If you want to have a long and healthy life make sure you have a clean and healthy colon. Only with proper elimination can we be healthy, fit and vital.
We shower and bathe every day but most of us fail to make sure our colon is clean until we develop symptoms or disease. The colon is the sewer system of our body and requires constant cleaning, being perhaps, the body’s most important organ of elimination.
In addition, the large intestine is an important organ of assimilation and digestion. Its membrane absorbs the energy and nutrients that build up the bones, and the deeper tissues of the marrow, nerve and reproductive tissues.
In Ayurveda the large intestine relates to the vata dosha, which governs vitality and prana as a whole. In any disease condition we look at the functioning of the large intestine and initiate treatment to normalise. It is important to be aware of your pattern of elimination and state of appetite when assessing your own health. If you have frequent brain fog, headaches, bloating, allergies, bad breath, cellulite, low energy, skin rashes, or chronic ill health with no diagnosed cause, it is almost certain that you will have an unclean and toxic colon.
According to Ayurveda, a healthy colon is indicated by a lack of tongue coating at the back of the tongue. One should have an easy bowel movement first thing in the morning and the stool should float. If they are sticky and sink it indicates the presence of ama (toxins).
The Bristol Stool Chart
See your poop as your daily report card for your health. Smooth banana shape (type4) is the holy grail of poop. The colour should be brown (not too yellow or too dark).
Why is a clean colon so important for a long and healthy life?
We are all exposed to thousands of toxins daily in our food and water, the air we breathe and medications we consume. Undertaking an autopsy of an average New Zealander would reveal over 3kg of crusted waste material stuck to the colon wall. These encrusted faeces seep toxic poisons and waste, which are then reabsorbed into the bloodstream. When the bowel wall becomes impacted and hardened with this dry toxic matter, not only does bowel function become disrupted, but the bowel wall itself can become damaged, leading to prolapse and ballooning (diverticulitis). These impurities create malabsorption plus a slow transit time resulting in the waste putrefying, providing a breeding ground for parasites and pathogens. This needs to be addressed to have good health.
Note: A good test for transit time is to eat beetroot, look at your poop and notice when it is excreted. If eaten for dinner ideally you should see the red colour in your stool the following morning.
What can be done?
This depends on the severity of the problem, and if in any doubt, a health practitioner should be consulted. There is various detoxification or panchakarnma therapies that can be employed dependant on the current state of health and age of the person.
There are many products that offer a gentle daily detoxification. Some of the best know are triphala, aloe vera, amalaki, Bowelcare, Hingvastaka and chorella.
When talking about digestive health, probiotics need to be mentioned. Taking probiotics is now much more of an exact science where they are formulated for specific conditions such as IBS, after antibiotic use, yeast infection, dsybiosis, to increase or decrease immunity and even for weight management. It does pay to get advice on the right one for you. Please ask!
Ayurveda uses spices as part of their pharmacology
They are used to aide digestion and for strengthening absorption in the colon. Some of the most common include ginger, turmeric, cumin, coriander, asotofida, nutmeg and black pepper.