deeper with your healing. If you are unsure of whether you need this formula, or if it would be good for you, please reach out so we can determine this together.


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Important Notice: This article should not in any way replace medical care or advisory, and is not intended to be medical advice whatsoever. Andrea McLaughlin of Llovera Holistic, LLC does not diagnose, cure or treat disease in any way, shape or form. By using the information in this article, you are doing so at your own personal risk, and taking full personal responsibility in doing so. Andrea McLaughlin of Llovera Holistic, LLC is not a medical doctor, but is a natural health practitioner. Please consult with your physician before trying anything new or making changes regarding your health.