Ayurveda is an ancient treatment from India. The origin of Ayurveda dates back to thousands of years. Ayurveda basically means knowledge of life in Sanskrit. Ayurveda believes in holistic treatment. Ayurveda does not believe in one-size fits all. Hence, each and every individual is studied before prescribing any remedy.
The same approach is followed for treating acid reflux. The main foundation of any ayurvedic treatment is the identification of the doshas. Doshas means ‘fault’. As per ayurved there are three doshas: vatta, pitta and kapha. These doshas control the entire well being of the body. All three doshas must be balanced and should work in tandem so as to allow the proper functioning of the body. When one of the three doshas is not in sync with the rest of the two doshas, it gives rise to an ailment in the body.
According to Ayurveda, acid reflux is caused due to improper functioning of the sub – category of Pitta dosha called Pachaka. The Pachaka pitta is situated in the duodenum and the intestines. Modern science also points towards the stomach as the cause of acid reflux. Acid reflux is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter fails to function properly. The lower esophageal sphincter is a one-way valve, which shuts tightly after allowing the food into the stomach. Thus it prevents the acidic content from slipping back into the esophagus. When it stops functioning properly, the acidic stomach content come in contact with the lining of the esophagus causing irritation. The irritation is termed as acid reflux.
Usually the Pachaka pitta is thrown out of balance due to the intake of food, which is not really favored by the stomach. Hence Ayurveda stresses upon the avoidance of foods that tend to relax the lower esophageal sphincter. This includes food that is oily, spicy hot, sour and fermented food. Food laced with artificial preservatives, Ayurveda also considers color and chemicals as bad for the stomach. It also discourages the consumption of alcohol and tobacco, since both are known to aggravate the Pachaka dosha.
Ayurvedic treatment for acid reflux includes consumption of herbs and food that pacifies the Pitta dosha. This includes food like whole wheat, rice, organic barley etc. Ayurveda also encourages the consumption of dark green leafy vegetables and other vegetables like okra, broccoli, asparagus, cabbage, cauliflower etc. People suffering from acid reflux should not consume fast food and left over or stale food.
Ayurvedic treatment for acid reflux also includes the doing of Yoga. Yoga is a form of exercise, which helps in the pacification of the various dosha.
Ayurved thus provides the option of getting treatment for acid reflux without suffering from undesired side effects.