• Dr A A Mundewadi

Ayurvedic Herbal Treatment for Chronic Constipation

Constipation is defined as less than three bowel movements in a week, while severe constipation indicates less than one bowel movement per week. Constipation can be due to various causes which include habit, diet, the use of medications including overuse of laxative, hormonal disorders, and diseases of the intestines and of the central nervous system. Most medications including pain killers, antidepressants, iron supplements, and anticonvulsants, antacids containing aluminum, and calcium channel blockers can cause constipation; however, for most affected individuals, discontinuation of the medication is not necessary and a simple increase of dietary fiber may be an effective solution.

The management of chronic constipation deals with giving symptomatic treatment for the constipation as well as treating the known causes of the condition. The commonest advice given to individuals with habitual constipation is to increase the water consumption and intake of dietary fiber. Fresh fruits and vegetables increase the bulk formation in the stools, and the regular intake of ample quantities along with liquids is sufficient to treat constipation in most affected individuals. A few individuals also need to be helped to inculcate the habit of regular or daily bowel evacuation, in order to treat constipation. A careful history needs to be taken for all the medications which need to be taken on a regular basis, in order to rule out treatable causes for the constipation.

Ironically, constipation can also result from an overuse of laxatives. This results from a chronic irritation of the bowels. The treatment for this sort of constipation is to use Ayurvedic herbal medicines which facilitate normal bowel movement and also provide a soothing action on the inflamed intestinal mucosa. These herbal medicines also provide some amount of lubrication which reduces the inflammation in intestines and also helps in the evacuation of stools. Ayurvedic medicines have a very good effect on the gastrointestinal tract and help in improving appetite, aiding in digestion, as well as helping in assimilation of the digestion food particles and lastly, evacuation of the formed stools. Most Ayurvedic medicines therefore help in chronic constipation, do not have any adverse effects, and are also not habit forming.

Depending upon the severity of constipation, most affected individuals need treatment for around one or two months after which the medicines can be gradually tapered off and stopped completely. Ayurvedic herbal treatment can thus be utilised to successfully treat chronic constipation.

Ayurvedic Herbal treatment, Herbal medicines, chronic constipation

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