By Dr. Satish Sawale, Ayurveda
Constipation is a common symptom where a person has difficulty passing faeces or unusually dry stool. In simple language, it is irregular and infrequent or difficult evacuation of the bowels. Constipation is determined in the colon (large intestine), which is responsible for packaging and eliminating stool. As food moves through the colon, it absorbs water while forming stool. Muscle contractions (squeezing motions) in the colon push the stool toward the rectum (the lower 8 to 10 inches of the large intestine). By the time stool reaches the rectum, it is solid, because most of the water has been absorbed.
Age wise effect: Constipation is more common in children and older age, but can affect anyone. The reason for this is that children prefer junk foods and a diet low in fibre and elder people due to absence of teeth prefer soft foods which are again low in fibre due to which constipation occurs.
- Diet: The most common cause of constipation is a diet low in fibre found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and high in fats found in cheese, eggs, and meats.
- Not enough liquids: Liquids like water and juice add fluid to the colon and bulk to stools, making bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Other liquids, like coffee and soft drinks that contain caffeine seem to have a dehydrating effect.
- Lack of Exercise: Lack of exercise can also lead to constipation.
- Medications: Pain medications can slow passage of bowel movements.
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Some people with IBS, also known as spastic colon, have spasms in the colon that affect bowel movements.
- Changes in Life or Routine: During pregnancy, women may be constipated because of hormonal changes or because the heavy uterus compresses the intestine.
- Ignoring the Urge to Have a Bowel Movement: People who ignore the urge to have a bowel movement may eventually stop feeling the urge, which can lead to constipation.
- Specific Diseases: Diseases that cause constipation include neurological disorders, metabolic and endocrine disorders, and systemic conditions that affect organ systems. These disorders can slow the movement of stool through the colon, rectum, or anus.
Ayurvedic Treatment For Constipation
- Ginger tea is a great home remedy for constipation. It helps in starting bowel movements.
- Exercise often a simple stroll in the park can relieve constipation.
- Guava, when eaten with seeds, provides roughage to diet can give relief from constipation.
- Add more fruits to the diet like pears, grapes, Orange juice Papaya.
- Another natural remedy for constipation is to add a little extra sugar or some honey a glass of milk. Drink twice a day.
- Eat 2 apples with peel on an empty stomach.
- Dissolve 1 tablespoons of honey in 1 cup of lukewarm water and drink on an empty stomach in the morning.
- Drink carrot juice. It is a very tasty remedy, especially for kids.
- Eat chopped fresh onion.
- Take 3 -4 teaspoons of Abhyarishta with equal quantity of water – twice a day after meals.
- Take 1 – 2 teaspoons of Panchasakar churna with lukewarm water.
- Take 1 – 2 teaspoons of Avipattikar Churna (powder) with water or milk twice a day.
- Take 1 tablet of Gandhak Vati with hot water after meals.
- Take 1 – 2 tablets of Virechani with warm water or milk at bed time.
- Take 2 – 3 tablets of Triphala with warm water at bed time.