Gastric problems are very common and most of us have experienced constipation
, acidity, gas or bloating several times. In India, nearly 14% of adults suffer from constipation problem daily. Although it affects daily life, most people do not want to talk about it or seek help due to embarrassment. One survey among urban population in India reveals some interesting facts:
- Nearly 80% of people who have constipation wait to find remedy for problems only after suffering for a long time
- Almost 60% of people prefer natural remedies to solve constipation issues
Constipation is a gastric problem when one is able to pass stool only 2 or 3 times in a week. This results in great discomfort and also affects the quality of life. Poor dietary habits, too much intake of meat, lesser fluid intake per day, and lesser physical activity are some of the significant factors that lead to constipation. If left untreated constipation can turn into a severe condition.
Constipation can cause other issues such as abdominal pain, ulcers, hemorrhoids or pile. People who have constipation problems also report to be irritable, have reduced interest in work, and also keep worrying about their condition.
Laxatives are an option to treat issues such as constipation, however, you need not always look for laxatives or other medication to solve your constipation problems. There are several natural remedies that effectively solve gastric problems such as constipation, gas, and acidity.
Ayurveda offers some special treatments to cure constipation problems. Here we have listed some natural remedies you can try to get relief from constipation and ease your bowel movements.
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Drink warm water on empty stomach
Water is needed for all the physiological functions in the body. It helps in processes such as metabolism and excretion. As the food passes through colon it needs to absorb water to form stool. Inadequate water intake makes the stood hard and difficult to pass through the colon.
If you have recurrent constipation problem make a habit of drinking a glass of warm water as soon as you wake up. This helps to improve the bowel movements; you may add a spoonful of lemon juice to the water.
Being citric in nature lemon juice stimulates the digestive system and helps to flush the toxins out from the body.
As a general rule of thumb remember to have at least 8 glasses of water per day to have a healthy digestive system.
Being citric in nature lemon juice stimulates the digestive system and helps to flush the toxins out from the body. As a general thumb rule remember to have at least 8 glasses of water per day to have a healthy digestive system.
Increase fiber content of your diet
Fiber also known as the roughage is a part vegetables, fruits, grains, beans and legumes that remain undigested in the body and removed as such. It increases the bulk and helps to push the food through the digestive system.
Fiber helps to improve the functioning of the digestive tract and also reduces the risk of haemorrhoids. Whole grains such as rice, wheat, corn, bajra, jowar, fruits, leafy vegetables, are some good examples of fibre-rich food.
Consuming a diet rich in fiber increases the bulk of stool, softens it and therefore, makes it easier to pass through colon, decreasing your chance of constipation. As per Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) every adult needs a minimum intake of 20-35 g per day of fiber for overall long-term good health.
Reduce meat in your diet
Research suggests that higher frequency of eating meat, low water intake, snacking and eating fried, oily, spicy, junk and processed food, etc. is responsible for constipation problem. Food items such as meat and dairy lack an essential nutrient, fibre, which is needed to form the bulk of stool.
Frequent consumption of non-vegetarian food naturally reduces the intake of fiber. Red meat such as beef or pork takes very long to get digested and eliminated. The longer it takes to move through the colon, the more water it loses and thus your stool become very hard leading to constipation.
Seek Ayurvedic treatment
Ayurveda offers some excellent remedies and treatment to manage disorders of digestive system. In fact, as per Ayurvedic theories, a healthy and a strong digestive system is essential for overall good physical and mental health.
Ayurveda recognizes constipation as Koshtha baddhata, a gastric disorder caused by excess of vata dosha. Ayurvedic experts suggest that constipation can be cured with diet changes, routine habit changes, and some herbal medications.
Therapies such as sneha basti or kashaya basti are also recommended to cure constipation. The basti procedure is an integral part of Ayurvedic panchakarma treatment (video) used for complete detoxification of body.
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Basti includes Ayurvedic enema that can effectively reduce constipation. Sneha Basti uses medicated oils and Kashaya basti uses medicated decoction. The basti procedure causes the loosening of toxins attached to colon and also facilitates easy removal of stools thereby reducing constipation.
Try abdominal massage
An abdominal massage helps to stimulate the muscles and organs required to produce a bowel movement. This is an age-old traditional method mainly practiced to ease constipation in small children.
Experts suggest for adults a self-massage of abdomen for about 10 to 15 minutes in a clockwise direction can relieve constipation. For people who have constipation problems abdominal massage once a day can help to relieve flatulence and constipation.
Click here to read our Blog about Self-Massage (Abhyanga) with an instructional video!