Indigestion is a feeling of discomfort in your stomach. Improper consumption of food usually causes indigestion. Ayurveda strongly believes that your overall health depends on the type of food you eat; food is the fuel to the human body. In this blog we will cover in detail about what Ayurveda has to say about indigestion and 5 Ayurvedic herbs to cure indigestion.
What does Ayurveda say about Indigestion?
Ayurvedic scripts mention the importance of Agni for proper digestion of food. Agni is situated in the upper digestive region of our body called Jatara and helps digest the food we eat. As food is cooked on a flame, the same is the function of Agni in our body. It breaks down the food for proper digestion and nutrient absorption.
Factors influencing the Digestive process
There are many factors that influence the digestion process like one’s body constituency or the Dosha. To understand the entire process better, let us take an example of lentils cooked in a vessel.
Here, the vessel is the stomach. Vata Dosha acts like an air blower, one of the necessary conditions for food to be cooked. Pitta Dosha provides the fire element like the stove and Kapha keeps our lentils moist, like the water in the vessel. For our lentils to be cooked, all the elements need to be in the right proportion. An imbalance can hamper the process.
Like the above process, an imbalance of the bodily doshas causes indigestion. Samagni is the balance of the tridoshas. Vishamaagni refers to the condition when the Vata Dosha is dominant(Varying Agni); When the Pitta Dosha is dominant, it is called Teekshnagni (Increased Agni); And when the Kapha Dosha is dominant it is called Mandagni (Decreased Agni).
Causes of Agni Imbalance
- Lack of knowledge about body constituency/Eating against the nature of your body or dominant dosha
- Consuming spicy food, medicines, tobacco, and alcohol
- Psychological conditions like Anxiety & Depression
- Inadequate fiber intake
- Irregular sleep patterns
- Sedentary Lifestyle
Ayurvedic Herbs to cure Indigestion
With the above-mentioned causes commonly found in the fast modern lifestyle, most of us are at an increased risk of indigestion. Ayurveda helps in combating every day lifestyle problems. Some of the Ayurvedic herbs to cure Indigestion are:
1. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is one of the most trusted and prominently used traditional home remedies for indigestion. This Ayurvedic plant helps break down the sugars and fats in our food with the help of many natural enzymes present in it. It also balances the intestinal flora and helps in easing irritable bowel syndrome. Not only this, but it also acts as a natural laxative with the presence of aloin compounds and helps expel parasites from the digestive tract.
The best way to consume Aloe Vera is to take 2 tablespoons of aloe vera juice diluted in water on an empty stomach. Alternatively, one can take 2 tablespoons of unprocessed aloe vera gel.
Ginger is rich in gingerols and anti-inflammatory properties, which helps in treating a variety of gut problems. Often mistaken to be a root, Ginger is an ayurvedic stem that has an overwhelming count of benefits. Ginger not only protects and heals the gut but also hastens the movement of food through the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps in treating acidity and improving gastric motility.
Adding Ginger to your diet is as simple as adding some fresh ginger or ginger powder to your next brew of tea.
3. Fennel Seeds
Being anti-spasmodic in nature, Fennel Seeds is a good ayurvedic home remedy for indigestion. It helps relieve the gut from gastrointestinal problems like nausea, bloating, cramps, etc. Fennel Seeds also have anethole compounds that give it a soothing effect on the stomach muscles and help release gassiness.
Add crushed fennel seeds to your morning tea to observe the greatest benefit or consume it by itself or toast and combine with licorice.
Considered the world’s oldest herbal remedy, Licorice is native to western Asia and southern Europe. It helps in relieving the symptoms of indigestion like acid reflux, upset stomach, and heartburn. Not only this but it is also said to alleviate symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Consuming Licorice root can be as easy as chewing licorice candy. It comes in many forms including powder, capsules, teas, and therefore you can use it in a variety of recipes.
5. Indian Gooseberry
Packed with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds, Indian Gooseberry is extremely helpful in treating gut-related issues like indigestion and its side effects like acidity. It is rich in Vitamin C which helps boosts the metabolism of the body and strengthens the digestive tract. Additionally, it also helps in releasing gastric juices and hastens the digestion process.
The best way to consume Indian Gooseberry is to consume it in the form of juice on an empty stomach. Alternatively, one can chew fresh Indian Gooseberry or enjoy the sweet and sour taste in the form of a candy.