Ayurvedic Approach to GERD: Soothing Hyperacidity with Herbal Remedies
Even if the mere concept of food and enjoying favourite dishes can be very satisfying, the digestion process that follows eating is not always easy. People of all ages experience a variety of digestive issues, with GERD, or gastro-esophageal reflux disease, being one of the most widespread. With lower esophageal sphincter structures that are weak or constricted, excessive stomach acids run backward into the food pipe, causing GERD, a chronic condition that results in heartburn.
There are several Ayurvedic herbs that are traditionally used to treat hyperacidity and acid reflux. Some of the most commonly used herbs include:
- Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra): Licorice root has anti-inflammatory property that can assist to coat and calm the stomach lining and lessen acid reflux symptoms.
- Amalaki (Emblica officinalis): Indian gooseberry is a natural antacid that help to neutralize stomach acid.
- Haridra (Curcuma longa): Turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. It can help to reduce inflammation in the stomach and intestines, which can help to reduce symptoms of acid reflux.
- Ajamoda (Foeniculum vulgare): Fennel help to soothe the stomach and reduce acid reflux symptoms.
- Jeeraka (Cuminum cyminum): Cumin can help to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes, which can improve digestion and reduce symptoms of hyperacidity.
Sitaram Ayurveda has curated highly effective preparations like A P Har tablet that is useful in treating acidity, indigestion, heartburn, and headache associated with bowel dysfunction. Thikthakam kashayam, Kaidaryadi kashayam, Guloochyadi kashayam etc. also acts on pacifying the hight pitta symptoms.
According to Ayurveda, GERD is “Amlapitta,” which means that the Pitta dosha which controls digestion, reaches excess acidic levels, or “Amlata,” causing acid reflux and heartburn (Hrit Daha), as well as indigestion (Avipaka) and a bitter aftertaste (Tikta Udgara). Even the Kapha and Vata dosha aspects are affected by the high acid concentrations in the digestive tract, leading to more uncomfortable symptoms including nausea, vomiting, bad breath/halitosis, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing food (dysphagia).
Main symptoms of GERD
- Regurgitation or backfire of the consumed food
- Chest pain
- Pain while swallowing food
Causes for hyperacidity
A variety of reasons can induce acidity. These factors can be divided into three main categories, which are described below.
Your diet has an impact on how well your body digests food and functions generally. When it comes to acidity, it is caused by
- Eating the incorrect foods together at the wrong time or by eating spicy, fried food in empty stomach.
- Eating baked goods and over fermented dishes
- Intake of excessive tea/coffee consumption, typically more than two cups every day.
- Inadequate hydration.
Your diet, no matter how healthy or wholesome, is useless if you do not exercise regularly and get adequate sleep each night. The following are some lifestyle choices that can cause hyperacidity.
- Working nonstop and not taking breaks.
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Getting not enough sleep
- Skipping meals
- Overeating or eating after not having fully digested the previous meal.
Emotional and mental state
Your body behaves in accordance with how you feel and think. Your digestion might be hampered and affected by a bad emotional or mental state. Here are a few typical emotional or mental stressors that cause hyperacidity.
- Stress at work or a lack of enjoyment at work
- Difficulties with fear, anxiety, and rage
- Stressing out too much about unmet goals and objectives might sometimes make you feel sick to your stomach.
There are several lifestyle changes that can help to alleviate symptoms of hyperacidity:
- Eat smaller, and more frequent meals: Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help to reduce the amount of acid secretion in the stomach.
- Avoid trigger foods: Spicy meals, citrus fruits etc. might aggravate acid reflux symptoms. Reducing your intake of these items can better with the symptoms.
- Lose weight: Being overweight can increase the likelihood of developing acid reflux. Losing weight can help to alleviate symptoms.
- Avoid sleeping soon after eating: Waiting at least 2-3 hours after having food an help to reduce the likelihood of acid reflux.
- Quit smoking and avoid/limit the consumption of alcohol.