Purisha Vaha Srotas is in charge of excreting solid waste outside the body, absorb liquid, glucose and minerals. Produce the faeces, excrete toxins and heavy metals out, and a very important role in nourishing Asthi dhatu. (Calcium for example is absorbed in the colon).
Mula: Cecum, rectum, and sigmoid colon.
Marga: The large intestine.
Mukha: Anal orifice.
The sub-doshas involved in this srotas include: Kledaka Kapha, Pachaka Pitta, Ranjaka Pitta, Apana Vata.
The cecum is the ‘second’ stomach as food rests there for a while; the appendix is in charge of releasing certain enzymes to maintain the flora of the cecum and to destroy bacteria. Another important role of the appendix is enzymes which are essential for digesting legumes and grains. However, if one doesn’t have an appendix, one should go easy with consuming Legumes and grains, as gases will form easily.
Apana Vata is the one in charge of Purisha Vaha Srotas, and creating Kitta, or the feces.
Whenever the rectum is full of feces, Apana Vata will send a message to the brain, which in return sends a message to the autonomic nervous system, which starts the peristalsis from the ileocecal valve, creating pressure to get the feces out.
Reasons for problems:
– Pushing the stools out.
– Lack\excessive eating.
– Eating at the wrong time (like when one isn’t hungry).
– Emotional eating.
– Wrong food-combinations (Virrudha Ahara).
– Agni Mandya.
– Lack of exercise.
– Lack of diet routine.
– Restraint of feces.
– Eating before the previous meal has been digested.
– Improper chewing of food.
– Conversing while eating.
– Lack of fiber in diet.
– Emotional stress.
– A feeling of not evacuating completely.
– Pain while excreting stools.
– Gas and bloating.
– Strong smell out of feces and sweat.
– Bad breath.
– Large intestine cancer.
– Parasites and bacteria.
– Fall of rectum.
– Sleeping problems.
In Ayurveda there is a strong emphasis on the stools that is our way of knowing what is happening internally. While examining the stools, check for these things:
1. Shape and color.
2. Undigested food.
3. Floats or sinks. (if one uses a bowl with water)
A Pitta type will normally have stools which will resemble whipped cheese with no form, A Vata type will have dry, hard and very dark stools with no smell, A Kapha type will have lots of stools (quantity), solid, oily and soft, sweet smell.
When the stools sink, it may indicate several things:
1. A non-vegetarian diet, meat is heavy and so will be the stools.
2. Ama, lots of toxins accumulated in the system, go out.
3. Lack of absorption of nutrients.
Normally, we will prefer floating stools, however, sometimes undigested food or fat are present in the stools, which will make it float and will not be a good sign of health.
In order to help in constipation, there are several ways: Castor oil before sleep, Triphala which is a formula of 3 fruits aiding digestion and clearing Ama, raisins soaked overnight and consumed with the water in the morning, and several more ways.