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Ayurvedic Tips And Remedies For Common Digestive Issues

According to Ayurveda, following a beneficial daily routine, in tune with the seasons can help keep your digestive system healthy. Vata, pitta, and kapha – the three doshas linked to the elemental forces of water, fire, space, air, and earth regulate your biological processes. Ayurveda recommends customizing your diet to your body constitution or prakruti.

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Digestive problems like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and heartburn are very common nowadays. Stress and improper eating habits lie at the root of most of these problems. Therefore, they can usually be tackled by lifestyle measure and simple home remedies.[1][5 lifestyle tips for a healthy tummy](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/five-lifestyle-tips-for-a-healthy-tummy/ “5 lifestyle tips for a healthy tummy”). NHS,UK.

How Should You Eat According To Ayurveda?

Eating on the move, or while watching television, or hurriedly wolfing down a meal in between meetings has become a common thing. However, this lifestyle can wreck your digestive system. According to Ayurveda, following a beneficial daily routine, in tune with the seasons can help keep your digestive system healthy. Let’s take a closer look at what it has to say about a healthy dietary regimen.

1. Eat According To Your Prakruti

According to Ayurveda, vata, pitta, and kapha – the three doshas linked to the elemental forces of water, fire, space, air, and earth regulate your biological processes. Based on the proportion of these doshas you will have a specific constitution or body type. Ayurveda recommends customizing your diet to your body constitution or prakruti.

  • Diet For Vata Constitution

People with vata constitution are considered to possess the qualities of dryness, quickness, lightness, coldness, and roughness. They require the qualities of smoothness, heaviness, and warmth to counter these. Therefore, they should have foods which are warm, fresh, sour, sweet, and salty. Warms drinks, raw nuts, sweet fruits, butter, milk, hot cereals, cream etc make great additions to their diet.

  • Diet For Pitta Constitution

People with a pitta constitution are considered to possess the qualities of heat, sharpness, lightness, and slight oiliness. To counter this, they need to take foods that are mild, cool, heavy, and dry. Foods with bitter, sweet, and astringent tastes are considered ideal for this constitution. Cool drinks and foods are considered beneficial, particularly in the summer. People with pitta prakruti tolerate raw foods better than the other two doshas and so can have a mostly vegetarian diet with raw foods and juices. It is best to avoid coffee, black teas, alcohol, chillies, pickles, bakery products, vegetable oils, instant foods, canned foods etc.

  • Diet For Kapha Constitution

People with a kapha constitution are considered to have cold, soft, heavy, and gelatinous qualities. To counter this they need warm, hard, light foods with pungent, astringent, and bitter tastes. They should go for low fat, low carb diets and avoid sugar. They should also ideally avoid snacking, cold water, and frozen foods.[2]Dhanya, S., N. V. Ramesh, and Abhayakumar Mishra. “Traditional methods of food habits and dietary preparations in Ayurveda—the Indian system of medicine.” Journal of Ethnic Foods 6, no. … Continue reading

2. Have Foods In The Right Order

The sequence in which you eat foods is considered to be important for effective digestion in Ayurveda. For instance, sweet foods should be had first because digestive enzymes work on glucose preferentially. And bitter salads should be had at the end so that the digestive fire (agni) is not reduced at the beginning of the meal.[3]Patel, Mrunalini R. “Applying the knowledge of Ayurveda to appraise the US nutritional paradigm.” PhD diss., A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree … Continue reading

3. Have Hot Meals

You’re able to savor the taste of what you’re eating better when your food is hot. It is also thought to stimulate the digestive fire or agni. In fact, it is considered important to begin your meal with hot food as this can stimulate the flow of gastric juices and saliva thereby improving digestion.[4]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

However, those with pitta prakruti should have warm food instead of hot food, as they are already governed by the fire element.

4. Avoid Incompatible Foods

According to Ayurveda, foods which are incompatible either in terms of the time or season of consumption or as a combination with other foods can imbalance your doshas. This can lead to problems like flatulence, acidity, and indigestion. For instance, bananas and milk are considered a bad combination. As are melon and milk. Meanwhile nuts are considered incompatible with the summer season as they can aggravate pitta dosha.[5]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).

5. Don’t Overeat

It is important to have the appropriate quantity of food to avoid digestive problems. Signs that you’ve had an inappropriate amount of food include abdominal distress, and lack of ease while sitting, standing, talking, walking, lying down, or exhaling, and inhaling. It is also considered important to eat only after your previous meal has been digested. Undigested ahara rasa of food can lead to an imbalance in your doshas.[6]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

6. Drink Sufficient Water

According to Ayurveda, warm water is light and helps in balancing all the doshas. It also aids digestion. However, cold water is considered to take more time for digestion. Drinking too much water too can weaken digestion. Ayurveda recommends filling 1/3rd of your stomach with water during a meal. It is also considered ideal to drink small sips of water during your meals as drinking water before a meal can weaken your digestive power while having water after a meal may encourage obesity.[7]Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).

