“I wish that being famous helped prevent me from being constipated”MARVIN GAYE (1939-1984)
At some point or another, everyone experiences constipation. At any given point in time, 16 out of 100 people are dealing with it, and if you’re over 60 years old then you have a 1 in 3 chance of having symptoms. In the US, almost 750,000 trips to the ER each year are due to people suffering from constipation! It may be acute (sudden, noticeable) or chronic (a persistent issue).
Why am I writing about this now? Well the reason is because I believe it’s a real issue and because constipation is more common in the winter time when the weather is cold, so I thought it would be a good idea to provide some Ayurvedic tips and guidance as to how to avoid constipation during this holiday season.
What is Constipation?
Put simply, constipation refers to infrequent bowel movements or bowel movements of insufficient quantity. When you suffer from this “log jam”, it is common practice for most to reach for some relief via laxatives.
Causes of Constipation
From a diet perspective, major contributors are a lack foods high in fiber, eating cold, dry and rich foods, bakery items as well as fried foods.
Beyond diet, we look at lifestyle. Key drivers here are lack of physical activity, stress & depression, aging, dehydration and also the effect of taking prescription medications also can be telling.
If Constipation Goes Unaddressed
The reality though is that if constipation is persistently ignored, knock-on issues such as hemorrhoids, anal fissures, rectal prolapses can occur …all unpleasant conditions that you would surely want to avoid at any cost!
Ignoring constipation can lead to broader body and mind level issues beyond the localized (rectum) area described above. In my practice I have seen clients with issues such as chronic headaches, skin disorders, mental health issues, joint pains, gastro intestinal issues, womens health problems and more…where the culprit has been uncovered as constipation!
Eleven Quick Options For Constipation Remedies
|Remedy Number||How To Do It|
|#1 – If concurrent with light sleep:||Take 1 cup tsp warm organic raw milk, 1 tsp each of ghee & fennel powder with 1/4 tsp ganthoda before bed, boiling all in the milk before drinking.|
|#2 & 3 – If related with gas/bloating:||After meals take 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds and 1/4 tsp black salt with hot water or keep 2 to 4 Himaj seeds in the mouth until dissolved.|
|#4 – If you have joint pain:||Take 3 grams fenugreek powder & 2 grams jaggery after meals with warm water.|
|#5 & 6 – First thing in the morning:||Soak 5 each of dates & figs and 20 raisins overnight in a cup of water. In the morning, grind & heat the mixture and drink the resulting warm tea OR Mix 1 tsp each of ginger juice, honey and lemon juice. Drink the combination, washing it down with 1/2 a cup of warm water.|
|#7 – If you have low appetite:||Make a mixture with equal parts of dry ginger, pippali, black pepper, sea salt and cumin. After meals, eat 2g with a teaspoon of honey.|
|#8 through 11 – Four Juices To Try||1. One Papaya, two Kiwi, one Apple and an inch of root ginger|
2. Two Apples, 1/2 cup red grapes, 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon & fennel powder
3. Two pears, two apples, 1/4 cup grapes & 1/2 tsp licorice powder
4. Fresh prune juice
Foods To Avoid & Foods To Favor
According to Ayurveda, certain foods items will propagate Constipation. At a high level, the type of food to avoid are plain flour, fried food, pasteurized milk, cold foods, refined starch, spicy food and frozen foods.
By the same token, there are foods that are favorable to avoid or mitigate constipation. Some of these are things like fresh fruits, dry fruits, grains and green leafy vegetables cooked with some spices.
PS. A sedentary lifestyle is something that should also be avoided.
If you, a child or a parent are suffering with constipation, feel free to try some of the remedies that I have included here for 5-7 days. If constipation is more persistent, not just a rare occurrence, or if there is another physical or mental malady that you are concerned about then I am here to help with personalized diet and lifestyle guidance, herbs and even Panchakarma or Enema options. A complimentary consultation costs no more than 20 minutes of your time, so don’t hesitate to schedule one by clicking here.
At Ayutherapy – Ayurveda Wellness Center, our primary purpose and mission is to heal, and heal naturally promoting harmony between mind, body, spirit and mother nature. We offer a full array of authentic Ayurveda services including consultations both in-person at our center in Danville, California or virtually.
~ Vaidya Archana Rao, B.A.M.S.