Clearing of bowels is a step towards good health. There is a feeling of being uncomfortable and routine work is hampered when the bowels of a person are not cleared. Though the disease of constipation has not been discussed separately in Ayurvedic texts, its occurrence as a symptom of various diseases and ways to tackle it has been described. Constipation is mentioned in Ayurvedic texts by the name of Vibandha meaning obstructing or binding of stool. Vibandha occurs when something is wrong somewhere in our food habits. Ayurveda internal medicines along with changes in diet and lifestyle help relieve constipation.
Simple tips to relieve and prevent constipation
- One should increase water intake. Drink small sips of water, preferably warm water at frequent intervals.
- Take fiber rich diet. Diet should compose mainly of freshly cooked vegetables, soups and fresh fruits.
- Cereals such as barley, wheat, oat, whole grain, old rice, pulses cooked until tender soft such as green gram, pigeon pea, cooked vegetables mainly all green leafy vegetables, carrot, radish, bottle gourd, cucumber and fruits mainly all citrus fruits, papaya, apple, figs, pears, prunes, berries are beneficial. So one should increase their intake.
- Intake of foods like frozen food, black lentil, white bread, and snacks like chips, pizza, spicy and oily diet, excess cheese, fried food, raw food and carbonated drinks should be minimized.
- Buttermilk is best. Yogurt is also good. One can take them during the day but avoid at night.
- One can drink a cup of warm milk or warm water added with little ghee at bed time.
- Soak 1 tbsp raisins in water overnight and eat it next morning.
- One should include sufficient ghee or oil in diet.
- Regular exercise is a must.
- Walk few steps after every meal, especially after dinner.
- One should not suppress the natural urges especially feces.
- Staying awake late in night and rising late in the morning also affects bowel movement. So one should try to go to bed before midnight and wake up early.
Constipation is a common problem in today's world mainly due to present day lifestyle. Constipation may manifest in different ways - not passing bowels even once a day or a sense of incomplete evacuation. constipation is a symptom, not a disease but it can be a forerunner of serious diseases. Timely treatment is very much essential. Constipation can be successfully managed through Ayurveda and simple modifications in diet and lifestyle.