Ayurvedic Treatment and Remedies for Indigestion

Indigestion is known as  agnimandya in ayurveda. Ayurveda recommends various medicines like hingvashtaka, vibhitaki, clove, cinnamon etc as remedies and treatment.

Indigestion is a common ailment of digestive system. This condition is known as agnimandya in ayurveda.  This can lead to constipation, bloating of stomach, flatulence and loss of appetite.

Ayurveda Says Indigestion is the Root Cause for Diseases

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According to Dr. Jhon Anne  indigestion is not a disease in itself, but it is a manifestation of some problem with the gastrointestinal tract. The agni is responsible for the proper digestion of food in the body. When there is an imbalance of the agni – which means digestive fire – then the digestion process is disrupted. This is when indigestion occurs. Agni can be vitiated due to several reasons. Eating the wrong foods, eating at wrong times, having negative thoughts in the mind, excessive stress and even physical problems with the gastrointestinal tract can cause indigestion. Indigestion must be cured quickly, or it will build up toxins in the body, which are called as ama. Hence ayurveda gives at most importance for diet. Following an ayurvedic diet helps to keep diseases at bay.

He further quotes that  ‘There are differences in the indigestion caused in people due to vata , pitta  and kapha doshas. In people with vata dosha, indigestion is felt as a painful cramping of the abdomen. In people with pitta dosha, there is a burning or searing kind of pain in the abdomen. Indigestion in people with kapha dosha is the most violent. In them, it is characterized by nausea and vomiting along with the abdominal pains.

Herbs and Home Remedies for Indigestion

Texts of ayurveda recommend various herbs and herbal remedies for indigestion.

Ayurvedic Herbs for Indigestion

Here are few common herbs which help in relieving indigestion and gas

Vibhitaki – Terminalia bellirica

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Belleric myrobalan is the extremely potent component of Triphala choorna, which is known as vibhitaki or bhibitaki or baheda. This is a wonderful carminative. It solves problems of diarrhoea and indigestion. It can also be taken in case of intestinal worms, which could be a reason for indigestion.

Cardamom (Elettaria cardamomum)

Cardamom is a cooling agent. It helps the stomach and the intestines to soothe down after a heavy meal and perform the digestion better. It helps in expelling the wind that is caused due to undigested food material.

Clove (Syzygium aromaticum)

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The astringent action of the clove on the stomach stimulates the production of the dietary enzymes. This facilitates faster digestion.

Fennel (Fenneliculum vulgare)

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Fennel or saunf is the most effective herb in the prevention of indigestion. Traditionally, some seeds of fennel sweetened with sugar are provided after every meal. This is known to help digestion and also take care of bad odors from the mouth and flatulence.

Garlic (Allium sativum)

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Garlic helps in the faster production of the digestive enzymes and also eliminates the waste matters from the digestive system. Due to its antiseptic properties, garlic can also help in the prevention of gastrointestinal diseases, which may cause indigestion. Garlic expels any intestinal worms if present.

Ginger (Zingiber officinale)

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Ginger is very effective in the treatment of all kinds of gastrointestinal ailments. It can treat colic, flatulence, diarrhea, dysentery, abdominal pains and dyspepsia.

What to do During Indigestion ?

Having a proper dietary regimen is the best way to keep indigestion at bay. Obey the following guidelines:-

Eat Light

Do not consume a heavy diet when having an indigestion problem. Stick to a vegetarian diet, and consume more fibers. Fasting for a day will help a lot. On this day of fasting, you may consume liquids like fresh fruit juices. Do not consume any liquids that contain synthetic ingredients.

Use Curd or Yogurt and Buttermilk

Indians believe in the properties of butter milk and curds or yogurt in aiding digestion. During indigestion, mix some curds in rice, sweeten it with sugar and eat it. This is the most ideal meal for indigestion.

Drink Warm Water

Dr.Shishir Bhate opines that drinking 6-7 glasses of warm water helps in indigestion. It not only clears the clogs in digestive system. But also helps to eliminate ama or body toxin.

Ayurvedic Treatments for Indigestion

Generally indigestion can be cured and controlled by the proper diet as described above and medications are not needed. But in some severe cases, Hingavashtaka choorna (a preparation made with asafetida , rock salt or sendha namaka as the main ingredient) can be given in powder form with ghee.

Home Remedies for Indigestion

1. Prepare an infusion of aniseed, ginger, cumin seeds and pepper in water by boiling it. These are all digestives. Consume this whenever there is an indigestion problem. There will be motions and relief will be immediate.

2. Prepare a paan or betel leaf (leaf enveloped over an edible substance) of betel leaf over seeds of Bishop’s weed. You can add a little rock salt or sendha namak to the paan for flavoring. Chew on this paan whenever you have indigestion problems.

3. Soak the teaspoonful quantity of the seeds of celery in a glassful of buttermilk. Keep this for five to six hours. Consuming this mixture helps in relieving the indigestion quickly.

4. After a heavy meal, put two to three pieces of clove in the mouth or a piece of garlic and let them remain there till all the juices are extracted. This will help the digestion take place faster. Alternatively, fennel seeds can also be put in the mouth.

Two very effective ayurvedic home remedies for indigestion.

Here are two very effective ayurvedic home remedies for indigestion. These can be prepared using ingredients available on kitchen shelf.

Clove tea:

Clove tea is a liquid remedy recommended in “Yogaratnakara”.

Ingredients:
  1. Clove  – 5  in number
  2. Haritaki  (harad ) powder – 1 tea spoon
  3. Water – 200 ml
  4. Sendha namak (rock Salt) – ¼  tea spoon

Method – Coarsely powder the cloves. Mix clove, Haritaki powder and water. Boil this till ¼ of water remains. Add sendha namak or Rock salt to this. Filter this to get a clear decoction of herbs. This tea helps in indigestion and also relieves constipation by loosening the stools.

Coriander and ginger tea:

Ingredients:

  1. Coriander seeds – coarsely powdered – 1 tea spoon
  2. Dry ginger powder – 1 tea spoon
  3. Water – 200 ml
  4. Lemon juice– ¼ tea spoon
  5. Sendha namak (rock salt) – ¼ tea spoon

Method: Mix all ingredients. Boil this till ¼ th of water remains. Add lemon juice and Rock salt after filtering the decoction.  This helps in indigestion which has occurred after the consumption of heavy foods. It also relieves stomach pain and increases appetite.

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