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According to Ayurveda, constipation is the improper bowel movement in our body. Constipation occurs when Vata dosha in our body goes out of balance. When the food is not disintegrated properly in the stomach it leads to the accumulation of excess Vata dosha in our body that results in constipation problems.
The improper bowel movement is referred to as ‘Kosta’ in the Ayurvedic language. Ayurveda Researchers states that the person with aggravated Vata is more prone to Krura Kosta that is associated with hard stool, one of the major symptoms of constipation.
Dr. Ramanuj, an Ayurveda healer says that – ”The roots of all digestion problems from heartburn to constipation lies in the weakening of digestive fire (Agni)”. To stimulate the Agni, one has to follow the ayurvedic principles of the ‘Ahara’ – a sattvic diet that is crucial in balancing all the doshas (energy) in our body.
In an ancient Ayurvedic text, Charaka Samhita – section of it is dedicated to the Kayachikitsa (internal medicine). This covers the topics of digestion and the digestive fire and the associated digestion-related diseases and the ayurvedic medicine that heals these diseases.
Kayachikitsa mentions the weakening of the digestive system as the major cause of constipation. The other causes of constipation are as follows:
Studies show that intake of some medications can be the cause of constipation. The blood pressure medicines, painkillers like ibuprofen, antacids, and iron pills can severely cause constipation. In some cases, pregnancy too can lead to constipation.
The following are the symptoms of constipation:
Vibhanda an ayurvedic term has been used in Ayurvedic text to refer to Constipation. As mentioned above the Ayurvedic treatment for constipation has been described in the section of the old Sanskrit text Charaka Samhita.
The foundation of ayurvedic treatments goes back to the methods and medicines that have described in the text. Ayurvedic treatments for constipation has been divided into four main parts:
Ayurvedic therapy for constipation treatment strongly relies on major ayurvedic therapies like Panchkarma and Abhyanga. But before the therapy, an ayurvedic diagnosis is conducted on the patient. This process is comprised of two steps known as the Prakriti Pariksha (nature) and Vikriti Pariksha( nature of the imbalance of the doshas or energy).
Research shows that in the case of chronic constipation, Panchakarma treatment has 90% efficacy. In the case of constipation treatment, panchakarma procedures involve three processes:
Virechana treatment eliminates the excess pitta from the body that results in cleaning your bowel. The process in this treatment involves Ayurvedic formulations of ghee (Ghritam), herbal decoctions ( Kashaya), and herbal paste (Kalka). It readily prevents the occurrence of hard stools and cleanses your colon – a significant need to combat constipation.
Basti treatment is considered one of the most prominent sought after panchakarma treatment for constipation problems. The treatment has its roots based on the ayurvedic principles of karma and healing.
2013 Ayurvedic studies of the National Ayurvedic Institute of Jaipur show that patients suffering from chronic constipation showed positive results after going through the treatment. Basti treatment effectively eliminates all three doshas – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha.
The process involves the use of medicated herbs like amala and ashwagandha. Both herbs have planetary compounds that support the cleansing of bowels and prevent the formation of hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids are the swollen portion around the anus area often caused by constipation.
In this treatment, herbs like danti and jayapala are used along with the ayurvedic oils that provide relief for constipation problems. Acharya Prabhakaran an Ayurveda professor says – Panchkarma therapy is a powerful ayurvedic tool that understands the human doshas and their direct relation to the Agni and Ama.
Triphala the combination of three herbs – Amla, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki is the most recommended herb for constipation problems. All three of the herbs combined provide therapeutic benefits for stomach ailments and promote better immunity.
Amla has strong laxative properties, Haritaki has astringent properties and Bibhitaki has fiber elements that make Triphala the highly recommended herbs for constipation treatment. Laxative properties help to regulate bowel movements and loosen up hard stools.
Astringent properties prevent the swelling of the urinary tract and the fiber elements promote better digestion to prevent constipation.
Danti herb contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and laxative properties. It cleanses your bowel and prevents the stiffening of stools. Constipation treatment in Ayurveda targets the use of herbs that eliminates the Vata dosha in our body. Excess Vata accumulation is a primary cause of constipation according to Ayurveda.
Ayurvedic medicines for constipation use Danti herb in powder formulations for easy consumption. The Ayurveda practitioners highly recommend the herb for it is effective in the detox process that eventually can enhance your digestive system.
Jayapala herb has been described in numerous ayurvedic texts like Charaka Samhita, Sushrutha Samhita and, Asthanga Hridaya. The herb has been described as a purgatory herb in the text because of its purgative nature. Ayurvedic medications use the formulation of Jayapala along with the other medicated herbs to treat constipation problems.
The root of the herb is extracted for medicinal purposes and is considered effective for stomach bloating and constipation. It maximizes your bowel movements and also is a natural reliever for abdominal cramps and pain.
