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Published 29-09-2021

Constipation: Causes, Triggers, and Treatment with Ayurveda

CONSTIPATION

Constipation: Causes, Triggers, and Treatment with Ayurveda

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal

An Ayurvedic Practitioner and Consultant with a specialization in Panchkarma. My goal is to design an individual treatment plan to help each patient to achieve the best outcome possible. Treats Male and Female Fertility problems, Irregular Menstruation, Leucorrhea, UTI, COPD, Diabetes, Hypertension, Insomnia, Joint Pain, Arthritis, Sciatica, Skin problems, Alopecia, Grey Hairs, Gastric problems and other Lifestyle Disorders with Panchkarma Therapies and Ayurvedic Medicines.

We all know how it feels when we are constipated! Life seems still, and nothing seems to move, and even after coming out of the washroom, you still want to go back! If this is disturbing you, you are at the right place. Read through this article till the end to know what might be causing this trouble and what can you do to avoid or end this!

Constipation refers to infrequent bowel movements. It is a general term used to describe fewer bowel movements, solidified hard stools, painful passing of stool, bloating abdominal discomfort, or incomplete elimination. This Is a common cause of painful bowel movements. This could be even more severe if you are not able to expel stool at all! 

This is a very common gastrointestinal disorder experienced by most people during their lifetime and the reasons could be numerous conditions that can interrupt the normal absorption process, stool formation, and motion of faeces within the large intestine.

In a nationwide Gut Health Survey conducted by Abbott, it was observed that 22% of the adult Indian population undergoes the condition, with 13% complaining about serious Constipation. Among them, 6% of the Indian population suffer from Constipation correlated with certain comorbidities.

Constipation in Ayurveda

Constipation is a condition resembling Vibandha described in Ayurveda. Vibandha or Badhapurisha means obstruction, i.e. Sanga, which indicates one of the states of Srotodushti (Vitiation of body channels), especially in Purishavaha Srotas (Faecal Channels). Apana Vayu is a form of Vata that regulates downward movement and thus regulates the excretion of faeces. Imbalance in the Apana Vayu can change the colon and affect the working of its muscles, causing Constipation. 

Constipation may be the result of many gastrointestinal and other medical disorders. It is a disease caused by nutrient deficiency (Apatarpanjanya Roga), and one of the complications of immediate haemostasis is Raktarsha (bleeding haemorrhoids).

Causes of Constipation

Constipation may occur from eating foods that are tough to digest or as a side effect of using certain medications. In addition, some people endure Constipation when they travel or are away from their homes and the usual comfort. Since this is infrequent, these incidents are not a serious problem. However, when Constipation occurs regularly, it is a cause for concern.

The most common causes of Constipation include:

  • Lack of dietary fibre
  • Bad dietary habits
  • Lack of hydration 
  • Physical inactivity 
  • Medicines
  • Pregnancy
  • Ageing
  • Bedridden individuals 
  • Overuse of laxatives 
  • Dehydration 
  • Co-morbid conditions of colon or rectum like neurological conditions
  • Endocrine 
  • Metabolic problems
  • Cancer

Symptoms of Constipation

Constipation occurs when the large intestine absorbs too much water from the stool, resulting in passing dry and hard stools. It may also be due to inadequate contraction of the intestinal walls to expel the stool and waste products. 

It leads to the symptoms like:

  • Abdominal pain: This is a normal consequence of Constipation. You may feel pain in your abdomen when constipated due to gas and bloating. Trapped gas can be surprisingly painful, and hardened stool can cause painful pressure.
  • Bloating: When constipated, your intestines typically swell because the stool gets stuck, and volume increases which trap the gas that your body normally produces behind the stool. This creates bloating and can make your stomach seem distended.
  • Itching & Bleeding: If you suffer from Constipation, you may have to strain to push the stool out when you have a bowel movement. This pressure can cause swelling of the veins, arteries, or tissues around the anus and rectum, called haemorrhoids. These haemorrhoids can be internal or external and can cause anal itching, a small amount of blood after wiping, and discomfort during bowel movements.
  • Irregular Bowel movements: Usually, people think Constipation indicates not having bowel movements. However, you can have bowel movements while constipated, but the stool may often be hard and pebble-like.
  • Fatigue: Constipation can often leave you feeling unsettled or unwell. You may even become tired and lethargic because you may be dehydrated, or the cause of your Constipation may also be contributing to your fatigue.
  • Backache: Typically, back pain occurs in the lower to mid-back because the stool can get stuck in your lower intestines and the pressure or bloating can press on your back.
Symptoms of Constipation

Dietary and Lifestyle Modifications

Dietary Changes

The most important aspect of paying attention to is your diet. 

The following diet suggestions are recommended in Ayurveda:

  • Consume food rich in dietary fibre such as grains, legumes, fruits (like apples, bananas, figs, oranges and guavas), and vegetables. 
  • Food that has the Prakriti of warmth and is freshly cooked can be effective.
  • Some spices like garlic, ginger, turmeric, cumin, asafoetida, and carom seeds are suggested.
  • Use ghee or organic oils in cooking.
  • Avoid eating junk food, fried food, processed food, spicy food, and non-vegetarian food.
  • Drink enough warm water. Make sure to take enough water throughout the day. For example, start your day with a glass of warm water with lemon instead of drinking tea or coffee, leading to dehydration.
  • Have warm soups or dal soups as they can retain the liquid levels in your body.
  • Try to avoid smoking, drinking, or taking too much caffeine.
  • Avoid overeating; instead, try to eat at regular intervals.

