Constipation is a universal problem! At some point of time, everyone suffers from poor or improper bowel movements. For some people, bowel movements can go abnormal once in a while. For a few it may be frequent or recurrent. It can be one-time problem or may turn into a chronic condition.
On a simple note, food and lifestyle can lead to constipation. And in some cases, intake of some medications causes constipation. We are taught to eat more fibre to manage the bowel health. Looking from an Ayurvedic point of view, there is more to understand the cause and proper solution.
Ayurvedic Perception of Constipation
Ayurveda classifies constipation under Vata imbalance or Vata vitiation.
Vata energy governs the bodily movement and elimination. So, when the main energy becomes imbalanced, it leads to many disorders. When you check the causes of constipation and reasons that lead to Vata imbalance, they remain the same.
To list out a few causes that triggers vata imbalance-
- Excessive dry environment
- Improper food – dry foods with high salt, preservatives, additives etc (rough or foods that generally lack the nourishing quality)
- Cold wind
- Exhausted – physically and mentally
- Tension which turns into stress
- Exposure to frequent climatic changes
While the common element, ‘Fibre’ helps to treat constipation it won’t be effective in case of constipation caused by Vata imbalance. The habit of drinking more fluids and fibre rich foods isn’t enough!
Why? Raw and fresh vegetables are naturally cold. So, eating the carrots or broccoli raw may not always work to treat constipation for everyone! Vata responds well with eating opposite quality foods and changing lifestyle accordingly.
Treatment for Constipation in Ayurveda
While food is the major cause of constipation, Ayurveda does not overlook the other factors too. However, in many cases, eating foods that balances Vata energy provides complete cure and eases the bowel movements.
Ayurvedic food recommendations for Constipation
Doubling the water intake is the foremost generic advice. Eat more of warm and moist foods. Aggravated Vata responds to these types of foods and eases your bowel. You can include more of soups, stews, steamed root vegetables, squash, casseroles, etc that aren’t dry in nature. Avoid the dry foods, which fail to give nourishment to your body. Vata Khichdi is the best Food for Constipation!
- Include oil in your diet (Sesame oil, ghee, coconut oil, organic / cold-pressed oil)
- Eat lot of fresh fruits and drink some fresh fruit juices
Herbs for Constipation
In case of prolonged constipation, you can try a few ayurvedic herbal remedies to get rid of the condition. These herbs stimulate your body and lubricate colon and large intestines. It works as purgatives to evacuate the dry stool.
- Triphala – A laxative as well as a strengthening tonic. Consume a spoon of triphala powder mixed with one cup of hot water or milk and consume it warm at night. Triphala is a Vata pacifying herb!
- Flaxseed is essentially termed, ‘A laxative without any side effect!’ Swallow one or two teaspoons of flaxseed with water twice a day.
- Drink hot herbal tea (without milk) with your choice of favorite herb (mint, ginger, tulsi etc) three to four times a day. Hot drinks balance the aggravated vata.
Ayurvedic therapy for constipation
In severe cases, Panchakarma therapy is administered to the patients. Virechan (therapeutic purgation) and Vasti (Medicated enema) is the most recommended therapy, as it not only helps passing the dry stool but also is the treatment of choice for Vata Imbalance.
If you suffer from constipation, or other conditions, consult with Ayurways, the ayurvedic practitioner at Spotswood, Melbourne to get rid of the troubling ailments.