Milk of magnesia is one of the world's most frequently used constipation treatments. Milk of magnesium and other magnesium products are useful by themselves or along with juicing, although the form of magnesium used makes a difference.
Milk of magnesia is a watery solution made with the chemical magnesium hydroxide, which occurs in nature as the mineral brucite. Milk of magnesia draws water into the colon and softens stool, making it easier to pass. It also neutralizes stomach acid—so unless you also have heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease, it is usually a good idea to take milk of magnesia two hours after your last meal of the day. That way your dinner gets fully digested, and you are less likely to experience bloating.
Milk of magnesia works best if you take a fruit juice chaser about an hour later. The milk of magnesia draws potassium into the stool with water from blood plasma, and fruit juice replaces the lost potassium. You don't have to drink prune juice to replace electrolytes when you take this magnesium formula. Any kind of fruit or vegetable juice will help replenish potassium.
The kind of magnesium you get with a doctor's prescription is either magnesium citrate (Citroma) or magnesium sulfate (available as a generic). Both kinds of magnesium draw water into the stool to make it softer. Magnesium citrate causes the colon to stretch so that the muscles alongside it can press more stool with less effort. It usually gets results in about 3 hours if taken orally and in about 15 minutes if taken as a suppository. It should not be used when there are anal fissures—the violent motion caused by the stretching of the colon can make tears worse—and it should be used by people who have heart problems.
Magnesium sulfate is usually given by intravenous injection. It's used to treat muscle spasms that cause retention of stool. However, Epsom Salts, which is certainly very common in the UK, is magnesium sulfate, and it is especially effective at clearing out the bowels when taken orally.
The kind of magnesium it's safe to use on your own is milk of magnesia, sometimes advertised as MOM. Make sure you take small amounts of juice after you use MOM for greatest benefits from the juice and fewest side effects of MOM.