Indigestion – Causes and Home remedies

Indigestion is an abnormal condition where normal digestive functions are derailed. This condition is called as Ajeerna in Ayurveda is characterized by lack of proper digestion along with various other symptoms. Other complaints like abdominal distension, sour belching, excess flatulence, irregular bowel movements etc can be included under Ajeerna. According to Ayurveda, improper diet habits, consuming excess food which is not compatible with the body type, improper combination of food etc. accounts for Ajeerna.

HOME REMEDIES OF INDIGESTION

1. Chew small piece of ginger with salt before food is beneficial.
2. Take an equal amount of black pepper, dried mint leaves, ginger powder, coriander seeds, cumin (jeera) and asafoetida (hing). Grind them together to make fine powder. Take one teaspoonful of this powder twice a day after meals.
3. Drinking buttermilk (chaas) after breakfast or lunch improves digestion. Adding roasted cumin seed powder and a little of salt into buttermilk enhances its effectiveness.
4. Half a glass of carrot juice mixed with equal quantity of water is easy to digest.
5. Mix a tablespoon of lemon juice in a cup of hot water and drink it before a meal to prevent acid indigestion.
6. Drink one cup of ginger tea after meals to promote a good digestion and is good for heartburn, nausea, etc.
7. Take 1 tsp each of mint juice, lemon juice, and honey.
8. Mix 2 pinches of rock salt and 1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain). Chew it and wash it down with water for upset stomach or indigestion.

CAUSES OF INDIGESTION

Causes of imbalance of Agni which lead to indigestion

1.Excess intake of spicy foods, chilly, oily foods, medicines, milk and milk products, tobacco and alcohol.
2. Irregular food habits and sleeping patterns.
3. Medications like pain killers, antibiotics, oral contraceptives and steroids.
4. Intestinal parasites.
5. Diseases of pancreas, liver, gall bladder, intestinal infections etc.
6. During pregnancy, premenstrual period, menopausal period in women.
7. Emotional upset like anxiety, stress, examination etc.

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Panchakarma Ayurvedic Detoxification Treatments

What Is Panchakarma?

Do you feel stressed? Do you feel like your body is off in some way? Panchakarma, an ancient ayurvedic detox, can help. Created in India during ancient times, Panchkarma combines relaxation, diet, lifestyle, and special herbal remedies to help the body relax and detox, clearing out toxic chemicals that have accumulated in the body over the years. The word Panchakarma, meaning five actions, comes from classical ayurvedic texts. These five actions of Panchakarma refer to the detox process used to remove impurities from the body.

The Pre-Panchakarma Routine

Panchakarma is all about relaxation. In order for the detox to be effective, your body needs to be relaxed to help focus energy on detoxing instead of the body’s stress response. To get primed for detox, you will be given a special diet to follow a week before you start the actual Panchakarma process. You will be instructed to follow an internal oleation regiment which consists of ingesting ghee or flaxseed oil on an empty stomach.

The Benefits of Detoxification Treatment

There are several health benefits associated with an Ayurvedic detox. Ayurvedic experts believe it helps increase metabolism, eliminates toxins, helps balance doshas (Ayurvedic Energy), reduces heavy metals in the body, increases relaxation and increases resistance to stress, boosts immunity, and improves strength and endurance.

What Are the Benefits of a Panchakarma Diet?

A common diet during a Panchakarma detox consists of mung dai, veggies, rice, and special herbal teas. These types of foods are easy on the digestive system which maximizes the detox process. You also must avoid sugar, caffeine, cold drinks, dairy, and meat during and after the Panchakarma diet. Practitioners encourage clients to commit to this new diet long term for life long benefits. Most healers encourage clients to be flexible with their new ayurvedic diet post-detox and only follow it 70 percent of the time.

What Does a Typical Panchakarma Routine Look Like?

1. Preparation – Slowing Down

To prepare, experts recommend you rest, eat a clean Panchakarma diet, and drink a special remedy called Triphala, an antioxidant with a mild laxative effect. This routine is done to prepare the body for what’s to come.

2. Internal Oleation

In order to detox correctly, you need to kickstart the process. At this point, Ayurvedic professionals will prescribe two tablespoons of ghee or flaxseed oil to be taken on an empty stomach to help detox the digestive tract.

