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  • IBS From an Ayurvedic Perspective

    May 21, 2021 3 min read

    IBS From an Ayurvedic Perspective

    A post for all the classical Ayurveda Lovers and students of Ayurveda ?

    An add on to our post from yesterday about Grahani Roga/ irritable bowel.

    Around one in five Australians experiences the unpleasant symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) at some time. More women than men are prone to IBS, and symptoms tend to first occur in early adulthood.

    IBS or spastic colon is a functional bowel disorder characterised by abdominal pain and changes in bowel habits. Other symptoms of IBS are

    • Frequent bowel movement ? ? ?

    • Diarrhoea ?

    • Diarrhoea and constipation alternating

    • A sensation that the bowels are not fully emptied after being to the toilet

    • Bloating

    • Gas and cramping

    • Nausea

    • Tiredness, weakness,

    • Mucus in the stool

    Looking at these symptoms we can only imagine what an impact this has on someone’s life. IBS can often lead to depression, anxiety (can you imagine you are driving on the freeway and you feel you need a Poo NOW).

    It can affect relationships and make a person feel isolated.

    According to Ayurveda the normal functioning of Jatharagni ? (main digestive fire/ enzymes located in the gastrointestinal tract) is affected in Irritable bowel syndrome.

    Jatharagni is the vital essence of life. The normal functioning of Agni (digestive fire) largely depends on factors linked with the lifestyle of an individual .

    IBS can be correlated to GRAHANI a disease mentioned by Mahadhava Nidana. Grahani is also a Sanskrit word which can be translated as duodenum.

    Nidana/ Causative factors

    1. Agnidusti (low digestive fire) due to saririka and manasikabhavas (physical or emotional factors)

    2. Ahara – unwholesome foods and wrong food combinations (Viruddhaharas), stale food (Vistambhi)

    3. Sita Guna Ahara (cold foods)

    4. Vataprakopa in Pakvasaya (increased Vata in colon)

    Charaka explains C.S. Chi 15:56-57 that the functioning of the duodenum is not only to digest the food but to “hold on” to the food until it is digested, it then releases the food following it to pass into the colon where it is excreted under the influence of Apana Vayu.

    Samprapti ghatakas/ Ayurvedic disease etio- pathogenesis
      • Dosha: Vata, Pitta, Kapha (it can affect all 3 doshas)

      • Dushya: Rasa/ plasma and purisha/ stool

      • Srotas: Annavahasrotas, Purisavaha srotas

      • Srotodusti: Atipravrtti or sanga (excess flow or obstruction – diarrhoea or constipation)

      • Agni: Jatharagni

      • Adhisthana: Grahani

    • Roga Marga: Abhyantara

    Chikitsa Sutra/ Ayurvedic treatment approach

    1. Deepana/ Pachana (AMA Pachana)?

    To increase agni (digestive fire) formulations such as Pippalyadi churna, Marichadi Churna (for Vata), Bhunimbadi churna (for Pitta) and Shunthyadi churna (for Kapha) are prescribed.

    2. Langhana (light diet)

    3. Snehana/ Svedana

    4. Shodhana treatment (Panchakarma)

    Vamana – if AMA is in the Amashaya

    Virechana – if AMA in Pakvashaya with eranda thailam or tilvaka ghrita

    Basti – correct if ruksha/ drying in the colon.

    5. Shamana treatment, in Nirama stage use grahi herbs giving strenght to the Grahani/ Duodenum. Formulations such as Dashamuladya Ghrta, Panchamuladya Ghrta, Madhwarishta, Mustaristham.

    6. Apathya Ahara Vihara

    • Avoid excess water

    • Staying late at night

    • Suppressing of natural urges

    • Incompatible food

    • Exposure to excess sun/ heat

    • Avoid caffein and fizzy drinks

    7. Pathya Ahara Vihara such as buttermilk and ghee

    8. Rasayana / Rejuvenation treatment

    TAKRA is buttermilk, it is easy digestible, stimulates and strengthens the digestive fire. Takra is also sroto suddhi (cleanses the bodily channels). Best when mixed with curry leaves.

    Charaka describes this in CS. Ci 15:117-121

    If you are suffering from IBS or other digestive complaints, Ayurveda has treatment options available to suit your individual need.

    For more information or consultation enquiry please email:

    We love to hear from you ❤️

    Your Lakshmi Ayurveda team

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