Subject: Re: Constipation
From: Aliceann Carlton <ayurveda.mint.net>
Date: Sat, 08 Jan 2000 07:44:27 -0500
> My wife has a severe constipation problem. This has been ongoing for over 20 years. She currently cannot have any kind of a bowel movement at all unless she uses an enema or a laxative.
What's her diet like? What exercise does she get? What other medications does she take and for what medical conditions?
Constipation like this describes an ongoing vata imbalance. It can be corrected inmost cases by eating warm, cooked foods that includes sesame oil and ghee. Warm water drunk throughout the day will help restore primary digestive fire (agni). Herbs should be supporting and restorative (sweet) in rasa (taste), with a warm virya (potency), and generally sweet (building or tonic) in vipak or post-digestive effect. Some of these might be marshmallow root, cinnamon, cardamom, fennel, and cumin used in cooking or in warm milk if she can tolerate milk.
If she has become reliant on enemas and laxatives, her bowel will not be functioning on its own very well. In order to prompt the bowel to take over its role on its own, there has to be an end to artificial means to achieve evacuation (assuming she does not have a neurological disorder which has severely damaged or destroyed nerve function in this area). It takes time to re-establish normal function, so there will need to be patience and committment to restoration....sometimes difficult in somewhat anxious types of people.
Avoid dry foods, raw foods, cold drinks, purgatives and laxatives. Practice of yoga, walking in natural surroundings or peaceful settings near water, listening to and singing or playing melodious music all can help. Running, aerobics, intensive weight training, and vigorous exercise will add to the damage.