Twisted Bowels (Volvulus) and its Ayurvedic Management


A volvulus is a loop which is formed in the intestines when they twist around themselves and the mesentery that basically supports them results in bowel obstruction. It is also a very common reason for bowel obstruction. The bowel obstruction results in no passage of faeces and the food fluid starts accumulating in the intestines and venous supply hence dies gradually. The accumulated matter finally turns toxic and is then absorbed in the circulation causing toxaemia or septicemia. In this article we will discuss twisted bowels or volvulus in detail and also about its ayurvedic aspect. In the end, some Ayurvedic will also be mentioned which can help in the management of this condition.

Twisted Bowels (Volvulus)


Generally volvulus is a medical emergency that needs surgical treatment and if left treated then the part of bowel which is twisted will die due to lack of blood supply. Volvulus takes place in the small intestines, then this scenario is usually seen in children or infants. In ADults small intestine twisting is really rare. In adults the volvulus tends to occur in the colon and it is known as sigmoid volvulus. Symptoms in small intestine volvulus and large intestine volvulus remain the same like abdominal pain, abdominal bloating, vomiting, constipation and bloody stool. Onset of such symptoms can be gradual, quick or rapid.

Causes for Volvulus

  • Explaining the causes of volvulus occurring in people, then small intestine volvulus is common in babies due to congenital intestinal malrotation. Segmental volvulus occurs in people of any age which is generally associated with the predisposition of abnormal intestinal contents or adhesions.
  • The volvulus of the cecum and transverse colon sigmoid colon occurs mostly in adults with minor predisposing factors such as redundant intestinal tissue which is excess and inadequately supported along with constipation.

Types of Volvulus

  • Types of volvulus
  • Volvulus neonatorum
  • Volvulus of small intestine
  • Midgut volvulus
  • Cecal volvulus
  • Sigmoid colon volvulus
  • Volvulus of transverse colon
  • The rarest, volvulus of splenic flexure
  • Gastric volvulus
  • Ileosigmoid knot

Sign and Symptoms

Regardless of the cause, volvulus causes symptoms in two mechanisms:

  • Bowel obstruction which is manifested as abdominal distention and bilious vomiting.
  • Ischemia or lack of blood supply to the portion of the intestine affected.

The symptoms in this  may vary according to the location of volvulus.

  • Like the patient who has cecal volvulus have the predominant symptoms of  small bowel obstruction as the obstruction due to volvulus is at the point which is close to ileocecal valve and small intestine. In the patients having sigmoid volvulus abdominal pain may be present with symptoms of constipation.
  • The symptoms of cecal volvulus include nausea, vomiting and lack of stool and flatus.
  • In general, volvulus causes severe pain and progressive injury to intestinal wall along with accumulation of gas and fluid in the portion of the bowel obstructed.
  • Next, necrosis happens to the affected portion of intestinal walls, then acidosis and finally death of the tissue and cells. This is called closed- loop obstruction and is known by this name as there exists an isolated or closed loop of the bowel.
  • Sometimes the acute volvulus may require immediate surgical intervention to untwist the affected segment of bowel and possibly resect or bowel resection is done.
  • There is a third form of volvulus which is called gastric volvulus which causes nausea, vomiting and pain in the upper abdomen. The Borchardt triad is a group of symptoms that help in ruling out the gastric volvulus. The triad consists of unproductive retching, epigastric pain and distention along with inability to pass a nasogastric tube.

Prevalence of the Different Types of Volvulus

  • Volvulus occurs generally in middle aged and elderly men.
  • According to the type the sigmoid volvulus is the most common form of volvulus of the gastrointestinal tract and is responsible for 8 percent of all intestinal obstructions. Sigmoid volvulus is particularly common in elderly persons and constipated persons.
  • Cecal volvulus is slightly less common than sigmoid volvulus and is associated with symptoms of abdominal pain and small bowel obstruction.
  • Volvulus is common in patients with duchenne muscular dystrophy due to smooth muscle dysfunction.

