IBS due to Large Intestine Heat
You know, if there was ever a fertile environment for bacteria it has got to be the large Intestine. Its a wonderful place to be fruitful and multiply if you're small enough to hang out in there and have no particular need for oxygen.
Perhaps that's why there are so many herbal medicines precisely for this problem in the Chinese herbal pharmacopoeia. We call it heat in the Large Intestine. That's pretty much the TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) equivalent of a bacterial infection.
But there are other reasons that you might get an infection in the Large Intestine, in fact if the infection arose originally from the Large Intestine the key symptom might more likely be diarrhea than constipation, but if you're on this page, then you're constipated and perhaps you've got heat in your Large Intestine.
The Large Intestine heat tongue will have a yellow coating in the rear. Fact is, many if not most meat eaters have this type of coating. It just means that there's some "gunk" in your large intestine and although nobody likes gunk in their Large Intestine, it doesn't necessarily suggest any severe intestinal pathologies. However, if you have been given a diagnosis of IBS and your tongue looks like this, part of the treatment principle will be to remove the gunk and get things moving again.
Thing is, Large Intestine heat is a symptom of a really bad flu according to one particular Chinese medicine theory. So, if this constipation of yours has been going on for a while now, then you might not really have Large Intestine heat, more likely you've got a deficiency of Blood or Yin giving rise to the dry little stools that you're seeing kerploping into your commode.
Large Intestine heat is a pathology that comes rather rapidly, often times in association with a high fever.
One way of looking at this is the flu's high fever has dehydrated the body to the point where the fecal matter, or the poo-poo has lost all of its water by the time it gets out into the open air. By that time it has become hard and dry, perhaps taking on the shape of peanuts, Brazil nuts, or even the shape of a cashew which is very rare but not without its aesthetic appeal.
TCM herbalism prides itself on treating both the underlying cause of the problem as well as the symptoms. The underlying cause of LI heat is simply a really bad flu, and so we'd cool the fever and get rid of the heat by purging it out through the intestines. Along with the heat comes all the backed up poo poo to the delight of everyone involved, except perhaps roommates or family members not directly involved in the healing process.
One of the more famous formulas for this type of constipation that comes up in association with a high fever or flu is called Da Cheng Qi Tang (Major Order the Qi Decoction). Its a pretty strong formula designed to work quickly and efficiently. For this reason, I encourage you to work with an experienced practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine herbalism before taking this formula, just to make sure that the dosages are all correct for your unique condition. Dosages are as important as the herbs we chose for whatever problem you might have. For instance, a young buck with a strong constitution and really high fever would need more of this formula than someone in their 50's who's sitting behind a computer all day.
All of the formulas mentioned in this article are widely available at Chinese medicine pharmacies, though the so-called patent medicines that you'll find there aren't always as strong as they could be. These formulas come in a variety of different forms and strengths and your friendly neighborhood herbalist can assist you in obtaining them as is appropriate.
You can purchase any of the formulas mentioned in this article by simply clicking on their names. Another option is to obtain this formula modified for your unique situation from Beyond Well Being.