One out of every three people experiences some sort of digestive unease on a daily basis. The most common problems include being too gassy, too full, acidity, diarrhea or constipation, decreased appetite, acidic taste in mouth, nausea, bloating, stomach discomfort with gurgling etc. Most of these symptoms can have a negative effect on our health and productivity.
Some of common causes of Indigestion are : Taking food untimely, Consuming spicy, oily and fatty foods frequently, Alcohol, smoking, obesity, gastric or duodenal ulcers, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), Esophagitis, Hiatal hernia, Gallstones, Pregnancy (especially late term), Inflammation of the pancreas (acute or chronic pancreatitis, Inflammation of the stomach (acute or chronic gastritis), Stomach infections, food poisoning, Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Food allergies /sensitivities (such as lactose intolerance), Heart disease, angina, heart attack, Thyroid disease, Depression, Taking allopathic medicines like Aspirin and many other painkillers such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), Steroids (such as Medrol, Medrol Dosepak, and Decadron), Estrogen and oral contraceptives, Antibiotics (like erythromycin and tetracycline), Thyroid medication, Blood pressure medication, Cholesterol medications (statins), Pain medications (codeine and other narcotics).
Before starting any treatment its important to bring changes in lifestyle and habits. The first line of treatment for indigestion is lifestyle changes including eating slower, eating smaller amounts or portion food avoiding alcohol and caffeine and tea, quitting smoking, avoiding trigger foods( acidic, fatty, oily, junk )
Kitchen herbs are very effective in curing indigestion : Six main herbs used in homes are listed below :
- Garlic : Garlic has ability to kill intestine parasites. It can also treat other digestive problems like colitis and diarrhea and peptic ulcers. Garlic eliminates most intestinal problems like dysentery, diarrhea and colitis. It also helps in dispelling worms. It does not affect the functioning of useful organisms which aid in digestion, but it destroys the harmful bacteria present in the intestines. It also better circulation, improved skin health, and lower cholesterol levels. Remember to add a few cloves of garlic to your ingredients.
- Turmeric : Turmeric has ability to maintain the balance of stomach acid. An anti-inflammatory spice which heals the wounds . It should always be used in moderation.
- Cumin or jeera : Cumin is excellent to stimulate your digestion, and serves as a natural laxative to prevent constipation. Cumin is one of the best herbs for supporting healthy digestion and reduces aggravating pitta. In addition to providing flavor to food, Cumin improves the digestive fire, promotes healthy absorption and eliminates natural toxins in the GI tract. Cumin boiled water is a good home remedy for indigestion.
- Fennel or Saunf (Perunjeerakam in Tamil) : Fennel is used for a number of culinary and medicinal purposes. Fennel can be found as an ingredient in many herbal medicines, prized for its ability in calming indigestion, along with relief of constipation and flatulence.Fennel has anti-spasmodic properties, and it stimulates the production of gastric juices. It’s useful for gastrointestinal and menstrual cramps, heartburn, diarrhea, colic, stomachaches, and indigestion. It can be powdered ( 3-5 g)mixed with warm water and taken twice daily.
- Ginger : Ginger has been used for centuries to relieve indigestion. In fact, research shows that it can help treat nausea and vomiting. This amazing spice also works as an antispasmodic agent to calm your intestinal system and prevent diarrhea. It has a powerful carminative effect as it can cleanse and heal the digestive tract. It helps to relieve muscle cramping. Add fresh ginger to your meals when cooking or sprinkle ginger powder on foods before eating is helpful. Ginger tea is simple yet very effective in awakening sluggish digestion in the morning. Ginger is warming and can help to reduce mucus and stimulate the digestive tract. Due to this stimulating action on the digestion it is also the perfect drink to be taken either before you eat a meal or half an hour afterwards. Cut one inch of fresh ginger to one liter of water. Bring to boil and simmer for at least five minutes. Add lime and/or honey. Strain into a mug and enjoy!
- Coriander or Dhaniya : Coriander is helps in supporting digestion and reducing pitta. It rebuilds the digestive fire while simultaneously cooling and soothing the GI tract. It helps to clear the digestive tract of trapped gas after a meal. Coriander tea is very effective home remedy for Indigestion. This tea soothes and heals the entire digestive tract. Bring to boil one teaspoon of coriander in one cup of water. Steep for five to ten minutes. Strain and drink
Coriander contains powerful gut health benefits. According to a recent report, after 8 weeks of use among subjects suffering from irritable bowl syndrome (IBS), coriander helped to ease the pain and discomfort of IBS sufferers three times as much compared to placebo users.
- Carom seeds or Ajwain : Carom seeds are the best remedy to cure digestion related problems. It can to get rid of constipation. Carom seeds don’t have any side effects.One of the most crucial health benefits is improving digestive functions by facilitating the release of gastric juices. Make a powder -1 teaspoon of cumin (jeera) and 1 teaspoon of carom seeds and add 1/4 teaspoon of dry ginger powder to it. Take this mix with water daily to cure heartburns. Water boiled in carom seeds are also helpful in curing Indigestion.
Siddha Treatment : There is wide range of Siddha drugs for treatment of problems like Indigestion.. Depending upon the cause of compliant, temperament, age of the patient , Pulse or Naadi, the treatment is planned.
Note : If the symptoms does not subside with above said remedies within three days of use consult a Siddha Physician for proper diagnosis and treatment.