Improve Your Digestion Naturally
According to the most ancient and revered textbook of Ayurveda, the Charak Samhita, “the distinction between health and disease arises as the result of the difference between wholesome and unwholesome diet.” Similarly, Hippocrates [the father of modern medicine] has said, “leave your drugs in the pot at the pharmacy if you can’t cure your patient with food.”
“Let food be thy medicine
and medicine be thy food.”
Food As Medicine
We have all heard the saying, “you are what you eat”. Though true, it would be more accurate to say, “you are what you eat, digest, absorb, and assimilate”. With that in mind, let us now introduce the most fundamental principle according to the science of Ayurveda. This principle is “Agni” – The Digestive Fire. In Ayurveda, this digestive fire illustrates the body’s ability to digest food; almost equivalent to digestive enzymes. In fact, when managing most health concerns, correcting digestion is often the very first line of management. Digestion is said to be the work of the fire element in the body and it is this fire element which produces the glow of good health and vitality.
Ayurvedic Supplements For Digestion
Good health depends on strong and efficient digestion.
Common Causes Of Indigestion
- Consumption of incompatible foods, such as bananas with milk
- Excessive consumption of heavy, oily, dense and hot, spicy foods
- Over consumption of caffeine, alcohol and smoking
- Eating in haste
- Emotional eating
- Side effects of certain antibiotics and/or medications
- Sometimes a symptom of certain cancers, peptic ulcers and GERD
“The best of all medicines is resting and fasting.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Giving the body a rest from digestion is sometimes recommended. Observing a hot water fast for a day can bring relief and can reset the body’s digestive fire. Add a pinch of black pepper and ginger for a more effective digestive aid.
Supports improved digestion and balanced appetite; helps with gas, bloating, and discomfort
Dr. Andrew Weil Briefly Talks About The Anti-Inflammatory Properties Of Ginger & Turmeric
Natural Remedies For Acute Indigestion
- In 1 cup of warm water squeeze a few drops of fresh lime juice and a ½ tsp of baking soda, consume quickly
- Consume a concoction of ½ tsp of honey and ½ tsp of black pepper to ¼ cup of onion juice.
- Boil 1 tablespoon of cumin seeds in 2 cups of water until the water is reduced to 1 cup.
- Strain out the seeds and drink ¼ cup daily after each meal.
- Take ½ tsp of chopped garlic with a pinch of salt and a pinch of baking soda.
- Every morning consume 1 cup of hot water with 1 tsp of honey and 1 tsp of fresh lemon juice.
- An effective herbal formula for indigestion is made with Kutki, Trikatu and Chitrak. Taking a pinch of each of these herbal powders with ½ tsp honey before meals will help strengthen digestion.
- Ginger is an extremely effective digestive herb. Drinking ginger tea or even consuming ginger pickle before a meal is a beneficial way to help kindle digestion. Before a meal take ½ tsp of chopped ginger with a pinch of salt and a few drops of lime juice.
- Another effective digestive herb is Trikatu. This herb is equal parts of ginger, black pepper and pippali. Taking ½ tsp of this herb with a pinch of garlic powder and a pinch of rock salt before meals aids digestion.
Prevention is Key
The best way to avoid any disorder is prevention. Enjoying a balancing diet and lifestyle can help maintain optimum health. Some key points to remember in addition to the above causes include:
- Avoid ice drinks and cold foods. This will weaken the digestive fire and can lead to heartburn.
- Eat the largest meal between the hours of 11am and 1pm when digestive fire is strong.
- Eat a light meal for dinner to avoid overtaxing the stomach.
- Avoid overeating and emotional eating. This can make it hard for the stomach to properly digest the overloaded food.
- Get moving! Taking a walk after meals can aid in digestion and increase digestive fire. Certain yoga poses and pranayama (breathing exercises) are also particularly beneficial.
- Following a daily routine of meditation, oil massages and self-care will bring overall balance and contentment.
This information is strictly for educational purposes and NOT considered to be medical advice. Always first discuss the risk/benefits/alternatives with your primary care physician before considering any new health regimen.