Digestive Care Approach in Ayurveda
Digestion is the process of breaking down the food we eat into small molecules, which are then transformed into nutrients and absorbed by the body from the bloodstream for cell development and repair. Digestion is a critical process since the carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, and minerals obtained from food are essential for the proper functioning of a healthy organism. The digestive system’s components that aid digestion are the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, and large intestine. They aid in motions such as chewing, squeezing, and mixing by utilising digestive secretions such as stomach acid, bile, and enzymes, and these nutrients are stored in the liver, digested, and supplied to the rest of your body as needed.
The activities of digestive muscles to contract and relax in order to drive food through your intestines are controlled by hormones, neurological systems, and brain impulses. Digestion difficulties are caused by anatomical or functional impairments of the digestive organs, differences in their interaction nature, imbalance, or diseases. Bloating, stomach discomfort, constipation, heartburn, anorexia, dyspepsia, gastritis, acid reflux, nausea and vomiting, chest pain, hiccups, abdominal pain, constipation, and the appearance of numerous diseases are all symptoms that they determine.
Digestion In Ayurvedic Perspective
Ayurveda attributes the digestive process to the healthy functioning of the Agni (digestive fire ayurveda). Agni is supported by samana and apana Vayu, which are Vata subtypes located near Agni and aid in the digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body as well as the release of waste products. Pachaka pitha aids in the proper release of hormones and signals, and kledaka Kapha aids in nutrient absorption and cell moisturisation.
Bloating, constipation, and diarrhoea are caused by apana Vayu dysfunction, whereas indigestion, dyspepsia, gastritis, acid reflux, nausea, and vomiting are caused by Pachaka Pitha dysfunction. The imbalance of the Kapha results in aama Doh, which accumulates in the body as toxins and blocks numerous pathways that deliver nutrients to various cells and tissues. It varies from person to person depending on their Tridosha body constitution.
The goal of Ayurvedic treatment is to promote Agni, balance the Doshas, and restore the harmonious relationship between the organs and organ systems that help with digestion.
Causes of imbalance of Agni which lead to Indigestion
- Spicy foods, cold foods, fatty foods, milk and milk products, tobacco, and alcohol are all examples of inflammatory foods.
- Unusual eating and sleeping habits.
- Pain relievers, antibiotics, oral contraceptives, and steroids.
- Parasites in the intestine.
- Pancreas, liver, gallbladder, and intestinal infections, among other things.
- In women, throughout pregnancy, premenstrual period, and menopause.
- Emotional upheavals such as anxiety, stress, exams, family problems, and so on.
How to take care digestive system – Home Remedies for Indigestion
Fasting completely for one day helps to normalize imbalanced agni and digest ama.
- Consuming liquid foods, boiled vegetables or fruit juices for 2- 3 days also improves agni and relieves indigestion.
- Avoid the factors (mentioned above) which cause indigestion.
- Mix a ½ tea spoon of lemon juice, ½ tea spoon ginger juice and little salt in a cup of water and consume thrice daily.
- Drinking ½ glass of warm water once in 2 hours increases agni and digests ama.
- Cook ½ cup of rice with 4 cups of water with crushed ginger (1”) and salt. Powder long pepper (2 or 3)and fry it in a spoon of cow’s ghee and add it to gruel. Consume this when it hot. This is very light to digest and relieves colic pain.
- Abdominal Massage also helps to relieve indigestion. It loosens the tight muscles and increases the blood supply to digestive system.
- Consuming well balanced food balances doshas and agni and hence keeps the body healthy and free from diseases.
How to improve digestive fire Ayurveda – Ayurvedic treatment for indigestion
- Nidana parivarjana : Avoidance of aetiological variables such as incompatible diet, irregular eating patterns, excessive water consumption immediately after meals, and so on.
- Sarvanga svedana i.e. whole bpdy steam for a day is beneficial.
- Dipana (Increase in digestive fire) with the usage of Trikatu powder (Shunti, Pippali, Maricha in equal quantity) in a dose of 1-3 gm, before or after eating helps to increase digestive fire and hunger.
- Pachana (digestion) – Use of Chitrakadi vati and Lashunadi vati 2 pills each after food supports in proper digestion of ingested food material.
- Shodhana chikitsa (bio-cleansing therapies) followed by Shamana chikits (Palliative therapy) also advisable
- Virechana (therapeutic purgation) with Draksha/Munakka, 10 gm or Aragvadha phala majja 10 gm or Haritaki/Harad, 10 gm Or Kutaki 5 gm or 1 teaspoon full Eranda taila (Medicated castor oil) seperataly on different days or mixed together (Depending on the strength of koshtha) can be taken at bed time. It need be decided by physician according to the severity condition of the situation and strength of patient.
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