How and why do we get heart-burn?
For Ayurveda, the increased acidity in the stomach is the result of the weakened power of the biological fire Agni. This is the digestive fire with the help of which the body obtains the necessary energy for life and development.
Agni should not be perceived in the literal sense of the word “fire” and its specific visual association. For Ayurveda, this is actually a philosophical concept that denotes the transformations of matter, its changing from one type into another. Agni is responsible for the degradation of food to nutrients and their absorption by the body to nourish all levels – the cells, the tissues, the organs. Thus, digestive fire is of the utmost importance for the overall health of man. Deviations from the optimal course of biological processes in Agni are perceived as a weakened digestive fire. Apart from other consequences for the body, there are also specific manifestations in the gastrointestinal tract, one of which is the increased acidity.
Increased acidity in the stomach can be caused by a variety of causes and they determine the ways and duration of treatment. In most cases, the problem is temporary and is caused by the food you eat – it may have been oily or spicy or stagnant, and so on. Therefore, Ayurveda has nutrition rules that are like prevention and are also used in the relevant treatments. Increased acidity can also be caused by the intake of some medicines. It can also be a disease – stomach and duodenal ulcers, gastritis, and so on. Irregular eating, for example, damages the digestive system and acids are one of the symptoms. Other causes may be problems with breakdown and absorption of substances, parasites, reduced content of trace elements or other ingredients, etc. Among the main symptoms of increased acidity is nausea with bitter-sour taste in the mouth, burning in the throat and chest. The appearance of fits of pain leads to an ulcer.
How to remove the increased stomach acidity with Ayurveda
In order to eliminate problems with increased acidity in the stomach, it is necessary to optimize Agni, and it must be neither weak nor strong.
It should be kept in mind that the biological fire is not a constant quantity, it has daily fluctuations, also seasonal ones, and ones related to age, etc. In addition, Agni is also different in different in the different body types /Dosha of the person/. Pitta dosha has the strongest digestive fire. If it comes out of balance in the equilibrium of the three Doshas, the biological fire is increased in excess and this usually leads to heart-burn.
Vata and Kapha dosha have a weaker digestive fire and this should be taken into account when talking about optimizing it. These peculiarities require that the treatments be made after diagnostics from an Ayurvedic doctor who has set up an individual course of treatment to improve the digestion.
The aim is for the degradation and assimilation of food to be complete, with no stagnant remains in the stomach and intestines left to rot and release toxins and gases. Natural cleansing of the accumulated toxins is usually required. This is accompanied by a way of eating according to the person’s Dosha which defines the useful and harmful foods, the combination of products, foods, tastes, and so on.
This way of eating should be a way of life if one wants to be healthy. In Ayurvda, there are various combinations of herbs and spices for stimulating Agni for the different Doshas during meals, and there are also common ones. For example, one of the generic ones is before the main dish to take grated fresh ginger – about a teaspoon, with a few drops of natural lemon juice and a little bit of salt.
Pepper and cardamom stimulate the formation of saliva in the mouth, which has enzymes for the initial digestion of the food.