It is universally known that proper elimination is an important link in the digestive process and is necessary for overall health. This is why it is important to cleanse your system from time to time.
Recent craze over the colon cleanse has hit the mainstream. The colon (large intestine) is the final organ through which the food we eat passes. It is very large organ . . . at about five feet in length and frames three sides of the abdominal cavity from beginning to its end at the anus. Though it's large, the colon is quite sensitive . . . and it is important to keep it cleaned and toned so it can do it's job. The large intestine absorbs water, vitamins, and ions from the food we ingest, and whatever is leftover from that process is the feces, which passes through the rectum. In Ayurveda, the stool that we eliminate is actually a big diagnostic tool to understand digestive health. If digestion and absorption are functioning normally, the stool is well-formed and looks like a soft, ripe (brown) banana that will float in water. In true healthy elimination, bowels should move regularly, at least once daily without any strain or use of a laxative. If there is improper digestion, the stool may sink and can be sticky, slimy, contain undigested food particles, and stink. This is indicative of ama (Ayurveda talk for toxins), within the body and digestive system.
To help support, tonify, and cleanse the colon daily, add these 4 simple Ayurvedic tips to your supportive diet, especially if you suffer from constipation.
1. Drink lemon water.
In his book, Perfect Digestion, Deepak Chopra writes: All you have to do is sip hot water frequently throughout the day. As mentioned earlier, ama is sticky and greasy by nature. Hot water can dissolve ama from your system just as it dissolves grease from dirty dishes, and it can accomplish this gradually and comfortably. Simply start your morning with a glass of hot water and the juice of half a lemon. It will cleanse your digestive tract and maybe even get a bowel movement going if you havenâ€™t already and therefore get the toxins out. The lemon will kindle the digestive fire / agni, which can set you up for good digestion and metabolism for your whole day. Plus, it keeps the skin healthy and glowing.
2. Make ginger tea.
There is an old indian proverb that says, Everything good is found in ginger. Some good old ginger tea can do the trick if you are having colon issues.
To make a cup of tea, take a piece of whole, unpeeled ginger root and grate 1 heaping teaspoon. Stir the ginger into a cup of hot water and let steep for 2 minutes. Strain it or let the ginger settle at the bottom of the mug. You can add half a teaspoon honey if you wish. During these cool weather months, sip on this tea throughout the day.
3. Take triphala.
Triphala is a wonderful herb and is a combination of three fruits. It is rich in vitamin C, bioflavonoid, and phospholipids. It has laxatives that help in the elimination of toxins and promotes bowel movement. Triphala is recommended for people of all doshas and considered is a panacea in Ayurveda. Ancient Health Care calls their Triphala formula the original way to cleanse and detox.
Which is what triphala truly does. It is best known for its ability to replenish and nourish the system while gently cleansing and detoxifying to help eliminate excess doshas and support healthy digestion and absorption. It works gradually to rejuvenate the digestive tract, as it increases the body's ability to nourish all vital tissues and organs. This formula can be taken daily as a tablet or in powder form.
4. Use senna, if needed.
Another potent herb in Ayurveda is Senna, which acts as a laxative. It is a flowering plant whose pods and leaves contain anthraquinones, which are scientifically known to be powerful colon stimulants. Senna relieves constipation and helps regulate the movement of the bowels. It also increases the peristaltic circulation of the colon.
While it is available in the form of tablets that can be taken directly it can also be used in tea bags, but it is important to be careful when taking this herb and monitor your bowels as it is a laxative. Proper elimination is crucial to purifying the body. By supporting this process, you can maximize digestion and elimination and move toward optimal overall health.