Indigestion: Gut health with Ayurveda
Digestion is a process, in which the ingested food is broke down into a simple and absorbable form to provide nutrition and energy to the body. The word “INDIGESTION” is commonly used to describe the discomfort in abdomen mostly caused after consumption of food. Before we know about Indigestion it is very important to understand the process of Digestion. Digestion is one of the most important process in the human body and determine the overall health of an Individual. The Process of Digestion starts form the mouth and end up with excretion of waste products. The quality of food, type of food and quantity of food along with the individual Body type determines the quality of the digestive process.
According to Ayurvedic principles of Digestion and human health, it is believed that “You are what, what you eat, digest and absorb”. Ayurveda considers indigestion as the root cause of most of the chronic diseases. The gastrointestinal (GI) system is responsible for digestion, absorption, and detoxification. The process and quality of digestion, assimilation and absorption determines your immunity, Health status, efficient functioning of body organs, brain and even your mood! The process of digestion involves the conversion of food with discrete identity into completely assimilated part of our body. If the food we eat is not completely absorbed by the body, indigestion occurs. Indigestion is caused by the lack of Agni or digestive fires responsible for digestion. Low Agni ( Low digestive fire) can be caused by an imbalance in any of the three doshas (Bodily humors) – Vatta, Pitta or Kapha. In case of imbalance, the body sends out messages in the form of symptoms. If we can learn to interpret these messages properly we can ward off most of the chronic conditions.
The commonly experienced symptoms of indigestion that one should be aware of are:
- After eating, you burp out gas with the same odour and taste as the food last consumed.
- You don’t feel emptiness and hunger even after 4-5 hours of eating
- You feel heavy and your stomach is bloated.
- Every morning you notice a thick coating on your tongue
- There are strange growling sounds coming out of your stomach
- Bad breath or odour
- Experiencing frequent vomiting and nausea
- Bowel movements are inconsistent and you suffer from frequent constipation or diarrhoea
- You get acidity and burning sensation in the chest even after small meal.
- You pass stool with variable consistency containing undigested food items
- You are either unable to sleep well or get sleep full of disturbing dreams
- You constantly feel tired and short on energy
The preventive measures should be taken, if suffering from 2 or more mentioned symptoms for longer time. Prolonged indigestion leads to accumulation of undigested food as TOXINS or AMA in the body which can lead to various chronic conditions such as Chron’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Ulcerative Colitis and many more.
According to Ayurveda, the accumulation of Toxins or Ama first takes place in the seat of the aggravated dosha and spread accordingly. The end product of indigestion called “Toxins” accumulates in the body and leads to various chronic conditions. For example, if the indigestion is caused by the aggravation of Kapha dosha, the accumulation of toxins first takes place in the stomach and then moves into lungs and lymphatic system. In case of Pitta dosha, the seat of toxin accumulation is the small intestine and from intestine, the dosha moves to the liver and blood causing various pitta disorders. Vata dosha accumulates in the colon or large intestine and moves into bones and nerve tissues. Knowing the Body type and aggravated dosas, the preventive measures can be taken to rectify the indigestion and its consequences. The regulation of digestive fire is the basic principle behind the management of Indigestion. Hence the stimulation of digestive power and metabolism of undigested food product with removal of toxic end product is the main theory behind management of Indigestion. This is done with Ayurvedic management of Indigestion which includes:
- Dietary regulation,
- Herbal supplements and preparation which improves the digestion and help in metabolism of undigested end products called “Toxins” from the body.
- “Panchkarma DETOX” is an Ayurvedic herbal way to clean the GUT with removal of toxins from the body andhave been found very effective in management of various chronic health condition and rejuvenation of health.