Aragwadha herb is the best of among all the other herbs that are used for mild purgation. For constipation treatment, the extract of the leaves and roots are used in the medication.
The ayurvedic text has the reference of this herb as the Agni stimulator. Aragwadha herb cleanses your bowel and regulates the proper working of your digestive tract that prevents constipation.
This medicated herb has innumerable health benefits to offer. The herb has anti-inflammatory, analgesics, and antipyretic properties. The best natural medicine to treat constipation.
Both the leaves and the root extracts are used for medicinal purposes to treat constipation. The roots of the herb have strong purgatory properties that help in eliminating the excess Vata from the body. Trivrit cleans the inner lining of the stomach, stimulates bowel movement, and protects the stomach from any outward infections.
Yoga, an ancient practice that stands on the core foundation of the Ayurvedic principle – ‘natural holistic healing’. Yoga helps immensely in treating your constipation problems. The yoga pose or asanas for constipation treatment involve the body movement that triggers the bowel movement.
The practice of yoga dates back to the Indus valley civilization around 3000 BCE. and found specific mentions in ancient Vedic scriptures and in Upanishads. Yoga is one of the important pillars of ayurvedic treatment. The yoga asanas involve the stretching of the body and create pressure in the stomach muscle that eventually stimulates the Agni (digestive fire). The better and active your digestive fire is the fewer chances of occurrence of constipation problems.
Some major yoga asanas to combat your constipation problems are :
Sri, Mayur a certified yoga practitioner of The Art of Living Yoga Centre says – Yoga works on all aspects of human health from physical to mental to emotional well-being. The daily practice of yoga will help you to manage your stress levels… one of the main causes of constipation. It also enhances the quality of your sleep, calms your mind, and helps you to take a positive outlook on life.
According to Ayurveda, we are made up of a certain quality called ‘gunas‘ in the Ayurvedic term. The gunas are later divided into three categories. They are:
Sattva guna is associated with purity, content, and goodness. Rajas guna is associated with passion, activeness, and confusion whereas the Tamas guna is associated with darkness, evil, and destruction.
Sattvic diet is a diet based on foods that reflects the sattva guna. The food that uplifts our energy, that is pure, fresh, natural and that doesn’t involve any killing of the living species are considered as sattvic foods according to the yogic text.
Sattvic diets are pure vegetarian diets that reflect the ideology of Ahimsa (non-violence). Dr. Kartik of Aahar Ayurvedic Centre puts light on why sattvic diets are important for patients suffering from chronic constipation – ‘Sattvic diets include seasonal food items that are rich in fiber, nutrition-rich, easy to digest like cruciferous vegetables, whole grains, and nuts’. All these food items are healthy for your digestive tract and ensure proper bowel movement.
For constipation treatment, sattvic diets include the consumption of fruits like apple, prune, and pear. These fruit juices have fiber properties that help to combat the problem. Research shows fiber products stimulate colon transit and have fluids that prevent the hardening of the stool and significantly improve bowel movement.
Sattvic diets act as a booster to the other ayurvedic treatments like the panchakarma and herbal treatments. A case study on the sattvic diet shows that sattvic diets along with the Virechana treatment can effectively cure your constipation problems.
Loire wellness has curated the Digestion Formula, an Ayurvedic medicine based on the Ayurvedic principle – ‘Holistic Healing’. After years of research and with the help of ayurvedic experts, Loire wellness has formulated a powerful combination of 8 healing herbs that are loaded with natural antioxidants and nutritive properties.
Digestion Formula is completely herbal and having ingredients like Ajwain (Trachyspermum Ammi), Amalaki (Phyllanthus Emblica), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Bahera (Terminalia bellirica), Saunf (Foeniculum vulgare), Dhania (Coriandrum sativum), Pippali (Piper longum), Jeera (Cuminum cyminum) as the main ingredients. All these ingredients can be taken for the wonderful benefits they are known for.
Carom seeds are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and other vitamins and minerals. This is a traditional Ayurvedic formula that supports digestion.
Amla has a high fiber content that works wonderfully for the digestive system. It’s an effective way to help constipation.
The irregular food timings are one of the big causes of your constipation problems. If you follow the same timings for your three meals, your digestive system will get a boost and that will stimulate your digestive fire. This process will prevent constipation problems.
Daily body movement helps you to stimulate your bowel movement. It will also help your digestive tract to function smoothly and prevent the hardening of the stool. If you are someone with a constipation problem, then exercise is a must for you.
Fluid intake is essential to cure your constipation. Since constipation is related to dehydration in the colon, you need to make sure you are drinking lots of water. When your body is properly hydrated, less water will be withdrawn from the colon. This will keep your stool soft and easy to pass.