Heartburn relief can be achieved through the six kinds of taste that are used ayurvedic medicine to classify all food that we eat. By getting aware of these six taste in what we eat, we can empower ourselves in making the appropriate choice to get rid of Heartburn.
Taste of food that we eat can affect our overall health and particularly the health of our stomach because it is the first place where food goes and stays. The common problems like heartburn can easily be overcome by this knowledge derived from the ancient ayurvedic medicine.
Ayurveda classifies all the food materials on the basis of taste of food material. There are six taste types – sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent. First five tastes are familiar to all of us as they are commonly present in our diet. Astringent taste is little used in diet.
Sweet is the natural taste of milk, dairy products, candies, natural taste of most fruits, wheat, rice and other cereals, coconut and fat. Sour taste is present in lemon and citrus fruits, some unripe orange and apple, curd, whey or buttermilk. Salt is usually added to taste the food.
Bitter taste is present in turmeric, margosa leaves, valerian root, bad almonds and most of crude herbs. Pungent taste is present in pepper, chilies, ginger, black pepper, coriander, cumin seeds, radish, basil leaves, cardamom, asafoetida and several other herbs and spices. Jaman fruit, Terminalia arjuna bark, cluster fig or country fig fruit and triple myrobalan or Triphala and many other herbs are some of the examples of astringent taste.
The purpose of the examples of different taste is not to provide a comprehensive list but to introduce you to some less common taste types so that you can relate with them easily.
Now let us come to realize how this information can be of practical help in heartburn. All the diseases in our body occur as a result of vitiation of three of the bodily humors – Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Pitta is vitiated in heartburn. This fact will guide us to use the taste of food to get heartburn relief.
Sweet, bitter and astringent food articles pacify Pitta and thereby heartburn and its related complaints like hyperacidity, nausea, vomiting, pain in abdomen and chest area. The rest three types of taste – sour, salt and pungent, increases Pitta and thereby aggravates heartburn and related complaints.
Sweet taste food articles like milk, banana, raisin, grapes, and mango are great in pacifying heartburn. A cup of cold milk without sugar when sipped over some time is as effective as any general antacid syrup.
Banana is found to have great antacid and ulcer healing properties. They can strengthen the mucosal barrier in stomach and esophagus to prevent the complications of hyperacidity. Raisin with milk at night is a good dietary adjuvant that can be taken daily at night. Sweet tasting fruits are good in providing energy as they are easy to digest and help in combating the loss of appetite that is fellow complaint in heartburn.
Bitter tasting herbs and food neutralize acid in stomach and they reduce its secretion. Astringent tasting herbs like Triphala is good for ulcer healing. They keep the cell junctions of stomach wall tight against the damage by acid. Astringent taste diminishes the tendency of bleeding from any ulcer. Triphala mixed with equal quantity of sugar is a good supplement for heartburn that can be taken daily twice or thrice daily. Triphala is a combination of fruits of three myrobalans – Amla, Haritaki and Vibhitaki (Emblica officinalis, Terminalia chebula and Terminalia belerica respectively).
Apply these principles in diet and in choosing herbal supplements to get great benefit in heartburn. It will help to reduce the trouble caused by heartburn and prevent or heal it naturally.
Even if someone is affected by some serious complications of hyperacidity like ulcer in stomach lining or by side effects of ulcer causing drugs like pain killers, we can choose appropriate food stuff. A great eating with good work out of ‘taste’ can help you a lot in heartburn day in and day out.