Constipation is a common digestive disorder and using mineral oil for constipation is a safe home remedy to solve this ailment. Voted safest for constipation relief due to its harmless composition, Mineral Oil has acquired medicinal status as a laxative.
Mineral oil is a derivative of petroleum and is commonly termed as liquid paraffin. A high lubricating agent and is translucent and odourless. This highly viscous liquid is used for skin-softening and lubricating purposes in dermal medicine to cure eczema, dryness and even psoriasis. Its high emollient nature renders it suitable for use in cosmetics like cold cream and ointments. Women use mineral oil to cure diaper rash and also prevent cracking of heels and eyelashes.
But the best use of Mineral Oil has been in curing constipation and easing bowel movements. This simple-to-use home remedy is advised by even doctors as it is totally safe.
Mineral Oil for Constipation is a good remedy but should be used in moderation
How does Mineral Oil help in constipation relief?
Constipation is a medical condition defined by hardened stools and arrested or painful bowel movements. Constipation may affect children, elderly people or even pregnant mothers. The causes for constipation may be improper toilet training in children and decreased physical activity, insufficient diet and fluid intake or hypothyroidism in adults.
Home remedies are more preferable for solving this persistent ailment as they are easy to access and totally safe. Among all the home remedies for constipation, Mineral Oil is voted best due to its easiest and fastest relief.
Mineral oil functions in the following manner in easing out constipation.
• Once consumed, Mineral oil acts as insulation by covering the intestinal mucosal lining with a slick , hydrophobic layer. This layer prevents the re-absorption of water from the stools back by the intestinal walls. So the stools remain moist and easy to excrete.
• Next , it lubricates the intestinal walls and make them slippery so that the stools can glide through.
Home remedies for constipation:
When constipation occurs, most people try to cure it at home using some of these methods:
Drinking lots of hot water is one of the instant remedies that any constipated person undertakes. But this is of no use if the stools have hardened considerably. This also does not give instant relief and takes a long time to take effect.
About 1.5 spoons of Olive Oil give you the necessary lubrication to pass stools. But most children refuse to take olive oil due to its high viscosity and queer smell.
This coarse grain husk is just right to induce bowel movement in the morning when taken with a glass of water at bedtime. Children find it to consume this dust like husk which has a revolting taste.
All the above mentioned home remedies are slow, time-consuming and sometimes difficult to consume. But Mineral Oil Laxative is easy to consume as it is odourless and slightly viscous and has immediate effect.
Mineral oil constipation relief is one of the recommended methods to relieve constipation and painful defecation.
Mineral Oil-its source and types:
Mineral Oil is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum .consisting of alkanes and cyclic paraffin, Mineral Oil or Liquid Paraffin is related to white petroleum jelly. It is odourless, colourless and light and is available in light and heavy grades in drug stores and departmental stores nearby.
Mineral oil may exist in 3 forms-paraffinic, naphthenic or aromatic.
How does Mineral Oil help in constipation?
Constipation is of different forms and the use of mineral oil for constipation is very effective for all types.
1.Acute constipation with faecal plug impaction:
Constipation may sometimes be severe where a faecal plug may block the stools from passing out. Here the doctor may advise an oral dose of Mineral Oil for constipation relief, In addition, Mineral oil may also be used as a rectal enema to soften and ease out the passage of the faecal plug.
2.Restoration of normal function after acute constipation:
After the dissolution of the faecal plug, the normal rectal function should resume . To resume normal colonic function with easy transit of stools, the use of Mineral Oil for constipation relief is still continued.
The American Academy of Family Physicians recommends a dose of 1-3 ml of Mineral Oil per kg of diet everyday or o/ver a couple of days. This can be divided as small doses or administered as a single dose.
The Merck Manual suggests the administration of 15-45 ml of Mineral Oil for constipation relief daily.
Intake of Mineral oil for constipation relief:
The following are the pointers to keep in mind:
1. Keep Mineral Oil chilled in the fridge. Take Mineral Oil in chilled form as it is less viscous or more palatable.
2. Children may not like the taste of Mineral Oil in pure form. So mix it in juice or ice cream and give it to your kid.
3. The best way to administer Mineral Oil for constipation is by mixing it with orange juice.
4. Mineral Oil also tastes best when dissolved in diary products.
Risks in consuming Mineral Oil for constipation:
Although Mineral Oil is used for constipation, certain risks are involved here which are noted as follows.
Mineral Oil is carcinogenic and can cause Colon cancer in the long run. It also slows down the lipid dissolution and it inhibits the absorption of fat- soluble vitamins by the intestinal layer
It may lead to lipoid pneumonia.
It is also not recommended for children with swallowing problems.
Pregnant mothers should definitely avoid use of mineral oil as its use may result in fatigue, tiredness and dehydration.
Advantages of using Mineral Oil:
1. It is inexpensive when compared to pharmaceutical medicines.
2. It is easily available in all drug and departmental stores.
3. It is fast acting and eases out stools in minutes with minimum discomfort.
4. It is non-toxic and safe to use.
So Mineral Oil can be a double-edged sword.
Weigh the pros and cons for your relief. Use it with common sense and prudence to treat acute bouts of constipation and not on a regular basis.