Acidity is related to heartburn and gas formation in stomach. In acidity, acid reflux or Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), or more commonly known as ‘Urdhvag Amalpitta’ in Ayurveda, there is a movement of gastric juices ( acid in nature) from the stomach into the lower part of esophagus.
Ayurveda considerds it to be caused by the aggarvation of Pitta dosha. When Kapha is associated with this aggarvated Pitta, the Acid starts climbing the oesophagus. This is exactly the hyperacidity for most of us and is translated widely as- Heartburn, Acid Reflux, Acid Brash etc.
Causes of Hyperacidity
Excess production of acids in stomach is termed as the hyperacidity. There are varieties of reasons which cause excess acid production. The most important among these are:
- Excessive use of the oily and spicy foods
- Anxiety, depression and anger
- Irregular eating habits.
- Consumption of Maida products in large quantity.
- To use leafy vegetables in excess.
- Sleeping just after taking meal.
- Drinking of excessive water
- To not to sleep in night, long working hours.
- Excessive intake of the caffeine and nicotine products.
- Carbonated drinks
- Foods which are rich in fats, such as chocolates cause acidity or acid reflux diseases.
- Excessive intake of alcohol, smoking, keeping stomach empty for long time, skipping breakfast causes acidity.
- Other causes of acidity or heartburn are Pregnancy, Aging, Obesity, and bad eating habit, like eating junk foods.
Common Symptoms of Hyperacidity
Pain in upper abdomen immediately following a large or spicy meal
- Nausea, vomiting, and loss of desire to eat which may persist for 1-2 days
- Heartburn or sour belching
- A sense of abdominal distension or ‘bloating’
- Flatulence (burping, belching)
- Blood vomitting or blood in stool may occer in severe cases
- If gastritis persists there may be eventual development of anemia
Diet recommendation for hyperacidity:
What to eat and how much to eat is an important factor in controlling acidity. The following tips should be followed:
- The diet should consist of milk with sugar, and a little old rice.
- Other recommended substances are: barley, wheat, rice (at least one year old), cucumber, bitter gourd, green banana, pumpkin, pomegranate, and cow’s milk.
- Eat dinner two to three hours before sleeping time as it keeps you healthy.
- Fibers are necessary in the diet as they help in the digestion.
- Take the balanced diet, don’t shift to the totally bland spice-less foods.
- Eat small meals more often as it helps in digestion.
Avoid following things in diet –
Foods that are rich in oils and fats. These foods are difficult to digest, so they may make the stomach release more acids.
- Eating fried, fatty, junk foods, and Excessive Chocolates.
- Eating Red meat. eat only occasionally, if at all.
- Too much intake of Tea and Coffee may cause hyperacidity. This is also true for other addictions such as Smoking and Alcohol Consuming sour foods as they already have acidic contents. Acidic foods to avoid are Pickles, Curds, Tamarinds, Vinegar, etc. Drinking water after taking the meal.
- Eating the next meal, until the prior meal hasn’t digested properly.
- Consuming Maida / Backery Products.
- Taking the frozen foods and chilled drinks.
Ayurvedic Management of Hyperacidity :
Lifestyle Changes in Hyperacidity
Many factors are responsible for good and balanced digestion. Here are some tips to improve your digestion
- Food must be fresh and prefer food grown locally, or at least seasonally.
- Food should be prepared with a caring and loving attitude.
- Food must be eaten with attention and awareness. Our sense of taste ignites the digestive fire before food ever reaches the stomach.
- Being distracted with books, driving, computers, and phones during a meal negates any hope of a balanced digestive process.
- Eating is best done during Pitta period, between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M.; this is when the enzymes are the strongest and digestion will be the most effective. Eating at other times will eventually compromise the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrition and give energy over a long period.
- Don’t work till late in night. Lesser sleep may worsen your condition. It is better to rest at home than to hospitalize?
- Avoid sleeping just after taking the meal, whether it is a lunch or a dinner.
- Walk for at least 15 minutes both in morning and evening.
- Don’t allow anger to excite your neurons and also be ware of anxiety also don’t mess up unnecessarily with your feelings.
AYURVEDIC REMEDIES FOR HYPERACIDITY
1. For an instant relief from the high acid take tender Coconut (Cocus nucifera) water. A dose of 100 to 500 ml should be taken twice/day. This is the best quick releiveing home remedy for the Heartburn alias Acid reflux.
