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Irritable Bowel Syndrome Ayurveda Traditional Treatment and Management

Author : Gurnam Saini  


IBS Ayurveda Traditional Treatment and Management in Melbourne


IBS Ayurveda in MelbourneIrritable bowel syndrome can be named as Pakvashaya (colon) Kupita (disturbed) Vata Dosha Disorder.


IBS is an inflammation of mucosal lining of colon (whole large intestine can be affected in severe cases), rectum and anus.


IBS sings and symptoms are combination of irregularity and irritability of large intestine (colon).


Irritable Bowel Syndrome Ayurveda 


In Ayurvedic medicine texts, to some extent, condition called Grahani (intestinal disease) can be correlated to IBS. But an expert Ayurvedic doctor must able to distinguish with the fact that Grahani is not exactly Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Ayurveda.


The main difference between Grahani and IBS is that, Grahani is mainly small intestine disorder but IBS is a large intestine disorder. In Grahani mal-absorption is common but not in IBS. In Grahani pain is present mainly in peri- umbilical area but in IBS pain is generally on right or left flank of stomach.


Ayurvedic medicine science is all about correcting the imbalance of different doshas to eliminate the present disease. Not all the time is possible to name the disease or to find precise nomenclature based on modern science.  An expert Ayurveda doctor should try to find the most possible correlation in terms of dosha involvements at the level of aetiology and pathogenesis or at the level of symptomatology.


As per Ayurveda, IBS symptoms or syndrome is due to dual dosha abnormalities; either due to vata pushing pitta  (create loose motion) or vata pushing kapha (creates mucous in stool) in the colon.


“Samana Vata” controls intestinal muscle contractions or peristaltic movements of colon. When due to any reasons Vata (Samana and Apana vata) get vitiated, its chala (mobile) and vishama (irregular) qualities get aggravated too, which can leads to IBS.


What are the roles of different doshas in IBS


In patients with IBS in Ayurveda:


  1. Vata’s “dry” Guna (quality) – cause constipation and gas formation.
  2. Vata’s “cold” and “mobile” Guna (quality) – causes abdominal cramps.
  3. Vata’s “astringent” Guna (quality) - causes the need of straining during defecation.
  4. Pitta’s “spreading” Guna (quality) - causes diarrhoea.
  5. Kapha’s “sticky” Guna (quality) – cause stickiness in the stool.


IBS Pathogenesis In Ayurveda 


In Vata IBS


Due to unhealthy lifestyle and food choices, vata accumulate and aggravated in the Pakvashaya (colon), then spreads to small intestine and disturb samana vata and agni (digestive fire) to cause symptoms like bloating, gas, dull pain, difficulty to evacuate and constipation.


In Vata-Pitta IBS


Pachaka Pitta in small intestine accumulated and aggravated due to unhealthy lifestyle and food choices.  It causes burning, sharp pain and loose motion.


Poorva (Prodromal) Roopa (Symptons) of IBS


Following are the prodromal symptoms of IBS (1which can be identified by a skilful Ayurveda doctor on time and so patients can prevent the full manifestation of diseases like IBS.     


  1. Alasya (laziness)
  2. Dourbalya (tiredness)
  3. Karna Nada (tinnitus)
  4. Aruchi (loss of appetite)
  5. Manas sada (depression)
  6. Chirat Paka (delayed in digestion)
  7. Deha and Udara Gourava (heaviness in the body and stomach)                        


Types of IBS based on Ayurvedic Medicne Science (2)


Based on ayurvedic science, there are 3 types of IBS


  1. Vata IBS
  2. Vata-Pitta IBS
  3. Vata-Kapha IBS


Vata IBS (also called as spastic colon) is characterised with:


  1. Cramps, bloating and dull pain in the lower abdomen.
  2. Constipation or hard to evacuate stool.
  3. Increased rate of evacuation.
  4. Pain in stomach happens just after the meals.
  5. High rate of urgency to evacuate while eating food.
  6. Symptoms reduced or disappear after the bowel movement.
  7. Cold feeling, thirst, dry mouth and throat.
  8. Anxiety, depression, nervousness and insomnia.
  9. Weight loss
  10. Excess of wind and flatulence.
  11. Low tolerance to cold temperature.
  12. Dryness of body.
  13. Increase of hunger.


