Why is your poop yellow? There are two main causes of this anomaly of the bowels. The most common is when stools are moving too quickly through the intestines, called a fast bowel transit time. This rapid elimination of stools is usually from intestinal irritation or excess bile.
Why does a rapid stool have a yellow hue? When food first enters the small intestine, bile is released. This bile is a green color. It's purpose is to emulsifies fats in the food you've eaten.
As food winds through the GI tract, bacteria digest the bile, turning the bile from a green to yellow and finally to a cinnamon brown color - so that the finished masterpiece of your poop is a cinnamon brown color. Yellow stool means you eliminated your bowels pre-cinnamon stage, before bacteria finished processing your bile. When stools are eliminated too quickly, the bacteria don't have time to break down the bile into its yellow form. Under these rapid conditions, your body can't complete its task of crafting a healthy poop.
Fast moving poop is usually a sign that your intestines are irritated, a Pitta imbalance. Pitta is hot, sharp, fast, intense, and liquid in nature, just like diarrhea and loose stools. In Ayurveda, fast moving bowels are called ati pravrutti in purisha vaha srotas (the elimination pathway). Soft bowels are called mrdu koshta.
Why are your intestines irritated?
Sometimes your body produces too much bile, especially in hot weather. Bile itself is hot and oily. This excess bile irritates the intestines and paves the pathway for loose stools. Bile is made in the liver, which is one of the primary Pitta locations in your body. In this location Pitta is called Ranjaka Pitta and one of the jobs of Ranjaka Pitta is to color the stool, as in green, yellow or brown.
In hot weather or after eating spicy food, so much blood is moving through the liver that the liver overproduces bile. Pitta people tend to have sensitive livers anyway, and may experience these symptoms even in winter.
Fatty foods also increase bile production. Generally, when a Pitta person consumes too much fat it sends your poop flying through your intestines at top speed. For this reason, Pitta people do not digest fat well.
Intestinal disorders including infection, parasites, IBS, & celiac disease also irritate the intestines leading to rapid bowel transit.
Remedies for Yellow Stools
If yellow stools are due to intestinal irritation, you'll want to address the root cause of the irritation, and favor a Pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle.
Yellow stool may be a sign of excess fire and/or water elements. Avoid eating too much salty, sour and spicy foods which further aggravate fire and water.
Instead, eat more cooling and astringent foods like legumes and barley to slow things down and help bind the stool. Demulcent foods like oatmeal are soothing to irritated intestines. You might also benefit from decreasing your intake of fat - particularly fried foods and favoring more sweet foods like root veggies, whole grains and animal products.
Herbs like shatavari have both an anti-microbial action and cool the intestines. Arjuna is an astringent herb that bind stools. Marshmallow root is a demulcent to soothe intestines.
Fear & Other Causes
Nothing affects digestion quite like fear. When triggered, you feel a "pit" in your stomach. Your stomach drops, your knees become weak and your bowels churn. Even performance anxiety, before giving a speech for example, triggers bowel evacuation. This can lead to yellow stools due to undigested bile. Belly breathing and rubbing your tummy are remedies that can soothe bowels.
Light Yellow / Cardboard Colored Stools
Another reason stool may be yellow is due to poor fat digestion. This type of stool is light yellow, gray, or a pale color, like dark beige or light cardboard. This type of pale stool is due to insufficient bile, and may cause constipation.
In this case check the health of your liver, as well as the pancreas to see if you are producing enough fat digesting enzymes like bile and lipase. Cystic fibrosis and pancreatic enzyme deficiencies may also create light colored stools. These conditions are more complex and you'll definitely want to work with your doctor and Ayurvedic practitioner to come up with the right approach for you.
If Vata's dryness is contributing to your lack of bile, sipping warm water throughout the day with a pinch of salt and a wedge of lemon or lime can help. The sour taste in lime increases bile production. You want to avoid drying foods like crackers, dried fruit, raw foods and legumes.
Kale and other bitter foods and herbs also stimulate bile. Amalaki, aloe vera gel, turmeric, kutki, guduchi and fenugreek are just some examples of the many herbs that increase bile production. These bitter foods and herbs can improve fat digestion as they increase bile production. Many of them reduce inflammation in the GI tract as well.
Consult with a practitioner to get an herbal formula and diet that is right for you. Consider yellow stool to be a helpful early warning sign and let it inspire you to get your gut tuned up.
Augment your diet with these specially chosen ingredients below which may be useful for 'Yellow stool'.
Individual results vary depending the cause of your imbalance and by constitution.
Please research the ingredients below to find which are most helpful for you, and check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
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.
The information on this page is for educational purposes only and should not be used to treat a medical condition. It is not a substitute for medical care.
Please check with your doctor before making any changes to your health and wellness routine.
HOW DOES AYURVEDA HEAL 'YELLOW STOOL'?
AVOID DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS THAT AGGRAVATE THESE EFFECTS
According to Ayurveda, one or more of the following
and biocharacteristics may aggravate 'Yellow stool'.
If you have an excess of one of these doshas or biocharacteristics below, Ayurveda recommends reducing foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate them.
Click on the biocharacteristic to learn what foods and
lifestyle habits should be reduced.
Symptoms Tell A Story
The first step to healing is learning patterns from your symptoms.
Symptoms are clues that reveal underlying imbalances.
Symptoms show you where your body is weakened.
Ultimately, all disease has a root in tissues too weak to defend itself.
Ayurveda describes these patterns of weakness using doshas & biocharacteristics.
If you notice a biocharacteristic or dosha appears next to many of your symptoms,
it helps you establish a pattern that may be systemic.
FAVOR DIETS, LIFESTYLES & HERBS WITH THESE MEDICINAL EFFECTS
Everything you eat has an effect on your body, which Ayurveda categorizes in a simple and easy way, using biocharacteristics (gunas).
Biocharacteristics 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 'Yellow stool', you should select foods with the following biocharacteristics.
Individual results will vary, based on your body type and the root cause of your imbalance.
FOODS TO FAVOR
CONDITION IN YOUR BODY
ABOUT COLD BIOCHARACTERISTIC
Cold refers to anything that reduces body temperature, metabolism, and blood flow.
YELLOW STOOL 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 biocharacteristics.
REDUCE THESE RELATED SYMPTOMS & HABITS
The following symptoms & habits may be related to 'Yellow stool'.
See your quiz results for a computerized assessment of your body type.
Please click on the symptoms below to learn more about them.
Biocharacteristics of the 3,438 People Reporting Yellow stool
On average the biocharacteristics
of people reporting Yellow stool were more aggravated than 84% of other symptoms.
From the 3,438 people who reported Yellow stool in this research study of 74,671 individuals,
average deviation in biocharacteristic levels were the following:
Ayurveda strengthens the body, in addition to addressing the disorder. It take a holistic,
systemic approach, instead of focusing only 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 biocharaceristics (gunas).
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 imbalanced biocharacteristics.
By eating an optimal diet that balances your biocharacteristics, 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
To 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.
John 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.
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.