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Ayurvedic Treatment for Constipation

Vadiya Radhakrishnan, Sankaraina jha

The problem of constipation should be relieved as naturally as possible by dietary control, increased water intake and exercise. Ayurvedic system makes you aware of the natural ways to combat constipation.

Bowel regularity is very important for health and constipation can increase the risk of certain bowel conditions. In the long term, small pouches can develop in the wall of the lower part of the colon, known as diverticuli. These can sometimes become inflamed or infected with waste material. More serious complications such as bleeding and bowel perforation may also develop. In the shorter term, if waste products are not eliminated efficiently from the body harmful waste products can build up leading to problems such as fatigue, bad breath and poor skin health.

Constipation is a problem in passing stool, that is defaecation. It is the accumulation of toxins in the colon due to improper bowel habits. Though bowel habits vary from person to person, ideally one should have easy bowel movements in early morning and the stool should float on the water.
Constipation includes the difficulty in expulsion, infrequent bowel emptying and hard and dry stools. Constipation may lead to other symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, flatulence, headache, bad breath, and loss of appetite and indigestion.

Causes

All Vata consitution people suffer from the problem of constipation.The main cause of constipation is dietary. Inadequate roughage and fluid intake in the diet results in faeces lacking enough bulk to stimulate the bowel to move them along. Drinking too much cold drinks and the habit of smoking also contribute to constipation.

Other factors such as late nights, insomnia, stress, nervousness, worry, grief and fear are also responsible.

Symptoms

Constipation may lead to other symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, flatulence, headache, bad breath, and loss of appetite and indigestion. The symptoms in the three types of constipation according to ayurveda vary.

Vata Type: There is a brownish coating on the tongue that cannot be removed even by scraping the tongue. there may be a sense of uneasiness in the abdomen, pain with gas formation, hard stools and low digestive fire.

Pitta Type: Eating spicy food, walking in sun and inadequate fluid intake are the main causes of this type of constipation. In this type stools are hard and yellowish in colour accompanied with a burning sensation.

Kapha Type: This is due to the obstruction of the colon or due to mucous in the intestines. Because of this there is a sensation of heaviness in the colon,lethargy and low digestive fire. the stools are white in colour and there may be gas in the abdomen. The tongue is coated white and the person has bad breath.

Treatment

Acute Constipation: Warm sesame oil as enema is very effective for immediate relief in case of acute constipation. Massage of the abdomen with sesame oil is also helpful. Glycerine can also be used to massage the abdomen. Fasting, anti-ama diet and detoxifying herbs are aslo beneficial. After the digestion has improved strong purgative like senna, castor oil and rhubarb should be given.

Chronic Constipation: Triphala is a combination of three myrobalan fruits: amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki and makes a good laxative. This can be given in dose of 1 to 3 gm at night with warm water. Abhayrishta is also an effective medicine for chronic constipation. Drinking a glass of warm milk with one teaspoonful of ghee every night for three months is advised. Alternately four teaspoons of warm sesame oil can also be taken every night.

Vata Type: Medicated enema of sesame oil is the best remedy and should be given on alternate days in the evening. Cleansing enema alternating with oil enema is also beneficial. Bulk laxatives such as bran, flaxseed and psyllium seeds should be given in 1 to 3 gms with milk or sweet fruit juices at night.

Pitta Type: Anti-Pitta diet is advised. In Pitta type constipation is the result of High Pitta due to inflammation. Use cleansing enema of licorice and shatavri. Aloe, echinacea, gentian, rhubarb and yellow dock are useful.

Diet

Vata Type: Anti-Vata diet with oily food, nuts, vegetables, sesame oil, ghee and plenty of warm water is advised.

Kapha Type: Anti-Kapha diet is advised. Basmati rice with bread and raw vegetables and fruits like apples, banana, prune, grape or cherry should be taken. Bulk laxatives should never be given in Kapha type.

Increase your Fibre Intake

One essential ingredient for healthy bowel function is fibre. This indigestible material adds bulk to the food residues, thereby promoting the passage of waste materials through the intestines. High fibre breakfast cereals based on wheat bran are often advised for people suffering from constipation. For optimum bowel function you should eat at least five servings of fruits or vegetables a day.

Use Natural Bulking Agents

An effective and convinient way to increase fibre intake is to add a natural bulking agent to your diet. Take 1-2 teaspoons of either psyllium husk or linseeds with water each day or sprinkled over soups or salads.

Drink More Water

Apart from fibre, the other essential ingredient for bowel regularity is fluid. The best form of fluids is water. Drink one and a half-two litres of water each day.

Exercise

Exercise can help relieve constipation, probably through the mechanical action of the abdominal muscles and the diaphragm on the bowel. Aim to take 30 minutes exercise every day.

Always Respond to the Call of Nature

Always respond prompltly to the urge to open your bowels. Failure to do this on a regular basis may cause a suppression of the nerve impulses that are essential for defaecation. The long term result may be persistent constipation.

Symptoms

  • Dietary control is very necesary and will control many cases without any medicine. There should be a lot of intake of green vegetables and plenty of fruits.
  • Food should be taken at a proper time.
  • Plenty of fluid intake should be there.
  • Drinking water from a copper vessel early in the morning also proves beneficial. This sets a gastrointestinal reflex which in turn helps the bowels to clean.

 


 

 

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