Peptic Ulcer disease (PUD) affects about 4.5 million Americans every year. It is easier to heal an eternal wound on the body but diagnosing symptoms of internal sores in the stomach region and intestines in the form of ulcer can be tricky. But, according to the ancient science of wellness, Ayurveda, ulcers merely manifest an underlying imbalance of Vata and Pitta doshas in the body. During the winter months, Vata dosha is particularly found to be vitiated, which increases the likelihood of contracting Vata illnesses.
One reason Ayurveda is the most preferable course of alternative treatment today is that Ayurveda is the most holistic approach to treating an illness. Ayurveda does not just treat symptoms alone, leaving the patient fighting the side effects of medicines that have merely suppressed the symptoms. But it delves into the root cause of the illness and removes the illness from a more basic level.
They occur due to stress and anxiety driven by poor lifestyle choices and lack of routine. Having cold, dry foods regularly can also be an important factor here. These ulcers manifest when the mucous in membranes dries up. The dry membrane exposes the underlying tissue to the presence of acids in the digestive tracts. The acids can burn up the lining in the stomach causing ulceration.
Tips To Follow In These Types of Ulcers
Rebuilding the mucous membrane in the stomach lining is the most important function of the treatment for ulcers
- Moist or oily diet is suggested
- One should have Demulcent (anti-inflammatory) foods and herbs.
- Turmeric has long been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin a component of turmeric plays an anti-inflammatory role and is one of the most wholesome antioxidants.
- Black pepper too helps in reducing inflammation
- Ginger has a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory effect to reduce pain and inflammation.
- Guggulu is another prominent herb administered to reduce inflammation
- Basil, boswellia, ashwagandha and aloe vera are some of the other herbs in the list.
Ulcers can also be caused by excess of Pitta, which is again a result of hyperactivity, intense focus on achieving one’s goals at the cost of one’s health. Having a lot of hot and spicy food can also cause peptic ulcers due to pitta imbalances. These type of ulcers may manifest as excessive secretion of acids that destroy the mucous membranes lining the stomach.
Dietary recommendations for these type of ulcers:
- Have a cooling diet
- Avoid hot and spicy food
- Have moist, sweet and oily food
- Herbs like dandelion, licorice and red raspberries can be consumed.
- A preparation of green gram and lentil can be very soothing for the ulcers of pitta type.
Managing the mind for balancing the doshas
For balancing both Vata and Pitta doshas, it is important to manage the mind and do away with the stress completely. For which, practices like yoga, meditation and deep diaphragmatic breathing techniques can be really helpful. Yogasanas you can practice include
Ulcer symptoms include
1. Recurring stomach ache
2. Weight loss
3. Bloatedness and gas problems
5. Tiredness and fatigue
6. Black stools and bleeding
Some more Ayurvedic Tips to Deal Holistically with Ulcers
1. Alcohol must be avoided
It does not directly cause ulcer but definitely makes it worse and difficult to heal. The worsened symptoms may include sudden stinging pain in the stomach, vomiting blood, sudden onset of fatigue, heartburn and acid reflux among others.
2. Avoid drugs like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen.
3. Drink lots of water
The water dilutes the acidity in the stomach.
4. Have smaller more frequent meals
Eating at regular intervals is important. The food keeps the acids from corroding the walls of the intestines when the stomach is empty for longer periods of time.
5. Avoid Smoking
Smoking slows down healing of ulcers. It can also increase chances of ulcer relapse. The body is just more susceptible to infections.
6. Self abhyanga
Make gentle downward strokes on the stomach and abdomen right before passing bowel.
You can try self abhyanga with Shankara’s Calming Body Oil.
Self-Abhyanga is the practice of massaging yourself with the help of oil to balance doshas. An essential Ayurvedic practice, it can also help you move through harsh winters without stress and constipation, which tends to increase during winters.
The three main benefits of Self Abhyanga are-
· Nourishes your body and has anti-aging effects.
· Stimulates internal organs and better circulation that improves waste removal and detoxification of the digestive system.
· Better sleep quality.
7. Foods rich in flavonoids
Have foods rich in flavonoids like soybeans, legumes, red berries, and broccoli among others. You can also have probiotic foods like yogurt and buttermilk.
8. Regularize sleep
It is strongly recommended to sleep before 10pm during the Kapha period when body and mind naturally feels heavy and sleepy. After 10pm is the Pitta time, the time for activity for all body’s involuntary functions of cleansing, detoxing and renewal. All energy of the body is being used up for vital functions of liver etc. If we are awake in this time we are spending very important part of energy when the body should be resting.