HERBS

IRRITABLE BOWEL SYNDROME

ABOUT THE DISEASE

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is a functional gastrointestinal disorder which is characterized by the changes in bowel habits (sometimes watery or hard stools).

CAUSES

There is no single or exact cause which leads to the disease. Combined effect of various causative factors have been studied which lead to formation of IBS.

  • Psychological causes like Anxiety, depression, stress etc. are major factors lead to changes in the intestinal motility.
  • Gastrointestinal motility disorder- It may lead increased colonic contractions
  • Increased sensitivity of visceral organs – due to alteration in neural transmission.

SYMPTOMS

  • Increased frequency of defecation, Patient usually gets a feeling of incomplete evacuation due to low volume of stools.
  • Variable bowel habit – Alternate episodes of diarrhoea and constipation. Some patients may suffer mainly from constipation (constipation predominant) while some patients may suffer mainly from Diarrhoea (Diarrhoea predominant).
  • Passage of mucus in the stool.
  • Pain in abdomen – mainly in the lower abdomen which usually gets relieved after passing stool.
  • Bloating.
  • Generalised weakness.
  • May also develop symptoms of vitamin and nutritional deficiencies.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

In Ayurveda, this disease has been correlated with a disease named as “Grahni Dosha”.

According to Acharyas, Grahni has been defined as a layer which is the main seat of Agni, where the main digestion takes place. It receives partially digested food from the stomach, digests it and then sends the digested food to the intestines for assimilation of nutrition in the body and throw out waste material in the form of stools. When Grahni is not functioning normally, it sends the undigested food towards the intestines which causes toxin production in the body and undigested food passes out with stool leading to Grahni Dosha.

CAUSATIVE FACTORS

  • Staying hungry for longer duration.
  • Over Eating during indigestion.
  • Improper eating habits like having sweet and salty food together.
  • Eating food which is allergic to the body.
  • Excess eating of heavy, cold, dry, preserved meals.
  • As a complication of Chronic Diarrhoea or due to not having proper meals when suffering from Diarrhea.
  • As a complication of Piles.
  • Holding natural urges like passing of stools, urine and flatus for long time.

According to the predominant Dosha, it can be of four types Like Vataja Grahni, Pittaj Grahni, Kaphaj Grahni and Mixed Grahni (VPK).

Grahni Dosha is mainly caused due to decreased Agni (low digestive fire) which leads to partial digestion of the food it receives from the stomach. Partially digested food forms a sticky material called as Aam which sticks to the intestinal walls and hence not flushed out properly. Aam also irritates the intestinal walls which leads to episodes of Diarrhoea followed with constipation. This all leads to increased frequency of Bowel movement, altered nature of bowel and pain in the abdomen.

SYMPTOMS

General Symptoms as per Ayurveda texts are:-

  • Irregular Bowel Habits (sometimes watery stools and sometimes hard stools).
  • Immediate stool passage after meals.
  • Sudden increase in thirst.
  • Decrease in or loss of Appetite.
  • Altered taste of mouth.
  • Episodes of darkness in front of the eyes.
  • Swelling in hands and legs.
  • Bodyache.
  • Vomiting.
  • Sour Belching.

Constipation predominant condition is Vata and Kapha dosha dominant, and Diarrhoea predominant condition is mainly Pitta Dosha dominant.

PRINCIPLE OF TREATMENT

This disease is mainly caused due to Agnimandya (low digestive fire), therefore the main line of treatment should be Deepana (to increase the digestive or metabolic process) and Pachana (to digest the toxins accumulated due to low Agni in the body).

Vata Kapha Dosha balancing and mild laxatives should be given in case of constipation and incomplete evacuation. In case of Diarrhoea predominant, Pitta pacifying drugs and medicines useful in binding the stool and controlling the movement of bowel can be given.
In case of excess Aam (toxin) collection in the body Panchkarma procedures like Vamana and Virechana can be done.

MEDICINES

1. Single herb – Bilwa fruit, Kutaja, Jayphala, Patha, Chitraka, Amla, harad, Jeera, Dadima, sonth, Bhunimba.

2. Herbal combinations – Jatiphaladi Churna, Gangadhar Churna, Dadimashtak Churna, Bhunimbadi Churna, Nagaradi Churna, Chitrakadi Vati, Kutaja Ghana Vati.

3. Kwath(Decoctions) - Dhanyakadi Kwath, Nagaradi kwath, Chaturbhadra kwath, Dhanyapanchak kwath.

4. Herbo Mineral Preparations – Agni kumar Rasa, Nripatiballabh Rasa, Rambana Rasa, Agnitundi Vati, Jatiphaladi Vati, Grahnikapaat Rasa, Piyushvalli Rasa, Anandbhairav Rasa.

5. Awaleha (Lickable preparations) - Kalyanak Guda.

6. Parpati – This is a metallic preparation especially prescribed in this disease. It is highly beneficial in treating chronic Grahni disorders. It is of various types such as – Panchamrit Parpati, Swarn Parpati, Ras Parpati etc. It can be given in combination with other drugs or can also be given alone in “Kalpa form”, a regimen where Parpati dose is increased from 1 mg to 1 gm in 10 days and then tapered off again till 1 mg in next 10 days.

HOME REMEDIES

1. Eat light and easily digestible food.

2. Avoid fiber rich food in case of Diarrhoea predominant IBS.

3. Cow Ghee is best medicine for increasing Agni (Digestive fire) of the body, therefore, use ghee in your meals.

4. Take cumin seeds and roast them in pan. Crush the roasted seeds to make powder. Take half teaspoon of this powder twice with buttermilk on daily basis.

5. Drink 1 glass of Buttermilk with half teaspoon roasted cumin powder and one pinch Hing (Asafoetida) daily in lunch as it ignites the low Agni in the body and helps in digestion of Aam (toxins) in the body.

6. If suffering from semi solid stool with whitish mucus - Take Long pepper powder, Dry ginger powder, and Black pepper powder and mix all these powders together. Take Hing (Asafoetida) and roast it in cow’s ghee and mix it well with other powders. Take one fourth teaspoon of this powder daily with buttermilk.

7. Half teaspoon powder of carom seeds (Ajwain) with luke warm water or Buttermilk in case of pain in lower part of abdomen in IBS.

Disclaimer

The purpose of Ayurvidya is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider regarding your medical condition or treatment and before undertaking any new health care regimen.