WHAT DOES IT MEAN? WHAT'S CAUSING IT? WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Are you prone to a problem with 'Constipation'?
How often should you poop? Ayurveda suggests that one bowel movement in the early morning followed by a possible second bowel movement later in the day is appropriate. Your stool should be more or less the shape and texture of a ripe banana, easy to pass, formed, and somewhat bulky. Less than one bowel movement a day, or if the quantity is very small count as constipation.
The importance of healthy elimination in Ayurveda is summarized by the phrase "You are as healthy as your colon." Poor bowel health results in fermentation of fecal matter, which irritates and ultimately degrades the lining of the intestines. Fermentation also creates toxins that are absorbed into the blood. Daily evacuation of stool prevents a cascade of potential health problems.
Constipation by ConstitutionIn Vata constipation, the stools are dry and hard. A bowel movement may consist of a group of small hard stools, likened to rabbit pellets, dry pieces, or lack of a bowel movement altogether. This dryness of the stool has several causes. It may be due to frequent urination that results in chronic dehydration. It may be due to toxins that disrupt the nervous system, causing asynchronous contractions. Similarly, stress and anxiety can disrupt peristalsis, causing constipation.
In hot Pitta constipation, the stools are smelly and sticky. It may come out in pieces and be difficult to clean. This is due to an excess of hot, oily foods your diet. Fried food and red meat in particular are culprits - they are hard to digest, therefore taking a long time, and create excess oil in your stool while heat dries out the water. What remains is sticky, somewhat dry, and difficult to pass. You may feel incomplete after visiting the bathroom.
Kapha constipation consists of large, infrequent bowel movements. This is due to a lack of mobility in the colon, resulting in sluggish bowels. When there is finally enough energy to stimulate peristalsis (the wave-like motion of your intestines which expels stool) the result is a large quantity. This slow metabolic rate may be associated with depression and hypothyroid.
Treatment by Type
Adding a pinch of salt to water can help a Vata person stay hydrated. Adding more oils and fiber in your diet can also help. Foods with sour taste can soften stools. Belly breath releases tension in abdomen. A short walk massages your intestine.
Vata type constipation is sometimes remedied by gentle, nourishing laxatives like milk with ghee or marshmallow tea, as well as calming herbs like ashwagandha and kava kava. Nourishing, sweet, oily foods like sweet potatoes with ghee, oatmeal, cooked apples and pears all encourage smooth elimination in Vata types.
Hot, sticky Pitta constipation requires cool, soothing herbs and foods to reduce inflammation and encourage hydration. A favorite Ayurvedic herb that fits the bill is amalaki, one component of the famous colon detoxifyer- triphala. Aloe vera juice or gel cools down your digestive tract while helping to hydrate your intestines. Drink plenty of coconut water, too.
Kapha constipation is caused by poor bowel tone, a complication of hypothyroid. Sluggish Kapha type constipation requires bitter greens, roughage and fiber in the diet to keep the bowels clean and moving. Taking mild laxatives, like triphala, gently scrape your colon clean and keep you regular.
Stimulant laxatives like senna and castor oil are a last resort, and not to be used without guidance of your health practitioner.
ARE YOU NEW TO AYURVEDA?Are you wondering what Ayurveda is and how to use it for 'Constipation' and health in general? LEARN MORE
WHAT HAS HELPED YOU HEAL?
DIET REMEDIES FOR 'CONSTIPATION'
PRODUCT REMEDIES FOR 'CONSTIPATION'
FIND MORE POOP RELATED PRODUCTSSee our herbs & products in these categories. Or, click here for general Poop Tips.
DISCLAIMER: The pathogenesis of each person's condition is unique, and so the diet must be fit to the individual and the unique root causes of the condition in your body.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'CONSTIPATION'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
With Constipation, one or more of the following
and qualities may be aggravated.
If you have an imbalance of one of these doshas or qualities, Ayurveda recommends avoiding foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate that quality and/or dosha.
These imbalanced doshas and qualities may need to be brought back into balance before this condition can be healed.
Click on the quality to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be avoided.
Symptoms Tell A StoryThe first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms. Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances, showing you where your body is weak. Specifically, they reveal the doshas & qualities that may have become aggravated. If you notice a quality or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms, it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
V = VATA, P = PITTA, K = KAPHA
To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTSEverything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using gunas. Gunas are qualities (like cold and hot) that describe the effect a food or herb has on your body. Cooling foods like cucumber, decrease metabolism. Heating foods like chili pepper, stimulate your body and increase metabolism. For 'Constipation', you should select foods with the following qualities (gunas). Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
To learn more about the symbols above, click on them.
Cleanse and Detox:
DETOXICANTAn herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
GENERAL-LAXATIVEPromotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
High Fiber Laxative,
HIGH-FIBER-LAXATIVEA class of laxative that adds bulk and water to stools. The size of a stool stimulates peristalsis and the stool passes more easily through the colon. It is important to drink plenty of water when using high fiber laxatives, as they can be dehydrating.
