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Published 24-04-2021

Ayurvedic Ways to Improve Digestive Health

STOMACH ACHE, CONSTIPATION, POOR APPETITE, ACIDITY/GAS

Ayurvedic Ways to Improve Digestive Health

Dr. Shivani Nautiyal

An Ayurvedic Practitioner and Consultant with a specialization in Panchkarma. My goal is to design an individual treatment plan to help each patient to achieve the best outcome possible. Treats Male and Female Fertility problems, Irregular Menstruation, Leucorrhea, UTI, COPD, Diabetes, Hypertension, Insomnia, Joint Pain, Arthritis, Sciatica, Skin problems, Alopecia, Grey Hairs, Gastric problems and other Lifestyle Disorders with Panchkarma Therapies and Ayurvedic Medicines.

Ayurveda defines health as a balance of Dosha, Agni, Dhatu, and Mala. But along with the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing, Ayurveda places special emphasis on the diet (Ahara) and believes that healthy nutrition nourishes the body, mind, and soul. So, improving digestive health is significant.

Our digestive system breaks down the food we eat into the nutrients our body needs. When the digestion is not as good as it should be, the body sends clear signals like having excessive gas, bloating, high acidity, frequent loose motions, or bowel irregularity.

Nowadays, many lifestyle diseases are increasing daily due to incorrect eating practices and cookery procedures. In Ayurveda classics, emphasis has been laid on the right way to eat food. Food consumed in the right manner serves as nectar to rejuvenate the body and maintain health. Hence, your lifestyle and your choice of foods can affect how your body digests what you eat. 

Ayurveda and Digestion or Agni

Ayurveda has described Agni as an important factor of digestion and metabolism in our body, responsible for digesting, absorbing, and assimilating the food. In addition, it converts food in the form of energy and, therefore, is responsible for all the vital functions of our body. 

About the importance of Agni, Acharya Charak has mentioned that after the stoppage of the function of Agni, the individual dies. And when the Agni of an individual is normal (sama), that person would be healthy, happy, and live a long life. But, if the Agni of a person is vitiated, the whole metabolism in his body would be disturbed, resulting in ill health and disease. Hence, Agni is the pedestal (mool) of life.  

Types of Agni

In Ayurveda, Agni is defined in various types divided as per their functions and their presence in the specific part of the body. 

The following are the various types of Agni:

  1. Jatharagni: Jatharagni is the Agni or bioenergy present in the stomach and duodenum (Jathara). Each nutrient that one ingests comes first to the stomach (Jathara). Jatharagni digests the food materials that consist of the five basic elements and transforms them for utilization by the respective tissues (Dhatus Paramanus). Moreover, it is also responsible for separating the food material into the essence portion (Prasad) and the waste products (kitta) in our body.
  2. Bhutagni: Bhutagni is the one that is present in a basic element (Bhutas). There are five Agnis in each of the five basic elements, namely – Parthiva (Earth), Apya (water), Tejas (Agni), Vayavya (Vayu), and Nabhasa (Akash). Acharya Charak has mentioned that the five Bhutagni digest their part of the element present in the food materials. However, after the digestion of food by the Bhutagni, digested materials containing the elements and qualities similar to each Bhutas nourish their own specific Bhautika elements of the body.
  3. Dhatvagni: All the seven-element tissues of the body (Dhatus) contain their own Agni to metabolize the nutrient materials supplied to them through their own Srotas. Acharya Charaka has mentioned that the seven Dhatus contain their own Agni with which they digest and transform the materials supplied to them for assimilation and nourishment.

Lifestyle and Ayurvedic Tips to Improve Digestive Health

A weak digestive system leads to weakened Agni. Ayurveda suggests a few home remedies to improve digestion that you can easily incorporate into your daily regime. It will facilitate weight loss, improve your metabolism and regularize bowel movements.  

  • Meditation

Studies suggest meditating daily for a considerable amount of time can positively affect your body and help improve digestion. It helps restore the body's homeostasis, promoting a better digestive system. It is recommended to meditate every day for 20-30 minutes, morning and evening, to set the body in motion and reap the maximum benefits.

  • Exercise or Yoga

Starting your day with Yoga, running, or walking will not only make you feel energetic throughout the day but also keep your digestive system healthy. In addition to this, short walks of 15-20 minutes post every meal will help digest the food properly. Short walks and Yoga helps control the fluctuations caused in blood sugar levels after eating anything if you have diabetes.

  • Do Not Overeat

When you overeat, your body and digestive system go for a toss. It also becomes difficult for the food to break down properly, which leads to indigestion, discomfort, and acidity. The key lies in eating in moderation and not going overboard. Ayurveda recommends leaving some space in the stomach as that aids in easy digestion of the food.

  • Drink Herbal Teas 

Drinking herbal or ginger tea throughout the day aids in the effective digestion of the food. Ginger is a time-tested remedy in Ayurveda and provides many health benefits. It also aids in relaxing the muscles of the intestines, thereby relieving you from the symptoms of gas, acidity, or indigestion. Combat the problem of how to improve digestion naturally with this simple tea recipe: 

  1. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan.
  2. Add ½ inch of ginger stem and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Take the pan off the heat and transfer the water to a cup.
  4. Put a teabag in the water and let it steep for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Sip this tea throughout the day or post every meal to improve digestion.
  • Have a Hearty Lunch

Start eating a big lunch. According to Ayurveda, the body is best equipped to digest meals during midday because the digestive system secretes the maximum amount of digestive juices in the daytime. So, it is best advised to have a hearty meal at lunchtime. Doing the same in the evening or dinner can adversely affect the stomach as the digestive fire is at its weakest, and the body hardly gets any time to digest the food.

  • Detox Regularly 

Detoxification always works its magic. It is a natural way of flushing out harmful toxins and free radicals from the system. These toxins in the body are the primary reason for blocked intestines, irregular bowel movements, and an inactive digestive system. Periodic cleansing also aids in the rekindling of the Agni and rejuvenates the tissues. 

A simple fruit juice diet once a week can do the trick. One can also opt for a mono-diet to drink fresh fruit juices or detoxify water for half a day before resuming the usual food intake.

Lifestyle and Ayurvedic Tips to Improve Digestive Health

Ayurvedic Medicines to Improve Digestive Health

1Triphla Rasa – 2 tsp at night with the same water.

2. Avipattikar Churna – 1 tsp in the morning, empty stomach with warm water.

3. Shankh Vati – 2 tablets after lunch with normal water.

Ayurvedic Medicines to Improve Digestive Health

 Also Read: Constipation: Causes, Triggers, and Treatment with Ayurveda

Conclusion

Apart from the digestive functions, Agni is responsible for the production of strength, which has two aspects. One is the strength to resist disease and decay in the human body, and the second is the strength to perform physical exercises. Due to faulty Agni status, several undigested by-products are formed and tend to block the microchannels of the body. It will result in the accumulation of Doshas and finally precipitate in the form of the disease. 

Ayurveda emphasizes that the major cause behind digestive problems is Agnidushti. This is why the main principle of treatment of all diseases in Ayurveda is to restore and strengthen the Agni (digestive and metabolic fire), preferably using Ayurvedic measures. Find lifestyle tips and Ayurvedic products at HealthyBazar. All the products on-site are genuine, and one can also consult with the best Ayurvedic and Unani doctors.

Last Updated: Mar 8, 2022

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