Ayurvedic Guide To Relief From Constipation

Constipation is one of the most troublesome health problems a person can experience. Not being able to pass stools can be frustrating and it can affect a person’s quality of life. Constipation also refers to passing stools that are extremely hard and dry. This can be not just troublesome but can be very painful. Chronic episodes of constipation can lead to problems like an anal fissure or growth of hemorrhoids.

The long term solution for constipation is not to take medicines but to correct the imbalance that has led to this problem. This is where Ayurveda is helpful. The oldest medical system in the world prescribes a holistic treatment for managing all diseases. The Ayurvedic treatment for constipation focuses on correcting the imbalance in the body’s doshas (energies) that have led to this problem. The focus is on improving digestion and body metabolism so that bowel movements can be smooth. 

Constipation treatments in Ayurveda require lifestyle changes to be made so that you can live a healthy and good life. This is a natural and safe way of treating diseases and disorders. The Ayurvedic treatment of constipation suggests the use of herbal formulations to treat this problem. These herbs have been sourced from nature and have been used for thousands of years. This makes Ayurvedic treatment for chronic constipation effective and provides long-term relief. In this article, we discuss all about constipation relief through Ayurveda and how to cure constipation, naturally.

 

What is Constipation?

Constipation refers to a situation where bowel movements are hard or become infrequent. Constipation can occur due to consuming a particular food item or can even be the side effect of medications. This is not a problem when it occurs rarely. If there are problems with bowel movements for more than three days a week then it is categorized as constipation. This is essentially a digestive problem. When we eat food, the food passes through the digestive tract where all the nutrients are absorbed into the body. The leftover waste material is referred to as stool and it is passed out from the anus. 

In a normal person, bowel movement happens at least once daily. This is a normal process in the body’s metabolism and is referred to as egestion (the excretion or removal of undigested food from the body). Healthy individuals do not face any problems with bowel movements. When the bowels are full, there is an urge to pass stools. In a healthy individual, the stools are usually soft and pass out easily without any problems. For most people, this is a routine activity that happens at the same time every day. 

When someone is constipated, they start facing problems in passing stools. The stools would be hard, making it difficult to be passed out. They may need to strain to pass out the stools. They may need to spend more time in the toilet as passing stools becomes a difficult process. Some people experience a feeling of an incomplete bowel movement and feel a blockage. When the stools are too hard, there is more strain on the muscles in the rectum. This can lead to fissures (cuts) in the anus or piles (hemorrhoids). A more troublesome problem is when it is not possible to pass out stools. This becomes a serious problem when it starts occurring regularly. 

Constipation can affect people of all ages. Even children can be constipated, due to problems with their diet or lack of physical activity. A study estimates that nearly 22% of all Indians have faced this problem sometime or the other. This is primarily due to the drastic shift in lifestyles that has resulted in people consuming excess junk food and not involving themselves in optimal physical activities. Conventional treatment includes the use of laxatives to remove stools. The regular use of such chemical-based drugs can imbalance body metabolism and affect the digestive system. Constipation is a problem that should not be ignored and requires proper treatment. 

 

What are the Causes of Constipation?

Occasional episodes of constipation can occur due to consuming food that is difficult to digest. Constipation episodes may even occur as a side effect of taking certain medications. Some people experience constipation when they travel or are away from their homes. Since these happen infrequently, these episodes do not pose a serious problem. When constipation starts to occur regularly, then it is a matter of concern. If you are constipated for more than three days a week, then a doctor is likely to diagnose that you are suffering from chronic constipation. 

It is important to understand the factors that cause constipation. Before looking into the causes, we must understand how stools are formed. When residual food passes into the colon, it absorbs water and the remaining waste is formed as stools. The muscles of the colon then cause the stool to be moved down to the rectum where it is passed out of the anus. If this stool remains in the colon for long, then it starts to become dry and hard, which makes it difficult to pass the stool. 

When we drink sufficient water, it ensures that the stools have water content making them soft and easy to pass out. The food that we eat needs to contain fiber. The benefit of eating fiber-rich food is that fiber increases the bulk of stools and softens it. This makes it easier to pass out stools. Lack of fiber can make the stool hard. 

Some of the common causes of constipation include:


 

Constipation in Children

Children can also face constipation problems. It commonly occurs when they start using formula food. A change in diet can cause constipation in some children. When toilet training is commenced, some children may deliberately avoid passing stools due to fears. This can lead to constipation. Some children face constipation problems when they start going to school, which is usually psychological in nature. The lack of exercise in children and improper diet can cause constipation, which can affect them severely causing stomach pain and bloating. 

 

What are the Consequences and Complications of Constipation?

Constipation disturbs the body metabolism. This can affect a person’s general state of health. Not being able to pass stools can create a feeling of a blockage in the colon. This can be disturbing and can cause abdominal pains. There are psychological effects of constipation. The constant worry about this condition can increase stress levels and cause other problems. Those who suffer from constipation experience headaches and a general feeling of malaise. It can seriously affect a person’s quality of life. 