Diagnosing the Volvulus

After the personal and detailed history of the patient the next thing which is done is X-ray. A plain abdominal X-ray is a common confirmatory of a volvulus. The x-ray shows bent inner tube sign or coffee bean sign. The sign refers to the shape of the air filled closed loop of the colon which forms the volvulus.

Treatment of Volvulus

  • The general approach for a sigmoid volvulus which is the most common type includes sigmoidoscopy. If the mucosa of the intestine is pink then a rectal tube for decompression may be placed.
  • For people with sepsis immediate surgery with resection is required.
  • In cecal volvulus, the ceacum is returned to the normal position and is sutured in the exact place.

Ayurvedic Aspect of Volvulus

In most of the elderly adults the volvulus is due to chronic constipation and with age there is one specific dosha increase in the body which is vata dosha. Vata dosha is one of the three humours of the body which is responsible for movement. When there is excess of vata dosha in our intestines then the aggravated vata dosha gives a really hard push inside the intestines causing it to twist hence resulting in volvulus occurrence. The constipation can be due to vata aggravation and this vata aggravation is due to the faulty lifestyle we live and diet we eat. Not having enough fibre in your meals is the cause of constipation or having less amount of water or waking up till late nights, exhausting yourself more than your limits mentally as well as physically, skipping meals, eating when you don’t have the urge to intake etc. are the most common causes for aggravation of vata dosha that results in constipation, further aggravated vata dosha and finally results in the occurrence of volvulus.

The chances of volvulus occurrence can be easily reduced by following a proper lifestyle and having a proper diet.

Herbal Formulations for Twisted bowels by Planet Ayurveda

Planet Ayurveda is a leading Ayurvedic firm which deals with the manufacturing of herbal formulations. These formulations are prepared using potent herbs which are really effective in managing many conditions related to intestines like volvulus. The medication can be easily used in any type of volvulus. The formulations prepared by Planet Ayurveda do not contain any kind of adulterants, dyes, additives, fillers etc. These medications are really potent to manage various conditions arising due to aggravation of vata dosha in the digestive tract and are very fruitful hence giving positive noticeable results. The medication or formulations offered by Planet Ayurveda for the management of Twisted bowels (volvulus) are as follows:

  1. Mahashankh Vati
  2. Digestion Support
  3. Kamdudha Ras
  4. Shoolvarjini Vati

As laxatives

  1. Rheum Emodi Capsules
  2. Panchsakar Churna


1. Mahashankh Vati

Mahashankh vati is the effective classical formulation which helps in the improvement of digestion and also effectively relieves symptoms like bloating and indigestion. This formulation is also mentioned in classics and contains pippali (piper longum), chitrak (Plumbago zeylanica), danti (Baliospermum montanum) and many more. The formulation  helps in naturally dealing with indigestion, loss of appetite, hyper acidity along with gas and other digestion related problems. In twisted bowels it helps in relieving the flatus which is due to prolonged constipation and causes pain. Hence it also acts as the formulation that relieves pain due to distention.

Dosage: Two tablets twice daily 20 minutes before meal with lukewarm water.

2. Digestion Support

Digestion support is a herbal formulation which is manufactured with nature’s best herbs for all kinds of digestive system related problems which includes twisted bowels too. This has ingredients like  Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Bahera (Terminalia bellerica), Sounf (Foeniculum vulgare), Dhania (Coriander sativum), Pippali (Piper longum) and Jeerak (Cyminum cuminum). All of these ingredients make it a very potent formula which can help in strengthening the digestion process and also relieves symptoms like flatulence and distension of the abdomen due to aggravated vata dosha. The formulation has great results as a digestion balancer and hence balances the agni really well.

Dosage: One capsule twice daily after meals with lukewarm water.

