Elimination and Wellbeing – Colon (purishavaha srota)
It is estimated that approximately 50 tons of food are ingested during a human life. How do we manage our diet, our digestion or our elimination? By following the fad? By fasting occasionally? By supplementing? By reading magazines that week by week tell us the miracle ingredient or the miracle solution ???
Give the floor to our gut; a punctual or recurrent presence of constipation / diarrhea, stomachaches, irritable colon, leaky gut … and so on, means an intestinal imbalance.
The colon is one of the key organs of our well-being. Its main functions are the absorption of water and electrolytes and the storage of feces. Normal feces include 75% water and 25% solids, consisting of 30% dead bacteria, 10-20% fat, 10-20% inorganic matter, 2-3% protein, and 30% roughage. The intestine is managed by the enteric nervous system, our 2nd brain or our evolved 1st brain. The enteric nervous system contains over 100 million neurons and is in constant interaction with the brain. These two brains share more than 30 neurotransmitters, and moreover, 90% of the body’s serotonin and 50% of the dopamine reside in the intestine.
Food and its elimination (mala) are the basis of Ayurvedic practice. Recent research supports the connection of the enteric nervous system with the environment i.e. ingested foods inform the physical body, with the brain (autonomous systems) and with the doshas, i.e. our own tendencies source of alteration of perceptions. Added to the brain connection, the colon is also connected to bone health via the absorption of micro-nutrients and vitamins.
Ayurveda recognizes each individual as unique – which means that any recognized food with good qualities is not necessarily good for everyone. A diet in harmony with our unique nature (prakruti) is therefore essential.
Ayurveda divides the digestive tract (mahavaha srota) into digestion (annavaha srota) dominated by pitta and kapha doshas and vata-dominated (purishavaha srota) elimination. The doshas (tendencies) are associated with the organs according to their qualities: vata is connected to the colon and rectum since the large intestine is responsible for the absorption of water. Vata has a drying quality; an excess of Vata will eventually result in constipation. Ayurvedic guide to ensure healthy elimination: Food – eating well in terms of quality / freshness of food, choice and mixing of foods, hydration, oleation, detox / cure Positive environment – reducing physical, mental, emotional, spiritual stressesDaily routine – implementing a balanced routine between work, exercise, relaxation, meditation, sleep, body care Yoga practice – developing presence and awareness Looking beyond the symptoms and correcting the undelying cause is a fundamental part of the Ayurvedic healing process and the speciality of the Ayurvedic practitioner. The Ayurvedic path is to become conscious of bad tendencies (doshas) and to learn and implement remedies.