While stools can change color depending on your diet, when they turn a black color, it can be a bit alarming. If you're experiencing dark stools, there are certain foods you can take to improve digestion and get rid of black stools.
About Black Stools
Black stools, or melena, occurs when you pass stool that is darker than usual in color. Sometimes dark stools can be so dark that they appear black or have a tar-like texture. Stool color, texture and consistency are major indicators of your overall health and can point to underlying medical conditions that need treating. Stool color can also be an indicator of certain foods you’re eating that are causing your stool color to change.1
If the underlying cause of darkened stools is due to dietary reasons, then this is usually easy to correct. Taking iron supplements or medications like Pepto-Bismol can cause darkened stools. Dark foods like blueberries, beets, black licorice, red food coloring or red fruit punch can also create the appearance of black or dark red stools.1,2,3
It’s important to take note of your stools and notice any changes in bowel movements. Though dark stools can sometimes be diet-related, other times it could be something more severe. Dark stools accompanied by constipation can be an indicator of a serious gastrointestinal condition.1,2,3
Bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, including stomach bleeding, can cause stools to appear black. Ulcers and irritations in the esophagus, stomach or elsewhere throughout the digestive tract can cause black stools. When blood mixes with digestive fluids, it can cause a tarry texture and appearance, making stools appear black or dark red.1,2,3
Black stools may be accompanied by constipation. If black stools become a recurring condition, it’s important to seek medical attention. Severe indicators of a gastrointestinal condition are when you have black stools along with any of the following symptoms:
- Feeling faint or dizzy
- Increased heart rate
- Clammy skin
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Vomiting blood or blood in stools
Best Natural Remedies for Black Stools
Black stools and constipation can be treated by adding the right herbs and foods to your diet. If you’re looking for natural ways to get rid of black stools, try the following home remedies:
Buttermilk - Buttermilk is a traditional home remedy for digestive problems and can be taken to help stop and prevent black stools.
Sesame Seed - Sesame seeds help to increase bulk in the digestive tract, which promotes digestive regularity. Improving digestive health can help you to avoid developing black stools.
Spinach - Spinach contains important nutrients necessary for long-term digestive health. Adding spinach to your diet can regulate your bowel movements and prevent black stools.
Aloe Vera - Aloe vera juice can be taken to help heal intestinal issues that may be causing black stools. Additionally, aloe vera will help to soften hard, black stools to make them easier to pass.
Senna - Seanna leaf is a natural laxative that can help with constipation and hard, dark stools. Drinking senna can improve bowel regularity and prevent dark stools.