Ayurvedic solutions are available in your kitchen to keep digestion problems at bay

Problems related to digestion can lead to other problems. Indigestion is one among those issues. Problems in digestion can lead to gastric troubles and discomforts due to build-up of gases, acidity, and also acidic stomach juices, food or fluids back up from the stomach into the oesophagus causing sour taste and discomfort. Such problems should be treated as early as you can, so that you can block complications in future.

To find solutions to indigestion problems and to achieve a healthy digestive system, you can seek the help of Ayurveda which offers you several alternatives. You can prepare many such medicines at home itself, and can also make use of kitchen ingredients.  Ayurveda also suggests certain simple changes to our daily diet and inclusion of certain simple items, which can give you relief from digestion problems and also provides good appetite.

Hogweed leaves (thazhuthama/punarnava) is often used an easy remedy for indigestion problems

Proper digestion process is very important

Digestion is grouped under “Jadaraagni” in Ayurveda, which can be widely classified into four – Mandaagni, Theeshnaagni, Vishamaagni and Samaagni. Our ability to digest is kept in balance by Samaagni. Proportion of food we take, time we eat and items we intake can deeply influence Jadaraagni or digestive enzymes. When these criteria negatively affect Jadaraagni, it also changes Samaagni to other forms causing troubles in digestion process.

Solution of Mandaagni or slow pace in digestion is to induce Agni (fire) and thus simplify the complexity of the process of digestion. Adopt a simple food style which can help you in this process. When the real nature of Jadaraagni changes or the balance system is broken, it leads to Aamavastha or indigestion. This ‘Aamam’ can lead to different diseases and discomforts.

Let us solve digestion problems

If you are suffering from digestion problems and related issues like stomach pain and formation of acid gases in stomach, take light food only. Easy digestible food eases the strain of stomach. Congee is considered as the lightest food in Ayurveda. You can also boil puffed rice (Malar/Pori) and use it as congee/kanji. When you take puffed rice kanji three or four times a day, it induces ‘Agni’ or digestive process, induces hunger and digestion process turns easier. Take enough time and return to normal food only slowly.

When you have only mild digestive issues, let us make small changes in curries and side dishes. Boiled buttermilk is light and it can induce digestive process. Food with ginger as an ingredient can also give positive results. Boil water adding ginger, garlic, cumin seeds and asafoetida and use as drinking water. You can also grind all these items together and eat a gooseberry sized ball which gives a quick remedy to digestion process. Ginger curry and coconut chutney adding ginger are other alternatives.

You can use Mezhukupuratti dishes using green gram, yam or banana with less use of oil. You can also add leafy vegetables like spinach, moringa leaves and hogweed leaves (thazhuthama/punarnava) which helps you in easy digestion. Vegetable soup is another good remedy for indigestion. In fact it can restrict digestive problems at bay and induces hunger. Cumin seeds, coriander, asafoetida and turmeric are categorized under food items which can induce Agni or digestion. If you include all these items in your daily food, you get positive results.

After meals, if you feel stomach discomforts mix ginger juice with honey and rock salt (Indupp) and have it. It can provide you relief to some extent. Nutmeg paste and asafoetida mixed in water are other easy remedies from kitchen. Boil water adding dry ginger, coriander and cumin seeds and drink it. It’s yet another easy remedy. Prepare chutney using mint leaves, shallots, garlic, coriander leaves and a little lemon clover leaves (Puliyarila). Add bird’s eye chilli (Kanthari) or green chillies as per your preference. This chutney is good to induce digestion.

Avoid coffee and tea when you have digestion issues. Instead drink boiled water adding coriander seeds, cumin and licorice (Iratti madhuram). Licorice adds a little sweetness to the drink. If you want extra sweetness, add a little jaggery.

Digestion and obesity – Are they related?

Your body shape can be deeply influenced by digestion. If you are slim and want to increase body weight, make meat soup a part of your diet and have it after meals. Whatever you eat, drink honey mixed with water along with it. It reduces body weight. If you regularly have digestion problem, boil water adding ajwain and asafoetida, and drink it regular. It can improve your digestive power. Add rock salt to rice starch and use it as a drink. It can provide extra energy and improves digestion too.

If indigestion is a constant problem

If indigestion is not a temporary problem and it occurs frequently, there is one easy remedy in Ayurveda. Slightly fry a few leaves of Indian bael (Koovalam) and grind to a smooth paste. Mix it with buttermilk and boil well. It’s locally called Mukkudi, and if served regularly it gives a remedy to indigestion. Lemon clover leaves (Puliyarila) can also be used as Mukkudi. Add extra rock salt and a little pepper during its preparation. When you prepare butter milk curry using lemon clover leaves, instead of tempering with oil and mustard, fry cumin seeds in butter and use.

If you are suffering from any other disease, it is also possible to Mukkudi according to it. A few ingredients may be added in extra. For diabetic patients use leaves of guava plant or gooseberry. For patients with liver problems, prepare Mukkudi using Gale of the wind (Keezhanelli). If you have body swelling (neerkettu) and pain prepare Mukkudi using moringa leaves.

Vizhalari, tender leaves of Kudaka paala, basil leaves and Mexican mint (panikoorkka) – chop all these leaves finely and sauté in a small spoon of oil. Add coconut or shallots to it and prepare chutney and use. You can use Karuka (Pandanus julianettii) as whole in boiling water and use.

Mexican mint (panikoorkka)

Boil butter milk adding the herbal product Vaiswanara Choornam, and use it. It is a good remedy to acidity problems as well as the returning back of acidic stomach juices and food giving discomforts. Before eating heavy food, consume a mixture of pepper, rock salt, thippali (powder these ingredients) along with juice of pomegranate or pineapple. It improves digestion and blocks discomforts due to the intake of heavy food. Pomegranate juice is more preferable.

Retain water content of body cells

It’s quite usual that we drink water after taking food. Instead of drinking plain water, take a drink which compliments the food taken. It balances the digestion process too. While consuming wheat or malted barley (yavam rice) use cold water or boiled and cooled water and avoid beverages like tea and coffee. It makes your digestion process easy.

After consuming curd and honey, drink cold water. When you eat rice added idli, appam etc, hot water is best to drink. Choose an acidic drink while consuming pulses and leafy vegetables. Curd and buttermilk are best choices. Both have sour taste, and hence acidity, which easily digests food and reduces gastric troubles. But please note, if your digestive problems cause frequent troubles, never hesitate to seek help from a doctor. Perhaps you may need further treatment.

Disclaimer: I have prepared this post based on an article published in a health magazine. Kindly consult your doctor before fully using it, especially if you are taking medicines for other ailments. Use it as a reference purpose only to improve your eating habits and lifestyle.

Also read a few more topics related to Ayurveda.

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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