Many of us have experienced that agonizing “heart burn” after a heavy meal. But for some it is an everyday problem with lot of belching, a burning sensation over the stomach area that goes up all the way to the throat, with acid reflux or even vomiting in severe cases.
AYURVEDA calls it ‘Amla Pitta” – amla meaning sour and pitta as we know is the digestive fire. So in amlapitta the sour and heating properties of digestive fire increases.
Causes of Acidity (Amlapitta) as per Ayurveda:
• Excessive intake of sour food items.
• Excessive intake of spicy and fried foods.
• Excessive intake of alcohol.
• Excessive intake of fermented products including lot of yogurt.
• In addition intake of food over an undigested meal, bad food combinations, and even not eating when hungry.
• Living near water bodies/sea shore – Ayurveda believes in the effect of the local climate on a person’s digestive fire & Doshas. It has been observed that people living near sea shores have more acidity.
• Supressing natural urges – This include urges like urge to pass stools, urine, vomit or cough on a physical level and also includes suppressing mental urges to express anger, grief or other emotions.
So what we can do to take care of this unpleasant feeling and get relief?
AYURVEDA suggests the use of simple home remedies & simple herbal combinations.
a) If you had a heavy meal and fear that it will trigger a bout of acidity, just keep 1 clove in your mouth and chew slowly, taking in its juice. Repeat after every meal for 2 -3 days.
b) In recurrent indigestion, sucking on some jaggery-(a concentrate of sugar cane juice available at Indian stores) after meals helps in controlling reflux.
c) Take 2 teaspoons of a powder of roasted rice called ‘Laja or Kheel’( you can grind it easily in your food processer), available at Indian stores, taken with equal amount of honey and unrefined sugar powder twice a day before meals. This helps especially in cases of heart burn.
Dietary Do’s & Dont’s:
– Eat feshly prepared food in a calm environment
– Wheat, barley and roasted rice (Laja, or Kheel) are recommended cereals
– Bitter gourd, banana, pomegranate, Indian goose berry and coconut water is recommended.
– Eat only when hungry.
– Don’t Eat when you are emotional, particularly when stressed or angry.
– Don’t eat fried & spicy foods,
– Don’t eat Black lentil
– Don’t eat Fermented food products especially those made from lentils & chickpeas like Hummus.
– Don’t drink Alcohol
– Don’t eat Yogurt
– Don’t eat Sesame or nuts.