Constipation (qabz) also known by variety of names such as Husr, Ehtebaas-al- batan, Eátaqaal-al- batan, Ehtabas-al- tabiya, Eátaqaal-al- tabiya and Imsaak-ul- batan.
It is a condition in which an individual experiences infrequent or uncomfortable bowel movements or it is a condition of delayed defecation, where the quantity of stool reduces and becomes hard to pass.
According to some authors it is a condition in which an individual experiences difficulty in emptying the bowels, usually associated with hardened faeces. It is more common among children, aged ones and pregnant women. Women suffers more than men. In elderly population, about 70% people are affecting or complaining about constipation. It is the most common gastrointestinal complaint all over the world resulting in over two million reported cases annually.
Constipation (qabz) may be occasional or habitual. Generally, a person is considered to be constipated when bowel movements result in the passage of small amounts of hard and dry stool. Every individual has different bowel patterns.
In new-born babies and infants, main cause of constipation is “Bottle Feeding” as it is not digested easily and even properly in comparison to mother’s milk. Breastfed babies have a hormone called “Motiline” that helps in bowel movement. Bryan cereal should be preferred with babies to relive from constipation.
The major cause of the constipation is due to low fibre diet, dehydration or dieting. Some of the symptoms associated with constipation are bloating, sluggishness and being uncomfortable. In general constipation is not a serious problem. Understanding the right cause will help in preventing constipation.
Causes of Constipation (Qabz)
According to Unani Medicine, constipation (qabz) is caused by intake of less quantity of food, consumption of constipative and flatulent diets, decreased repulsive force or increased retensive force of intestine, weakened intestinal sensation and muscles, excessive absorption of chyme by the liver, decreased flow of secretions towards intestine and weakened heat of stomach and intestine (Zo’f-e- hararat-e- meda wa ama’a).
As per classics of Unani medicine, Constipation (qabz) is a boon of faulty lifestyle and wrong dietary pattern. Causes like untimely, unbalanced food habits, irregular sleeping habits, and low physical exercise are few of them. It is also mentioned that constipation is the mother of all diseases. It causes gastritis, piles, duodenal ulcer and severe abdominal pain.
Signs and Symptoms of Constipation (Qabz)
Some commonly seen signs and symptoms in constipation patient include darkness of tongue, food digestion takes long time, stools become yellowish in colour, difficulty in passing stool, fetid/ bad breath, bowel movement problem, abdominal bloating, cramps and uneasiness, excessive gas, loss of appetite, feeling of inactiveness, rectal bleeding in case of acute constipation, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, headache and dizziness, and hard, dry and small faecal formation. Etc.
Common Causes of Constipation (Qabz)
Risk factors of constipation (Qabz)
Complications of Constipation (Qabz)
Management of Constipation (qabz)
Principles of Treatment (Usool-e- Elaaj)
As per Unani philosophy the basic principles which are followed for the management of constipation (qabz) are:
Some Common Unani Prescriptions
Homemade remedies for constipations (Qabz)
These Homemade remedies can cure constipation naturally. One can find natural constipation relief by using these remedies/ through the items that is present in kitchen or at home. Few constipation homemade remedies are mentioned to tackle constipation naturally.
Some commonly used Unani Compound Formulations
Roghan-e- Bed-e- Anjir, Sharbat-e- Deenar, Sharbat-e- Banafsha, Sharbat-e- Mulayyin, Itrifal Mulayyin, Habb-e- Ghareeqoon, Habb-e- Muqil, Habb-e- Mulayyin, Sharbat-e- Anjir, Majoon-e- Anjir, Qurs-e- Mulayyin.
Regimenal Therapy (Ilaj Bil Tadbeer)
Hammam (Medicated Bath) at empty stomach.
Diets should be mostly of fresh vegetables. Ma’ul Jubn, Dry fruits like fig, Almond apricot and dates, Maweez Munaqqa (Vitis vinifera Linn.) are recommend to the constipation patients. Food should be properly chewed. Wholesome diet, fruits, boiled vegetables and soup is a good remedy for constipation as well as for good health because of enriched nutrition. Fresh Vegetables like radish, turnip, peas, carrot, tomato, bitter gourd, beetroot, sprouts, coriander, cabbage, mints are useful to relieve from constipation. Eat fresh fruits like avocado, guava, mango, orange, jamun, papaya, grapes, etc. Increases the quantity of salads in your diet. Increase the intake of watermelon, mangoes, cucumber after taking foods. Drink more quantity of water. Eat whole grain cereals, bran, honey and lentils. Milk products like butter, ghee and cream.
Avoid Aghziya Munaffikha (Flatulent diets), Aghziya qaabiza (Constipative diets), Aghzia Ghaleeza (Viscous diets). Apart from that fast foods, alcohol, coffee and strong tea should be avoided. Restrict your non-vegetarian diet, fried foods, oily and junk foods. Bread, cakes, pasta, maida, pizzas, burgers, cookies too responsible for constipation and comes under as unhealthy diet. Cheese, Yoghurt also cause constipation- avoid them. Avoid spices, fats, excessive salt. Avoid white flour, biscuits, preserves, white sugar, boiled egg etc.
Prevention/ Precaution (Tahaffuz)
Regimens causing constipation must be avoided. Life style modifications and modification in dietary intake play important role to overcome the disease. Some precautionary measures for avoiding constipation include increased body movement and exercise, walking or light exercise in open air in the morning is beneficial. Increase of fluid intake, and dietary changes including increased fibre and fruit and salads. Apple-pear juice is also highly recommended; and stewed fruits like prunes, figs, or dates are highly beneficial.