Indigestion can singularly ruin your day at work or steal from you a good night’s sleep, apart from draining your energy. While an occasional heavy meal or food poisoning can be culprits behind indigestion, there are other factors, according to Ayurveda, that can cause a persistent problem of indigestion. We share remedies that use ingredients from your kitchen cabinet for quick relief from indigestion.
An unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet lacking in sufficient nutrients or badly timed meals, repressed emotions and stress can cause one or more doshas to become aggravated. This soon disturbs agni or the digestive fire, that can lead to poor digestion of food. In fact, the key to a healthy agni is the intake of easily digested, fresh, lightly cooked, compatible foods eaten consciously at appropriate times.
The consequence of poor digestion in the long run
The spiral of toxins or Āma: Disturbed agni leads to improper digestion and this food that fails to get assimilated in the body turns into sticky toxin that gets stored in the body. Ama accumulation weakens your body and is generally bad for one’s overall health and immunity. If you feel weak and tired for no good reason, it could be an indicator of Ama accumulation in your body. Āma due to its sticky nature blocks the channels of body fluids, causes an imbalance of doshas, contaminates body tissues, and can be a cause for future illnesses.
You can check with an Ayurveda expert who can examine the presence of toxins in your body with the help of pulse diagnosis.
Suggested home remedies for indigestion:
A) Mix the following into a concoction and drink it half an hour before dinner
Finely chopped Ginger- 3 gm
Lime juice- 1 tablespoon
Black salt- 1 gm
Your digestion is likely to improve in a week’s time if you have this regularly every night.
B) Add carom seeds and black salt to warm water. Have it after meals, once or twice a day.
C) Intermittent fasting- When you wake up with a feeling of bloatedness, thanks to a large dinner you had previous night and if the heaviness refuses to go away, you can skip breakfast (ONLY If your body type is suited for it. Check with an Ayurveda expert to know if your body constitution is fit for fasting). Make sure you stay hydrated through the day. For dinner, have something light and soupy. This will give your digestive system the much needed rest.
D) Spread some rock salt over a half cut lemon and lick it before you have your meal. It works up your appetite. The presence of potassium in lemon makes up for its acidic nature. So you can have it without worrying about acidity issues.
E) Have 5 Jamun berries after meals when indigestion is caused by acid reflux.
Acid reflux, essentially a lifestyle imbalance disorder, is called Amlapitta in Ayurveda. The most common understanding about acid reflux is, it is caused by excessive formation of acids in the stomach. But interestingly according to Ayurveda, acid reflux is a result of weak Agni or digestive fire (in other words, insufficient production of stomach acids). Weak digestive fire causes indigestion leading to food stagnation and regurgitation that surface as acid reflux.
F) Use of Pitta pacifying body oils
In Ayurveda, Pitta dosha regulates metabolism and heat in the body, therefore digestion. Pitta governs the digestive fire. But when Pitta is vitiated, it weakens this digestive fire. So, to deal with acid reflux (a result of hyper acidity), you need a pitta pacifying diet and lifestyle. Toxic, oily or difficult to digest food aggravate pitta and consequently acid reflux.
G) Pitta pacifying body oils to release stress.
Stress is the number one enemy of indigestion, while it also causes a doshic imbalance. Once you have your Dosha imbalances diagnosed by a certified Ayurvedic practitioner, and you find your Pitta is aggravated, you should use Pitta pacifying body oils like Shankara’s Soothing Body Oil. These hydrating body oils feature a soothing blend of essential oils that are known for their relaxing and de-stressing capabilities. The oil can be used in massage, as a bath oil, or as a moisturizer to help address over critical thinking, irritability, and anger.