In Ayurveda, constipation is caused by an elevated Vata Dosha. Vata is characterized by the qualities of the air element, which has a drying influence.
Dry skin, hair, and stools are the symptoms of an imbalance of Vata Dosha, and Ayurveda for constipation involves balancing the drying qualities of Vata Dosha.
So if you have a predominantly Vata constitution, you will always be prone to experiencing dryness in your body. Many Vata dominant types deal with constipation on a regular basis. An imbalanced Vata dries out your system thus hampering the flow of waste down and out of your body.
But, even if your primary dosha is not Vata, you can still be affected by an imbalanced Vata.
Those who have Kapha and Pitta dominant constitutions may also suffer from constipation. This is true especially if you have recently had surgery, travel a lot, or become dehydrated for some reason.
Constipation is a telltale sign of a Vata imbalance. If your colon is excessively dry, it will result in constipation, bloating, and gas.
You will find the following Ayurvedic remedies for constipation, extremely helpful.
The Unhealthy Effects of Constipation
For good health, the colon must be in good health regardless of the season. There is an old joke about which part of the body rules, but it is no joke when the colon doesn’t function properly – the whole body suffers.
Constipation can significantly affect not just the colon, but your overall health as well. It is crucial for your body to be able to eliminate waste on a regular basis.
When toxins accumulate, the body is poisoned, as these toxins enter the bloodstream. Eventually, these toxins will then affect your organs and tissues.
If constipation is left untreated, it can lead to hemorrhoids, fecal incontinence, and anal fissures. Unfortunately, these painful problems are often the visible signs of even more serious disease or a precursor to it.
Ayurveda for Constipation
Prevention is the Best Cure
We know that an imbalanced or excess Vata causes or exacerbates constipation.
To rebalance our Vata and treat our body naturally, Ayurveda tells us to pacify Vata. This means to choose foods that have oily, warm, smooth and moist qualities. These foods naturally hydrate the whole body system.
Eat at regular times in a relaxed environment. Sit to eat and be mindful of your food, avoiding TV or other distractions.
Drink plenty of water, ideally at room temperature rather than refrigerated.
Avoid pungent, bitter and astringent foods, which have a drying effect. Foods with these tastes and qualities are the opposite of what is needed.
Steer clear of processed foods that do not contain any nutrients. Reduce coffee consumption; it is a diuretic. Any sweet tastes should come from natural, whole food; avoid processed sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Eat Vata pacifying foods like root vegetables, nuts, squash, zucchini, corn, banana, ginger, and garlic. Avoid over-consumption of foods which exacerbate Vata. For example dried fruit, onions, radishes, chilies, soybeans, broccoli and cauliflower.
Treat and Prevent Constipation with These Ayurvedic Herbs
These Ayurvedic herbs have proven effective in flushing out the colon and for improved bowel movement.
Flaxseeds are natural laxatives. In fact, they are a good general tonic for any Vata imbalance. They promote contain natural protein and calcium and heal membranes of the body.
You can take them three times a day without side effects. Take one tablespoon with two cups of water.
Psyllium seed is highly absorbent and fibrous, making them a great colon cleanser. The seeds swell into a gelatinous solution in the colon, which absorbs toxins, bacteria in the colon to soothe inflamed mucous membranes and moisten dryness.
Take one or two teaspoons of this herb with warm water daily.
Triphala is probably the most well-known Ayurvedic herbal formulation. People have used it for thousands of years to support and strengthen digestive health. It functions as a laxative and a tonic, and at the same time, it detoxifies the body.
It is recommended to take Triphala before going to bed. Steep one or half a teaspoon of this herb in a cup filled with hot water for five to ten minutes. If you don’t like the taste, take two Triphala capsules with warm water.
Use These Herbs with Caution
Not all herbs for constipation relief are safe to take on a regular basis. Herbs like rhubarb, senna, and cascara can be prescribed for constipation, but, these herbs can have a powerful laxative effect, which can also add to dehydration problems.
Long-term or regular intake of these herbs may lead to cramping and diarrhea. It may also increase the likelihood of becoming dependent upon these laxatives.
Consider the gentler laxative herbs mentioned above along with a Vata reducing diet and lifestyle, rather than an acute “medicine” to repair poor dietary and lifestyle choices.
What Does a Healthy Poop Look Like?
Your poop says a lot about you and your health. One of the most important questions you can ask is “what is healthy poop?” Your stool should be formed and have the texture and shape of a ripe banana. If you have less than one BM a day, your digestive fire is compromised, and you are constipated. Constipation can also be a sign that a spring Ayurvedic cleanse is just what you need.