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Constipation (Malaavshtambha)

Constipation is defined as infrequent passage of hard stools, there may also be complaints of straining, sensation of incomplete evacuation and perianal or abdominal discomfort.

Causes of constipation:

  • Vishamaashan – Irregular habit of having meals.
  • Adhyaashan – Over eating.
  • Langhan – Fasting.
  • Excessive intake of fermented food, dry food (food with no roughage), food which is heavy to digest.
  • Lack of fluid intake.
  • Excessive day sleep.
  • No sleep at night.
  • Suppression of natural urges.
  • Stress.
  • Agnimandya (weakening of digestive fire).

Symptoms :

  • Passage of hard stools.
  • Heaviness in lower abdomen.
  • Incomplete evacuation of stools & straining.
  • Abdominal distention.
  • Frequent painful passage of stools.
  • Indigestion, nausea, bad breathe.
  • Heart burn, pain in abdomen.
  • Headache.
  • Lack of sleep.
  • Excessive passage of flatus with bad odour.
  • Irritation, aversion towards food.
    It can also result in dysmennorhoea in females. Chronic condition of constipation and straining can cause insomnia, headache, piles, fissures, and even rectal prolapse.


  • Never use strong purgative medicines.
  • Fluid intake like soups, warm water, fruit juices should be increased.
  •  warm milk with spoonful of ghee should be taken at night.
  •  Fibrous food like leafy vegetables, fruits like banana, dry grapes, sweet lime should be included in our diet.
  • Avoid having too much of junk food like pizza, burgers, chips, bread and other fermented food.
  • Medicines like :
  1. Nishottara churna (operculina terpethum), Triphala churna, Haritaki churna(terminalia chebula) can be taken along with warm water at night time.
  2. Castor oil should be taken along with warm water or with warm milk.
  3. Formulations like Gandharva haritaki, ampachak vati, sukhsarak vati, abhayarishta, triphala vati can be helpful.
  4. Medicines like hingvashtak churna, trikatu, bhaskar lavan churna should be used to improve digestion and further avoid constipation.
  5. The other form of treatment includes use of varti (medicated suppositories).
  6. Administration of anuvasan basti (enema with medicated oil) would serve better benefits.

Thus constipation is not a disease in itself, but a condition which if left untreated for long duration can cause many other diseases.

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