Ayurvedic Approach to Gut Health & Constipation
What is constipation?
Constipation can be one of the most annoying but common health problems in the world. According to the latest survey, about 30% of the Australian population suffers from constipation. According to Ayurveda, this condition occurs when air (Vata )cold and dry qualities disturb the colon, inhibiting its proper functioning. Usually, bowel habits should be regular, and every day in the morning. Modern lifestyle and constant sitting habits have only made this problem worse. Some of the most common causes include junk food consumption, alcohol drinking, smoking, and overeating. People affected by this problem can feel bloated and uneasy with the inability to pass stool easily.
Ayurvedic take on constipation
In his book, Dr. Vasant Lad states that "constipation is a Vata condition that expresses Vata qualities like dryness and hardness. (The Complete Book of Ayurvedic Home Remedies). It is caused by insufficient fiber in the diet, inadequate water intake, lack of exercise, heavy meat-eating, and several other factors."
Other discomforts resulting from constipation include discomfort, flatulence, pain, headache, and bad breath; in fact, it can also cause absorption of toxin from the colon. The best solution is to keep your Vata in balance. Constipation may cause many nasty side effects like pimples, acne, disturbed sleep, heartburn, acidity, ulcers in the mouth, and in some cases, it may cause depression.
The normal downward motion of Apana Vata (the end accountable for elimination) may also be blocked or inhibited by excess Kapha, in the kind of mucous, or Ama (undigested food waste) from the gut. In cases like this, instead of being dry and pebble-like, the stool is tacky and bulky. If constipation is the principal problem, then an Ayurvedic approach to treatment is to avoid all Vata-aggravating diet and lifestyle variables as far as possible. These include:
• excessive fasting
• excessive change, instability or anxiety
If warmth (Pitta) is an issue, then Pitta-aggravating foods and beverages should be avoided, especially coffee, chili, alcohol, or hot & spicy food.
Secondly, you must also follow a diet that supports balanced digestion (Agni) and prevents the buildup of waste (Ama) at all times, adhering to foods that are hot, light, and slightly oily in quality.
Plenty of fiber and drinking enough water in your diet intake is critical. If anxiety or anxiety is a constant concern for you or you tend to 'hold stress in your gut,' this could be a significant contributor to constipation and IBS. In this instance, it can be an excellent idea to see somebody who can provide you mindfulness exercises or home practices to assist change this response to stress and take the load off your belly.
Ayurvedic treatment for the gut
Ayurvedic recommendations for constipation relief:
1. Vata Dosha Pacifying Diet
Prevent constipation by following a Vata balancing diet. Refrain from cold drinks, dried fruit, salads, and most beans. Increase your intake of warm meals, warm beverages, and well-cooked vegetables.
Learn how to balance your Vata and to cook to suit your body constitution.
2. Add Triphala to your diet
Triphala is a fruit that is well known in its ability to cure constipation. You can have Triphala tea at bedtime or twice a day. If taken on an empty stomach in the morning, Triphala has an excellent effect on constipation. Triphala has a glycoside that has laxative properties. Triphala capsules work the same as tea with Lukewarm water.
3. Licorice Root
Take a teaspoon of powdered licorice root. Adding just a teaspoon of jaggery and drinking it with a cup of warm water will start to do wonders. Licorice is known to promote bowel activity. A note of caution: you should consult an Ayurvedic expert before taking it regularly as it can increase blood pressure in larger doses.
4. Roasted Fennel
Adding a teaspoon of roasted fennel at bedtime to a glass of warm water can act as a mild laxative. It helps to kick start digestion by promoting the production of gastric enzymes in the volatile oils found in fennel seeds.
Figs are another great source of fiber and soaked in water helps to relieve constipation, especially in kids. Figs come highly recommended as they are rich in iron and B vitamins too. You can eat figs every day to keep your digestion operating at optimal levels.
Other holistic options for constipation
Other holistic options that can come in handy include Yoga and herbal remedies under the supervision of health experts. Urdvapashimuttanasana (upside down forward bend) can also be useful - but please bear in mind that a yoga practice ought to be done under the guidance of a trained and experienced yoga teacher who will consider your unique needs.
If the constipation is severe or persistent then stronger herbal These methods of therapy help to not only 'cleanse' the gut of extra waste, they also help rejuvenate the cells of the stomach, strengthening the musculature, nourishing the mucous membranes, recolonizing the gut flora and establishing a new habit of routine and healthy bowel movements.
Colonics and colonic irrigation aren't a recommended avenue of treatment in Ayurveda. Although they may cleanse the bowel from the short term, in the longer-term, they can leave the gut very dry and unsupported, aggravating Vata farther and Using powerful laxatives or enema treatment should only ever be carried out with guidance and following the suitable preparation has taken place.