Vata-pitta IBS is characterised with:


  1. Loose stool like watering with mucous.
  2. Pain is sharp and burning.
  3. Urgency to open the bowel is after finishing meals or just after awakenings in the morning.
  4. Excessive anger and irritability.
  5. Body heat and sweating.
  6. Heartburns, sour eructation, throat burn and belching.
  7. Anorexia.


Vata-Kapha IBS (also called as nervous colon) is characterised with:


  1. Vague pain and discomfort in the stomach.
  2. Have full colon, but unable to empty the bowel at once, always have unsatisfying feeling after the evacuation.
  3. Sticky stool due to presence of mucus.
  4. Nausea, indigestion and heaviness in the chest and stomach.
  5. Lethargy, fogginess of brain.
  6. Less appetite.


Etiology of IBS based on Ayurveda Medicine


Based on Ayurveda Medicine science, below are the main causes for IBS like manifestations. So basically IBS treatments can be started or effective without correcting these causes.


  1. Vata dosha provoking diet e.g. eating more of bitter, pungent, astringent, cold, dry, uncooked food.
  2. Unusual eating behaviour like: due to irregular appetite at times, eating too less or too much, no set timings for meals, eating when previous meal still not completely digested, eating at wrong times, eating on go (while traveling or driving), eating without mindfulness, eating to comfort mind rather than real hunger.
  3. Ongoing fear, anxiety, depression, guilt, hate, jealousy and anger.
  4. Excessive intake of coffee, energy drinks, alcohol, soda etc.
  5. Childhood physical or sexual abuse (which has lead to physiological or personality disorders).
  6. Exercising soon after eating.
  7. Holding or forcing natural urges.
  8. More intake of food with opposing qualities or incompatible foods.
  9. Excessive physical activity or exercise.
  10. Excessive fasting practices.
  11. Faulty adaptation to new place.


IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome Ayurvedic Medicine Treatment 


Ultimate goal of IBS Irritable Bowel Syndrome Ayurvedic medicine treatment is to remove the causative factors first, and then to restore the doshas imbalances, with the help of herbs and other ayurvedic thearpies like panchakarma etc.


Below are the four tools used as IBS irritable bowel syndrome ayurvedic treatment:


  1. Shodhana thearpy- which is an approach of extraction of aggravated doshas from the body with the help of Panchakarma detoxification e.g. snehana (oiling the body with Ayurveda oil, massages), swedana (making the body to sweat with Ayurveda herbal steam), virechana (medicated purgation), vasti (medicated enemas) etc.
  2. Shamana therapy- means suppression or pacification of aggravated doshas with the help of ayurvedic internal medicine.
  3. Ahaara – by having the correct diet.
  4. Achara- by having the healthy lifestyle.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome IBS Ayurvedic Medicine 


As we learned so far, that based on Ayurveda principles, IBS is caused due to imbalances of different Doshas.  It’s also evident that apart from doshas imbalances, Agni mandhya (low digestive fire) and manas roga (Mental health disorder) are the other two main factors in the pathogenesis of the development of IBS.  Treatment without considering the mental aspect and low state of digestive fire of the patient, will not give good results to overcome IBS. (3)


Traditionally below the names of main ayurvedic medicinal herbs used to treat IBS


In Vata IBS, ayurveda herbs useful are:


  1. Kutuja
  2. Vidanga
  3. Tagara
  4. Vidari
  5. Ashwagandha
  6. Garlic
  7. Chitrak
  8. Nutmeg
  9. Brahmi


In Vata-Pitta IBS, ayurveda herbs useful are:


  1. Shatavari
  2. Guduchi
  3. Kamadudha
  4. Bilwa
  5. Amala


In Vata-Kapha IBS, ayurveda herbs useful are:


  1. Pippali
  2. Trikatu
  3. Triphala


Classical Ayurvedic Medicine, which are mainly used for the treatments of IBS:


  1. Dadimastaka Churna
  2. Dhanwantram gulika or tablet
  3. Pippalyadyachoorna
  4. Jeerika Asavam
  5. Dasmoolaarishta
  6. Kutjaarishta
  7. Panchakol


