Acidity is commonly used by individuals to suggest gastritis condition. Acidity implies hyperacidity meaning increased hydrochloric acid secretion in the stomach leading to irritation of stomach inner lining known as gastric lining. Acid reflux is a common digestive condition. An individual is diagnosed with GERD when the symptoms of acidity occur at least twice a week or interfere with day to day activities or when there is a damage to oesophagus. Acidity occurs when the stomach’s contents are returning back to oesophagus. There is a valve at the end of food pipe i.e. oesophagus where it meets the stomach. This valve is called Lower Esophageal Spinchter (LES). When food reaches it, it opens to allow the food to pass into the stomach and later closes to avoid the return of food and acidic contents of the stomach from coming back to the food pipe.
Modern medicine includes treatment which suppress the gastric juices for some period of time which gives temporary relief to the patients but in Ayurveda, acidity can be easily cured by simple and natural home remedies without causing any side effects and give long lasting relief to the patients. Half of the complaints of acidity can be sorted out by dietary modifications only.
According to Ayurveda, the main cause of acidity is the aggravation of Pitta dosha in the body. Pitta means fire.
What are the causes of Acidity?
- Intake of foods that do not suit together like taking fish with milk or taking milk with salt.
- Consumption of excess sour and spicy foods.
- Excessive consumption of tea/coffee/alcohol.
- Suppression of urges
- Staying awake late nights
- Excessive stress
- Excessive exposure to sun
- Sedentary lifestyle
What are the symptoms of Acidity?
- Sour belching
- Actual vomiting
- Feeling of restlessness
- Stiffness in the stomach
Top 7 Most Effective Natural Antacids
- Buttermilk – Take half glass buttermilk and add a pinch of asafoetida, half teaspoon of fenugreek seeds and a pinch of turmeric powder is a most effective natural antacid for acidity.
- Cumin seeds powder – Take 1 litre water and add half teaspoon of cumin seeds powder to it and boil the water for 2 minutes and filter. Drink this water instead of normal water throughout the day. This is a natural remedy for acidity.
- Fennel Seeds – Regular chewing of half teaspoon of fennel seeds after food is good for digestion and acidity.
- Triphala Powder – Triphala powder is a very common remedy which is widely used in Ayurvedic practice. 1 tablespoon of Triphala powder added with 1 glass of water, boiled and reduced to half a glass and then filtered. This is a water decoction and taken with 1 tablespoon of honey or cow’s ghee helps in relieving acidity.
- Ash gourd – Boiled ash gourd with jaggery helps in relieving bloating and burning sensation associated with acidity.
- Coconut Water – Drink 100-500 ml of coconut water twice a day acts as a natural antacid and relieves acidity.
- Cold Milk – Make a powdered mixture of equal parts of fennel, unrefined sugar and green cardamom. When there is acidity, mix 1 teaspoon of the mixture in a glass of cold milk and drink it.
Acidity can also be cured by dietary restrictions. Things tobe avoided in acidity are –
- Avoid skipping meals – At regular intervals, gastric juice is produced inside the stomach. If you skip meal, the juice which is secreted is left unused, leading to worsening of acidity. So, it is important to have meals at right time. Skipping meals is not recommended.
- Avoid stress and anger – Stress and anger imbalance Pitta dosha which worsen acidity.
- Avoid heavy meals – Since there is an impaired digestion, heavy will cause nausea and vomiting so heavy meals are not recommended.
Diet – Avoid heavy and chilly food stuff, black gram, milk and milk products, curd, tea, coffee and alcohol. Take cool water, bitter vegetables like– ash gourd, asparagus are good for stomach. Include coriander, cumin seeds in your diet as they are coolant in nature and cumin seeds improve digestion power. Include ginger, ajwain and fruits like – Indian gooseberry, pomegranate, grapes in the diet.
These natural remedies as well as dietary restrictions for gastritis or acidity aid in early gastritis.