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According to Ayurveda, constipation is an imbalance of the Vata dosha (cool, dry, light, and unstable qualities) and can be a symptom of disharmony from the ingestion of certain foods and lifestyle practices. Like increase like so holistically, you can bring balance by introducing the different actions of warmth, wetness, heaviness, and stability to the above qualities, which can bring balance to the body, mind, and spirit.

The elimination process starts on the tongue when the taste buds interact with the six tastes found in the foods, spices, herbs, and the beverages we consume. As saliva interacts with foods, the whole digestive, assimilation, and elevation start to work, ensuring all stages of this process work efficiently.

This handout is meant to suggest some straightforward holistic remedies that might bring comfort and balance to your life, and below are some simple suggestions that you can try.

Here is an excellent daily practice to bring regularity

1. Scrap your tongue (stainless steel or copper tongue scraper) 7 times before brushing. This invigorates the taste buds and cleans the surface of the tongue.

2. Drink 1-2 cups of warm water after brushing your teeth; this informs the body it is time to go.

3. Find regularity and time for elimination, making time each morning to move the bowels.

4. Make sure to drink ½ your body weight each day in water or herbal tea.

5. Eat warm, moist, fibrous foods.

6. Increase the qualities of the organic oils in your diet, including ghee, sesame, and olive oils.

7. Eat plenty of fruit, which is hydrating, fibrous, and generally have a laxative effect on the body.

9. Take Triphala capsules each day, 2 caps in pm & 2 caps am

10. Use doshic digestive spices in your cooking (relieves bloating)

Fiber and Health

Fiber is something the body needs but never actually digests, and comes in two varieties, soluble and insoluble, and most plant-based foods contain a mixture of the two. Soluble fiber turns to gel in the stomach and slows digestion, which helps lower cholesterol and blood glucose. Insoluble fiber remains unchanged all the way to the colon, making waste heavier and softer so it can move easier. 

Skipping fiber in the diet often leads to constipation, and eating too little fiber can make it tough to control blood sugar and appetite because fiber regulates the speed of digestion and contributes to feeling full. Overeating fiber can move food through the intestines too quickly, which means fewer minerals get absorbed from food and can result in gas, bloating, and possible cramping.

The Institute of Medicine recommends:

Men (under 50): 38 grams (over 50): 30 grams

Women (under 50): 25 grams (over 50: 21 grams

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