Constipation from an Ayurvedic Point of View
In the general sense, constipation is defined as the difficulty in performing the right kinds of bowel movements, which are essential in voiding the toxic waste materials of digestion. When constipation occurs, the person is not able to pass stools properly and in the right kind of frequency. This means, the toxins are getting retained within the body, which can lead to a host of complications within a short time.
Constipation - Causes from an Ayurvedic Point of View
Ayurveda treats constipation as a problem arising due to the predominance of the vata dosha . In fact, all people with the vata constitution have this problem to some extent or the other. From an Ayurvedic point of view, dietary bad habits are the main cause of constipation. The following are some of the dietary factors that lead to constipation:-
- Eating at different times each day
- Eating too late than the normal time
- Eating food that is difficult to digest
- Eating food without roughage (or foods that contain fiber content)
- Eating mostly dry foods
- Drinking too many beverages like tea and coffee
- Drinking too many cold drinks
- Not drinking enough water
Apart from these, Ayurveda has also pinpointed various environmental and behavioral factors that can lead to constipation. The following are these environmental and behavioral factors:-
- Vices like smoking
- Staying awake till late at night
- Sleeplessness or insomnia
- Mental worries and tensions
- Feelings of guilt and fear
Constipation - Symptoms from an Ayurvedic Point of View
Depending on the constitution of the person, there are different observed symptoms of constipation. The following are some of the symptoms:-
- Vata dosha symptoms - The first symptom is a browning of the tongue, which cannot be cleaned easily. These people also have occasional feelings of uneasiness in their stomachs with flatulence. Stools are hard to eliminate, and food takes a long time to get digested properly.
- Pitta dosha symptoms - The person will observe slightly yellowish stools and there will be a burning sensation in the anus as they are eliminated.
- Kapha dosha symptoms - The colon feels heavy and there is low digestive fire. The person will feel lethargic most of the time. The person will also eliminate faint colored stools which are almost white in color. There is a strong feeling of gas and flatulence. Bad breath (halitosis) is also a common problem in this type.
Constipation - Ayurvedic Treatment Methods
Triphala is the best herbal mixture for the permanent treatment of constipation. This mixture of amala , behera and harada in the proportion of 2:1:1 has excellent laxative properties. The mixture must be given in doses of about one teaspoonful at night, preferably taken with water that has been slightly warmed. Triphala has many benefits in all types of constipation and for people of all dosha types, but it is found that triphala also acts amazingly in case of obstinate constipation, such as in people with old age that develop this condition.
An alternative for triphala is abhayarisha, which is supposed to be taken in quantities of 30 ml twice a day, for a period of one month.