Poo Analysis With Ayurveda: What Your Poop Says About Your Health
According to Ayurveda, the color, texture, frequency, and smell of your poop are indicators of your overall health. If your poop is discolored, watery, or too hard, this indicates internal issues in your digestive tract and likely beyond. When you understand how to analyze your poo, you can proactively address health issues early on — as opposed to waiting until your symptoms become conditions and diseases.
Ayurvedic poo diagnosis is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that can see into the 30 feet of the digestive tract. In this article about poo, we’re going to explore what your poop says about your health — according to Ayurveda — and how to accurately analyze yours to assess what your body needs.
Ready to dive in? Grab the toilet paper, and let’s do this!
The Stinky Truth About Poo
A staggering number of people around the world suffer from digestive disorders, from IBS to Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and chronic constipation and diarrhea, but few have a true understanding of what’s happening inside their bodies. Besides the fact that digestive disorders are extremely uncomfortable, embarrassing, and inconvenient, in all instances, they are a warning sign that the doshas are aggravated and bigger issues may be arising from within that involve other organs and tissues.
Your colon, part of the large intestine, is responsible for processing 1.5 to 2 gallons of water a day, alongside breaking down waste left over from digestion. It also eliminates harmful toxins that your body doesn’t need to keep you healthy.
Unfortunately, many people ignore their colon — and the wisdom it has to offer — as such, they suffer unnecessarily from conditions that can be solved by taking a few proactive steps.
Regular vs. Irregular Bowel Movements
Before we dive into how you can analyze your poo, let’s first discuss what a normal bowel movement versus an irregular bowel movement is.
A normal bowel movement will be soft and easy to pass and banana-shaped, easy to wipe, and leaves almost no trace of evidence in the toilet. What’s more, this elimination happens in the morning, shortly after waking. When your bowel movements are normal, they won’t be very stinky, dry, and/or painful.
In contrast, an irregular bowel movement will happen inconsistently — either too frequently or not frequently enough, and may be painful, discolored, or have a watery, soft-serve (ice cream style), overly hard, or rabbit pellet texture. Also, irregular bowel movements tend to be stinky!
The Color of Your Poo and What it Means
You’ve probably gone to the bathroom before and noticed an abnormal fecal coloring. While slight variations from time to time are generally harmless, if you notice your poop is discolored for more than a few days, make sure you consult a professional.
Here are the different poop colors and a few ideas of what they may mean:
- Brown- Any shade of brown is what you’re aiming for — this, combined with the texture of your poop, will indicate how healthy your digestive tract and body are.
- Yellow- If your poop is yellow or yellow-brown, this indicates you have too much fat in your intestines due to malabsorption, an intestinal condition or disease, high Pitta, or improper nutrition.
- Red- Red poop means something you ate either had red food coloring in it, you have hemorrhoids, or perhaps bleeding in your digestive system.
- Pale, White or Clay-colored- This is an indicator that your bile ducts may be blocked or congestion in the liver/gallbladder. As such, it’s important to address any underlying causes immediately.
- Black- Certain foods (such as licorice), medications, and supplements can cause black poop. However, if your poop is black for more than a few days consult a professional as this could be an indicator of bleeding in your digestive tract.
- Very Green- If your poo comes out looking like a bright shade of green, this either means you have diarrhea (and it’s green because it’s coming out of your body too fast and has not fermented properly) or you ate a lot of greens or consumed green food dye.
How to Conduct Poo Analysis with Ayurveda
As opposed to a one-size-fits-all approach, Ayurveda recommends using your unique constitution — otherwise known as your doshic picture of Vata, Pitta, and Kapha — to understand what a healthy poop is for you.
Vata Dosha Poop Analysis
Vata dosha body types are governed by air, which means they are more likely to experience dry, sluggish bowel movements, constipation, and bloating.
