Regular and easy bowel movement is an indicator of good health.
The well-formed, nonsticky, odorless stool which floats in water is an indicator of efficient digestion. Uncomfortable, infrequent, hard, and dry stools need attention. Generally, Vata predominance results in constipation whether it is in an imbalance or body type.
Too much dry, raw, heavy, low-fiber food, irregular eating habits and meal time, dominant meat diet, less intake of water, a sedentary lifestyle, ignoring or suppressing the urge to defecate, a disturbed and worried mind, drinking too much tea or coffee results in sluggish digestion, further causing chronic constipation.
Constipation can lead to distension and discomfort in the abdomen, flatulence and pain, headache, bad breath, and skin.
General Ayurvedic tips to tackle constipation:
There are many Ayurveda herbs and formulations which are highly effective in treating constipation but it’s very important to understand the nature of constipation and the real cause before taking medicines. Chronic constipation needs special attention and proper treatment under a skilled Ayurveda doctor. some general remedies which can aid constipation which doesn’t have any grave underlying pathology are as follows
- Regular and adequate breakfast lunch and dinner.
- Minimize cold, raw, and dry food and drinks.
- Favour warm food and warm drinks.
- Well-cooked vegetables and leafy greens should be preferred since it helps in quicker digestion and absorption.
- Fresh fruits especially Papaya, banana is highly beneficial.
- Spices like cumin seeds, coriander, turmeric powder, fennel and asafetida aid digestion.
- Drink Lots of Warm or Hot Water and Herbal Tea.
- 500ml-800ml of lukewarm water in the morning followed by a brisk walk can help.
- Taking one or two teaspoons of ghee in a cup of hot milk at bedtime is effective in constipation which doesn’t have symptoms like bloating and flatulence.
- 5 gms of raisins soaked in water kept overnight and consumed in the morning helps, especially children.
- Pineapple juice or Aloe vera juice or prune juice are effective.
- Boil 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds in about a cup of water for 2–3 minutes. Drink lukewarm.
- 5-10 grams of psyllium husks soaked in either warm water or warm milk at night.
- Brisk walk for 10 min after each meal helps.
- Panchakarma treatments like vasti (enema) and virechana are found to be very effective in treating constipation.
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Aparna K. BAMS, MD, PhD
Aparna is one of the few specialists in the world with a Ph.D. in Ayurveda. Born into an Ayurvedic family which operates a traditional Ayurvedic Panchakarma hospital in Kerala, India, she grew up observing her father, the renowned Dr. Padmanabhan
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