Have you suffered from Indigestion before?
This is a little write up for the Ayurveda lovers who like some more insight on the Ayurvedic perspective of Indigestion.
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The Sanskrit word Ajeerna is the description for indigestion in Ayurveda.
According to Ayurveda this disease is the root cause of many diseases and causes many types of pains such as amlapitta (heartburn, acidity, GERD, grahani (IBS), alasaka and visuchika (gastroenteritis).
Definition according to Mahadavan Nidana:
This is a disorder in which food is not properly digested due to low digestive power or other reason.
M.N. Ch. 6
Lakshana (symptoms) of Ajeerna/ Indigestion
The patient has difficulties in:
• digesting food
• bloating, belching, nausea, vomiting
• upper abdominal fullness, distension
• suffers loss of appetite.
• fainting, giddiness,
• stiffness in back and waist
• body ache, fever
• disturbed digestive power which is known as agnimandya.
There are different types of Ajeerna depending on the Dosha involved
Hetu/ causative factors
Some causative factors of Ajeerna/ indigestion according to Ayurveda:
• excessive drinking of water
• intake of food in inadequate quantity and improper time.
• intake of incompatible foods
• Vegavarodha – suppression of natural urges
• Staying awake at night
• food is not properly digested by an individual who is emotionally upset due to jealousy, fear, anger or greed.
• Eating too fast
• Eating excessively dry and stale food
• Too much alcohol
• Eating spicy, fatty and heavy meals
Samprapti/ Disease etio pathogenesis.
What happens on a doshic level if the causative factors are not avoided.
Due to the above mentioned causative factors/ hetu the agni becomes very weak and is not able to digest the food properly. The undigested food remains in the stomach. The pachaka pitta starts to act and mixes with the food bolus. At this stage the food bolus becomes predominantly amla/ sour. Due to the dosha vitiation the food bolus cannot be digested and remains in the amashaya as apakva (undigested food remains in the stomach). Even light food cannot be digested and the amla ahara is harmful like poison to the body.
Pachaka pitta is the essence behind the digestive fire jatharagni and is responsible for the food transformation. The Kledaka kapha function is to work as a protective mucosa layer lining and gives moisture to the chyme. The samana vayu is responsible for the movement. In this disorder, pachaka pitta, samana vayu and kledaka kapha are vitiated.
Due to the indigestion the amount of mala increases and the entire system gets affected, dhatus are not formed properly and the channels are obstructed. Vagbhata says that a healthy srotas are pillars of the life and any abnormal state results in disease.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Indigestion
1. Nidana Parivarjana – avoid the causative factors
2. Sarvanga Svedana (body sudation) this is indicated in Vidhagdhajirna (due to Vata)
3. Fasting– Langhana treatment
4. Deepana / Pachana – Digestion promoting and Ama reducing herbs.
Takra – medicated buttermilk. Use 1 parts yoghurt to 4-6 parts of water with a pinch of roasted cumin seeds and pinch of trikatu. Drink after meals to aid digestion
5. In all Ajeerna, lepa/ a paste made of hing, trikatu and saindhava/ rock salt is applied on the abdomen
6. Freshly grated ginger, sprinkle some rock salt on it and chew it just before starting your meal.
8. Light food, moong dhal, rice gruel, cows ghee, fresh ginger, cumin seeds
9. Moderate quantity of food, 3 hours gap (1 yama) between each meal
10. Warm water or CCF tea (cumin, coriander and fennel seeds)
11. Yoga therapy
We wish you a good Agni 🙂
With love your Lakshmi Ayurveda team.
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