Manage Constipation- The Ayruvedic Way

There are only two perks of eating junk food, first it’s like a blessing for your taste buds and second that it gives you satisfaction when you’re stressed.  Sadly, these two reasons became the major cause of your declining health. Today, we consume unhealthy food at irregular intervals and drink less water and then complain about our health. Recently, a popular survey done by a global marketing research agency showed that about 14 % of India’s urban population were found to be suffering from chronic constipation.  Constipation is a condition in which bowel movements are infrequent or difficult to pass. Some people may pass stool three times a day while others may only pass stool three times a week. Bowel movements are different for every person but you’ll be considered constipated if your bowel movement is less than three times per week.  While constipated, people may find it hard to pass the stool or feel that their bowel movement is not fully over.

Causes of Constipation:

  • Constipation occurs when the undigested food spends too much time in your colon (a part of large intestine).
  • Your colon absorbs too much water, making it dry and hard and difficult for your rectal muscles to push it out of your body.
  • Lack of fiber in your diet.
  • Foods that are difficult to digest, as well as oily, spicy, fried and junk foods are to be blame.
  • Psychological factors like stress, anxiety, fear and sorrow plays an important role.
  • Sudden changes in your diet, lack of exercise and excess intake of medicines.
  • Frequent use of laxatives and enemas.
  • Bad bowel habits like controlling the urge to go for longer time periods.
  • GI tract problems or disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, tumors or other obstructions.

You can experience the following problems if you are constipated- straining to pass stool, feeling like you still need to go after a bowel movement, feeling like there’s a blockage in the intestines or rectum, pain or bloating in the abdomen and sluggishness.  If you avoid these symptoms and the treatment is delayed, you can develop further complications like Hemorrhoids, anal fissures, fecal impaction and rectal prolapse.

What Ayurveda says?

Vibandh (constipation) is caused due to the disturbance of cold and dry qualities of vata (air) in colon, resulting in poor functioning. The remedy is to add warmth, oil and hydration to improve the system and remove excess vata in it.

Remedies:

  • Increase the quantity of organic oils such as sesame oil, ghee and olive oil in your diet.
  • Drink lots of fluids, at least six glasses of water and you can also drink herbal tea which is good for your health. Whenever you take fluids before or after the meal, make sure you take them in 1 hour gap.
  • Eat whole grains and nuts. Avoid removing bran from the flour as it is good for the intestines.
  • Try to eat fruits daily like ripe bananas, peeled apples, soaked raisins, soaked prunes and peaches. Chew them properly for good digestion.
  • Pineapple juice and prune juice are effective in removing excess vata from the colon. It is also better if your warm or dilute fruit juices with water.
  • Before going to bed, you can try these two drinks- a cup of boiled milk with 1-2 teaspoons of ghee, or one cup of boiled water with 1 tablespoon of flax seeds (boil the water for 2-3 minutes, cool it and drink the tea with the seeds).
  • Triphala is a traditional ayurvedic formula which is known to be anti-bacterial and anti-fungal is good digestive system. Half an hour before going to bed, take either two triphala tablets with lukewarm water or ½ teaspoon of triphala powder in a cup of freshly boiled water for 10 minutes, cool it and then drink.
  • One cup of warm water with lemon juice and honey is also effective as lemon is good for digestive system which helps in flushing out the toxins, honey cuts the sour taste and many researchers believes that is acts as a mild laxative. You can also add a pinch of salt if you don’t like honey as salt is rich in magnesium which helps in contraction of the bowel muscles and it flushes out the toxins from the stomach and small intestines.

Yoga to the rescue

Yoga is the oldest and purest form of science which keeps our body healthy and helps us to channelize positive energy around us. There are many asanas which keeps our digestive system happy.

Mayurasana (Peacock Pose)

It improves digestion, increases intra- abdominal pressure (which reduces spleen and liver enlargements), tones the bowel movements and removes constipation.

Ardha-Matsyendrasana (Sitting Half Spinal Twist Pose)

Gives relief from constipation and stimulates- pancreas, liver, spleen, kidneys, stomach.

Halasana (Plough Pose)

It increases blood circulation in the pelvic area and boosts digestion,

Pavanmuktasana (Wind- Relieving Pose)

It releases the gas from the body and relives acid reflux caused by indigestion.

Baddha Konasana (Butterfly Pose)

This asana relieves gas, cramping and bloating of stomach. It also helps in reducing stress which results in good digestive system.

Shishwasana (Child Pose)

It helps in relieving any pain which is caused by constipation.

Malasana (Garland Pose)

This pose helps to relax and stretch the intestines.

We all are so caught up in our busy lives that we often forgets to take care of ourselves which should always be the first priority in our list every day. Living a healthy lifestyle is very important so that you can avoid the cost of going to a hospital every now and then. When our body and mind is healthy, we are always more active, more efficient and more happy throughout our lives. So, drink lots of water every day, exercise regularly, eat fruits; avoid junk food because you are what you eat.

 

References:

  1. https://www.everydayhealth.com/constipation/guide/treatment/
  2. http://www.medicinenet.com/constipation/article.htm
  3. https://www.jiva.com/diseases/constipation/
  4. https://www.banyanbotanicals.com/info/ayurvedic-living/living-ayurveda/cleansing/an-ayurvedic-guide-to-healthy-elimination/an-ayurvedic-approach-to-constipation-relief/
  5. http://food.ndtv.com/health/6-effective-home-remedies-for-constipation-1216545
  6. https://www.artofliving.org/in-en/health-and-wellness/yoga-to-relieve-constipation
  7. http://indianexpress.com/article/lifestyle/health/yoga-for-constipation-4-asanas-to-help-with-your-bowel-movements-2960083/