3. External Oleation

During this step, practitioners will apply special Ayurvedic oil on the skin from head to toe. There are several oils used and the ones used largely depend on your practitioner’s preferences. Since it’s relaxing, most practices use oil massages for this step. After this your oil massage, you will need to take a warm, relaxing shower.

4. Purgation

This step commonly involves an enema called Basti. This special concoction will loosen your intestinal tract. It’s recommended you only do this step with a trained Ayurvedic practitioner who can supervise your progress.

5. Rejuvenation

The previous steps can be grueling for many. This is why recovery is very important. Your body needs a reset. Amrit Kalash is commonly used to kickstart this process. Thought to be the ambrosial gift of the Gods, the Amrit Kalash formula contains 13 herbs that support the body and the mind. Research shows it to be up to 1,000 times more effective than vitamins C and E alone.

The 9 Best Traditional Panchakarma Detox Routines

Panchkarma is a broad practice. Many of its practitioners have their own philosophy and style. Although there may be more variations of these practices, the most common Ayurvedic detox routines that you’re likely to encounter are mentioned below.

-Abhyanga

This therapy consists of a specialized oil massage. The abhyanga treatment contains herbs put together for the patient and are prepared together with soothing oils. Silence and tranquility are critical for this detox.

-Udvarthana

This detox uses a special paste made of ground grains and herbal powders to cleanse the skin, increases circulation, and promote weight loss.

-Pizhichill

This detox consists of a combination of oil and heat. Warm oil is gently massaged into the skin to help soothe joint and muscle pain.

-Svedana

This is another oil treatment similar to Pizhichill. Where it differs is this technique is followed by a steam bath with special medicinal herbs. This treatment will dilate the blood vessels and increase blood circulation.

-Basti

This treatment involves a special enema that helps eliminate impurities from the intestinal tract. This method is the most common method used by Ayurvedic practitioners during a detox.

-Shirodhara

This treatment involves a warm stream of oil poured over the forehead. This treatment is done in absolute silence.

-Nasya

This treatment consists of aromatherapy technique which helps clear the sinuses, relaxes the mind and fights off tinnitus.

-Netra Tarpana

This treatment consists of oil gently pressed against the face. This has a relaxing effect on the eyes and surrounding tissue.

-Pinda Sveda

This treatment is used to help relieve pain. Small linen bags filled with herbs are applied to the parts of the body affected by pain.

Post-Panchakarma Clarity

Since significant changes occur during an Ayurvedic detox, many people develop an increased sense of self-awareness. For many, this can cause a burst of unresolved emotions to surface. Although initially, this can be unpleasant, once these emotions are released it can bring a newfound clarity and sense of relaxation. Performing yoga or meditation can aid you during such an emotional rollercoaster and help ease you into your post-Panchakarma clarity.

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Ayurvedic foods of India

Ayurvedic foods of India  : Some common dishes and foods of India and their nutritional merits include:

Lentils and dals: Dal is a dish that can include lentils and other legumes as well, such as peas and beans. Lentils provide a good source of protein, are very low-fat and supply loads of fiber.
Dairy products: Yogurt, milk and cream are used in various dishes. When you prepare Indian dishes, substitute low-fat milk for cream when making your curry sauces. Yogurt provides immune system benefits and, together with other dairy products, is a good source of protein and calcium.
Nuts: Used instead of meat, nuts provide good protein and a healthier form of fat. Recent studies have found a link between moderate nut consumption and a reduced risk of heart disease. Nuts also contain folic acid, vitamins B2, B6, and the mineral iron, zinc, potassium and copper.
Rice and wheat: Indian cuisine uses aromatic rice, such as Basmati white rice. Use them as a base along with vegetables, nuts, fruits and fragrant spices to create mouth watering, low-fat dishes.
Fresh ginger and other herbs and spices: The medicinal benefits of fresh ginger, garlic, onion and turmeric are an added bonus.
An abundance of fruit: Tropical fruits, like mango, pomegranate and melons, as well as apples, apricots and strawberries are used. Include plenty to gain the most from their anti-cancer-causing benefits.
Plenty of vegetables: Vegetables used in abundance in India include cauliflower, eggplant, spinach, peas, potatoes, tomatoes, sweet peppers and mustard greens. These vegetables are packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene and phytochemicals (naturally occurring compounds, abundant in fruits and vegetables that our bodies may use as part of their disease-fighting arsenal).

