PITA CONSTIPATION REMEDIES
Probably the most important imbalance commonly found in the human body falls into the category of constipation. It is not just the lack of, or difficulty in, elimination that supports the diagnosis of constipation, as many patients will report good elimination when they are in fact constipated. According to the classic Ayurvedic definition, constipation occurs when elimination does not take place naturally, first thing upon rising. The stool should be fully-formed and floating. Upon flushing, the stool should break apart. One to three bowel movements each day (depending on the body type) is considered normal.
Most people develop constipation after years of either an imbalanced lifestyle or diet. In general there are a few contributing factors. The most common is the suppression of natural urges resulting in the subsequent disappearance of the normal eliminative urges. For example, first thing in the morning, typically at or before dawn there should be a natural urge to eliminate. Our pets, for example, are let out first thing in the morning as an understood respect for this natural urge. We often find this natural urge inappropriate or inconvenient at certain times and force ourselves to suppress them. This habitual suppression can lead to a kind of psycho-social form of constipation whereby elimination may be regular but is not complete. If elimination does not naturally conform to the Ayurvedic definition of normal, then the elimination cannot be complete and the colon is therefore constipated.
Diet can also be a leading factor. First and foremost is the lack of water consumption. People drink soft drinks, juices, and other beverages which may quench the thirst but do not properly nourish and lubricate the intestinal tract. Without enough water in the diet, ama, or toxins, will accumulate in the colon, creating a toxicity that is absorbed into the blood via the enteric cycle. This lack of water will also allow toxins to dry out and constipate the colon. This dryness encourages toxins to adhere to the intestinal wall, supporting further constipation and malabsorption.
The Australian diet is typically very mucous-forming and difficult to digest; both can slow down elimination. Stimulants such as tea and coffee may enhance peristalsis, presenting the illusion of better elimination – when in fact they progressively dry out the digestive tract, leaving the colon unable to properly eliminate.
Exercise is one of the simplest cures for a non-complicated constipation. Eighty percent of Australians do not exercise regularly. This sedentary lifestyle can be a primary factor in the etiology of constipation. From the Ayurvedic perspective, exercise is primarily an activity to pump prana into every cell of the body. Deep nasal breathing during a brisk walk will provide the predicted benefits.
Recommendations: Pitta Constipation Diet:
Diet: Favor foods that are slightly oily and cooked, and avoid hot-spicy and pungent foods.
Oleation and Purgation: Purgation therapies will provide both a cooling, moistening, and eliminative effect, thus making it the treatment of choice for this type. Follow instructions for Vata Oleation and Purgation.
Herbs: 1. 1 to 2 teaspoons aloe vera gel, 3 times per day*. 2. Take 2 capsules (or 1 teaspoon) of triphala mixed with ghee to make a paste, 3 times per day*. 3. Licorice, fennel, and coriander tea, 3 times per day*. 4. 1 teaspoon psyllium husk with 8 oz. water before bed*. 5. For severe cases, rhubarb root, senna leaf, and cascara sagrada can be taken individually or together as needed*.