You should be having a complete bowel motion each and every morning, before any food, coffee or tea.
Improper elimination of waste products, specifically the bowels is a very common imbalance I see this a lot in my patients, and it not only drastically affects our physical health but our mental as well.
In this episode I break down why Ayurveda gives utmost importance to daily, regular and natural bowel motions, as well as the best Ayurvedic practices & natural methods to aid in cases of constipation.
A heads up: proper elimination and cleansing of toxins and waste products is one of the main factors that deems an individual to be “established in health” according to Ayurveda.
IN THIS EPISODE WE DISCUSS:
Table of Contents
Why It Is So Important To Have Regular Daily Bowel Motions
Improper elimination of waste products, specifically the bowels is a prevalent imbalance that I see a lot in my clinic.
Proper elimination and cleansing of toxins and waste products is one of the factors that deems an individual to be “established in health” according to Ayurveda.
Improper elimination affects physical health in many areas, and of course mental health.
- You probably even realise this in your own mood and how you react to others.
Bowel Motion & The Vata Dosha
One of the names for constipation in sanskrit is Grahaṇa ग्रहण – “catch”, which relates with the vata dosha.
When the faecal matter is not properly eliminating, it catches in the anal region and/or in the colon in the large intestine.
This happening over an extended period of time, or chronic constipation, is the leading cause of haemorrhoids, piles and fissures.
The dryness and hardness of the stool + the incomplete evacuation of waste, causes these chronic anorectal disorders.
One should ideally have a bowel motion 2x/day, if possible during the vata times of the day (2-6am / 2-6pm), which propitiate bowel movement.
- 1x/day is also acceptable and more can also be fine. 3x/day should be the ideal maximum, not more.
The Best Ayurvedic Tools To Aid With Proper Elimination
- Sip hot water in the morning
Sipping plain hot water will help melt the toxins and flush them down and out. All day.
For more info read here.
In addition, in the early morning sip while in squat asana.
- Squat asana in the morning
While drinking hot water or doing self-abhyanga.
The squatting position or squat asana, is known as “malaasana” in yoga and Ayurveda, which literally translates to “elimination posture.”
The squat asana will help squeeze or contract your stomach which exerts pressure on your intestine, to help improve bowel movements. Furthermore, the flexion within the hips allows the rectoanal canal to straighten and “unkinks” the channel of elimination.
- What Water Are You Drinking?
The lymph is responsible for all the filtering of microbes, organic wastes, toxins and other novice debris, and also carries lymphocytes throughout the body that fight against infections.
There is 3 times more lymphatic fluid in the body than there is blood, and the gut is highly concentrated in lymph.
The lymphatic fluid is 96% water, so not achieving proper levels of hydration slows down and inhibits waste removal in the body.
Filter + Restructure Your House’s Water
I recommend Natural Action Whole Home Water Vitality Unit
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- Sleep well – Go to sleep before 10pm.
It’s not about how many hours you sleep for, it is about when you sleep.
Sleeping between 10pm – 2am is the crucial time to be asleep because that is when your body performs its regenerative functions at a maximum rate.
These functions include hormone regulation and liver detox and regeneration.
The detoxification and stress elimination that occurs primarily between 10pm-2am at night escort toxins to the bowel to eliminate out of the body the next morning.
- Wake up before or with sunrise.
The time period of a few hours before sunrise in Ayurveda is known as “vata time”, which means that all movements are enhanced at that time of the day, approximately between 2am-6am.
The more you sleep in the more sluggish and fatigued you feel. Similarly, the more you sleep in, the more sluggish your bowels are.
- Have light dinners
Dinner should be the lightest meal of all so that your body can focus its biological energy on the vital restorative mechanisms that occur at night.
Proper detoxification and elimination are one of these crucial processes that we don’t want to jeopardise by eating a heavy dinner.
- Meditate in the morning
Meditation calms the nervous system and the vata dosha, which is the biological energy responsible for moving everything in the body.
When vata is in a balanced state, it primarily moves in a downward motion (vata anulomana).
Herbs You Can Take To Promote Bowel Motions
- Shodana Vati before dinner.
Shodana Vati is a foundational and powerful Ayurvedic herbal formula that promotes proper purification of all the body’s waste products, wastes, including supporting a complete bowel motion each morning.
Shodana Vati is taken before dinner each night, to assist the body in the overnight detoxification process for good elimination the next morning.
It is a wonderful free radical scavenger & anti-oxidant; immune modulator, & blood purifier, aids with gastrointestinal disorders, allergies, tooth & oral problems, female hormonal imbalances, cholesterol imbalances, chronic cough, eye disorders, addictions, it helps clear the skin & more.
Additionally, you can suck on shodhana vati tablets as often as needed for: cough, cold, sore throat, tooth or gum issues, problems with eyes or vision, digestive problems, cravings & addictions.
Dose: 3-5 tabs before dinner.
This is the main ingredient to Shodana Vati, and an inferior version of that formula.
Everyone thinks it is a laxative. It actually bulks the stool by pulling out ama to the purishavaha srotas.
Aids in properly absorping the prāṇā that is available from food, into the large intestine.
Promotes the flow of bile and sludge out of the gallbladder.
Non-habit forming, unlike other Ayurvedic herbs like Senna and Psyllium husk.
Laxative Abuse & Considerations for Laxative Users
We need to look at the colon – the lower part of the digestive system (closer to the elimination channel of the anus), part of the large intestine which is responsible for absorbing nutrients and energy from food, and responsible for eliminating waste.
Colon function will become weak by a few factors:
- Ageing – getting older
- Excess sexual activity or imbalances of the reproductive system.
- People with depleted immune function
- Nervous system imbalances like anxiety,
- the list goes on.
Most laxatives, particularly stronger purgatives promote long-term constipation, however effective they are short-term. This is because they are mainly an irritant.
People like the elderly become laxative dependent and the colon gets weaker.
Caution on stimulating herbal laxatives which can become agitating to the nervous system, very stressful to body, extended use causes Renal Failure) – herbs like:
- Cascara Sagrada
- Aloe root
- Castor oil
Enemas, Bastis & Colonics And Why They're Not Always Recommended
Colonics can also dangerously weaken the colon and impair longevity, particularly for those who are suffering from cold, dryness, debility or lack of body weight. Particularly vata types.
- For more on colonics and enemas, you can see our article and video “Enemas, Bastis & Colonics: Think Twice Before Sticking Anything Up Your Bum”.
Constipation in Babies & Children
Knowing and emphasising the importance of daily bowel motions, and giving them that space each morning for that action (kriya), is something crucial to implement when brining your child up.
It is very important for babies to have bowel motions every day. This allows the entire system to build for later on.
Postpartum rejuvenation for mothers is key, something we specialise in at Vital Veda.
Below are some remedies for constipation if it comes in children:
- Tamarind stick – Inside a bunch of raw tamarind you will find a soft, flexible stick the size of a finger or bigger. With a tiny bit of tamarind on the end (like a match stick), stick it up the anus (very shortly, less than half an inch deep). The baby will immediately have bowel motion.
- Slowly massage the navel clockwise using coconut oil.
- Fibrous foods for mother and child.
- Natural Action Whole Home Water Vitality Unit
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- ~Susruta Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Ch 15, last slohka.
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