Constipation is a common complaint now days. Because of the wide range of normal bowel habits, constipation is difficult to define precisely. Most persons have at least three bowel movements per week, and constipation has been defined as a frequency of defecation of less than three times per week in the British text book of medicine, "Davidson". In Indian contexts if atleast one complete evacuation of bowls does not take place, it is commonly considered as constipation. The clinical picture may differ and it is not only based on frequency of defecation. Other associated symptoms may also present, e.g. complaints of excessive straining, hard stools, lower abdominal fullness and a sense of incomplete evacuation. In modern medical science several causes of constipation are described, in which use of certain drugs, dietary habits and changing life-style patterns are also included.
In Ayurveda, responsible factor for defecation is vaayu, esp. apana vaayu. Incomplete bowel evacuation and constipation are produced by aggravated and vitiated vaayu. This condition is not described separately but mentioned as a symptom in various vataj disorders of digestive system. Beside this another condition can also be responsible for incomplete bowel evacuation/ constipation i.e. purisha kshaya. In kshaya condition finally vaayu is aggravated and worsen the morbidity. Therefore, it can be said that aggravated and vitiated vaayu is the only cause for incomplete bowel evacuation and constipation.
Here emphasis is given on changing life-style pattern which aggravate vaayu and produce constipation. Following conditions can be considered in this context which are part of our modern life-style.
Ayurvedic management: After review on above points it can be said we are going away from prescribed life-style which is necessary for the maintenance of dhatu-samya. That is the reason, community is suffering from various life-style disorders and constipation is one of them. We can escape from this problem by correction of above mentioned life-style variations, because Ayurveda gives first emphasis on prevention and then on treatment. If disease is already manifested and is not controlled by life-style changes, following medicines can be used with physician's consultation. Dirutarhingwadi churna, Hingu-ugragranthadi yoga, Lasunadi vati, Lavanbhaskar churna, Trifala churna, Haritaki churna, Narach churna, Erand tail, Icchabhedi ras and, Niruha vasti.
Yoga: Following asana can also be useful in the management of the condition but must be performed in the guidance of a yoga expert.
*Lecturer, Dept. of Swasthavritta,
National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur.
**Lecturer, Dept. of Basic Principles,
Sai Ayurvedic College, Aligarh.
***Reader & HOD, Dept of Basic Principles,
IMS, BHU, Varanasi.