There are serious complications that can occur due to constipation -

To avoid these complications, it is important to get proper and timely treatment for constipation. 

 

Ayurveda and Constipation

Ayurveda looks at diseases from the viewpoint of Doshas (bio-energies in the body). According to Ayurveda, there are three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. The Vata Dosha is essentially cold and dry in nature and it governs movement and elimination. When it is imbalanced, it causes constipation. It is referred to as Vibandha. According to Ayurveda, constipation can occur due to: 

Apana Vayu is a type of Vata that regulates downward movement. The excretion of feces is regulated by Apana Vayu. Imbalance in the Apana Vayu can affect the colon and impact the working of its muscles causing constipation. 

Ayurveda recommends a holistic approach to treat constipation. While conventional medical systems prescribe laxatives, Ayurveda recommends a host of measures to treat constipation. The best Ayurvedic treatment for constipation recommends lifestyle changes to improve body metabolism. This not only treats constipation but leads to a general improvement in health. The constipation remedies Ayurveda recommends are made from herbs. They are safe and gentle on the body. They correct the Vata imbalance allowing the digestive system to function normally and this ensures normal bowel movement. 

 

Ayurveda Treatment for Constipation: An Overview

The Ayurvedic treatment for indigestion and constipation involves a multi-prong approach. It focuses on the diet, as it is the food consumed that affects bowel movement. Ayurveda also recommends making a change in lifestyle for healthy living. This helps in strengthening the digestive system. An overview of treatment for constipation as per Ayurveda is presented below: 

 

Herbal Formulations for Constipation

The Ayurvedic treatment for constipation in adults requires the use of herbal formulations. These herbal formulations have a combination of herbs that help to correct Vata imbalance, improve digestion, and make the colon work normally. This can be helpful in treating the symptoms of constipation and allow normal bowel movement. 

Apart from these formulations, the use of herbs like Haritaki, Isabgol, and Patola can be helpful in treating constipation. 

 


FAQ's

 

1. Which Ayurvedic medicine is best for constipation? 

Constipation or Vibandha is the result of improper digestion and underlines the cause for many other diseases too. Ayurveda emphasizes not only to relieve the symptoms but treat the disease from the root. Aggravated Vata is the cause of constipation.

The most common and effective Ayurvedic medicine for constipation is the combination of the three fruits called Triphala; the three fruits are Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia belerica) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). This mixture helps and supports optimal digestion and is useful as a laxative in traditional medicine. Other effective Ayurvedic supplements are castor oil ( Eranda Thailam), Avipati Choornam, Sukumara Gritham, and Abhayaristam.

Psyllium husk (Isabgol) and castor oil are also popular home remedies that are preferred for constipation issues. 

 

2. What is the treatment of constipation in Ayurveda? 

Ayurveda does not address the individual symptoms of a problem. As per Ayurveda, the imbalance of the Doshas from the person’s normal state causes health issues. So, the causes of the imbalance are addressed to help restore the body’s natural balance. 

The person is advised to make lifestyle changes and take Ayurvedic medicine for constipation that supports good digestion. Some of the suggested lifestyle changes would be:

 

3. What helps reduce constipation in the long-term?

Maintaining optimal digestion helps ensure that there is long-term relief from constipation. One would have to eat meals on time. Wholesome freshly cooked food eaten warm and in relaxed surroundings helps ensure optimal digestion. Fresh fruits that are rich in fibre are suitable for those who suffer from constipation. Besides Ayurvedic supplements, one should also include certain herbs and spices such as garlic, turmeric, cumin, and asafoetida in daily food preparation.

One should avoid eating food that aggravates the Doshas. Extremes such as very hot or very cold food as well as very spicy or very bland food are to be minimized. Processed food should be at a minimum with more preference for fresh and fibre-rich foods. Prunes and figs are also good sources of fibre.

Excessive consumption of tea and coffee is not good for digestion and should be minimized. Warm water and soup are a good substitute to be sipped on through the day. An active lifestyle with adequate exercise keeps the bowels moving normally. There are certain Yoga poses or Asanas that are particularly good for digestion. Regular sleep and meal routines are also conducive to and helpful for optimal digestion and good health. 

 

4. What drinks help with constipation?

 

5. Does drinking hot water help constipation? 

Yes, warm water is helpful for digestion and to help relieve constipation. It is good to maintain a good water intake throughout the day and start the day with a warm lemon water drink. Adequate hydration is essential for proper bowel movements.

Nevertheless, if you are facing major issues of constipation it is best to consult an Ayurvedic doctor who will be prescribing you the correct Ayurvedic medicine for constipation and other remedies.


 

0 Comments

Post Comment

Viewers who read this also read

Get Enlightened
Know more about Ayurveda