Ayurvedic foods of India gives special importance to Ahara (diet) as healthy and wholesome diet nourishes the mind, body and soul. According to Ayurveda, although the digestive capacity of each person may be different, the quality and appropriate quantity of food are necessary for a healthy life.

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Vajrasana – Diamond Pose – Admintine Pose

Vajrasana : It is kneeling pose. Breathing exercises like Kapalbhati, Anulom Vilom and other Pranayamas are done sitting in this pose so that the body becomes strong like a diamond. Vajra means diamond or thunderbolt and asana means pose. Yoga is suggested to on an empty stomach, but this asana is one of the few exceptions. You can do it after meals also.

Steps of doing Vajrasana –

•  First you have to kneel down and stretch your legs backwards.

•  The toes should cross each other.

•  Slowly lower your body.

•  Your hips should rest on your heels and your thighs on the calf muscles.

•  Look forward and place your palms on the knees.

•  Your head should be absolutely straight.

•  Do the breathing exercises you want to perform.

•  This pose can be taken for 5-10 minutes.

•  Once you’re done, slowly come back to standing position.

Cautions for Vajrasana –

•  Avoid if you have any knee problem or arthritis.

•  Pregnant women should keep the legs a little bit apart.

Health Benefits of Vajrasana –

•  It improves digestion and eliminates constipation if practiced regularly.

•  Prevents ulcers and acidity as the digestion is improved.

•  Patients with lower back pain should do this as it strengthens the back.

•  It strengthens the pelvic muscles too.

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How can you live a long and healthy life with Diabetes

As per Ayurveda it is a metabolic disorder, characterized by excess and turbid urination. Main causative factors are excess intake of dairy products, cold, oily, sweet, sour, salty, fatty, poorly digestible food items, consuming grains and pulses which are new, meat of aquatic animals etc. some behavioral causes like stress, day sleep, lack of physical activity. Understanding the common signs and symptoms of diabetes as well as what normal blood sugar levels should be will help you make the necessary adjustments in your everyday routine.

Recommended –

• Old shali and shastika (rice varities), barley, wheat; pulses such as bengal gram, horse gram, green gram and peas.

• Kapittha (elephant apple), tinduk, jambu, water chestnut, bitter guard, lotus, Indian gooseberry and pomegranate fruit.

• Bitter vegetables cooked in the oil of danti (wild castor), sarshapa (mustard oil), ingudi (desert date) and atasi (flax).

• Milk processed with juice of bitter and pungent drugs like nimbi (margosa tree), patola (pointed guard), zinger, asafoitida, clove etc.

• Drinking water prepared from asanadigana, darbha, haridra, amalaki or madhu water (makshikodaka).

• Fresh juice of giloya or amala with honey.

• The diabetic patient get benefit from massage, physical exercise, night vigil and all activities which decrease kapha and adiposity.

Not recommended –

• Food items prepared from new grains, sugarcane products, curd, ghee, jaggery, rice flour items, syrups.

• Meats of domestic, marshy and aquatic animals.

• Any fast food, spicy and junk food, incompatible diet, intake of food without digesting the previous meal.

• Day time sleep, sexual intercourse, stopping the urge of urination and sedentary life style.

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Are you skipping your food occasionally?

Ayurveda gives special importance to Ahara (diet), as healthy and wholesome diet nourishes the mind, body and soul. According to Ayurveda, although the digestive capacity of each person may be different, the quality and appropriate quantity of food are necessary for a healthy life.

Proper quantities of food induces proper digestion, promotes maximum absorption of essential nutrients, gives strength and nourishes the tissues of our body. Commonly an obese person regularly skips or eats less quantity of food to reduce their weight. By strengthening digestion, removing ama (toxic material), improving dietary habits, correction of lifestyle, lowering stress and regular exercise, one can break the vicious cycle of obesity. As per Ayurvedic Acharyas, when the quantity of food consumed is not enough, the individual’s strength, vigor, complexion and development suffers. Their immunity decreases & the body, mind, sense organs are weakened. Also vitiation of vata dosha takes place which may cause various types of diseases in our body like flatulence, hard stool, numbness, body ache, dryness of skin and depletion of tissue etc.

