HERBS

CONSTIPATION

ABOUT THE DISEASE

It can be described as a condition in which there is a decrease in the frequency of bowel movements. It is also associated with low stool volume. The complaints vary from patient to patient.

Medically it is defined as a condition in which there are less than 3 bowel motions in a week.

Constipation if lasts for days or few weeks then it is acute constipation. If it lasts for more than 3 months or years then it is called as Chronic constipation.

CAUSES
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Low fiber diet.
  • Certain medicines like Iron supplements, Calcium channel blockers, Codeine combinations, Anti Convulsants etc.
  • Pregnancy – During Pregnancy the growing uterus creates pressure over the intestine which can lead to constipation.
  • Dehydration.
  • Certain Bowel abnormalities like bowel obstruction due to carcinomatous growth or stricture, inflammatory Bowel diseases.
  • Endocrine disorders – Hypothyroidism, Diabetes mellitus.
  • CNS disorders – Parkinson’s disease.
  • After surgery – the general anesthesia given for surgery leads to loss or decreased Bowel movement for some time.
  • Congenital disorders – e.g., Hirschprung disease.

SYMPTOMS

  • Decreased bowel movements.
  • Passage of low volume or hard stool.
  • Taking time to pass stool.
  • Straining during defecation, in some cases pain in abdomen during straining.
  • Sense of incomplete defecation.
  • Sense of heaviness in abdomen.
  • Bloating.

AYURVEDIC VIEW

In Ayurveda, features resembling constipation are mentioned under “Anaha” disease. It is defined as a condition where there is decrease in passage of stool and gas (Through anal route or through mouth in the form of belching).

CAUSES

According to Acharyas causes of Anaha are:-

  • Holding natural urges of body like passing of stool, urine and Gas etc.
  • Eating spicy, bitter meals or meals having astringent action in body (absorbing the moisture or fluid content of the body) like tea, coffee etc.
  • Eating dry, or preserved food.
  • Lack of physical activity.

PATHOGENESIS

All the causative factors mentioned earlier lead to aggravation of Vata Dosha in intestines which causes obstruction of faeces and gas in the body.

CLINICAL FEATURES

The symptoms as mentioned by Acharyas are:-

  • Stiffness in the chest.
  • Headache.
  • Heaviness or uneasiness in the body.
  • Obstruction in Belching.
  • Stiffness in Abdomen or Bloating abdomen.
  • Indigestion.
  • Restlessness or discomfort

PRINCIPLE OF TREATMENT

The main line of treatment is balancing Vata Dosha in the body and improving the metabolic process (Agni) in the body followed by removal of impacted waste material in the intestines.

Panchkarma procedures like Snehana, Swedana, Vaman, Virechan can be done for detoxification and improving the metabolism of body.

MEDICINES

1. Single herbs – Haritki (Terminalis chebula), Sanay (Cassia angustifolia), Trivrit (Operculina turpethum), Danti (Baliospermum montanum), Amalki (Phyllanthus emblica), Kutki (Picrorhiza kurroa).

2. Powders – Triphala churna, Panchsakaar churna, Haritki churna, Sukh virechan churna, Avipattikar churna, Hingwashtak churna.

3. Tablets – Arogyavardhini vati, Chitrakadi vati, Arka vati.

4. Asava/Arishta (Alcoholic Preparations) - Abhayarishta

5. Others – Castor oil, Isabgol husk.

HOME REMEDIES

1. Drink plenty of fluids, eat fiber rich food and practice 30-40 mins exercise daily.

2. Avoid meals like refined flour made items (white flour, pasta, macroni, noodles, pizza, Burger etc). Avoid too much sugary, frozen and preserved food items.

3. Eat fresh and fiber rich food.

4. Chew your meal properly and avoid water intake immediately before and after meals.

5. Regular body massage with sesame oil helps in balancing of Vata Dosha in body, also light fomentation of abdomen area helps in stimulation of the bowel movements.

6. Take 1-2 glasses of luke warm water with one fourth lemon juice extract empty stomach in the morning. This helps in stimulating the intestines.

7. Drinking water from copper vessel (kept overnight) also helps in stimulation of intestines and balancing Vata Dosha.

8. Take 10-15 raisins and soak them in one bowl of milk. Eat them in the morning empty stomach. Raisins are rich in fiber and contain the enzymes necessary for digestive mechanism.

9. Soaked figs (2-4) in water taken empty stomach in the morning are also beneficial in ailing constipation and flatulence.

10. Drink Herbal tea made of mint and ginger twice daily.

11. Take 10 ml castor oil with milk at night at bed time.

12. Drink 4-5 litres of water daily.

13. If suffering from constipation, bloating and pain in abdomen then take half teaspoon carom seeds powder with luke warm water twice daily.

14. Half glass Cumin water empty stomach helps in constipation and bloating.

15. Yogasanas – Pawan muktasana, Sarvangasana, Bhujangasana.

16. Aerobic exercises like swimming, cycling, jogging, playing sports or brisk walk for 30 min daily helps in improving the bowel movement.

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.