Panchakarma Detox in IBS (4)


Panchakarma Melbourne Panchakarma is ayurveda method of the deep cleansing of cellular metabolism. It helps each cells of the body to restore its vata, pitta and kapha. Main panchakarma procedure famous in the treatments for IBS is:


  1. In Vata IBS- Virechana, abhayanga, shirodhara, basti.
  2. In Pitta IBS- Virechana, vamana, takradhara.
  3. In Kapha IBS- Vamana, udvartana (powder massage)


Yoga for IBS


Yoga is very useful to balance the digestive fire and control the emotional aspects with IBS. Below yoga and pranayama (breathing exercises) may be useful in the treatment of IBS:


  1. Halasana
  2. Uttanaasana
  3. Pawanmukhasana
  4. Shalabhasana
  5. Urdhvaasana
  6. Veeraasana
  7. Trikonaasana


Pranayama or breathing exercise of IBS


  1. Anolom vilom
  2. Kapala Bhati
  3. Ujjayi
  4. Utgita


Ayurvedic Diet for IBS


Ayurveda scholar Charaka has claimed that biological body is born out of diet; and all the disease are born due to vitiated diet and then the vitiated doshas due to same.


So to treat IBS with the help of Ayurveda can’t be possible without correcting the diet and life-style habits.


One can follow the below ayurvedic’s recommendation on diet and life-style, if wants to manage IBS naturally and holistically.


Ayurveda Diet recommendations in IBS


  1. Avoid the vata aggravating diet- raw and cold food.
  2. Avoid pitta aggravating factor- alcohol, smoking, coffee, energy drinks and colas.
  3. To take more wholesome plant based meals, good example are, basmati rice, mung daal, khichardi, rice gruel, buttermilk, and vegetable soups.
  4. Freshly made buttermilk in lunchtime is highly helpful in the management of IBS. Buttermilk is appetizing in nature, astringency and brings lightness to aids recovery from IBS.
  5. Banana, cranberry and pomegranate can be useful too.
  6. Ghee (clarified butter) is good option for cooking oil, as it dose not have lactulose.
  7. Refined carbs like fermented breads, cheese, red meat; and cold, hard, dry and raw food need to be avoided.
  8. Follow dietary guidelines to suit the dosha. (5)
  9. To avoid excessive intake of milk or milk products, as lactulose intolerance in very common in IBS.
  10.     10.Overall diet should be nutritious, wholesome, easy to digest and sattvika in nature. (6)


Lifestyle recommendations in IBS:


1.Managing stress and anxiety with regular meditation and yoga and ayurvedic herbs.

2. To have structure in life-style, set times for meals and sleep is very important.

3. Follow lifestyle guidelines to suit the dosha.


IBS Ayurveda Tretment In Melbourne


Ayurveda in Melbourne


An Ayurvedic treatment protocol, in treating diseases is every time unique and is based on person’s ayurvedic body type and constitution.


It is very important one should consult a qualified Ayurvedic doctor or practitioner beforehand starting any Ayurveda approach to deal with IBS like digestive disorder.


Even a simple kitchen herb if used irrationally can lead to many complications.


IBS is psychosomatic syndrome, so its management requires balancing both mind and physical doshas. A details investigation is must by an experienced Ayurveda doctor, to first find out the sequence of pathogenesis of IBS and then to make correct, effective and systematic plans to reverse the same pathogenesis.


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If you wish to consult Ayurveda, you may choose to contact one of our Ayurveda Practitioners Gurnam Saini or Pooja Saini in Melbourne. Both of our practitioners are Qualfied Ayurveda Doctors from India. You may contact us at "Pure Herbal Ayurved Clinic".  People who can't reach us personally, may choose for online Ayurveda consultation. 




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Author Bio:

Gurnam Saini has over 15 years’ experience in Ayurvedic naturopathy treatments in Melbourne, Australia. He has completed his bachelor degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, India. He has done MD in Alternative Medicine and certificate courses in Panchakarma Detox, Pulse diagnosis and skin care. He is also a member of the Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA). He has won awards for ground-breaking work in Ayurveda globally. Read More