3. Kamdudha Ras

Kamdudha ras is also a classical formulation that behaves as an antacid due to its potent ingredients like moti pishti, giloy satva, praval pishti, mukta shukti pishti, shankh bhasma and some others. The kamdudha is very well known for its benefits in gastritis also. All over the formulation has very great results in relieving gastric symptoms which includes formation of excessive gas and distention. The formulation even has great results in internal or external bleeding disorders.  Mostly, it has pitta dosha balancing property which is diminished due to aggravated vata in this case.

Dosage: One tablet twice daily after meals with lukewarm water

4. Shoolvarjini Vati

The shoolvarjini vati is a very effective classical formulation which helps by relieving pain in this case. The formulation is basically a herbo mineral preparation which has tankan (borax), shankh bhasma (calx of conch) and others as its ingredients. The formulation is used in abdominal pain, gulma, enlarged spleen, excessive gas in the abdomen and all types of pains which are mainly due to vata dosha or aggravated vata dosha. This formulation also helps in removal of toxins from the body along with this it helps in enhancement of digestive power or agni as well.

Dosage:  One tablet twice daily after meals with lukewarm water (to be chewed)

As laxatives

5. Rheum Emodi Capsules

Rheum meodi contains Revan chini (Rheum emodi) as its prime ingredient and it is a mild purgative, astringent, tonic and laxative. The herb is known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. The herb is a perennial stout which is commonly found in himalayan region from kashmir to sikkim. It is a very effective formulation that helps in relieving the stomach ache and also has an effect on constipation. It helps in relieving constipation. These rheum emodi capsules are exclusively prepared using this herb and also bear antibacterial properties. Being mild purgative it helps in relieving the obstruction in the intestinal route and hence can help in management of twisted bowels.

Dosage: Two capsules  at bed time with lukewarm water

6. Panchsakar Churna

The panchsakar churna is very effect blend of herbs like Sonth (Zingiber officinale), saunf (Foeniculum vulgare), Senai (Cassia angustifolia), choti harad (Terminalia chebula) along with saindhav lavan or rock salt. The panchsakar churna has a very great effect in relieving the obstruction in the intestine which is primarily due to twisted bowel. The formulation has great results in relieving vata dosha in the digestive tract. The feeling of nausea and vomiting is also relieved by this churna and with that it has a little laxative effect too. The presence of saindhav lavan in this helps in balancing potassium imbalance in this condition too.

Dosage: One tsp Bed time with lukewarm water

*Note– Rheum emodi and panchsakar churna not to be taken regularly and together. One can have them on alternate days.



The volvulus is a condition that needs immediate medical attention. The severity of this condition depends on the site of volvulus formed. Volvulus or twisted bowel can be successfully managed with above mentioned Ayurvedic formulations. The aforementioned mentioned formulations can be used and effectively manage the situation. All of the above mentioned medications are totally herbal and do not have any kind of side effects. These can be used in any age group but the dosage may vary. To confirm the dosage one must take these medications under the guidance of a professional Ayurvedic physician. The strategy to take these medications is to be discussed with your doctor and then only it will be of maximum help.  In case of any query kindly visit

Dr. Vikram Chauhan

Dr. Vikram Chauhan (MD - Ayurveda) is a Globally Renowned Ayurveda Physician with Expertise of more than 25 Years. He is the CEO & Founder of, a leading Ayurveda Brand, Manufacturing, and Export Company with a Chain of Clinics and Branches in the US, Europe, Africa, Southeast Asia, India, and other parts of the World. He is also an Ayurveda Author who has written Books on Ayurveda, translated into Many European Languages. One of his Books is "Ayurveda – God’s Manual for Healing". He is on a Mission to Spread Ayurveda All Over the Planet through all the Possible Mediums. With his Vast Experience in Herbs and their Applied Uses, he is successfully treating Numerous Patients suffering from Various Ailments with the help of the Purest Herbal Supplements, Diet, and Lifestyle, according to the Principles of Ayurveda. For More Details, visit -,

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