Ayurvedic treatment for Dyspepsia

‘Dyspepsia’ or indigestion or upset stomach is the term used to describe discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen. Although it is not a disease by itself, it is a group of symptoms which often include nausea, bloating, and burping. In Ayurveda, dyspepsia is also known as ‘Agnimandya’.

Causes

Dyspepsia is caused when the stomach acid comes into contact with the mucosa of the digestive system (the sensitive protective lining of the digestive system). The stomach acids break down the mucosa causing irritation and inflammation, which triggers the symptom of indigestion. In majority of cases, indigestion is linked to eating and or drinking, or due to infections or medications.

Ayurveda firmly believes that dyspepsia is not a disease by itself, but an outcome of wrong or indiscreet eating. Dyspepsia occurs when the tridoshas (vata, pitta and kapha) get vitiated or imbalanced. Excessive vata can lead to stomach pain, excess pitta can lead to burning sensation or acidity, and excess kapha can cause nausea or vomiting.

Ayurvedic experts believe that when ‘Jatharagni’ (fire/heat that helps food to digest) is decreased, indigestion occurs. This is particularly due to excess intake of spices, fried food, liquor, condiments, tamarind, citrus fruits, tamarind etc. In fact, wrong eating habits, and not eating at a specific time, eating too much and often, are all causes for dyspepsia.

Symptoms

One of the common symptoms associated with indigestion are pain and discomfort in the stomach or chest area. The pain generally occurs after food or drink, and in some cases, may appear after an hour of taking meals. Rarely, people also feel bloated during a meal, even if they have not eaten much.

Burning sensation in the chest region, belching of gas, nausea, loss of appetite, flatulence, foul taste in the mouth, and general discomfort often accompany dyspepsia. In rare cases, indigestion may be a symptom of stomach cancer.

However, along with these symptoms if you notice other symptoms too like loss of appetite or weight loss, vomiting, black stools, jaundice, chest pain during exertion, shortness of breath, sweating and chest pain radiating to arm or neck, you should see a doctor immediately.

Ayurvedic Treatment

  • Sarjikasatva, Lashuvanadi Vati and Samudradi Choorna, one gram each, may be taken with lukewarm water twice a day.
  • Narayan Churna and Agnimukh Churna (1gm each) may be taken thrice a day with lukewarm or hot water.
  • Shatapatriyadi Churna (2gms) and Ajrnadi Churna (750gm) can be taken with warm water twice a day.
  • Mix 20ml of Draksharishta with equal quantity of water and take after meals daily.
  • Have about 6gm sugar, 3gm raisins and Haritaki churna every night along with water, to clear the bowels. Also chewing aniseeds after meals is helpful.

Prevention

It is important to remember that dyspepsia is not to be corrected with medicines alone. If simple rules pertaining to diet are not followed and adhered to, occurrence of dyspepsia can be avoided altogether.

  • Take care not to have excess food. Eat only required quantity when hungry, and avoid the habit of eating every now and then.
  • Ensure that food is taken on time.
  • Never have food in hurry or when you are worried or when you are working.
  • Take only seasonal foods and fruits, and have regional food.
  • Do not lead a sedentary and inactive life. Ensure that you walk twice a day, brisk walks in the morning, and a simple stroll or slow walk in the evening.
  • Do not sleep immediately after lunch, instead, just relax with a book, or just take a catnap. Maintain a gap of at least 2 hours between dinner and bed time.
  • Avoid smoking, alcohol, fast foods, chats, and foods exposed to open air. When cooking, use only fresh vegetables.

Finally, remember that when your digestion is out of order, nothing else can be in order, as when food is digested properly all organs of the body are well-nutritioned. When having food, remember to take foods that suit your body system, and avoid what causes harm or discomfort. This is because, the diseases for which the root cause is wrong food intake, can be corrected easily by adopting intake of right and suitable foods.