7. Eat Mindfully

Food that is eaten with care and love is thought to enhance the life force or prana which is within us. Therefore, Ayurveda advocates eating with awareness.[8]Patel, Mrunalini R. “Applying the knowledge of Ayurveda to appraise the US nutritional paradigm.” PhD diss., A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree … Continue reading

According to Ayurveda:

  • Eating in a hurry can increase vata and affect your digestion, while eating too slowly means that the food gets cold, once again affecting your digestion. Therefore, it is best to eat at a moderate pace with your attention focused on the food.
  • It’s best not to talk or laugh while eating. This can take your concentration away from the food. You may also swallow too much air if you talk or laugh while eating and this can encourage abdominal gas.[9]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

8. Exercise and manage stress

According to Ayurveda, food taken by someone beset by shoka (grief), chinta (anxiety), bhaya (fear), krodha (anger), or one who has sedentary habits or keeps awake at night will not be digested properly. As we all know, stress and lack of exercise can contribute to digestive problems. So take steps to alleviate stress and make sure you exercise regularly to have a healthy digestive system.[10]Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal … Continue reading

How Ayurveda Cures Common Digestive Issues

While following healthy eating habits can help ward off digestive issues, most of us unfortunately have experienced problems with our digestive system at some point or the other. So how do we deal with common issues like indigestion or constipation? Let’s take a look at what Ayurveda says

1. Indigestion

Indigestion can make you feel bloated and full after eating. It can also cause farting or belching, and bring up bitter tasting fluids or food to your mouth.[11][Indigestion](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/indigestion/ “Indigestion”). NHS,UK. Some ayurvedic remedies to treat this condition are:

  • Dried ginger (Zingiber officinale Rose): 1 gm of dried ginger powder can be taken twice a day before meals with warm water
  • Long pepper (Piper Longam linn): 2 to 3 gm of long pepper powder can be taken twice a day after food with lukewarm water
  • Ajmoda (Apium graveolance Linn): 3 to 5 gms of ajmoda powder can be taken 2 to 3 times a day with butter milk or luke warm water.[12][Ajirna (Indigestion)](https://www.nhp.gov.in/ajirna-indigestion_mtl “Ajirna (Indigestion)”). National Health Portal.

2. Hyperacidity

Hyperacidity can cause symptoms like heartburn (a burning sensation at the center of your chest), sour taste in your mouth when stomach acids or food comes up, vomiting, nausea, gas, abdominal pain etc. Some ayurvedic remedies to treat this condition are:

  • Coriander seeds (Coriandrum sativum): An infusion of coriander seeds can be had along with sugar 2 times a day
  • Coconut water: Water from green coconuts (100 to 500 ml) can be had twice a day
  • Fennel seeds (Foeniculum vulgare): Chew ½ teaspoon of fennel seeds after meals.[13][AMLAPITTA](https://namayush.gov.in/sites/all/themes/webcms/images/org_str/HYPERACIDITY_article_FAQ_final.pdf “AMLAPITTA”).National Ayush Mission.

3. Constipation

Having a diet that is easily digestible, light and high in fiber is important for tackling constipation. Also make sure that you drink sufficient fluids (at least 2 to 3 liters per day) if you’re prone to this condition. In fact, Ayurveda recommends having a glass of warm water quite early in the morning to keep your digestive system healthy. Some

Ayurvedic remedies to treat constipation are:

  • Isabgol husk (Plantago Ovata Forsk): Have 2 to 5 gms with warm water or hot milk at bed time
  • Sonamukhi (Cassia aungustifolia vahl): Have 1 to 2 gm sonamukhi fruit pulp or churna with lukewarm water at bedtime
  • Haritaki (Termilalia Chebula Retz): Have the 3 gm og haritaki fruit (seedless) powder with lukewarm water at bedtime.[14][Constipation (Vibandha)](https://www.nhp.gov.in/constipation-vibandha_mtl “Constipation (Vibandha)”). National Health Portal.

4. Bloating

Passing gas is normal. But if your tummy feels uncomfortable and bloated then it can be a problem. Cutting down on fizzy drinks, and foods like onions, beans, broccoli, sprouts, cauliflowers, and cabbages can help since they’re known to cause bloating. Also, avoid talking while you’re eating as this may cause you to swallow air which can cause bloating.[15][Beat the bloat](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/remedies-for-bloating-and-wind/ “Beat the bloat”).NHS,UK.