2. Take the powder of Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) in a dose of 3 to 6 g should be taken with100 to 250 ml water twice/day. Amalaki is one of the best pacifier for the Pitta as well as the Kapha Dosha and also a rich source of Vitamin C- to heal the bruised stomach and esophagous due to the high production of the Acid in stomach.
3. To get relief from the high reflux of the acid mix gruel of rice corn, raw sugar, and honey in equal quantity. A dose of 100 to 200 g should be taken twice/day. This will full the stomach and the mucoidal layer and will protect the Stomach and Esophagus for longer times and will keep the heartburn and acid reflux, away.
4 .Take powdere of Haritaki and Bhringraja (Eclipta alba) in equal quantity. A dose of 3 to 6 g should be taken with 12 g of jaggery and warm water twice/day- this will help you to get rid of the basic causes behind the Acid Reflux and Heartburn. Bhringraj is a herb of choice to get rid if the liver problems and all kind of digestive upsets.
5. Instead of Tea or Coffee prepare a decoction from the equal parts of stem of Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), fruit of Neem, leaf of snakeguard, and Triphala. A dose of 14 to 28 ml should be taken twice/day. Take it only after cooling down to the room temperature. If you dont find the taste of above one, try this second option – prepare a decoction of equal parts of dried ginger, fruit of coriander, and leaf of snakeguard. A dose of 14 to 28 ml should be taken twice/day, keep in mind if you are mixing sugar- dont boil the sugar.
6. Drink coriander (Coriandrum sativum) and cumin (Cuminum cyminum) tea, it is nice when your Acid reflux or heartburn is caused by the indigestion or overloading of the stomach in a late night party.
7. Mixing two teaspoonfuls of ghee in a glassful of milk and taking this once a day acts as a liner inside the gut and will heal all the destruction caused by the high flow of Pitta.
There are various remedies and ayurvedic treatments for acidity control; it is good to go for such treatments as they are safe and effective. Avoid chemical/medicinal acidity treatments as it creates a bundle of other health problems.
8. Take two tablespoon honey with two tablespoon natural cidar vinegar before meal
9. Mint juice or mint capsules containing peppermint oil are also a good herbal remedy for treating acidity. It is recommended to be taken after meal, it reduces gas formation. This is one of the useful Ayurvedic remedies for acidity.
10.Fruits that will help you in getting relief from acidity are cucumber, watermelon, papaya, and banana.
Treatment for Hyperacidity
Using ayurvedic medicines that can suppress acid formation is very effective in treating acidity. Herbs useful in Hyperacidity are –
1. Amla – One of the Ayurvedic herbs recommended for the treatment of acid reflux is amla, which is used for a variety of digestive problems. Amla can be taken with warm milk or eaten with vegetables to help settle the stomach.
2. Coriander -The culinary herb and spice coriander is also an effective treatment for acidity. Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend taking 1 tbsp. coriander juice with 4 oz. butter milk to reduce acidity in the stomach.
3.Mint -The mint family consists of peppermint, spearmint and basil, or tulsi; their natural oils can relieve heartburn and concomitant symptoms. Tulsi or Holy basil reduces acid production and lessen the tendency for reflux and heartburn. Chewing on a few fresh leaves of tulsi relieves the burning pain of reflux. These herbs can be used both fresh and dried.
4. Licorice -Ayurvedic medicine uses licorice root. Making an herbal tea provides relief from burning pain and other symptoms of acid reflux.
Various Ayurvedic medicines effective in treating acidity are –
Kamadudha Ras (with pearls) is a drug of choice for hyperacidity in the dose of 1 tablet thrice daily.
Avipattikar churna can be taken with water before your daily meal. It is good for your bowel movement and is effective in heartburn treatment or acidity.
Narikel lavann is also a good remedy to cure hyperacidity.
Sukumara Ghrita is a specific treatment and is administered in doses of one to two teaspoonfuls mixed with a cup of milk and given first thing in the morning.It may lead to some impairment of the digestive powers of the patient in the beginning, but will recovers the power of digestion after some days.
Dhaatri lauha (calyx of iron mixed with the juice of amla) may be taken in one teaspoonful dose twice a day. In acidity, iron absorption is impaired and this will be corrected with this medicine.
In severe cases, Ayurvedic physicians may prescribe Swarna parpatee, Suvarna Soota sekhara ras etc. If needed, these medicines may be taken under medical supervision.
Exercise for Hyperacidity
Exercise helps in controlling acidity Morning walk are good for your health and keeps the acidity disease under control. Take a walk of about two kilometres early in the morning.