Dr. Prashant Sawant's Ayusanjivani Chikitsa
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(Disease having similar symptom in ayurved - malavashtambha / koshthabaddhata )

What is constipation?
What causes constipation?
What are the causes of constipation according to Ayurved?
What are the symptoms of constipation?                 
How can I prevent constipation?
How, when and what to eat?
What is constipation?

It is defined as less frequent bowel movements, say two or three in a week, also sometimes termed
as difficult or painful defecation.
If the stool is hard and difficult to pass, it should be regarded as constipation, irrespective of the
frequency of
the bowel movement.
The most common health disorder today is, perhaps, constipation. Constipation is a common
complaint and
initially it is important to determine, whether it is constipation in true sense. The normal bowel habit
of many
individuals is less than one bowel movement a day. This may not be constipation. This single
symptom can lead
to many other diseases, so you also have to be very careful about it, in case it affects you manage
it properly. If
you are leading an easy, sedate life in a city and consuming rich food then you are more prone to
than others.
What are the causes of constipation?

Clinical approach to the true constipation should be based on the possible causes.
1.      Inadequate diet and sedentary lifestyle e.g., lack of fibrous diet and exercise.
2.      Ignoring call of the nature - owing to habits or physical  disability etc.
3.      Organic diseases of anus, rectum and colon.
4.      Disorders of intestinal motility, which may be secondary to metabolic problems e.g.,
hypothyroidism, scleroderma (disease of the colonic muscle or nervous plexus) etc.
5.      Some drugs also cause constipation e.g., analgesics, anti-inflammatory agents, antacids, 
antidepressants, diuretics, iron and many more.

What are the causes of constipation according to Ayurved?

1.      Suppression of the urge of defecation and flatus may culminate into symptoms of
2.      Factors that derange purishawaha strotasa, affects its normal function and results to
constipation and

other diseases. These factors are as follows:
(a)   Over eating. 
(b)   Eating during indigestion or when previous meal is not digested, Particularly in person with poor
(c)    Severe weakness  (emaciated).
3.      Some long standing severe disease causes constipation e.g., fever etc.

What are the symptoms of constipation?        
Constipated patients feel following symptoms that are mentioned in ayurved under different disease
When purishwaha strotasa (channels carrying feces) is deranged, produces symptoms of morbidity
such as -
1.      Passing stool with difficulty, in small quantity, with sound and pain, too liquid, too scabulous
(hard) and in
large quantity.
2.      Suppression of flatus causes retention of feces, urine and flatus, flatulence, pain, exhaustion
and other
disorder’s of abdomen due to vata, while suppression of defecation causes colic pain, headache,
retention of
flatus and feces, cramps in calf muscles and flatulence.
3.      Feces when increased produces enlargement of the abdomen gurgling noise in abdomen and
on the other hand, decrease in feces gives rise to the movement of air inside the intestine
accompanied by
gurgling noise coming upwards and causing severe discomfort in the region of the heart and the
4.      Gradual accumulation of feces or ama inside the alimentary tract causes obstruction to the
movement of vata and produces the disease known as aanaha.
5.      Constipation not only leads to a general feeling of malaise but, since the body becomes toxic,
can also
lead or exacerbate to many other ailments such as - headaches, heartburn, hypertension, arthritis,
piles, fissure’s, rectal prolapse, hernia, acne, stomatitis etc.

How can I prevent constipation?

In the absence of any organic obstruction, change of food habits, perhaps, is the ideal way to deal
with the
How, when and what to eat? 

Preserving food in refrigerator has become a need of our fast life style.  It decreases food nutrition
value.  Avoid
refrigerated food as far as possible. Try to consume fresh food.
Eat warm food - it tastes well
You should eat warm, unctuous food in proper quantity, after the previous food is digested. The
food should benon antagonistic. You should eat in pleasant place. You should not eat too fast or too
slow.  Never talk or laugh while eating.
Avoid psychological tension, fear, anger etc. As even the wholesome food taken in proper quantity,
does not get digested due to anxiety fear etc
Eat sufficient amount of liquids, water, buttermilk etc., which reduces the dryness of intestine. A
glass of hot water taken before meals also helps in proper bowel habits.
Eat leafy vegetables after washing and cooking them properly. (viz; spinach, cabbage, chulai,
shepoo, mint, coriander etc.)
Eat fruits like apple, muskmelon, watermelon, papaya, mango etc.
Avoid sedentary lifestyle, you should take long walks and light exercise which will tone up your
stomach muscle

Don’t use preserved or fermented food.
Don’t suppress natural urges like urine, stool, flatus etc., when your body tells you it’s time to go,
head for the toilet as soon as possible.
Avoid day sleep and awakening at night, disturbance in sleep affects digestive system.
Eating food which is very dry, astringent, pungent and bitter in taste increases vata in the abdomen
and causes constipation e.g., pigeon pea gram, spiked dolichos, maize, sago, cow pea etc.

One of the most frequent causes of 'tummy ache’ in children is constipation, form the habit of their
going to the lavatory at a regular time each day. You can actually train their bowels to get on a
regular schedule.
Avoid sleeping immediately after meals. It will be better if you finish your dinner at least 1 hour
before going to bed
Curd (Dahi) is a common content of meal all over world. You should know certain things about curd
before consuming it.  As per ayurvedic texts, curd is sour both in taste and also at the end of
digestion, water absorbent (absorbs water from feces causing constipation) hard to digest, hot in
potency and it vitiates vata.  It should not be eaten at night. It should not be partaken daily.  It
should not be eaten when it is not well formed. It should not be made hot. Recipes that are cooked
in curd are not recommended in ayurveda, it can cause toxic effect in body.

Buttermilk and mastu (watery part of curd which is similar to butter milk) helps easy movement of
cleanses the channels and relieves constipation.
Coffee, tea and alcohol are all diuretics that can leave you somewhat dehydrated. Since you need
fluids in your system to aid bowel movements, you’re more likely to have constipation if you drink
these beverages in large quantity. When you do have them in large quantity go for moderation and
help compensate by drinking plenty of water.
If you have a problem with constipation, try avoiding milk products like cheese, paneer etc. Both milk
and cheese contain casein, an insoluble protein that tends to plug up the intestinal tract.
Mostly constipation is simple and can be treated with an increase in roughage in the diet (nonsoluble
fibers found in grains, fruits and legumes are particularly effective). Oatmeal, rice, wheat germ, corn
bran, figs and apple are all good sources of fiber.
One teaspoon of triphala powder with hot water before meals will relieve you of mild constipation.
Regular use of a glass of water before meals also relieves mild constipation.