If the right components of a healthy diet aren’t in place, your body will experience problems farther down the line. What you put into your body and how you stress or nurture your digestive system shows up in your health. According to Ayurveda, people who do not follow the framework dietary guidelines and consume food without self-control often tend to become victims of Badhazmi (indigestion).
Indigestion is a common ailment that presents itself in various forms including heartburn, stomach aches, flatulence, constipation and sudden change in appetite. Not only are these conditions uncomfortable, but leaving them untreated is harmful to your overall health as your nutrition becomes compromised.
In this article, we look at various Ayurvedic treatments and how they can be used to get rid of indigestion.
Ginger holds a high place in Ayurveda because of its many wonderful properties. Ginger is a digestive aid that promotes the production of digestive enzymes in your stomach – it enkindles the Agni (digestive fire) and ensures that the food you consume is fully digested. Enzymes in ginger help the body break up and expel gas formed in the intestinal system. Ginger also helps the movement of food along the digestive tract, preventing constipation.
Ayurveda recommends eating a one-inch piece of fresh ginger with a few drops of lemon juice and a few pinches of salt on it before a full meal to help in digestion. Alternatively, grate some fresh ginger root until you have about 1 teaspoon of pulp, and add 1 teaspoon of lime juice. Take this mixture immediately after eating for relief from gastrointestinal troubles.
Also known as Hing, this pungent spice is widely available in Indian grocery shops. Asafoetida is good for digestion and cleansing of the digestive tract, and dispels gas and improves intestinal flora. It is useful for cramps, flatulence and constipation.
Mix about ½ grams (half a gram) of asafetida with a glass of hot water. Add a teaspoonful of sugar/salt to improve the taste. This will rapidly relieve your system of flatulence and help in relieving indigestion. To eliminate the gas-producing effect of beans and other similar foods, cook them with a very small pinch of asafoetida.
Kutki is a popular herb in the Ayurvedic system. It owes its name to its bitter pungent taste. Kutki supports healthy bile flow and decongests the bile and liver ducts. Extracts of Kutki enhance the healing of gastric ulcers.
Take 2-3 teaspoons of Kutki Ras (the juice of Kutki), mix with water and drink it before taking food once or twice a day to get quick relief from digestive problems.
Ghee is cow’s butter with the milk solids and water content removed and is pure food. It aids digestion, strengthens the body, increases energy levels, improves memory and brain functioning and increases longevity. Being a rich source of butyric acid, ghee helps in supporting the health of your intestinal walls.
Drink warm milk with ghee in it before retiring to bed to lubricate the colon and treat indigestion. This will ensure a good night’s sleep.
Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal formula composed of three fruits (Haritaki, Bibhitaki and Amalaki). Together they help tone and strengthen your digestive tract and promote regular and complete evacuation of the bowels. They also help increase the digestion, absorption and assimilation of nutrients from the food you consume. According to studies, Triphala stimulates appetite and reduces gastric acid in addition to acting as a laxative.
At night, before going to bed, steep ½ to 1 teaspoon Triphala in a cup of boiling hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, then drink it if you have flatulence. Most problems with constipation can be corrected by taking ½ to 1 teaspoon of Triphala at night. Steep the herbs in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes, and drink.
You can reduce acidity by chewing few fennel seeds. One of the best ways to prevent acidity is by chewing fennel seeds after your meal every day. You can also boil fennel seed in a cup of water and drink the decoction for relief from acidity. Fennel seeds contain oil that aid in digestion and reduce bloating.
Ayurveda provides simple solutions to everyday digestion problems such as gas, bloating, stomach pain, constipation, heartburn, etc. and recommends safeguarding against indigestion before it can strike. This can be done by following certain habits such as not eating unless hungry, not eating emotionally, avoiding snacking, having a set routine when it comes to mealtimes, avoiding cold drinks, chewing your food well, and so on. Prevention is always better than cure, so these measures should be incorporated by every Ayurvedic practitioner.