Indigestion is not a disease in itself but a symptom of many other ailments.
Indigestion is known as Agnimandya in Ayurveda.
Causes of Indigestion
There are physical as well as psychic factors responsible for causing indigestion.
Physical Factors: It is caused due to some disturbances in the tummy or intestines. It can also be caused if the patient suffers from some other ailments affecting other parts of the body.
However, a person may suffer from indigestion even if he/she does not suffer from any ailment. It can be overeating, or having meals at wrong times like odd hours.
Psychic Factors: Indigestion of food can happen due to the following psychic factors: Worry; Anger; and Anxiety. Mentionably, if person suffers from these mentally negative afflictions, his/her digestive system will fail to properly digest the consumed items even if he/she takes them at the right and regular times.
Ayurvedic Diagnosis For Indigestion
According to Ayurvedic principles, indigestion is caused due to the aggravation of the three Doshas, namely Kapha, Pitta and Vata. The Ayurvedic tomes elaborately deal with the various conditions that result from a vitiation of these Doshas.
For example, when Pitta is vitiated, the patient experiences pain; burning sensation results from a vitiation of the Vata Dosha; and vomiting as well as nausea occur due to the vitiation of the Kapha Dosha.
The common symptoms of Agnimandya (indigestion) are as follows: Burning sensation in the chest; acid eructation; nausea; diarrhoea; vomiting; tummy pain; and a sense of heaviness in the abdomen.
- Ayurvedic classics have set down the following rules for food consumption:
- Sleep before lunch during the daytime promotes digestion.
- On the other hand, sleep after lunch during the daytime aggravates the situation.
- Always have meals in a pleasant environment;
- Have it comfortably and leisurely;
- Don’t think about any problems while having the meals;
- Concentrate on the food;
- Avoid talking or laughing while having meals;
- Choose to consume only those food items which are unctuous (too oily).
- Don’t have freshly cooked or cooked food;
- Sit down for a new set of meal only when the earlier meal has been digested.
- Avoid items which are mutually contradictory.
- The patient should remain awake in the night. Sound sleep is mandatory for quick recovery from the condition.
- Mental and physical rest is necessary for the patient especially if he/she suffers from the acute form of indigestion.
- However, in the chronic indigestion case, the patient should have regular physical exercise –m though not of the heavy type.
Ayurveda has specific treatments for patients suffering from indigestion. These medications are Mahashankha vati, and Hingvashtaka churna.
Home Remedies for Indigestion
There are many easy home remedies for indigestion. One most commonly recommended prescription is as follows: The patient should consume a raw ginger piece and rock salt five minutes prior to taking any major meal. The quantity of the raw ginger and the rock salt should each be of one gram in weight. They need to be chewed. These two natural ingredients boost appetite. At the same time, they also cure the chronic form of indigestion.
Mahashankha vati is prescribed for patients from the acute and chronic form of indigestion accompanied by pain.
The dose: Two tablets four times daily. The patient should then follow it up with a cup of warm milk.
Hingvashtaka churna is prepared from the following ingredients, viz., Hing, Krishna Jiraka, Jiraka, Ajmoda, Maricha, Pippali, and Shunthi. It is useful for both the chronic and acute types of indigestion.
Hingvashtaka churna is available across the counter in the form of powder.
The patient should have the medicine with the first morsel of food of the major meal.
One can have the medicine even after having the food.
The dose: One teaspoonful of the churna should be mixed with a teaspoonful of ghee twice daily. If one can have the medicine mixed with butter-milk, the patient can expect better results in the same span of time.