Find out about these easy and effective Ayurvedic remedies for relieving constipation.
Constipation is a common affliction that can strike anyone, young or old. This unpleasant condition can cause irregularity or even complete blockage, making it a real pain in the gut. And let’s not forget about the hard and lumpy stools, or the ones that are too large or too small—all classic symptoms of constipation.
Unfortunately, some people suffer from chronic constipation, which can turn their lives upside down with pain and discomfort. It’s a condition that can really take the wind out of your sails, leaving you feeling like you’re at the end of your rope. But don’t despair! There are ways to relieve this pesky problem and get back to smooth sailing in no time. But first, let’s find out the causes of constipation.
What Are the Causes of Constipation?
In Ayurvedic philosophy, constipation arises from an excess of vata, the energy that is characterized by qualities such as coldness, dryness, and roughness. This excess can interfere with the proper functioning of the colon, leading to irregular bowel movements and discomfort. Fortunately, Ayurveda offers a solution in the form of warmth, oil, and hydration, all of which can help balance vata and restore the colon’s natural rhythm.
Ayurveda has been practiced for centuries and considers an individual’s physical, emotional, mental, and behavioral traits when identifying their dosha – one of the three energies that circulate in the body and govern physiological activity. These doshas have different proportions in each person, which can determine their temperament, physical constitution, and susceptibility to particular physical and mental ailments. Vata, for example, is composed primarily of air and space elements, and its imbalance can lead to a range of issues.
In Ayurveda, constipation is not just a sluggish bowel movement but is considered the root cause of many health problems. The accumulation of toxins (ama) in the body channels is also attributed to this condition, which has become increasingly prevalent in modern lifestyles. Left untreated, constipation can lead to severe disorders such as piles, fistulas, fissures, liver disease, and other ailments.
Causes of Constipation:
- Consumption of food that causes dryness of mouth, tightness in the body, or roughness of skin
- Excessive intake of pungent, astringent, and salty foods
- Inadequate fiber in the diet
- Insufficient water intake
- Waking up during the night
- Exposure to strong sunlight while working
- Prolonged sitting or standing in one place
- Rigorous traveling
- Underlying health conditions such as depression, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), and pregnancy
- Age-related factors are common in children and the elderly
- Use of certain medications such as antidepressants, antacids, laxatives, iron supplements, diuretics, and painkillers
- Excessive consumption of raw vegetables, salad, bread, and cereal
What Are the Symptoms of Constipation?
The timing of bowel movements varies quite a lot between different people. The normal range for adults is from 3 bowel movements per day to 3 bowel movements per week. And breast-fed babies may have only one bowel movement per week. So, if you’re not having a movement every day, that doesn’t necessarily mean there is a problem.
Symptoms of Constipation:
- Difficulty having a bowel movement
- Infrequent bowel movements
- Passing hard, lumpy stools
- Straining to have a bowel movement
- Passing only small amounts at a time
- Feeling blocked or as though the bowels have not been completely emptied
How to Relieve Constipation as per Ayurvedic Medicine?
As per Ayurvedic medicine, there are several natural remedies you can try to relieve constipation. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Drink warm or hot water and herbal tea: It is essential to drink at least 80 ounces of warm or hot fluids per day, including herbal tea. Warm fluids are preferable since they balance vata’s cold quality. It’s also crucial to drink most of these fluids away from meals, ideally 20 minutes before or 1 hour after eating.
- Increase the Quantity of Organic Oils in Your Diet: Consuming high-quality oils like sesame oil, ghee, and olive oil can help lubricate the tissues, ensuring an appropriate amount of oil or fat remains in the stool. In addition, taking a spoonful or two of coconut oil every day can help lubricate your intestines and ease bowel movements.
- Eat Plenty of Fruit: Fruits are hydrating, fibrous, and generally pacifying to vata. To get the maximum benefit, chew the fruit thoroughly, and consume it at least an hour before or after other foods. Supportive choices include ripe bananas, peeled apples, soaked raisins, soaked prunes, and peaches. Also, figs are an excellent laxative due to their high fiber content. Consuming figs after soaking them in warm water can improve digestion and prevent constipation.
- Drink Some Fruit Juice: Pineapple juice and prune juice are particularly effective at moving excess vata in the colon. Diluting or warming fruit juices with water is also acceptable.
- Take Milk with Ghee or Soaked Flax Seeds: Before bed, consider drinking a cup of boiled milk with 1–2 teaspoons of ghee or boil 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds in a cup of water for 2–3 minutes. Cool and drink the tea and seeds, allowing at least one hour (preferably 2–3) between your last meal of the day and this bedtime drink.
- Take Vata Pacifying Herbs: Triphala, a traditional Ayurvedic formula, is balancing for all three doshas and has a particular affinity for the colon. Taking two Triphala tablets with a glass of warm water before bed or steeping 1/2–1 teaspoon of Triphala powder in freshly boiled water for 10 minutes can support healthy elimination. Each unique constitution, each unique imbalance, and other factors dictate a specific dose of herbs, and different people may require different doses to accomplish the same goal.
- Psyllium Husk: Psyllium husk is a natural source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, and it serves as an effective demulcent and bulking agent in the colon, supporting healthy and regular stools. Soak the husks in either warm water or warm milk and consume them with adequate hydration. Before adding this herb to your routine, consult an Ayurvedic practitioner or primary healthcare provider.
- Liquorice Root: Taking liquorice root in powder form with lukewarm water is known to treat constipation and keep your digestive juices flowing, making it a natural and effective way to relieve constipation.
The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. It is not intended to replace the advice of a healthcare professional. Before making any significant changes to your diet, lifestyle, or healthcare regimen, please consult with your healthcare provider.
Ignite your personal growth journey with our handpicked collection of inspiring content. Sign up now for a life-changing dose of motivation and wellness.