Some Tips-

• According to body constitution, one should eat 2 or 3 times meal in a day but too much of sweet, sour, cold and fatty diet should be avoided.

• An obese person should include coarse cereals like barley, green gram in their diet as well as food and drinks which neutralize vata as well as reduces Kapha and extra Fat.

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Khajur

Health benefits of Khajur (An Ayurvedic view)

Khajur  : Dates are fruits of date palm. These are known as Kharjura in Sanskrit. Its Latin name is Phoenix sylvestris Roxb, belongs to family Arecaceae. It has been widely used in Ayurveda as a medicine and in diet also.

Pharmacological properties

Rasa(Taste)- Madhura(Sweet)

Guna(Qualities)-Guru(Heavy for digestion), Snigdha(Slimy in nature)

Vipaka-Madhura(Undergoes sweet taste after digestion)

Veerya(Potency)-Sheeta(Cold)

Actions-

Vata-pitta shamaka(reduces vitiated vata and pitta dosha)

Blaya (provide strength), Hrdya (beneficial for heart), Mamsavardhaka (increase muscle tissue), Vrushya (aphrodiasic), Shramahara (removes fatigue), Pushtikara (Nourishes body) etc.

Indications in Ayurveda

Abhighata, Raktapitta, Madatya, Daha, Murcha, Kshayahara, Gulma, Hikka, Swasa, Kasa, Jwara etc.

Therapeutic benefits of Khajur are as follows-

Anemia -Fruits are rich source of Iron. So anaemic patients can consume dates regularly. Pregnant women are also encouraged to eat these daily because Anaemia is relatively normal finding in pregnancy.

Bone and Dental problems– Calcium content in dry dates is very high. Calcium is necessary to keeping our bone and teeth healthy. So including dates in daily diet will be able to prevent from bone problems (Osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, gout etc.) and dental problems (tooth decay).

 Hiccough– Khajur pulp is taken with honey.

 I.B.S. – Juice of Draksha, Ikshu and Khajur should be used.

Improves overall health –It contains a wide range of vitamins including vitamin A, C, E, K, B2, B5, B6 etc. These vitamins are vital for our health and wellness.

Constipation– Dates are rich in fibers so heal constipation effectively by increasing the bulk of fecal matter.

H.T.N.- Khajur contain low fat and no cholesterol.  Low sodium and high potassium content of it are beneficial for keeping the blood pressure under control.

Urinary disorders-It acts as diuretic and having cold potency. So very helpful in conditions like U.T.I, burning urination and cystitis.

Skin problems– Dates are natural source of vitamin B. It is beneficial for skin cells as it can repair damage caused by free radicals. To eliminate dry and dead skin cells it having vitamin A also.

Hair Problems– Vitamin B5 present in dates is helpful in maintaining the health of hair as well as scalp. You can prevent the number of hair problems like hair fall, brittle hair.

Anti ageing– Dates are loaded with vital nutrients and also having anti-oxidant property so it can repair damage caused by free radicals. Regular consumption of these fruits can nourish our skin improves its texture.

Adverse effect

No adverse effect is known or reported but patients suffering from diabetes should limit the use, as it can increase blood sugar level.

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Ela (Cardamom) – queen of Indian Spices

Cardamom is one of the best and safest mouth freshener and digestive stimulant. It has pungent, sweet taste, light and dry in nature. Has cold potency and pungent taste conversion after digestion.

Cardamom is said to be the queen of Indian Spices because of it unique aroma and taste. The greater or the black cardamom is used in curry powder and masala mixtures in Indian kitchen while the green or the small cardamom is an important ingredient in Ayurvedic and Unani medicine. The Ayurveda formulations like Chandraprabha vati, Sitopaladi chooran etc contains small cardamom.

The small cardamom is cooling in nature and the greater one is heating, while both alleviates vata and kapha

The small cardamom is known of its therapeutic value in indigestion, constipation, pain in abdomen, diahorrea, liver disorders, teeth and gum infections, throat infections, tympanities, congestion of lungs, tuberculosis [pulmonary], inflammation of eyelids, skin disorders, itching, headache, fever and in cold ; especially because it is a carminative, digestive, stimulant , expectorant, cardio tonic and hepato protective. While greater cardamom is an important ingredient in Garam masala recipes and have traditional value, because of the peculiar aroma and taste, and is also an appetizer and tonic to liver and heart.