STOOL-SOFTENERAn herb that softens stool that is hard and difficult to pass. They are the safest and most gentle type of laxative. Some foods are even stool softeners, such as warm milk with ghee.
ADDRESS ISSUES IN STAGE OF DISEASE 1CONSTIPATION IS IN STAGE OF DISEASE 1 - AFFECTING DIGESTION
If you have symptoms in this category, your body is sending you a warning sign. Since digestion is so metabolically intensive and sensitive to stress and emotions, the earliest warning signs of imbalance usually appear in the digestive tract first. You may have gas and bloating, for example, or acid reflux. Ayurveda recommends paying careful, close attention to warning signs. They indicate that an imbalance is starting to accumulate. Correct these warning signs before they accumulate further and weaken your body's resistance. This is usually accomplished by removing diet and lifestyle habits that aggravate your imbalanced doshas and qualities.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITSThe following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Constipation'. See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type. Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
DO YOU WANT TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR UNIQUE BODY?
What aggravates it? What heals it? Then get your Personal Ayurvedic Body Book! This book, written by founder and director of Joyful Belly, John Immel, is individually formatted for your unique body and will help you confidently choose food that restores your healthy glow to get you feeling like your best self. Just $19.99!
HOW AYURVEDA WORKSARE YOU WONDERING HOW AYURVEDA CAN HELP YOU?
WHY IS AYURVEDA THE RIGHT SOLUTION?Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic, systemic approach, instead of myopically focusing on the disorder in question. Ayurveda shows a person how to interpret signs and symptoms of imbalance, and how to address them using materials from home, so they can optimize their health on a continual basis. You can't take the doctor home with you, but you can take Ayurveda home with you. Ayurveda is the most advanced and easy to use home system for self healing with an exceptional focus on digestion.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA WORK?Ayurveda starts by identifying your body type, which identifies certain tendencies in your body to get sick (as well as identifying your strengths). It uses body type to determine the likely root causes of your disorders. Next, Ayurveda analyzes the nature of your disorder. It fits all your signs and symptoms into a pattern, expressed as a combination of gunas / qualities. For example, you may have a heat disorder, a cold disorder, or an oily disorder, etc. This simple categorical approach shows you how to correct systemic imbalances and strengthen your body as a whole.
On Joyful Belly, we've created an extensive categorization of food so you can easily match food to your imbalances (gunas). By eating an optimal diet that balances your gunas, your whole body is strengthened and the conditions that created the disorder are removed. Once the root causes of the disease are removed, the disease lessens in strength or disappears altogether. Additional remedies - such as herbs and lifestyle practices - focused on the specific disorder, can greatly enhance your healing.
Want to learn more about Ayurveda and its step-by-step approach to healing? Click below.LEARN MORE
GET STARTEDTo get started on your Ayurvedic journey, we first recommend that your find your body type by taking our free quiz. In Ayurveda, every solution is based on your unique body type, so by taking this quiz, you’ll get the best results.
5 WAYS TO HEAL YOUR BODY
WITH AYURVEDA - FREE REPORT!
New to Ayurveda? Not sure how Ayurveda can help you? This free report shows you 5 simple ways you can heal your body with Ayurveda. It shows you simple, practical ways manage your health.
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.
Comments & Personal ExperiencesHow does 'constipation' affect your quality of life? What aggravates it? What has helped you? Is there something you'd like to know about 'constipation'?
(5.00 out of 5 stars) 1 review, 95 likes
I have enema dependency. I just can't poop without enemas --- I had a Barium enema yesterday at the hospital to try and get some help and answers. The doctor thinks I might have Hirschsprungs Disease. (never heard of this until yesterday). Has anyone heard about this? I'm a Veta type
Thank you with all heart for getting back to me (truth is I am new to understand Ayurvedic ---(a friend sent me this site). I 'think' I am Vata (now -at age 61) ---but I think I might have been more Pita at one time when younger --(and may still some Pita parts in me). Is this how these things work? I will try to do a private call --but right now --I am so very overwhelmed. I *DO* have Hirschsprung Disease -- (the doctor confirmed this yesterday) --and I am being sent to a specialist -- I was born with this. (had problems my entire life --but kept trying many different things). I'm exhausted -drained -sad- fearful --etc. I try to eat very clean (organic- cook at home --but I 'am' making wrong choices --AND some days I 'lose' it ....(revisit my distorted eating --some binge eating --- a panic solution which 'always' never helps ---but sometimes I just cave. (not helping the problem). NOT often --as years ago ---but a little. Amazing online sites like this are here --THANK YOU!!!!!!!
I think I have this Hircssprung disease also. What should I do?
Dima, what we can offer here is more of a general approach to constipation. You might consider booking a one on one consultation with one of our practitioners to get help with your specific issue.