It is said that if the stomach is right, then the whole body remains healthy. Digestive health directly impacts the overall health of humans. When the digestive system is weak, it creates many digestive tract issues like diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and heartburn. These can be caused by many things, such as an unhealthy lifestyle, poor eating habits, food sensitivity, or even an infection.
In Ayurveda, Agni (fire) is viewed as the source of life. It is a gatekeeper of good health and a symbol of all bodily metabolic functions. When you eat right, you strengthen this fire, boosting your digestive system.
Let us understand which food items, according to Ayurveda, is bad for the digestive tract and which food item should be added to the diet.
Also Read: Does Gastric Issue Increase with Ageing?
The five types of foods and drinks to substitute from the diet to relieve digestive woes are as follows:
1. Fried Foods
Fried foods are high in fat and should not be consumed regularly. They are harder to digest and cause stomach pain, heartburn, and diarrhea.
2. Beans/ Rajma
Beans are rich in protein, fiber, and other nutrients, which help maintain a healthy digestive system. No active enzymes in the body can break down these complex molecules, which the bacteria must do in the gut. Due to this, beans create gas in the stomach.
Soaking dried beans for at least 4 hours before cooking breaks down the complex sugar present in it.
3. Carbonated drinks
Many people have a misconception that bloating can be reduced by consuming carbonated drinks, but this is not true. It is quite the opposite. Carbonated drinks contain high amounts of a gas called carbon dioxide. When you drink these drinks, you also ingest a large amount of this gas. This gas gets trapped in the digestive system, which further increases the problem of bloating and cramps.
It is important to keep drinking water, as it encourages the passage of waste through the digestive system.
4. Fatty Foods
Fatty foods stimulate contractions in the digestive tract, which can either lead slowdown of the emptying of the stomach, worsening constipation, or speeding up movement, causing diarrhea. The effect depends on the type of fat and your tendency toward constipation or diarrhea. When experiencing indigestion, put low-fat foods on the menu and eat small meals spaced throughout the day, which can put less pressure on your stomach.
Avoid high-fat foods like butter, ice cream, red meat, and cheese, at least for a while.
Here are a few food items that can be added to the diet to ease indigestion.
1. Indian Gooseberry (Amla)
Indian gooseberry or amla has various laxative, carminative, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antiviral properties. These properties help stimulate your digestive process and regulate bowel movements, further curing indigestion, heartburn, or acidity. According to Ayurvedic medicine, Amla murabba is one of the most effective ingredients for curing indigestion and gastric problems, including gastritis.
2. Coriander Seeds (Dhaniya)
Coriander seeds or dhania seeds are known for their anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties that relieve an upset stomach or indigestion, further stimulating the digestive process. Coriander consists of an essential oil called urandrol that detoxifies the liver and increases appetite, curing indigestion.
If you are suffering from indigestion, take overnight soaked coriander seeds water for about a week to see the difference.
3. Carom Seeds (Ajwain)
Carom seed or ajwain is known to cure various digestive disorders, including indigestion, acidity, flatulence, etc. the active enzymes in ajwain relieve indigestion, bloating and gas. Take ajwain with water for about a week, and you can see the difference.
You can also consume ajwain powder with water. It is generally done to relieve gastric issues.
Various ayurvedic medicine for gas is available at HealthyBazar.com, whose main ingredient is ajwain.
4. Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
Fennel seeds or saunf reduce inflammation in the bowel and decrease the bacteria that cause gassiness. Fennel consists of certain oil compounds, including fenchone and estragole, responsible for preventing or removing the gas from the intestinal tract. These volatile oils also help boost the production of gastric juices, initiating a smooth digestive process. As a mukhwas chew a spoonful of fennel seeds after food.
5. Ginger (Adrak)
Ginger is a popular ingredient in Indian households that have long been associated with curing indigestion. It contains antioxidants, including gingerols, a natural component of ginger root that relieves indigestion and nausea. If suffering from indigestion, drink a cup of ginger tea once a day.
6. Black Pepper (Kali mirch)
A seasoning and flavoring agent, black pepper is a common Indian spice. It contains a compound called piperine that improves the absorption of nutrients. Kali mirch stimulates hydrochloric acid in the stomach and improves the secretion of bile acids and, thus, the breakdown of foods. It also expels gas from the digestive system and is useful in curing flatulence, belching, etc. Use black pepper in food preparations and teas.
Here are a few Ayurvedic medicines for gas that can benefit patients with gastrointestinal disorders.
1. Triphala Churna is an ayurvedic medicine for gas. It is a herbal formulation that is beneficial for patients with gastrointestinal disorders. It reduces constipation, intestinal mucous, abdominal pain, hyperacidity, and flatulence while improving stool frequency, yield, and consistency. It is also helpful in losing weight, reducing belly fat, and cleansing the body.
How to take: Take 1-2 tsp at bedtime with lukewarm water or as prescribed by the physician.
2. Abhyaristha is used as a laxative and hence, deals with constipation. Its diuretic property is also known as water pills. It aids to improve the peristaltic movements of the gut and eases the excretion process. Abhayarishta eases defecation by improving digestion and softening the stool.
How to take: Take 15 to 30 ml with an equal quantity of water after meals twice a day.
3. Avipattikar Churna is an ayurvedic herbal medicine for gas, acidity, indigestion, and constipation. It works by reducing the acid formation in the stomach, thereby providing relief from heartburn.
How to take: Take 1-2 tsp full with lukewarm water or milk at bedtime.
4- Agnitundi Vati tablet is a classical Ayurvedic formulation with digestive stimulant action. It is used for indigestion and fever. It stimulates the flow of digestive juices, improves bowel movements, and relieves constipation. It also helps balance the body's Pitta, Vata, and Kapha dosha.
How to take: Take 2 tablets before breakfast with lukewarm water.
Along with medicine, the patients have to follow a strict regime per the Ayurvedic system of medicine guidelines. Therefore, it is strongly advised to avoid self-medication.
Patients are advised to visit the nearest authorized Ayurvedic Centre for treatment and advice or consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner online.
An unhealthy digestive system is a common condition with a significant impact on the quality of life of affected individuals. Ayurveda is a natural and herbal effective treatment for treating chronic diseases of the digestive system with no or least side effects.
The medications mentioned above are some of the best ayurvedic medicines for gas and indigestion. Medicines alone don't help. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the key to managing digestive tract issues. Consult an ayurvedic practitioner to know the causes of indigestion and how it can be cured with the lifestyle changes required.