As we move into Vata season, the air/ether elements become more prevalent. Vata energy is great for creativity and for big ideas and dreams. It's also good for the excitement that surrounds the holiday season.
Unfortunately though, Vata energy can become too mobile and dry. This time of year can cause sleepless nights as the thoughts are on the move, leaving us feeling ungrounded and unsure. Another issue that can come with Vata season is irregular bowel movements, due to the dry nature of the air element.
Luckily, Ayurveda has two simple solutions for sleeplessness and constipation. They come in tablet form and they are called Ashwagandha and Triphala. Both are non-habit forming, and you can stop taking them as soon as you notice relief. However, sometimes it can take a few weeks to see results, especially with Ashwagandha. Triphala works much more quickly, usually in fewer than 48 hours.
Ashwagandha is an adaptogen which means it helps the body adapt to stress and normalizes bodily processes. It combats stress during the day and soothes the Central Nervous System at night helping you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Triphala is made from three fruits, amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki. And unlike OTC laxatives, Triphala does not rob the body of hydration. Even “generally considered safe” herbal laxatives cause elimination by irritating the intestinal wall. Not good. Triphala is a gentle way to stay regular. If you’re interested in learning more about the complications that come from any type of laxative, this is a great and thorough article.
Before trying any herbal supplements, check with your doctor to make sure they’re right for you. This is especially important if you currently take medication for any condition. Good quality ashwagandha and triphala can be purchased at Banyan Botanicals, Lifespa, or most health food stores.
These two herbs are always in my cupboard, and have helped me and my family immensely. Maybe they could help you, too. If you do try them, let me know how it goes.