Bowel movements are an indicator of ones health. A healthy individual should have at least two bowel movements a day. In fact, if your health is ideal, a bowel movement should occur a few hours after each meal. Not many people experience that. Most people have only one bowel movement a day. This is a clear indication of a sluggish digestive system and poor health.
The waste products are the final products of our body’s digestion, therefore the nature of those wastes can tell us a lot about what is occurring within the body. Constipation is never a good sign.
There are several causes of constipation and the most common are:
– Lack of fiber
– Lack of proper hydration
– Excessive consumption of junk foods & Caffeine
– Inactivity or lack of exercise
– Excessive Chocolate or dairy consumption.
Certain diseases can also cause constipation, for example:
– Inflammatory Bowel Disease
– Parkinson’s & MS
And certain drugs too, like:
– Pain Killers
– Iron & Calcium supplements
– Laxative Overuse
– Prozac & other Anti-depressants
It is important to find out what the cause of your constipation is, in order to correctly treat the condition.
Firstly, consume enough water (6-8 glasses minimum), eat healthy home cooked meals that include vegetables. Eat more fruit, and get enough sleep. Avoid refined flours and sugars.
1. Hydrate & laxate with Fruits.
– Grapes have been used for regulating bowel movements in both Ayurvedic Medicine as well as Naturopathic Medicine, and is a mild yet effective laxative. Grapes contain cellulose (Fiber) and organic acids which is how they are able to aid the digestive system. A bowl of grapes 2 hours before bed can assist in a proper bowel movement by the morning.
– Pears are extremely beneficial and contain around 6 grams of fiber each. That’s enough roughage to get your bowel in motion. Some people actually get diarrhea from Pears. 1-2 a day should solve your problem.
– Apples, contain around 5 grams of fiber each and are well known for assisting in bowel movements. 2 apples consumed at one is enough to move things along.
AVOID bananas and Jack fruit.
2. Flax seeds
Rich in fiber to add bulk to the stools, and rich mucilage which helps to lubricate the digestive tract. Flax seeds are an extremely effective remedy for constipation. The seeds should be crushed or ground in order to get the benefits.
3. Castor Oil
I think everyone knows the main reason to take castor oil is to induce diarrhea. Taking 1 teaspoon with warm water in the evening can assist in constipation, however this is only a temporary solution and should not be continued for more that 3-4 days or you may become dependent on it.
4. Sit ups
This exercise compresses the internal organs and increases circulation to the area, thus
aiding in the function of the those organs. Doing sit up daily can aid greatly in relieving both gas and constipation. Yoga is also very beneficial in relieving constipation – Wind relieving pose, Cobra pose, Locust pose, Plow pose and Sun Salutation are very effective.
5. Ghee & Milk
A glass of hot milk with a tablespoon of ghee taken first thing in the morning will surely induce a bowel movement. This has been used by Ayurvedic doctors for both bowel regulation as well as energy. Unfortunately, the milk found in most western countries are of poor quality and are resulting in negative effects in people. These conditions are not seen in people in the eastern countries. If you prefer not to use cows milk, you can use coconut milk. Note that ghee is not for everyone. People suffering from conditions like congestion, slow digestion, lethargy, and other mucus related illnesses should avoid ghee.
In Ayurvedic Medicine, once the condition is properly diagnosed, one of the following formulations are prescribed:
Some practitioners recommend Senna, but i personally do not. There may be unwanted side effects such as gastric discomfort, nausea, heartburn etc.
There is however, a herbal tea that has Senna together with Triphala (which counteracts many of the side effects). This tea is called “Get Regular” by a company called “Yogi”. Many of my clients have used this tea and find it quite effective. Yogi is known for making good quality herbal teas.
(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
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by Dr. Nishal R.
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