Action– Balance all the three dosha, stimulant, expectorant, carminative, diuretic, anti- oxidant 

Uses

External– Externally its seed oil is useful in the treatment of toothache.

Internal

  1. It is a mouth freshener, deodorant, digestive, appetizer, and laxative. It is useful in oral disorders, abdominal pain, acid regurgitation, belching and emesis.
  2. Useful in general weakness.
  3. It act as expectorant, so used in cough, asthma and other respiratory problems.
  4. Useful in burning sensation, difficulty in urine.
  5. Cardamom provides a delicious taste in various food items.

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Boost your immunity with Ayurveda

According to Ayurveda, strong immunity is a product of good digestion, strong Agni (the metabolic fire), balanced dosha (biological humor), quality liver functioning and a balanced endocrine system (which includes appropriately balanced hormones).

According to Ayurveda we should follow some diet and regimens along with intake of herbs can support the immune system. In Ayurveda, strong immunity or strong resistance to disease is called ojas (protection). Ojas is defined as supreme and ultimate essence of all the seven dhatus which refers to the vital energy of immune system.

Follow these tips to improve your immune system-
• Eat food at proper time.
• Eat the proper quantity of food, do not overeat.
• Avoid processed foods, fermented foods, fried and canned foods or foods which contain preservatives.
• Eat light food in the dinner.
• Eat immune-boosting foods such as dry fruits, apples, pomegranates, green leafy vegetables, asparagus and whole grains.
• Introduce immune-boosting spices into cooking, such as turmeric, ginger, black pepper, cumin, coriander etc.
• Choose foods that are in accordance with individual Ayurvedic body constitution.
• Follow Ayurvedic food combining rules. Such as milk with citrus fruits should be avoided.
• Limit alcohol intake.
• Never drink ice water. Sip plain hot water or water boiled with ginger or fresh ginger tea throughout the day to boost the digestion.
• Sleep adequately, sleep early and wake up early in the morning.
• Also take Ayurvedic supplements that will increase the power of digestive fire and support the immune function such as Chawanprash, Brahma rasayana, Ojas avleha etc.
• Do exercise daily(morning walk), practice yoga, meditation and pranayama (deep breathing)
• Avoid stress, anxiety, fear, angry etc. which decreases Ojas.
• Avoid constipation; you can take any herbal medicine if you have.
• Practice self-massage daily with Ayurvedic herbal oils eg. Ksheerabala oil, Dasamoola bala oil.
Note: Immunity (Ojas) is restored through proper digestion and a life style that reduces or reverses the depletion of body tissues.

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EAT BITTER, TASTE SWEET! BENEFITS OF BITTER TASTE

As per Ayurveda rasas (tastes) are six- sweet, sour, salty, bitter and astringent. Their actions are based on Dravyas (matter) and their potency increases in the preceding order. Potency means ability to increase body strength. Each of the six tastes identified in Ayurveda has its own qualities or attributes called as guna.

BITTER TASTE

Bitter taste is made up of the elements air and space. It is the coldest and lightest of all the tastes. It is not tasty but cures loss of appetite, intestinal worms, thirst, toxicity, skin ailments, fainting, fever, over secretion of mucous and burning sensation. It pacifies pitta and kapha and causes drying up of mucous, adiposity, subcutaneous fat, bone marrow, feaces and urine. It is light, cold, dry, promotes intellect, purifies the breast milk and clears the throat. In excess, it causes wasting of tissue and vata rogas (diseases caused by vata).

A bitter taste provides an excellent balance for heavy moistening qualities of salty, sour, and sweet tastes. Dark leafy green vegetables are an excellent example of a bitter food. They can lighten and enliven a meal, as well as providing generous amounts of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. Many herbs have a bitter effect on the body.

A bitter taste’s effect on consciousness, in small quantities, is one of assisting a person to see and think clearly. Interestingly, bitter herbs have been used in many cultures during vision quests, or spiritual journeys. Bitter can stimulate a sense of slight dissatisfaction, which helps us to push on and see things as they really are. It is a taste which can be difficult at first to enjoy, yet one, which balances the other tastes well.

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