Lifestyle Changes

Along with the dietary modifications, you need to consider some lifestyle changes to ensure effective results. 

The following are recommended lifestyle modifications:

  • Try to exercise every day. There is no need to do an intense workout. A 15-minute walk can also do wonders.
  • No matter where you are, go to the bathroom as soon as you feel the urge to go.
  • If you neglect the urge to poop, you may ultimately stop feeling the call to have one. 
  • Fix a routine and try to have a bowel movement at the same time each day. It could help you become more regular with your cycle.
  • Laxatives can help with Constipation now and then. But your bowels may become dependent on them, so do not take any laxative regularly without your health expert’s advice.
  • The following yogic exercises are favourable in Constipation – 
  • Kurmasana, Vakrasana, Katichakrasana, Sarvangasana, Shavasana, Pavanamuktasana, Mandukasana, Vajrasana and Yogamudra,
  • Yogic Kriya such as Shankha Prakshalana and Basti (Enema)
  • Pranayama such as Nadishodhana, Surya Namaskara, Anuloma Viloma, and deep relaxation techniques.
  • However, these should be performed only under the guidance of a qualified yoga therapist who can guide you on the duration of Asanas, Kriya and Pranayamas for your condition.

Ayurvedic Herbs for Constipation

Some particular Ayurvedic herbs can assist in flushing out waste from the colon and large intestines. Take these laxatives with plenty of water to moisten the bowels and facilitate the passage of dry stools. Here are four proven remedies that you can take for the long term if needed:

1. Triphala
Triphala is the best Ayurvedic medicine for constipation and gas. It is both a tonic and a laxative. Generally, Triphala is taken after getting up and before going to bed. However, this should not be taken if you have acidity issues. 

Brew ½ to 1 teaspoon in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, or you can take 2 capsules with warm water.

2. Psyllium (Isabgol)
They are highly absorbent seed coats that help relieve Constipation and make bowel movements smooth. 

For effective results, regularly take 1 to 2 teaspoons in a glass of juice or warm water preferably before going to bed.

3. Flaxseeds (Linseed, Alsi) 
Flaxseeds are rich in soluble fibre and bind the water inside the body to maintain a soft bowel movement and treat digestion. They are highly nutritious and do not cause any side effects. 

Use 1 tablespoon of this laxative, two to three times a day, with 2 cups of water.

4. Dandelion Root (Singhparni)
Dandelion roots stimulate the liver to produce bile juice and help release Constipation. 

Boil 1 teaspoonful of this mild laxative in water and drink it three or four times a day. Dandelion root has an acquired taste, so you can take 3 to 4 tablets daily with a cup of warm water instead.
 

Ayurvedic Herbs for Constipation

Home Remedies for Constipation

Here are some home remedies to help relieve Constipation:

  • Take one or two teaspoonfuls of ghee in a cup of hot milk before going to bed.
  • Have half a cup of bael (golden apple) pulp and a teaspoon of Jaggery daily in the evening, right before dinner time. You can also have some Bael Juice with tamarind water and Jaggery. 
  • Try Bael Murabba. It promotes digestion & helps treat intestine ulcers, constipation and piles. Usage: 10-20 gms once daily or as required. Caution: should not be consumed daily by diabetic patients.
  • Have a teaspoon of powdered liquorice (Mulethi) root. Add a teaspoonful of Jaggery and drink it with a cup of warm water. It is known to promote bowel action.
  • A teaspoon of roasted fennel (Saunf) taken with a glass of warm water before bedtime can be a mild laxative. The essential oils in fennel seeds can boost digestion by promoting stomach enzymes.
  • Anjeer (figs) soaked in warm water also help with Constipation, especially in children. Figs are highly recommended because of their high fibre content. You can eat figs every day to keep your digestive system healthy and going. You may also soak fig in a glass of warm milk and have with it. 
  • Drink more than 2-3 glasses of water in the morning. In addition, you can drink herbal teas like green tea, stimulating your digestion.

Ayurvedic Medicines for Constipation

1. Avipattikar Churna-  Avipattikar Churna holds the goodness of carminative, antioxidant, and even anti-inflammatory properties that aid in curing imbalances related to pitta dosha. It helps handle digestive difficulties, including diarrhoea, constipation, gastritis, heartburn, indigestion, and ulcers.

Dosage- 1 tsp with lukewarm water, empty stomach

2. Abhyaristha-  Abhayarishta increases peristaltic movements of the intestine and helps in bowel movement. It is a laxative and provides excellent relief in piles, fistula, and fissures.

Dosage- 2 tsp twice a day

Ayurvedic Medicines for Constipation

 

Also Read: Switch to herbal and Ayurvedic formulations to Manage IBS

Conclusion

To conclude, if Constipation is well looked after and is treated according to its root cause, it can be managed and treated. Vibandha or Constipation is independently a disease and a complication of some diseases and should be handled according to the type of Kosta (Alimentary canal). One can have plenty of fluid, physical exercise, and many more laxatives like Anuloman (Carminative substance) and Bhedan (Emollient Laxative), etc., in the diet according to the state of Dosha and Kostha to improve the condition. Find more such lifestyle tips and Ayurvedic products at HealthyBazar

To fix all your constipation worries, you can consult with Dr Sooraj, an Ayurvedic practitioner and Panchakarma Specialist with 16 years of experience. in treating chronic issues.

Last Updated: Mar 25, 2022

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