Loose stools? The runs? Hershey squirts?
Diarrhea goes by many names, and most people don’t realize that “diarrhea” actually has three meanings:
- bowel movements that have more liquid content than is usual
- bowel movements that are larger (ie: more volume) than is usual
- having more bowel movements in a day than is usual
The kind of diarrhea that manifests as loose, watery stools relates to Pitta dosha in Ayurveda. Pitta is made up of the fire + water elements and has the qualities of: hot, oily, and sharp.
Loose, watery stools (ie: Pitta stools) show up when the body is doing what it knows to do in order to remove excessive heat from the body. It is a form of intelligence on the part of the body and is not necessarily a bad thing. Loose, watery stools are actually a very quick and efficient way to cool things down in an excessively Pitta situation/individual. Most people whose constitution is Pitta tend towards having loose, watery stools.
In times of stress, it is possible for Pitta to become excessively high. This mostly shows up in someone who is driven and who is putting in a lot of work effort.
Pitta naturally arises in summertime (think warm, sunny weather) and in the middle of the day.
With Ayurveda’s focus on Opposites Balance Each Other, in order to address a high Pitta state, we apply the opposite qualities to restore balance. These qualities are: cool, dry, and smooth.
Here’s what that looks like in real life: