Indigestion is the most commom of all disorders today. It is so common that people don’t even take it to be a disorder. However, ancients considered indigestion to be the first sign of disturbed doshas in the body.
According to Ayurveda, Agni or digestion is the lord of health. If digestion is proper, you will never get any disease, no matter what you eat and where you stay. But if your digestion is disturbed, then no medicine can help you unless it is corrected.
Digestion is considered to be the doorway in side the human body. Digestion decides what nutrients will be absorbed, how and how much. The same is applicable for toxins.
In Ayurveda , indigestion is called ajirna. This term consists of 2 words in union – a (negative suffix ) + jaran base word (to digest). Therefore indigestion is basically slowing down of the digestive fire in the Annavaha strotas (alimentary canal).
Agni or digestion is the Prana rakshak or protector of the life in human body. There are 13 types of agnis in the human body. These agnis refer to different systems of transformational processes in the body, for example transformation of the absorbed nutrient in to body fluid, or transformation of meda dhatu (fat tissue) in to bones(asthi tissue).
However, indigestion or ajirna refers to slowing down of the main agni – jatharagni. Jathar is a term used for stomach as well as parts of alimentary canal where the digestive process takes place. Therefore jatharagni means the agni or the transformative fire that rules the alimentary canal. This fire is the main gate in to the human body. Everything has to pass through this fire in order to get inside the body. Thus the good things are allowed in and the bad things are burnt down and excreted. However, when this fire is not strong, any and everything can pass through this fire and get inside the body.
For this reason, indigestion is considered to be the root cause of all disorders according to Ayurveda.
Causes of Indigestion
Following dietary and lifestyle malpractices can lead to indigestion
- Virrudh aahar – consumption of food with contrasting properties, for example consumption of equal amount of ghee and honey is considered to be poisonous.
- Adhyashana – consumption of food when the previous meal is not properly digested
- Ajirnashana – consumption of food even when suffering from indigestion (ideally one should fast and let the digestive system cleanse itself, when suffering from indigestion).
- Guru aahar – consumption of heavy and difficult to digest food, for example too much bread or food products made from maida (fine wheat flour)
- Apakvaahar – eating under-cooked food
- Vata vitiating products – alcohol, excessively dry food
- Kapha vitiating food – very oily, heavy food, too much of dairy products, chilled food, junk food, sleeping in the day time
- Pitta vitiating factors – extremely hot, sour, too much fluid
- Other factors – intake of stale food, forceful control of natural urges
If the above mentioned factors are avoided, you will never suffer from indigestion. However, because of the haphazard lifestyle, we are unable to avoid all the indigestion causing factors. So let’s look at some of the easy Ayurvedic home remedies that can help you prevent as well as cure indigestion.
Home Remedies for Indigestion
Ayurvedic remedy no. 1
If you have a feeling of indigestion after waking up in the morning, try this Ayurvedic remedy –
- Harad churna (termenalia chebula powder) – 3 gm
- Saunth (dried ginger powder) – 2 gm
- Saidha namak (rock salt) – 1 gm
Mix all the above ingredients and consume with normal water after waking up. After that avoid eating anything till the time you feel really hungry.
Ayurvedic remedy no. 2
Mix the following ingredients in the given proportion and consume with normal water every 3 hours till the time you feel some relief in constipation.
- Pippali churna (long pepper powder) – 3 gm
- Vacha churna(acorum calamus powder) – 5 gm
- Saindha namak (rock salt) – 1 gm
Both the above remedies will help you to digest the undigested toxins in the alimentary canal and help to relieve any constipation caused due to indigestion.
Ayurvedic remedy no. 3
Mix the following ingredients in the given proportion and boil them in 1 lit water. Continue to boil till the time only 50% of the water remains.
- Dhaniya churna (dried coriander seeds powder) – 15 gm
- Saunth ( dried ginger powder) – 15 gm
This remedy will help you to rekindle the lost hunger and clear the intestines of undesirable matter. It will also help to purify the blood and reduce inflammation and pain if any.
Ayurvedic remedy no. 4
If you feel constant heaviness in the stomach region, take a small strip of ginger, apply a pinch of saidha namak (rock salt) on it and suck it for some time.
Try this remedy 3-4 times in a day. Mild indigestion easily gets treated by only this remedy. Ginger flake produces a very strong digestive juice, which when combined with the salt, acts as a melting fire for the undesirable elemnets in the intestines.
Ayurvedic remedy no. 5
Mix the following ingredients in the given proportion and consume in case of severe indigestion
- Pippali churna (long pepper powder) – 5 gm
- Harad churna (termenalia chebula powder) – 5 gm
- Saunth ( dried ginger powder) – 5 gm
- Saindha namak (rock salt) – 1 gm
This remedy helps to drain the excess mucus from the internal linings of the intestines and promote excretion of the fecal matter. Fecal matter also contributes in heat generation in the body. Once the fecal matter is properly excreted, digestion of the food is the only way to retain body heat. Therefore, this remedy induces the need for hunger and food in the body natutally.
Apart from the above Ayurvedic remedies, some lifestyle changes can help to prevent as well as permanently cure indigestion.
Lifestyle Changes for Indigestion
- avoid sleeping during the daytime. Sleeping during the day time is advisable only in summer. Otherwise, sleeping in daytime or immediately after a meal reduces the rate of digestion and thus cause indigestion.
- try to have meals at a proper time. It helps the body’s bioclock to be prepared for the food. This routine leads to better digestion and thus a perfect health.
- exercise once a day for at least 5-10 min. exercise helps to increase the rate of metabolism and thus the rate of digestion too.
- Ayurvedic body massage is a great option to prevent various disorders, including indigestion. Massage with warm oil is esp beneficial to vata and kapha prakrati people suffering from indigestion.
- reduce or completely avoid drinking too much water before, during or immediately after a meal. This reduces the optimal temperature required for good digestion and thus results in under-digested toxins.
These are few lifestyle recommendations in order to avoid indigestion.
On the mental plane, one should try to avoid stress, anger, hatred and other strong negative emotions as these emotions derails the hormonal system. They also affect the digestion severely. Therefore, a happy and peaceful mind is the ultimate prevention for all disorders, including indigestion.
Mind can completely control the body. It can prevent binge eating, improper meals and compulsive eating behavior also. Therefore, I seriously recommend meditation to train the mind.
Hope you benefit from this information. We will be back soon with more interesting and informative topics, useful in daily health maintenance.