What is Elimination?
In simple terms, elimination in Ayurveda can best be described as the regular passage of the contents of the bowels out of our body, it is the removal of waste products from the body. For most people, elimination is a routine, regular occurrence. But, if we speak with complete honesty, almost every one of us has experienced diarrhea or constipation at some point in time, thereby affecting the bowel balance to the body. This can prove to be quite harmful to the body, yet it is a topic we tend to shy away from. Fortunately for Ayurveda, elimination forms an important part of a healthy body. In fact, it states that our bowel habits speak a lot about the present condition of the body. A bowel imbalance is an indication that your body is in immediate need of attention.
Why is Elimination Important in Ayurveda?
In ayurvedic medicine, evacuation of the bowels every morning is extremely important. Now, this is something that sounds quite simple since that is the first thing most of us tend to do before we begin our day. But what happens when this natural process is disrupted for a day or two? We may ignore it, brushing it aside as “no big deal.” However, not eliminating your bowels every morning can have a huge effect on the psychological and physical well-being of a person. Straying away from the natural rhythm of your body can inflict a great deal of harm, including hampering the way you feel throughout the day.
What Is Considered to Be A Healthy Elimination?
According to Ayurvedic medicine, healthy elimination occurs about twice a day. The first bowel movement occurs a few minutes after you wake up from sleep. The ones during the later hours of the day are usually a result of food intake throughout the day. Common characteristics of balanced stools are:
- A light brownish-yellow color (like cinnamon)
- The maintenance of shape after elimination
- Shape and consistency of a ripe banana
- Tend to float on the toilet bowl
- Slightly oily and thus, the anal orifice is cleaned easily without sticking to the toilet bowl
- No strong pungent smell, but a mild odor
Do your bowel habits differ from this? Leading a stressful and fast-paced life, multi-tasking, consuming large amounts of processed food and eating on the go can have a severe effect on your digestive system and excretory functioning. Therefore, elimination is an important topic of discussion for a healthy life. Speaking of this, the main question is how do you do it?
Tips to Support Healthy Elimination
To maintain a healthy body and mind, regular elimination of waste is important. Here are a few simple steps to support healthy elimination:
1. Increase the Fiber Content in Your Diet
Increasing the fiber content in your diet is a great way to resolve constipation issues. However, not all food items have equal levels of fiber. Thus, consuming ones with abnormally higher levels (ones that come in packages or plastic boxes) can have an opposite effect and do great harm to the body. They suck up the water in your gut, increases the transit time and makes the stool dry. The best way to go about it is to begin eating four servings of organic fresh vegetables and restrict fruits to about two pieces a day.
2. Don’t Ignore Bathroom Signals
A common thing that most of us tend to do is ignore the body’s signal of going to the bathroom amidst our busy work schedule. In such cases, the fecal material tends to move back up into the intestine, thus making it immensely difficult to eliminate. Never ignore your body’s signs to go to the bathroom.
3. Keep your Body Hydrated
Liquid intake is essential when it comes to good stool elimination. Lack of water in your body hardens your stool making it difficult to expel. A great way to begin your day is by drinking a glass of lukewarm water with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. Lemon juice provides nutrients, stimulates the guts and maintains the alkaline state of your body by supplying Vitamin C to your immune system. An additional five glasses of water or even herbal teas give your body the basic amount of liquid it requires. If you’re active, you should double that amount.
4. Emotional Balance is Essential
Experiences indicate that emotional balance has a certain deal of effect on bowel movement. While diarrhea can be a result of fear, constipation can be a result of prolonged periods of worrying. Aparna Vata, the governing body of elimination has a direct link to the governing body of our thoughts, the Prana Vata. This connection rightly explains the feeling of relaxation we have after the elimination process. A bowel movement, apart from being a physical process, is a mental process as well. Avoid reading while you are in the bathroom. Avoid any kind of mental activity during the process. A short walk after dinner is a great way to improve digestion.
5. Avoid indulging in Alcohol and Processed Food
Reduce the consumption of processed and manufactured food as much as you can. Having to wipe your anus too many times can be a result of an excess of mucus within your colon. Avoid pasteurized dairy, corn, peanuts, soy, and gluten products and try following an anti-inflammatory approach to eating.
6. Reduce Stress Through Meditation and Yoga
Stress can have a negative impact on the overall health of your body, especially the digestive system. It can severely disrupt your elimination process. Meditation is one of the best techniques to reduce stress and encourage the constructive responses we have to stressful situations. A minimum of 10 to 15 minutes of meditation can profoundly impact your digestive health and present state of mind. The ayurvedic form of medicine highly supports and encourages the use of meditation as the foremost way of stress reduction in daily lives. A relaxed body highly aids the elimination process of the human body. You can also try our favorite yoga poses for a healthy digestion.
All said, most of us do not generally care about this part of our body’s digestive process. Nevertheless, this is the only aspect we think of when it goes wrong. The process of consumption, absorption, and elimination is quite natural for your body, but its proper functioning depends on the healthy food habits and lifestyle choices that we make.