Better digestion, naturally

Indigestion can be cured by altering your lifestyle and eating habits

Stomach acheIndigestion is a common stomach problem. It is also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia. Indigestion is a condition of the stomach in which digestive juices are not secreted properly and results in the discomfort. It may be psychological in origin and can be connected with stress.

Causes

Given below are common causes of indigestion:

  • Eating fast without properly chewing the food.
  • Over eating.
  • Heavy foods.
  • Consumption of alcohol in excess.
  • Excessive smoking.
  • Stress and anxiety.
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Drinking too much water during meals.
  • Certain emotional factors like fear, anger and jealousy.
  • Insomnia.
  • Eating large amounts of fatty, spicy or rich food.
  • Pregnancy.
  • Due to other diseases like gall stone, hiatus hernia or peptic ulcer.
  • Food allergies.
  • Sedentary lifestyle.
  • Imbalances in stomach acid or digestive enzymes.

Symptoms

Some common symptoms are listed below:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Excess gas formation.
  • Nausea or vomiting.
  • Acidity.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Mild burning in stomach.
  • Constipation.
  • Diarrhoea.

Treatment

In most cases, indigestion can be cured by changing your eating habits - avoiding specific foods and situations that trigger indigestion. There are also several natural cures or home remedies that help in the treatment.

Thus, the total treatment can be achieved by the following steps:

Lifestyle changes

A healthy lifestyle can help in combating indigestion. Follow the tips given below:

  • Take meals on time
  • Avoid fats and condiments
  • Light food should be taken.
  • Chew food properly, so that it mixes well with the saliva.
  • Eat food slowly and not rapidly.
  • Never eat to a full stomach.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet that includes a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads, cereals, and other grain products.
  • Avoid eating and drinking simultaneously.
  • Drink adequate quantities of water
  • Avoid tea, coffee, or any drinks that contains caffeine.
  • Limit the intake of chocolates
  • Alcohol and tobacco should be taken in the minimum possible quantities.
  • If meat is consumed then it should be well scraped to remove the fat.
  • Rice is to be avoided if possible or else it can be consumed with vegetables.
  • Avoid eating too many varieties at the same meal
  • Raw vegetables and raw fruits should never be consumed together.
  • Regular physical exercises should be done to stimulate digestive tract activities.
  • Plenty of rest is to be taken to prevent stress.
  • Doing any activity or physically challenging sports immediately after taking meals should be avoided.
  • Walking, swimming, golf, yoga and other light exercises should be practiced regularly.

Dietary supplements

There are several dietary supplements that are both beneficial and efficient for the natural cure of indigestion. Following are some home remedies for indigestion:

Lemon

Lemon inhibits the formation of acids in the stomach, removes harmful substances and promotes a healthy appetite.

  • For instant relief in case of indigestion, add the juice of half a lemon to a glass of water, along with little soda bicarbonate. Stir well and drink it.
  • Mix one teaspoon each of mint juice, lemon juice and honey. Consume it.

Ginger [Adrak]

Ginger stimulates the secretion of digestive juices so as to break down the heavy food.

  • The juice of ginger is diluted in warm water and a drop of honey. This should be consumed regularly as a remedy for indigestion. This is particularly useful for patients suffering from nausea and vomiting due to indigestion.
  • Before a heavy meal, eat two or three pieces of ginger, coated with a little bit of salt.
  • Make a decoction of coriander [dhania] seeds and dry ginger [adrak] and consume thrice a day to stimulate digestion and relieve pain.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera helps in solving digestive problems.

A tablespoon of fresh aloe vera juice is recommended early morning on an empty stomach, and at bed time. This, apart from reducing indigestion, helps in treating acidity, heartburn, flatulence, and constipation.

Peppermint

Peppermint oils are widely used to reduce and prevent indigestion.

  • Herbal tea made out of peppermint leaves help in combating acidity.
  • Peppermint oil can be combined with coconut oil and locally applied on the stomach.

Coriander

  • Add one teaspoon of fresh coriander leaf juice and a pinch of salt and take it twice a day.
  • One or two teaspoonful of coriander juice with fresh buttermilk is highly effective in treating indigestion.

Asafoetida [Hing]

  • A pinch of hing powder and ghee or butter should be added to some boiled rice and mixed well. This should be eaten before the regular meal, Doing this ensures proper digestion and evacuation of bowels.
  • Dissolve a couple of small pieces of asafoetida in half a cup of buttermilk and drink to aid digestion and relieve from gas.

Honey

  • Mix equal parts of honey and lemon juice to make one glass of this mixture. Drink it.
  • Mix two spoons of honey, one spoon of lemon juice and one spoon of ginger juice in a glass of lukewarm water. Drinking this aids digestion.

Orange

Orange juice is effective for chronic indigestion. It stimulates flow of digestive juices, improves digestion and increases appetite

Pineapple

Fresh pineapple juice has a high level of enzymes to help stop indigestion. Half a glass of pineapple juice after a meal relieves digestive disorders.

Papaya

This delicious tropical fruit naturally contains a digestive enzyme which aids in digestion.

Cinnamon [Dalchini]

Cinnamon has the ability to settle acidic stomachs. Cinnamon can be added to several foods and eaten with a meal. A tablespoon of cinnamon water is to be taken an hour after meals.

Fennel [Saunf]

Chewing a few fennel seeds after a meal clears the food passages apart from aiding digestion.

Carom Seeds [Ajwain]

Mix two pinches of rock salt and half a teaspoon of carom seeds. Chew it and wash it down with water to get relief.

Herbal teas

Blackberry, raspberry, mint or chamomile flavoured herbal teas are effective remedies.

Clove [Laung]

Clove boosts digestive functions to a great extent.

Cumin Seeds [Jeera]

Mix one teaspoon of jeera in a glass of water. Drink it.

Pepper

Pepper powder mixed in buttermilk is a good digestive.

Ground cardamom [Chhoti elaichi]

Consume ground cardamom seeds with ginger, cloves and coriander.

Nutmeg [Jaiphal]

The volatile oils present in nutmeg are digestive and carminative and thereby a decoction of nutmeg [jaiphal] is highly beneficial in indigestion.

Mint

Mint extracts have excellent carminative and digestive properties. In one glass of water, add 2-3 drops of mint essence and drink it every four hours to remove indigestion.

Basil [Tulsi]

Mix 5-6 chopped basil leaves, a quarter teaspoon of sea salt and some black pepper in three tablespoon of curd, and eat it. Repeat this four times a day for one week, for complete reconditioning of stomach.

Baking soda

Drink a glass of water with a tablespoon of baking soda for immediate relief. This is a simple but very effective remedy.

Although, all the above mentioned remedies are natural and highly effective, it is advisable to consult your doctor before implementing any of them.

Juice therapy

Any of the following juices are good for digestion -

  • Ginger
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Cucumber

Juice therapy is most effective when the juices are taken early in the morning on an empty stomach.

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Varsha Sharma
Varsha Sharma, MD(Hom) has been working with an reputed homoeopathic medical college for the last 7yrs. She also runs her own private practice at Bandra, Chembur & Navi Mumbai.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Why does my stomach get so large if I eat or drink anything(usually) water? I actually look like I’m VERY pregnant.

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