For all those people who suffer from constipation, I wanted to share with you a simple, natural solution that has proven so effective for many people. (Please note that you should always consult a doctor if your bowel habits change or if you have been suffering from prolonged problems to eliminate any serious underlying causes.)  Constipation can affect people of any age and stage in life and is particularly prevalent amongst the elderly. This may be a result of immobility or waining appetite and insufficient bulk in the diet or simply a natural result of the ageing process. Sadly many people turn to prescription laxatives for help which may or may not work and certainly do nothing to add to the nutrients absorbed through the gut.   Flax seed (also known as linseed) is inexpensive, nutritious and highly effective as a bulking agent. It also supplies the body with Omega 3 essential fatty acids.   Flaxseed is mucilaginous and its mucilage swells when it comes into contact with fluid. Once it has swollen in the gut it helps the natural functioning of the bowels. It can be purchased in most good health food stores and costs about a £1.00 for 500g which should last a week or so if you sprinkle a couple of heaped dessertspoons full onto your cereal in the morning. It can be sprinkled onto cereal or left overnight to soak and then added to cereal or a drink. It is also available in the supermarket where it tends to be considerably more expensive. Flaxseed or linseed can be golden or brown in colour - we prefer the golden though I do not know whether there is any nutritional difference in them.  As well as being beneficial for the gut, flaxseed oil is known to reduce cholesterol, to be good for the skin and helps to maintain a healthy digestive, immune and nervous system. All in all its a simple and very nutritious solution to some very basic problems.