All of us would have experienced constipation at one time or other in our lives. When we are away from home for a couple of days, most of us would not have a comfortable bowel movement till we get used to the new environment. Though occasional constipation causes no harm except for the uneasy feeling associated with the condition, it would be a cause for concern if the frequency of constipation increases. Siddha and Ayurveda systems regard constipation as the root cause of most of the diseases.
When the stool remains for longer periods in the large intestines, all the fluids in it gets removed and the stool gets hardened. Violent and prolonged suppression of the urge for a bowel movement is not good and if this is repeated enough number of times, the urge then stops eventually. Similarly applying pressure to defecate when there is no urge for a bowel movement can lead to constipation. Leading a sedentary life with no physical activity leads to lesser muscular movement of the ribs and stomach. This reduces the movement of food through the intestines. This can result in constipation. Constipation can also be a side effect of certain drugs. Some experts are of the opinion that the posture adapted for defecating also plays a significant role in constipation. They suggest a squatting position is better than sitting position for easy elimination. People with hemorrhoids suffer from frequent constipation.
There are two types, one is the sudden onset constipation and the other the regular one. Regular or the usual constipation is the frequently recurring constipation almost on a daily basis with the usual symptoms. This condition can be set right by some changes in diet and exercise.
Our body processes the food we eat, takes in the necessary nutrients and expels the waste matter out in frequent intervals. When this cycle is disturbed it would lead to loss of appetite, loss of taste, hemorrhoids, lethargy, tiredness, disturbed sleep, a cloudy sensation, joint pains etc.
Green gram, coconut, tender coconut, whey, milk with skin, fresh buttermilk, bananas, fresh greens especially cilantro, fenugreek greens, solanum nigrum or black nightshade, fruits like grapes, green leafy vegetables etc should form the major part of your diet. Chicken or mutton soup with less pepper and chillies, raw egg etc can also be taken.
Alcohol, pungent and spicy substances, sour buttermilk, pickles, beef etc should be avoided.
Brisk walking both in the mornings and evenings would benefit. This provides the much needed exercise to all muscles in the body and helps in toning up the internal organs.
On getting up early in the morning, drink one or two glasses of water and walk for a few minutes.
Establish a routine of going to the rest room in the mornings at a set time. Even if you do not have the sensation to evacuate, sit on the toilets. While seated calm your mind and visualize easy bowel movement. Even if you have not had one at the moment, going to the toilets at the set time will train your minds and would eventually result in daily bowel movement over time.
Making these changes in your day to day activities can help you in getting rid of constipation fast. Only in case of stubborn constipation should you resort to medicines. Taking laxatives can lead to dependency and should be avoided as far as possible.
One of the time tested constipation remedies is triphala choornam available at all Siddha and Ayurveda stores. 5-10 gm of this preparation is mixed in a spoonful of ghee and honey and taken at bedtime. This helps in facilitating easy bowel movement. This preparation also benefits the eyes. You can continue to take this till you are out of constipation. I will share some more simple remedies for constipation relief in my subsequent posts.
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