Indigestion is a state of the incomplete process of digestion of ingested food. The main reason of for indigestion is the deranged functions of Agni (digestive fire). Incomplete digestion and metabolism due to disturbed digestive fire lead to the formation of underprocessed state of food termed as indigestion. Individuals who eat food in the excessive quantities recklessly are more likely to become prone for the development of indigestion. Indigestion may lead to the development of many other diseases.
The concept of Indigestion according to Ayurveda
According to Ayurveda, most of the diseases arise due to hypo-functioning of Agni (bio-digestive fire) and it is the root cause of the development of many diseases. The term “Agni” in common language means fire. In the human body, the term Agni comprehends various factors which participate in and directs the course of digestion and metabolism. Hence, it is known as bio-digestive fire. Jatharagni is chief among all types of Agni’s. Therefore, by all means, one has to protect Jathargani.
Due to wrong eating habits, sedentary lifestyle, stress, panic, anger, lack of sleep etc., Agni becomes greatly vitiated and fails to complete the process of digestion in sequence leading to the formation of undigested food substances causing sourness which becomes toxic in nature and initiate pathological process inside the gastrointestinal tract and causes many diseases.
When the digestive fire is low, food is not digested properly because of aggravation of kapha and vata dosha. As a result, water content increases and dilutes the digestive juices and they cannot act properly on the food which causes indigestion.
Signs of proper digestion
No acid eructation
The feeling of strength and energy to work again
Feeling of lightness in the body despite eating.
Feeling hungry again at the right time of the meal.
White coating on the tongue
Top 10 Superfoods for Indigestion are:
Ayurveda recommends a very simple solution for people suffering from indigestion. Take 2-3 slices of freshly grated ginger, sprinkle some rock salt on it and chew it just before the beginning of the meal. This remedy will result in the elimination of any kind of digestive problems like the formation of gas, belching etc. and also helps in the production of saliva, gastric and bile juices.
Sweet and fresh buttermilk with a pinch of cumin seed powder should be taken after meals.
Fennel Seeds: The oil present in fennel seeds helps to control flatulence and nausea which are the main symptoms of indigestion. Dry and roast some fennel seeds and grind them to make powder. Add 1 tablespoon of fennel powder to a cup of water. Consume it regularly and get rid away the problem of indigestion.
Lemon: Lemon helps in purifying the blood and enhances the digestive system by stimulating the secretion of bile juices. Add lemon juice to a glass of water and drink it early in the morning.
Aloe juice: Aloe Vera has soothing and calming properties. Indigestion followed by a burning sensation can be cured by aloe juice. It helps in soothing the stomach and also reduces the burning sensation. Take ½ cup of aloe juice and get relief from burning sensation instantly.
Coriander: The essential oils present in coriander have fungicidal, carminative, bactericidal, anti-septic and muscle relaxant properties. It helps in treating upset stomach and indigestion problems. Add roasted seeds of coriander to buttermilk and consume it twice a day to get rid of burning sensation due to indigestion.
Black Pepper: Lack of Hydrochloric acid (HCl) in the stomach might lead to indigestion. Black pepper can effectively treat this condition as it helps in the increase of the flow of gastric juices and thus treats indigestion. A pinch of black pepper can also be added to buttermilk to relieve pain caused due to gas and indigestion.
Cardamom: Cardamom is available at home and it can treat indigestion too. It helps in soothing the stomach as the volatile oil present in cardamom can cure several digestive disorders including indigestion. Consume cardamom seeds directly or you may add roasted cardamom powder to the vegetables while cooking or drink cardamom green tea once or twice a day to speed up the digestion process.
Mix lime juice and curry leaves in equal quantities and add some honey. Take this mixture two or three times a day to relieve indigestion.
Mix a tablespoon of coarse powder of aniseed in a cup of boiling water and leave it overnight. Strain the liquid and drink it with honey 2 times a day.
Food should be eaten according to constitution.
Eat freshly prepared food as much as possible. Avoid junk, processed and canned foods and drinks.
Avoid incompatible food combinations such as very hot and very cold foods, milk and fruits etc.
Minimise distractions while eating.
Eat when you are hungry.
Try to get up early in the morning and drink 2-3 glasses of water first in the morning. It is preferable to store water in the copper vessel on the previous night as water stored in the copper vessel helps to remove toxins from the body.
Avoid keeping awake late nights and try to get up early in the morning.
Include Yoga and Meditation in your daily schedule. Exercise is also recommended as exercise promotes circulation and helps to maintain the blood flow to every part of the body.
Proper rest and sound sleep are also advisable.
Suppression of natural urges is not recommended as suppression of urges aggravates toxins in the body.
Starchy, protein and fatty foods must be avoided.
Products prepared from white flour and white sugar should be avoided.
Fasting is very effective in the treatment of indigestion as it helps to digest the “Ama” and the digestive system gets the required rest. After fasting, when the patient is hungry, he should take light foods such as boiled vegetables such as: mung dal soup, amla, bitter gourd etc. and herbs like black pepper, chitrak, fenugreek, cumin etc.
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