Stool Analysis

We look to seven factors in analyzing the stool: (1) transit time, (2) consistency, (3) color, (4) shape, (5) odor, (6) substances and worms, and (7) ease of passage.

Transit Time

Patriots Day

Healthy transit time is about six to twelve hours from the time of eating, depending on the food eaten. Fruit tends to shorten transit time, while meat, bread, and foods slow to digest lengthen transit time. Eating cooked corn and waiting for it to pass can measure transit time. Look for the yellow kernel in the stool. ” got that one from Tieraona Low Dog,” says Margi.

Slow transit time indicates difficulty in digesting meals, poor digestive secretion, poor tone of intestinal walls and weak peristalsis. The stool tends to become hard and difficult to move.

Rapid transit time is indicated by undigested food in the stool, and non-absorption of water from the stool as it passes rapidly through the large intestine. The pores of the intestine are closed resulting in incomplete uptake of water from the digestate. Symptoms are gurgling, excess gas, dampness in the stool, putrefaction, fermentation, infection, gas, bloating, candida and diarrhea. Stool is loose, unformed and difficult to hold back. These conditions often call for Yellow Dock root Rumex Crispus , Rhubarb Rheum Palmatum or some member of the Polygonaceae family. M.W.

A stool that starts out hard and ends up loose indicates an untoned, unexercised colon and a need for fiber.

Normal, healthy bowel movements usually occur shortly after rising from bed. Diarrhea sometimes drives people from bed in the morning. This is an indication for Rumex Crispus. Delay of stool after rising indicates that transit time is slow. If coffee needs to be consumed before the passage, this is lack of tone. If a cigarette is necessary, this indicates self-medication for intestinal spasm – here consider Lobelia.

Basically you put food in and it triggers a response to let the previously processed meal out. To poop three times a day is achieving “Colon-vana” says Matt Wood smiling eyes fluttering.


Hard stools indicate slow transit time; soft stools, fast transit time. Alternating hard and soft, constipation and diarrhea, indicates intestinal spasm and quirky peristalsis.

Stools that float contain air, mucus, fiber or fat. A stool that floats and is well-shaped, textured and chocolate brown has enough fiber and is perfect.

Stools that float, shred and fall apart easily are full of air. Generally, these people swallow air while eating. If this is pointed out to them they can correct their habit. Air can also indicate fermentation. A stool coated with mucus floats and is loose (three times a day or more often), indicating colitis.

If there are food parts evident in the stool then the digestive tract is not breaking down food. These people need to chew more fully and perhaps take enzymes. In the case of diarrhea, the tract does not have enough time to break down the stool, hence it is moist and sometimes contains food.


Iron supplements cause the stool to become artificially dark. Dark black stool indicates typhoid. Moderately dark color means not enough water and fiber and too much heavy food that is hard to digest. The stool is concentrated and tends to dry out into round, hard fecal balls.

Dark streaks may indicate the presence of blood from higher up the digestive tract. Bleeding from the rectum produces recognizable blood. The former is more serious, as it may indicate polyps, colitis or cancer. “Give Chaga tea,” says Margi. “If it doesn’t go away quickly, refer to a doctor.”

Gray, clay-like stool indicates a lack of bile and points to the gallbladder. “If the complexion is sallow, slightly yellow, the indication is weakness of the gallbladder. Use Werewolf root, Apocynum Androsaemifolium. If the complexion is jaundiced and more strongly yellow, the indication is blockage of the bile ducts; bile is entering the blood stream and not the stool. Remove congestion and heat from the gallbladder with Celandine Chelidonium, Red root Ceanothus, Barberry root Berberis Vulgaris, etc.”

Greenish discharges are usually dependent on an increase of acidity in the intestinal canal, with irritation and indigestion. It may in part be dependent upon the coloring matter of bile, which is thrown off by the feces in consequence of such irritation ascending the biliary duct (Scudder).


Stools that are too hard tend to come out in hard balls that are difficult to pass. These are called scybala. This indicates a lack of water and fiber, poor tone of the intestine, extended transit time, difficulty in digesting food. Stools that are thin and long indicate too rapid transit time and poor assimilation.


The natural odor is evidence of normal activity throughout the entire tract. Diminution of odor is an indication of decreased functional activity; an increase indicates decomposition, bloating, gas, and inflammation. Foul scents look to low stomach acid.


In severe diseases the stool will carry away tissue or substances from the body. The stool of tubercular patients is sometimes found to contain fat. Sugar occasionally appears in the excrement of diabetics. Blood in the stool arising from the small intestine will color the stool black, chocolate-brown or tarry black. These may also be dark streaks. Blood may also cause watery green excrement, as is observed occasionally in typhus. Mucus indicates inflammation of the walls of the colon (colitis). Epithelial cells, the lining of the intestines, are found in cholera.

Ease of Passage

If the stool comes out easily and is easily completed, this indicates good tone in the rectum and sphincter.

If the stool comes out part way then recedes, or only partly comes away, or there is urging without stool, this indicates spasm interfering with peristalsis. Colicky pains, and alternating diarrhea and constipation often accompany this. This indicates irritable bowel syndrome, not constipation proper, which comes from a lack of tone. This should never be addressed with laxatives or purgatives, but with anti-spasmodics – Nux Vomica, Lobelia, Angelica.

If the stool is relatively well formed, but does not come out easily or feels partly retained, this indicates good intestinal tone but poor rectal sphincter tone – Yellow Dock Rumex Crispus, Lady’s Mantle Alchemilla Vulgaris, White Oak bark Quercus Alba.

If the stool is dark and concentrated, this indicates true constipation. Strong laxatives should not be the first line of attack. Flax seed, freshly ground, or soaked overnight adding fruit and pineapple (with all its good digestive enzymes) are a good start on the problem. Fruit, prune juice with water may be added to lubricate the stool.

One easy recipe is 1 cup Oat bran, 1 cup Applesauce, half-cup Prune juice.

Refrigerate covered.

Consume 2 tablespoons daily followed by a glass of warm water.

Oily foods such as Burdock root encourage the gallbladder to secrete more bile and lubricate the stool in this way. Psyllium seed adds fiber to stimulate peristalsis, some have an allergic reaction- do they get gas and bloating afterward? Try Chia seeds soaked overnight or in raw crackers.

Laxatives should be indicated by symptoms more than just “constipation”. If symptoms include inactivity of the canal, straining at the stool, yet soft movement; complexion yellow and red, try Rumex Crispus (Yellow Dock root), Juglans Cinerea or Juglans Nigra (Butternut, Black Walnut). If there is closure of the gall ducts with poor lubrication of the bowels, try Rheum Palmatum (Rhubarb root) .

Bitters may be necessary to increase secretions from the intestinal wall: Arctium Lappa (Burdock root), Berberis Aquifolium (Oregon Grape root).

Constipation or diarrhea while on a trip is often due to mild autonomic nervousness (“where’s the next bathroom, I don’t like these strange places,” etc.). “Here, Sweet leaf Monarda Fistulosa may prove positive.” Says Matthew.

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