Author: Maharishi Ayurveda Date Posted:13 March 2017
Is my bowel healthy?
The ancient physicians of Ayurveda provided very clear guidelines for evaluating the health of your intestines and bowel movements.
- A bowel motion 1-2 times a day
- First bowel motion occurs upon rising in the morning
- Easy to pass without straining
- Motion is soft and bulky
- Colour is a healthy brown (no black tones, yellow tones or pale colour)
- Motion ﬂoats in the toilet bowl (indicating adequate amounts of fibre from food are present). If the bowel motion sinks this indicates it is heavy with waste from incomplete digestion that has accumulated in the stool.
Ayurveda explains that bowel elimination is governed by Vata Dosha and specifically Apana Vata one of the five sub areas within Vata Dosha. Apana Vata is the seat of Vata in the body and is located in the large intestine (colon).
When dryness increases in the colon then peristalsis (a wave-like motion that moves matter through the intestines) becomes restricted resulting in a sluggish bowel.
Apana Vata imbalance is linked to irregular bowel or constipation, diarrhoea, gas, intestinal cramps, colitis, genito-urinary disorders, menstrual disorders, swollen prostate, lower back pain including muscle spasm. When the pressure moves outwards or upwards to the head then symptoms in those areas also arise such as:
- tiredness in the lower part of the body, cramps in calf muscles, dizziness, low digestive fire, back and tummy discomfort, gas, queasy tummy, bladder discomfort and swelling cheeks.
- Severe symptoms that can be influenced when Vata Apana is out of balance are vomiting, loss of taste, heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome, loss of hearing, dull vision, headache, depression, excessive thirst, loss of consciousness, and loss of mental balance.
Causes of imbalance are irregular daily routine, irregular meal times, late nights and irregular sleep patterns; suppressing urination or bowel movement, sitting in the same position for a long time (eg sedentary work or long travel) lack of exercise, wrong food (eating unwholesome, processed food and leftovers) working too hard during menstrual cycle, mental tension and worries (what you eat and what eats you).
Your Easy Elimination Routine
- Helpful Herbals: At bedtime take 2-4 tablets of Digest Tone
- Wake at 6am or sunrise. Drink a glass of room temperature water upon waking before getting out of bed. Then as you stand up taking this drink, it triggers the body to create a downward movement in the intestines which encourages a bowel motion first thing.
- Bowel Training Then go to the bathroom and sit on the toilet for 5-10 minutes to encourage a bowel motion. Be easy, avoid straining or pushing, just gently have your attention on the lower stomach region. Sitting there for 5-10 minutes helps to restore the body’s memory of easy elimination upon rising. Then clean your teeth and your tongue if it is coated.
- Next have a drink of ½ a cup of aloe vera juice at room temperature.
- Take a brisk yet comfortable walk for 15-30 minutes.
- Then before your shower or bath apply sesame oil or Vata Massage Oil over your body. See our self massage instructions This helps to reduce the underlying dryness and congestion.
- After your shower or bath dress and take a few minutes to meditate. Starting your day with some inner silence or ‘quiet time’ greatly eases the nervous system helping you to feel calm and composed throughout the day.
- Breakfast: Eat a baked or stewed apple or pear with 8 prunes for breakfast (15-30 minutes after the aloe vera juice). If hungry, then after 30 minutes take 1-2 cups of hot, cooked whole grain cereal, seasoned with cinnamon or cardamom.
How to bake or stew an apple or pear
Put the whole apple or pear in the oven and bake at 176 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes or until soft. For best results, insert three whole cloves around the circumference of the apple or pear before baking. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool before eating.
Follow your apple or pear with eight prunes that have been soaked overnight.
To stew, simmer one sliced apple or pear in two cups of water with three whole cloves for about thirty minutes or until soft. Cooking the prunes with the apple or pears is also beneficial. Remove from heat and eat at a comfortable temperature
- 30 Minutes after your breakfast and evening meals take 2 tablets of Digest Plus. Take sips of Organic Vata Tea every 15-30 minutes thorugh the day. Aim to drink 1.5 - 2 litres per day.
- Be sure to stop and eat a warm meal at lunch and take your main quantity of food at lunch time.
- Eat a light and tasty evening meal by 6-7pm.
Wishing you the bliss of balance.