For those of us who tend to think that feeling a burning sensation in the chest after eating a big, greasy meal is normal, think again! Acidity or acid reflux is a digestive problem that almost every one of us might have experienced once in our lifetimes. Though most of the time the discomfort is temporary or for a short duration, it should never be taken lightly. The condition leads to excess acid production in your stomach due to which you may not only experience stomach discomfort but also other symptoms like a sour taste in the mouth, difficulty in swallowing, or contents of the stomach traveling back into the throat.
Whether it happens to you often or occasionally, it’s important that you take steps to get long-lasting relief. You don’t have to grin and bear it, especially when the condition devastates your quality of life. This blog post shares some simple lifestyle changes and a few effective Ayurvedic home remedies for acidity. In most cases, Ayurvedic digestion tablets that neutralise acid build-up are also known to be of great help.
But the burning question is -what triggers acidity? So, let’s understand it first.
Causes Of Acidity- What Ayurveda Says?
Acidity, also referred to as Amla Pitta, is caused by an imbalance of Pitta Dosha. This functional energy of the body is governed by the elements of Fire and Water. So, it also governs the digestive fire and stomach enzymes. As per Ayurveda, aggravated Pitta and acidity are closely related. Intake of Pitta aggravating (sour, fatty, and spicy) foods, large portions, late-night meals and other mindless eating habits are the top triggers of acidity. Elevated Pitta dosha, combined with impaired Agni (digestive fire), causes excessive secretion of stomach acids, thereby causing acid reflux.
Chronic acidity can also lead to heartburn, a condition in which individuals experience lingering sensations in their chest. This symptom causes discomfort and pain that becomes worse as you lie down and try to get some sleep. The severity of the condition may range from mild to severe, which depends on the types of foods and the amount of food that you may be consuming. So, it’s important to include Pitta-pacifying foods with a special focus on healthy dietary habits so that you avoid this condition.
Ayurveda recommends various remedies, dietary changes, and lifestyle adjustments to treat all such symptoms of acidity and improve digestion.
Home Remedies That Help You Manage Acidity Naturally
Here are a few spices, herbs, and Ayurveda formulations that are effective in managing acidity problems and helping you get your life back to normal. You can even plan your menu around a healthy diet with these home remedies for acidity. Almost everyone likely already has these useful remedies in their kitchen!
Carom seeds (Ajwain)
The tiny seeds are full of goodness. Due to its Deepan (appetizer) property, this remedy helps to digest the food easily. It is also highly effective in treating various digestive disorders, such as acidity and bloating. To relieve acidity, you can take 1 tsp of carom seeds with a pinch of salt and lukewarm water. You can also prepare a warm concoction by boiling the same quality of seeds in water.
Amla (Indian gooseberry)
This natural coolant has Pitta-pacifying properties which help relieve digestive tract diseases like acidity. Due to these properties, it is also used in many home remedies for acidity.
To get relief from acidity you can chew dried amla. A teaspoon of freshly prepared amla juice can also be taken on an empty stomach.
Fennel Seeds (Saunf)
Intake of fennel seeds supports digestive fire and regulates the acid production in your stomach. To reduce the risk of acidity, you can consume 1 tsp of fennel seeds. You can either take it with some lukewarm water or with a pinch of sugar.
This natural neutralizer is very beneficial in relieving acidity and its symptoms like heartburn, nausea, bloating, etc. Drinking cumin seed water (prepared by boiling one teaspoon of cumin seeds in 4 cups of water for 10 minutes) helps you relieve these symptoms. It can also be consumed in crushed or roasted form after every meal to keep acidity at bay.
Small doses of ginger can be taken to relieve gastrointestinal (stomach) irritation. This herb comprises phenolic compounds and antioxidants that help balance digestive fire, thereby relieving various gastric issues, including acidity.
By boiling grated ginger in water for 10 minutes, you can prepare ginger tea. This can be taken sip-by-sip before meals to ensure healthy digestion.
This fruit contains papain enzyme, which helps in improving digestion, neutralizing excess stomach acid, and relieving acidity. The fiber in this fruit flushes out toxins from the stomach.
Consuming papaya every day not only improves your digestive health but also regulates stomach acid secretion, thereby preventing belching and heartburn.
Maharishi Ayurveda Amlant
Amlant, an Ayurvedic remedy, is highly effective in managing acidity, and hyperacidity (a condition in which when the stomach secretes a lot of acids). These acidity relief tablets are a potent blend of Sunthi, Pippali, Haritaki, Mulethi, and other herbs that balance vitiated Pitta doshas. This helps balance the stomach’s pH levels, thereby giving you long-lasting relief from gas and acidity. It also helps reduce the recurrence of acidity. Taking 2 tablets twice a day after your meals helps you get relief. Crushing the tablet in your mouth and slowly swallowing it with water can give you quick relief.
Ayurveda Recommendations for Diet and Lifestyle
Healthy lifestyle modifications are important for almost everyone, but it is especially important if you are prone to acidity or experience symptoms almost every day. These healthy lifestyle adjustments are beneficial in keeping your digestive system in order. You may want to consider these few do’s and don’ts in order to avoid acidity or manage the symptoms
- Avoid eating spicy, fried foods, that vitiate your Pitta dosha
- Avoid using too many spices, garlic, clove, and chilly when you prepare food
- Do not consume beverages like tea/coffee in excess
- Never consume tea/coffee in excess quantities
- Avoid sleeping or lying down immediately after taking your meals.
- Avoid fermented foods and alcoholic beverages as it contributes to acid build-up
- Sleep on the left side is recommended as it helps reduce acidity symptoms and exposure of the esophagus to stomach acid
- Avoid overeating as it negatively impacts digestive fire
- Spread your daily food intake over six smaller meals.
- Eat your dinner at least 2 hours before sleeping.
- Eat in small portions and chew slowly before swallowing it.
- Stay physically active to keep a healthy weight. It makes your acidity issues disappear gradually.
Anyone can face heartburn or acidity problems occasionally and Ayurveda remedies are highly effective in managing these. However, if you experience frequent bouts of acidity, and these symptoms fail to show any improvement or if you experience symptoms such as internal bleeding or difficulty in swallowing, you might have a more serious condition and, in such cases, it is advised to consult with your healthcare expert.