According to Ayurveda, acid reflux is caused when the heat energy within our cells, known as Pitta, becomes imbalanced. Pitta is located in the stomach and is symbolized as a sharp, intense, hot and acidic energy. When an individual consumes pitta aggravating foods like vinegar, citrus juices, tomatoes, chilies, onions, garlic, alcohol and fried foods, it leads to heartburn. Consuming caffeine and sodas also aggravates the pitta. Stress, irregular eating patterns, sleep deprivation and taking painkillers as well as antibiotics also increases production of heat toxins which leads to heartburn. Let’s find out more about acid reflux treatment in ayurveda.
18 Ayurvedic Solutions For Acid Reflux
According to Ayurveda, since heartburn is caused due to excessive heat in the body, it’s best to eat cooling, soothing foods that alleviate symptoms.
- During the Pitta period, i.e., between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., the digestive fire burns the strongest and digestive enzymes are most activated. This is the best time to eat your main meal, as the body is better able to digest and assimilate nutrition from the food.
- Eat fresh foods, preferably local produce that is seasonal and organic. Eat mindfully; Ayurveda suggests that when we savor the taste of food, it ignites the digestive fire so that food is better digested.
- Avoid all pitta aggravating foods, which includes grapefruit, orange, tomatoes and tomato sauce, spinach, raw onions, cheese (especially aged cheese like blue cheese, mature cheddar and feta), vinegar, alcohol, cayenne, jalapeno peppers, chilies, radish and beets.
- Eat on time and avoid skipping meals. A healthy eating pattern is crucial to keep heartburn at bay.
- Avoid stress and anger, as these emotions aggravate the pitta dosha. Do not watch TV, read a book or have a heated conversation during meal times.
- Make sure you get sufficient sleep. But keep a gap of at least 2 hours between meal time and bed time.
- Ashwagandha is excellent for those who suffer from acid reflux. It helps balance the mind, promote a peaceful night’s sleep and keeps anxiety at bay.
- For quick relief from acid reflux, drink 200-500ml of fresh tender coconut water twice every day. Aloe Vera juice, particularly the fresh gel taken straight from the leaf, helps in balancing pitta.
- Baked fennel seeds do an excellent job of soothing the stomach. Eat ¼ teaspoon thrice daily, in between your meals.
- Fresh pomegranate juice helps balance pitta and is good for GERD sufferers.
- Brew a tea using coriander, dried ginger and snakeguard leaf. Take 14 to 28 ml twice every day.
- Drink warm water throughout the day. Refrain from drinking chilled water and using ice. The best time to drink a tall glass of water is 30 minutes before your meal. However, don’t drink water with your meal or up to 30 minutes after you finish your meal.
- Another popular Ayurvedic remedy for acid reflux is to add a teaspoon of ghee in a glass of milk and drink this before a meal. This concoction coats the stomach lining to protect it against acid attack.
- Drink peppermint tea or take a peppermint oil capsule after meal to prevent gas and bloating.
- According to Ayurveda, adding sweet, bitter and astringent foods to your diet helps bring relief from acid reflux. Add watermelon, split moong dal, green leafy vegetables, banana and cucumbers to your diet.
- Ayurveda believes in using natural herbs to cure a variety of ailments, and acid reflux is no exception. Adding these herbs to your diet can help:
- Holy Basil: Known as Tulsi, holy basil comes from the mint family and helps reduce excess acid production. If you feel an acid attack looming, chew on some fresh holy basil leaves to find relief from the pain and burning sensation accompanied by reflux.
- Amla: An Ayurvedic herb, Amla or Indian Gooseberry can cure a variety of digestive ailments. You can have it in the raw form, mix amla powder in water and drink the concoction or opt for juice.
- Coriander: This herb helps neutralize stomach acids and can easily be added to a variety of dishes. You can use the fresh leaves of the herb, or use coriander powder in your curries. Ayurvedic practitioners also recommend adding 1 tablespoon of coriander juice to half cup of buttermilk for relief from acid reflux.
- Licorice: A strong Ayurvedic medicine for treating acid reflux, licorice root can be brewed into a tea that is effective at neutralizing stomach acids.
17. Try yoga and meditation for hyperacidity. According to Ayurveda, some yoga poses gently massage the abdominal organs to boost digestive fire and also improve blood flow to this area. The best yoga poses for acid reflux include Halasana, Ushtra asana, Pawana muktasana, Marjariasana, Vajrasana, Trikonasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana and Virabhadrasana II.
18. Meditation is one of the best stress-management techniques to promote tranquility and keeps anxiety at bay. Regular practice of meditation alongside yoga will bring about a sense of balance in Pitta for smoother, more effective digestion.
Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of healing offers a variety of natural, non-invasive treatments and medicines to treat acid reflux. These are best discussed with a certified Ayurveda physician, since they are best taken under medical supervision.