According to Ayurvedic practice, you are only as healthy as your colon. Proper elimination of your bowels should occur once (or even twice) daily. Stool should be roughly the shape and texture of a ripe banana – that is, well formed, easy to pass, and somewhat bulky. If elimination is less frequent, painful, or not as it is described above, this could be a sign of constipation.
Well, in addition to that full, bloated feeling, constipation can lead to the fermentation of fecal matter, which irritates the lining of the colon and can also cause toxins to be absorbed into the blood. If it’s not dealt with and left as an ongoing problem, chronic and severe constipation can lead to leaky gut (a contributing cause of chronic illness and auto immune disorders), hemorrhoids, fissures (small tears), fecal impaction, and even a prolapsed rectum.
Well, besides the obvious (infrequent bowel movements), other symptoms can be abdominal pain, bloating, and a sense of incomplete evacuation (i.e. feeling like you still have to go after a bowel movement).
Aside from a poor diet lacking in fresh, non-processed whole plant based fibre rich foods, not drinking enough warm water, and stressful life events, some causes of constipation can be:
As you would anticipate, because there are three different types of constipation, there are different recommendations of what foods to eat to remedy each kind (based on “gunas” – qualities like hot and cold that determine how your body responds to different foods).
So, it is important to figure out what type of constipation you have, and then to come up with an individual and specific list of foods to eat and avoid. A consultation with your health practitioner is quite often recommended.
Further study on relieving constipation shows that several herbs (brewed into a tea) can help ease the pain and bloating that comes with constipation. Some of the recommended herbs are licorice, cardamom, and coriander.
As well, triphala (an Ayurvedic herbal remedy) has long been recognized as a gentle, yet effective bowel tonic.
Finally, make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day. Warm water is much easier for your body to digest, and it will calm an aggravated Vata dosha.
While this topic can be something of a bummer (sorry, we couldn’t resist) it is an important one. In Ki’s Kitchen we specialise in gut health and healing. If you need help getting your digestive system back on track, please let us know. We would love to help heal what ails you from the inside out.
Thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!
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