Some remedies for tackling bloating or gas are:

  • Asafetida (Ferula assa-foetida): Add about 5 gms of asafetida to a glass of hot water along with a teaspoon of sugar to help improve the taste. This mixture can help ease flatulence
  • Carom seeds (Trachyspermum ammi): Roast a teaspoon of carom seeds and crush them slightly after they cool down. Mix this with a pinch of salt. This powder can provide relief from gas
  • Curry Leaves (Murraya koenigii): Juice around 20 to 25 fresh clean curry leaves. Add a cup of water and a teaspoon of lemon juice and a teaspoon of honey to it. This can relieve gas as well as nausea caused by indigestion. Remember to always have this preparation fresh.[16]Byadgi, Parameswarappa. (2017). Critical Analysis of Etiological Factors of Ajirna (Indigestion). International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 5. 10.15406/ijcam.2017.05.00141.

5. Diarrhea

Diarrhea can be caused by food allergies, infections, and disorders of the digestive tract. It is important to replace electrolytes and lost fluids and prevent dehydration if you have diarrhea. If this condition lasts for more than 3 days you might need to see a doctor.[17][Diarrhea](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/diarrhea “Diarrhea”).National Institutes of Health.

Some Ayurvedic remedies for diarrhea include:

  • Long pepper (Piper Longam linn): Add 2 to 3 gm of long pepper powder to a liter of buttermilk. Have 250 ml of this spiced butter milk every 6 hours
  • Fennel seed (Foeniculum vulgare Mill.): Have 3 to 5 gm of fennel seed powder with buttermilk 3 to 4 times a day
  • Jeera (Cuminum cyminum Linn.): Have 1 to 2 gm of fried jeera along with 250 ml of buttermilk 4 times a day.[18][Ayurvedic Home Remedies](http://www.ccras.nic.in/sites/default/files/II%20Ayurveda%20Day/Ayurvedic%20%20Home%20Remedies%20English.pdf “Ayurvedic Home Remedies”). Central Council for Research in … Continue reading

References

References
1 [5 lifestyle tips for a healthy tummy](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/five-lifestyle-tips-for-a-healthy-tummy/ “5 lifestyle tips for a healthy tummy”). NHS,UK.
2 Dhanya, S., N. V. Ramesh, and Abhayakumar Mishra. “Traditional methods of food habits and dietary preparations in Ayurveda—the Indian system of medicine.” Journal of Ethnic Foods 6, no. 1 (2019): 1-9.
3, 8 Patel, Mrunalini R. “Applying the knowledge of Ayurveda to appraise the US nutritional paradigm.” PhD diss., A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Clinical Ayurvedic Specialist, California College of Ayurveda, Nevada City, 2010.
4, 6, 9, 10 Sawai, Rajesh V., Sandeep Binorkar, Dipali U. Suke, and Sonam P. Karande. “Ahara vidhi: concepts of food intake in Ayurveda with comparison to present era.” International Research Journal of India 1 (2016): 1-6.
5, 7 Guha, Amala. “Ayurvedic concept of food and nutrition.” (2006).
11 [Indigestion](https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/indigestion/ “Indigestion”). NHS,UK.
12 [Ajirna (Indigestion)](https://www.nhp.gov.in/ajirna-indigestion_mtl “Ajirna (Indigestion)”). National Health Portal.
13 [AMLAPITTA](https://namayush.gov.in/sites/all/themes/webcms/images/org_str/HYPERACIDITY_article_FAQ_final.pdf “AMLAPITTA”).National Ayush Mission.
14 [Constipation (Vibandha)](https://www.nhp.gov.in/constipation-vibandha_mtl “Constipation (Vibandha)”). National Health Portal.
15 [Beat the bloat](https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/remedies-for-bloating-and-wind/ “Beat the bloat”).NHS,UK.
16 Byadgi, Parameswarappa. (2017). Critical Analysis of Etiological Factors of Ajirna (Indigestion). International Journal of Complementary & Alternative Medicine. 5. 10.15406/ijcam.2017.05.00141.
17 [Diarrhea](https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/diarrhea “Diarrhea”).National Institutes of Health.
18 [Ayurvedic Home Remedies](http://www.ccras.nic.in/sites/default/files/II%20Ayurveda%20Day/Ayurvedic%20%20Home%20Remedies%20English.pdf “Ayurvedic Home Remedies”). Central Council for Research in Ayurveda and Siddha.

Disclaimer: The information on this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. For more information pertaining to your personal needs please see a qualified health practitioner.

About the Author

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Dr. Aswathy E.S. (KAA Expert)

Dr. Aswathy has 10+ years of experience as an Ayurvedic consultant and medical officer in different nursing homes and hospitals. She has a deep knowledge of classical texts, Ayurvedic treatments, and Panchkarma. Dr. Aswathy is proficient in diagnosis through traditional Ayurvedic means and plans treatment that is specific to an individual’s constitution.

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