Our day to day hectic lifestyle, stress, physical inactivity and various hormonal changes cause some serious negative effects on our health, IBS or Irritable bowel syndrome is one of them. This severe inflammatory condition is often characterized by persistent abdominal pain, intestinal spasms, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, flatulence and indigestion. Although, it doesn’t directly affect our life expectancy, yet continuous pain reduces one’s productivity causing depression, poor resistance, weakness, and reduced social interaction.
Also Read: Do I Have Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
Ancient ayurvedic scriptures of Susruta Samhita and Charak Samhita describes Irritable bowel syndrome as Grahani, which is a mix of belly discomfort and trouble with normal bowel functioning. Our digestive system also known as ‘agni’ has several functions including digestion, absorption of nutrients and assimilation of food particles. A malfunction of agni can also lead to Grahani symptoms. According to Ayurveda, Irritable bowel syndrome or Grahani is mostly caused due to unhealthy dietary choices, excessive intake of food particles which are difficult to digest, intake of foods that cause allergy, intake of foods low on nutrients, overeating, eating at irregular intervals, and other physical and mental factors like emotional problems, stress etc. Very often Grahani can also occur due to excessive consumption of spicy junk food or acidic food.
Since an imbalance of the Vata doshas in the body, leads to an aggravation of the IBS symptoms, ayurveda strongly recommends that IBS can be treated effectively by normalising the Vata doshas in the body. These remedies include following a specific diet aimed towards treating IBS, cleansing programs, pranayama techniques and specific herbs that help in attenuating the various underlying symptoms of Grahani.
Top 5 Herbs Used To Treat Grahani Or IBS
Chamomile holds high significance in treating Grahani. Thanks, to its potent pain-relieving, carminative and anti-spasmodic properties, it not only treats the digestive issues due to IBS but also alleviates the anxiety and stress component that can aggravate the symptoms. It also effectively relaxes the intestines and treats diarrhea, abdominal cramps, flatulence, and dyspepsia. The herb when brewed as tea uplifts stressful conditions that can also cause IBS. Also Read: 5 Astounding Benefits Of Chamomile, You Should Know
This colourless gel extracted from the juicy aloe vera leaves is one of the most potent remedies for IBS. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of the aloe vera juice play a key role in treating constipation and diarrhoea. When ingested regularly, it helps reduce gastrointestinal inflammation, abdominal pain and flatulence that leads to IBS.
The pungent smelling root of the Zingiber officinalis plant provides extensive relief from gastrointestinal irritation. It strengthens the stomach muscles and helps calm the pain and inflammation in the gut. Ginger reduces the backflow of stomach acid into the oesophagus and prevents acid reflux and indigestion.
Fennel well known as a carminative and anti-inflammatory herb has a distinct taste that aids in digestion. The potent wound healing and soothing properties provide relief from stomach pain, indigestion, and flatulence.
Soak the fennel seeds in water overnight, strain and have the water the next morning. Regular intake of this fennel water eases pain and prevents symptoms related to ulcerative colitis.
The vibrant yellow coloured roots obtained from the Curcuma longa plant has extensive anti-inflammatory properties. The array of active constituents in turmeric, make it highly useful in case of flare-ups and treating abdominal pain and discomfort. When fresh turmeric pieces are taken with jaggery or added as a powder in a specific diet, it gets absorbed properly and attenuates the various underlying symptoms of IBS.
Ayurvedic Management Of IBS
The holistic system of Ayurveda helps mitigate the adverse symptoms associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in a natural way. Some of the therapies that can help manage IBS include:
This process mainly comprises of regulating digestive fire and eliminating ama (toxins) from the gastrointestinal tract.
This process corrects and balances out the Vata dosha.
This therapy relaxes and corrects the underlying issues that worsen IBS.
Shodhan is a process of detoxification of the whole system. It also helps in converting any harmful drug into beneficial elements.
This process mainly revitalizes the body by correcting imbalances and neutralizing impurities that settle after detoxification. It is a healing treatment in Ayurveda, which aims at rejuvenating and restoring the balance of the body after the process of detoxification.