Some people use raisins as a remedy for constipation. However, research has not conclusively proven that they are effective for constipation. Some studies have found supportive results, while others have found that raisins made no difference.

Raisins are high in fiber and sorbitol, which could explain why some people find them helpful for constipation. Fiber adds bulk to stools, which can make them easier to pass, and sorbitol can help soften stool.

Not all studies agree that raisins make any difference to transit time (how long it takes for stool to move through the digestive tract) or fecal bulk.

Read on to learn more about using raisins for constipation, including whether they work, how they might help, and whether raisins can also cause constipation.

This article also discusses other ways of treating constipation and when to seek help.

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Raisins may help with constipation. However, studies in this area have had mixed results.

A 2021 review of past research notes that while some trials found that raisins did increase how quickly stools passed through the digestive system, other studies did not. This was despite the fact that the studies used similar doses of raisins.

That said, raisins are similar to other fruits people eat as part of a balanced, nutritious diet to encourage regular bowel movements, so they may help some people.

Several characteristics of raisins could explain why they might help with constipation. However, more studies are necessary to confirm this.


Raisins are high in fiber, and eating enough fiber each day can help with regular bowel movements. This is because fiber increases the bulk of stools, making them easier to pass.

Depending on a person’s age and sex, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends that people consume between 22–34 grams (g) of fiber per day.

Half a cup (80 g) of raisins contains 3.6 g of fiber. Including raisins as part of a balanced diet may help with digestive health.


Raisins contain a type of sugar alcohol known as sorbitol, which can help to soften a person’s stool naturally. This may make bowel movements easier.

There is no official guidance on when to eat raisins for constipation or how many a person should eat.

In past studies, the amounts of raisins researchers tried ranged from 84–168 g, with varying results. This is roughly two to four times more than the amount in a typical box of raisins.

Studies on using fruits to treat constipation have had varying results. However, several studies suggest that raisins are effective both in research and anecdotal evidence.

A review from 2021 found moderate evidence that kiwis, mangoes, prunes, and figs could be useful as laxatives. However, the evidence for this was not as strong as it was for senna or polyethylene glycol, which are common over-the-counter (OTC) laxatives.

According to a 2021 study, the fruits that healthcare professionals most commonly recommend for constipation are:

Yes, for some people, raisins could contribute to constipation. This is because raisins contain fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs), which are chains of complex carbohydrates.

Some people have difficulty digesting FODMAPs. In these individuals, eating too many raisins may lead to symptoms that resemble irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), such as bloating, diarrhea, or constipation.

This does not necessarily mean that people with IBS cannot eat raisins. While a full serving of raisins might cause symptoms, reducing the quantity will lower the amount of FODMAPs a person ingests, which may mean a person is able to tolerate some raisins in their diet.

A person with IBS can speak with a healthcare professional or dietitian for advice on eating foods like raisins.

If raisins do not relieve constipation, a person can try other at-home remedies, such as:

People may also wish to try OTC constipation medications, such as:

  • fiber supplements
  • osmotic laxatives
  • stimulant laxatives
  • stool softeners
  • lubricants

A person should talk with a healthcare professional or pharmacist before trying one of these. A healthcare professional can check which OTC options are most suitable for each individual, particularly if they have other health conditions or take other medications.

If lifestyle changes and OTC remedies do not relieve constipation, or the constipation increases over time, a person should talk with a healthcare professional. There are many underlying conditions that can cause chronic constipation, some of which require medical treatment.

A person should also talk with a doctor if they:

Raisins may help to ease constipation in some people, potentially due to their fiber and sorbitol content. However, studies on whether they work have found mixed results.

Raisins have similar characteristics to other home remedies for constipation, such as prunes. They can also be a part of a balanced diet, which may help some people with constipation.

If raisins do not help or make things worse, a person should talk with a doctor.