If you've made it here to this first paragraph, then thank you for being open to looking at this somewhat taboo subject matter! Challenging the world's most beloved beverage doesn't make you very popular in the West. Yet, constipation also doesn’t make you very popular, especially if you’re spending far more time in the bathroom then you’d like to and even more time walking around with pain, discomfort, gas and a bloated belly!
But, we didn't come her just to bash on coffee, so don’t worry too much! Because, in alignment with Ayurveda, we must acknowledge that no food, plant or medicine is all bad or all good. Rather, everything can be medicine when administered to the right person, at the right time, under the right conditions. And, equally so, everything can also be poison when given to the wrong person, at the wrong time, under the wrong conditions.
The question thus becomes: is coffee medicine or poison for your uniquely-specific makeup? And could your challenges with constipation be linked to your daily coffee intake?
To dive into even more information about the Ayurvedic perspective on coffee, click here!
Because of the pungent, bitter and astringent Rasas (tastes) associated with coffee, in the short-term it can easily trigger an evacuation of the bowels by over-stimulating the gastro-colic reflex, giving many the false sense of digestive and eliminatory regularity. And because of this, and due to coffee’s stimulating and addictive qualities, we become dependent on it, both for energy as well as to be able to go to the toilet every morning. And as it goes with all stimulants, with regular use, we find we need more and more to produce the same results. Therefore, making it next to impossible to go to the bathroom automatically after waking, or after drinking a simple glass of warm water.
And unfortunately, in the long-term, coffee creates a drying and inflammatory response, causing both a Pitta and Vata Vikruti (imbalances) in the system that can manifest in the bowels, the seat of Vata dosha, as constipation (typically a sign of Vata imbalance) or irritation and diarrhea (a sign of Pitta imbalance).
And while coffee feels appealing to Vata individuals–who are most at-risk for difficulties with constipation–because of its stimulating effects, coffee is one of the worst choices for this constitution, especially. The intense drying effect over the long-term is terrible for Vata constitutions, and can dry out the colon, making normal and regular bowel movements extremely challenging.
To make it, we suggest beginning by filling half of your favourite mug with your regular coffee, and half with our Ayurvedic Coffee (which you can prepare in a French Press or like instant coffee). (Or you can try our Ayurvedic Bulletproof Coffee Recipe!) Then as the days and weeks pass, gradually increase the ratio of Ayurvedic Coffee to normal coffee until, you will be surprised to realize, you no longer need nor crave your daily caffeinated-hit.
To learn even more about the correlation between coffee and constipation, watch this Ayurvedic Q+A, starting at 21:07, where Tiffany discusses this topic at length.
Share this article with anyone and every one you know who struggles with constipation!