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According to Ayurveda, acid reflux is caused when the heat energy within our cells, known as Pitta dosha, becomes imbalanced. Aggravated pitta leads to an increase of acidic content in stomach fluids, which then moves upwards to the esophagus (the food pipe) and causes heartburn, chest pain and other acid reflux symptoms. An already aggravated dosha can be further imbalanced by eating pitta-aggravating foods like oily, spicy, fried foods, excessive consumption of tea and coffee. The aggravated Pitta prevents agni (digestive fire) from digesting the food, which results in the build-up of ama (toxins). In Ayurveda, agni is viewed as the source of life. It is the gatekeeper of good health and a metaphor for all metabolic functions in the body. Everything you eat is looked upon as an offering to agni and what’s a more potent, direct offering than food?
Therefore, to prevent and treat acid reflux, you should be mindful of foods that can calm aggravated Pitta and keep your Agni in check. Here’s a list of best foods that helps ease acid reflux symptoms –
Rich in pitta-pacifying properties, milk at room temperature reduces the build-up of acid, helps calm the acid reflux and neutralizes the excess acids present in the stomach. Cold milk (20ml) mixed with ½ glass of water is one of the best foods to soothe the irritated esophagus and stomach lining. You can also try a pitta-balancing recipe and have it as your breakfast - a banana mashed in 200 ml of milk (without cream). Warm milk should be avoided.
This refreshing natural drink helps reduce pitta effectively and flushes out toxins from your body. Coconut water is also rich in fibre content that helps with regular bowel movements. You can also make a paste of the pulp of raw white coconut and eat it 2-3 times a day (3 tbsp/ 30 gm) to ease acid reflux symptoms. A glassful (250 ml) of the milk squeezed out of raw coconut pulp taken twice a day also helps reduce acid reflux.
While fruits like lemon, orange and grapefruit cause acidity, alkaline fruits like banana, apples, melons and pears have been shown to neutralize the acidity through pacifying the aggravated Pitta, hence providing relief in acid reflux.
The juice of raw vegetables (except those sour/acidic in taste) helps to reduce pitta in the stomach. A dose of about 250 ml of mixed vegetable juice (cabbage, carrot, beetroot and cucumber) may be taken twice a day. You may also eat boiled vegetables to soothe your inflamed stomach. You can also have cucumber regularly to ease acid reflux symptoms. It is rich in two of the most basic elements needed for healthy digestion: water and fiber.
Amla is considered one of the most potent, nourishing, and best foods in Ayurveda. It is very effective in neutralizing stomach acids. It is a Pittashamak and hence it regulates the production of excess Pitta in the body. It also heals the inner lining of the stomach and esophagus, which reduces the burning sensation and discomfort. It can be especially supportive to digestion system during the summers when heat tends to accumulate in the body, particularly for those with pitta-predominant constitutions.
While these foods help balance the pitta and ease acid reflux, if you experience the symptoms more than twice a week, you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) and you shouldn’t ignore it. Ayurvedic treatment for acid reflux has helped thousands of patients in treating their condition from the root and offered them long-lasting results. In the initial stage, minor diet and lifestyle interventions planned by the Ayurvedic doctor along with some natural remedies for acid reflux can be very effective. To know more about solutions to overall digestion issues, consult a Jiva doctor today for the best ayurvedic medicine for digestion
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