As per Ayurveda gluten intolerance can be correlated with the concept of formation Ama (undigested residue) formation due to deranged Agni (Digestive fire). Intake of incompatible food, untimely food, faulty diet habits deranges the Agni (Digestive fire). This Agni thus deranged becomes unable to digest even the light food and the food being undigested gets toxic leading to formation of Ama.
After a meal all the partakers fall ill something was probably wrong with the food; but if only one person becomes ill then that individual is probably allergic. Allergy is caused by the ‘antigen’ which is unfamiliar to the body. Ayurveda has a general term for all kinds of such antigenic material—ama. Just as ama created from improper digestion of food can disturb the alertness and agitate the emotions, disturbed emotions can undermine the digestion and create ama, which then incites the immune system to react against it. The continuous presence of ama in the system creates a condition of permanent immune alert called allergy.
Concept of Ama & Gluten Intolerance
According to Ayurveda, gluten intolerance symbolizes imbalance of Doshas and Agni. Gluten is particularly difficult to digest and requires strong Agni (digestive fire) to process it. If there is weak digestive fire, the gluten remains undigested or improperly digested leading to formation of ama. In due time an gluten-like ama accumulates in you so that whenever an gluten touches your tongue your immune mechanism gets alerted, assuming that it too will be improperly digested. This reaction is so striking that you are made aware of it by some bodily or mental symptom caused as a side effect of the internal conflict.
Don’t just replace your current diet of processed bread, pasta and cookies with a diet of processed gluten-free bread, pasta and cookies. It won’t do you any good in the long run. Ayurveda gives a new ray of hope for those who are suffering from gluten intolerance. Simple Ayurvedic advices, balanced diet, exercise, yoga help to enjoy better digestion and absorption whole life, thereby helps to overcome gluten intolerance.
Treatment of Gluten Intolerance in Ayurveda
1. Avoidance of food gluten containing food.
2. Eating timely and wholesome food in accordance with one’s Prakriti (Body type)
3. Usage of herbs and Ayurvedic treatments to correct Agni and clear Ama by stimulating enzyme secretions, improving digestion and absorption.
4. Slowly adapting to gluten containing food.
Okasatmya is the adjustment to a particular diet by practice. This is the practice of introducing foods, which are not suitable and may contain antigenic substances, in small amounts and / or at large intervals, so that these gradually become acceptable. This appears to be similar to the present concept of desensitization.
Ayurveda has time-tested treatments to counter the imbalance of body functioning where body has become his own enemy. More in-depth treatments like Ayurveda Panchakarma, specific diets and herbal medicines over a period of time are prescribed to overcome gluten intolerance. In Ayurveda, each and every patient is an individual entity and the treatment also differs from patient to patient. So patient suffering from gluten intolerance must take Ayurvedic treatment under the supervision of an Ayurvedic physician.