A healthy vata stool will be passed without gas, have a firm texture (but not too hard), be dark brown in color, have a minimal odor, and be eliminated through your digestive system once a day, typically in the morning. When the vata is imbalanced, the stool will be dry and/or hard, may look like rabbit droppings (as in small, thin pellets), occur irregularly, cause gas before and during elimination, be darker (almost black) in color, and smell foul. Vata may feel as though bowel movement is not complete.
How to Balance Vata Poo
Drink plenty of water: Water is the number one key to a healthy stool. Being governed by air, vata types are dry and especially prone to constipation. As such, make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day and keep a glass of water by your bed at night.
Use food as medicine: When your body has the nutrients it needs to function properly, based on your unique constitution, it will thrive! Whenever possible, eat foods as close to their natural state as possible (local, whole foods are best) and try to avoid consuming anything that is overly processed and contains chemicals, harmful additives, and preservatives.
Pitta Dosha Poo Analysis
Pitta dosha body types are governed by fire, which means they are more likely to experience an irritated or inflamed digestive tract. A healthy pitta stool will be passed twice a day (usually in the morning and after lunch), be brown-yellow in color, have a firm texture, and contain a mild odor. When the pitta is imbalanced, the stool will be loose (ranging from soft-serve consistent to watery) and more frequent (meaning it occurs more than twice a day), often urgent and cause bloating and gas, be yellow-brown in color due to increased bile, may burn or be painful to eliminate, and contain a potent odor.
How to Balance Pitta Poo
Avoid heating foods: Chile, raw onion, garlic, and cayenne irritate the pitta type as this dosha is already fiery to begin with. To calm pitta, eat cooling foods such as fresh fruit, vegetables, rice, quinoa, and leafy greens. Limit alcohol and coffee consumption: Stimulants such as caffeine and alcohol aggravate the pitta digestive system and should be limited. Opt instead to drink herbal teas and plenty of water.
Kapha Dosha Poo Analysis
Kapha dosha body types are governed by earth and water, which means they are more likely to experience mucousy, sticky, hard-to-wipe poo. A healthy kapha stool will be passed once a day (typically in the morning), be brown in color, odorless or possibly sweet, well-formed, and complete. When the kapha is imbalanced, the stool will be sticky, pale brown, or clay-colored (signifying liver congestion), and/or have mucus in it, indicating an imbalance in the intestinal wall.
How to Balance Kapha Poo
Avoid overeating: because kapha types tend to have a slower digestive system, as such overeating can easily cause them to become sluggish and backed up. Instead of overindulging, eat only when you are actually hungry and avoid in-between snacking. Opt for light, airy foods: Rather than eating heavy foods such as red meat, fried foods, dairy, and anything that is overly oily or fatty that will create lethargy and slow digestion, opt instead for light, warm, airy foods that are appropriately spiced will stimulate digestion. For example, cooked fruits and spiced vegetables.
Healthy Elimination Begins in the Mind
- Relax. Make daily use of free guided practices. Learn to retrain your nervous system from flight/fight to relax, restore, and rejuvenate. You’ll be amazed at the impact this has on your digestive system and overall sense of feeling good.
- Learn Diaphragmatic Breathing and Change Your Life. Breathing links us both to the mind and the body. And the more we pay attention to breathing by way of a gentle awareness, the more we can relax and find our mind concentrated. That’s where diaphragmatic breathing exercises come in.
Change my breath, and it changes my life? It may seem an overly dramatic claim, yet it is not. Without breath, where is life? There are many sayings in English about breath, we lost our breath, we catch it, we hold it, we take a deep breath–yet the breath of life–meaning something one depends on, is among the most profound. Breath is not something we tend to connect with consciously yet is foundational in Ayurveda and to life itself.
What’s My Tongue Got to Do with My Poo?
Your tongue is a powerful and primary diagnostic tool in determining your state of health. According to Ayurveda, when digestion is working well, it influences all aspects of one’s health. When digestion is not functioning optimally–we feel it and not just in the digestive tract.
You may not think about it, but your tongue is the beginning of the digestive tract. Tongue diagnosis is a non-invasive diagnostic tool that can see far beyond the mouth into the 30 feet of the digestive tract.
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