Acidity – Curing it the Ayurveda Way
Updated: Jun 23
Acidity is not merely acidic burps, heart burn or discomfort we may feel after having food. Acidity on a constant basis is a major problem , one that is the root cause of many bigger imbalances and diseases of the human body including Cancer, Heart Problems, Tooth Problems such as Cavities, Tartar , Diabetes, Blockage of Arteries, Brain Stroke, Alzheimer, Back pain issues, disturbance of Periods in women and urogenital issues , Auto Immune Disorder and many more.
In the world’s most critical diseases, one common denominator that has been uncovered by scientists - is the high acidity of blood.
When discussing high acidity of blood – most would assume we were talking about acidity of stomach, but it is acidity of stomach seeping slowly into the bloodstream and making our blood constantly more acidic.
Why should acidity of blood bother us ? Simply because as the blood which circulates in all parts of the body becomes more acidic, it acts on the bone tissue around the body and acts on the calcium and white blood cells and constantly keep eroding the calcium off the body part. The deposition of such calcium also is the cause of stiffness in joints and other parts of the body. When people suffer high uric acid, the first place it affects them is legs and hands.
Since Acidity is the root cause of all major diseases – thus it is imperative that any sort of acidity that we come across in our body – should be dealt with urgently and with a wholesome approach of removing it from the root.
What Causes Acidity ?
1. Improper chewing of food
2. Drinking water with food
3. Overeating without chewing the food
4. Eating Incompatible foods
5. Eating food when digestive fire is low
6. Irregular food timing
7. Sedentary physical lifestyle
8. Having too much of alcohol
9. Having too much of refined aka acidic foods such as refined sugar, coffee, tea, refined salt, refined oil and meals prepared from them.
10. Lack of raw fruits and vegetables in the diet.
11. Eating in excess but no physical exercises
12. Weak digestive fire / Improper digestion
13. Dehydration of Body
Undigested food in the digestive tract and poor digestion is key cause behind acid formation in the body, so most of our focus will also be on working in this area.
How to cure acidity naturally ?
First things first we need to address the dehydration of the body and this we can do by increase our daily water intake. How much water to drink? = ( Body Weight ÷ 10 ) Minus 2 or 3
Now the range of water that is good for healing can be derived by subtracting 2 or 3.
What that means for example, is If my body weight is 83 kgs, my body’s water requirement is minimum (83÷10)= 8.3 – 3 = 5.3 liters a day and maximum 8.3-2 = 6.3 liters a day
If a person were to increase the consumption of water to this range, acidity will be automatically affected. However while drinking water the following 5 rules must be strictly observed:
a. Always drink water warm or at room temperature (Never Cold )
b. Always drink water slowly , after rotating and squishing around mouth. (Avoid drinking water fast or in gulps )
c. Always drink water sitting down. (Avoid drinking water standing or walking )
d. Do not drink water with food, or 45 minutes before and after food.
e. Since increase of water intake can result in sodium loss from the body so for every litre consumed, put a pinch of rock natural salt on the tongue and slowly swallow it down.
2. Understand your Digestive process
It is necessary to understand what results in improper digestion.
As per Ayurveda 90% of the digestion of food must happen in the mouth.
Only 10-15% of digestion must happen in the stomach. In real life the opposite happens. When we eat food fast, we tend to swallow it instead of chewing it completely and 80% digestion happens in stomach. The stomach needs acid to break down undigested food and thus more acid is produced by the body.
The detox process of the body works only when the body is not in eating / digesting mode. The process of cleansing in the stomach area can not go hand in hand with the process of eating or consuming food. Only when the body is not digesting food, or consuming food, is it able to cleanse food from the digestive tract and break it down into non toxic material that is ready for release. In order to digest better it is important that the stomach should not be completely full especially for most of us who work in offices or on computer. After meals we should not feel full but almost 15 % - 25% empty. This is the best state for digestion to happen properly.
Inability to digest the food in the intestines or breakdown the toxic material from the body, can result in increased production of acid as well as gas.
If you are eating meals 3 times a day ( including lunch ) or eating food at varied timings without any schedule you are naturally forcing your stomach to work all the time or in other words at times when its function of digestion is not at its peak. Ayurveda believes that every body part functions optimally at a certain time of the day.
The function of digestion or the digestive fire that breaks down food in our body is at its peak with the rising sun and stays strong until 2 hours of rising sun. After than post 9.30 am its starts getting weaker and weaker all the way upto 1600 hours in the afternoon time. The digestive function once again starts to peak and and its optimal around 5-6 pm.
So important things to remember is
a - Don’t have food all the time
b - Try to have a fixed schedule for food
c - Try and time your meals with the solar cycle so that you catch yourself at the peak of your digestive fire, to enable complete digestion.
d - Stop food before feeling absolutely full
e - Focus a lot on whether you are digesting food in mouth or stomach.
3. Change your Food lifestyle to ensure Proper Digestion / Fire
Keeping the above understanding in mind it is important to change our food lifestyle so that we can take advantage of the sun cycle and eat food at times when its chances of digestion are best. Also we must stop eating food at times when our digestive fire is not meant to be working ( afternoon )
It is thus vital that we only have 2 meals a day ( skip the middle meal ) of the day to ensure optimum digestion.
The first meal ( breakfast ) must happen before 9 am and consist of fruits and vegetable salad comprising of two seasonal fruits like banana/apple/melon ( not water melon ) / and mixing this with Cucumber / Kakdi / Avacado and adding chia pumpkin and any other seeds in order to have an organic breakfast that is easy to digest and high on energy quotient. After this one can have yoghurt with honey and anything else that may be cooked.
Lunch and any snacking during the mid day should be totally avoided with the exception of one seasonal fruit, and water.
Dinner must be between 5-6 pm. After 6 pm no cooked meal or food must be eaten. 30 minutes prior to dinner a small salad consisting of 1 to 2 fruits and 1 to 2 vegetables must be taken in order to increase the alkalinity of our body. This is vital to counter any excess acid that gets formed during the eating process.
Water must be avoided 45 mins before, with meals or 45 minutes after meals. You can have Buttermilk or even fresh fruit juice with meals. Any form of cola with food is very harmful for the stomach. Post food if one feels thirsty, buttermilk is the best for digestion.
4. Focus on Alkaline food , fruits and vegetables
It is vital to understand all kinds of fruits vegetables & foods that are alkaline in nature. Did you know that all kinds of iodized salt , sugar and refined oils present in the market create acidity when they break down in our body.
We must avoid using all forms of refined food products from the market and replace them with more natural forms of food. So cold pressed oils, pure cow ghee, for cooking , jaggery or mishri instead of refined sugar and Himalayan Salt ( also known as Sendha Salt / Lahori Salt ) in regular usage.
Before dinner , 30-40 minutes prior consumer alkaline fruits and vegetable salad to balance the excess acidity produced during eating process.
After meals always have jaggery in order to digest the food. In India sweet paan with mulethi is also a very good remedy for digestion.
Once we start understanding food that are acidic in nature we need to start removing them from our daily lives ranging but not limited to Coffee, Tea , Cold Drinks and Beverages, Cold water, Refined sugar, refined salt, Refined oils
5. Take a pinch of ginger powder and rock salt before meals
This enhances our digestive fire or the jatthar agni that helps us break down the food easily.
6. Chew every bite of food, 32 times
Understanding the basic principle of food eating that 90% of digestion must happen in our mouths, it is super vital that every bite ( whether it is soft food or hard food ) must be chewed atleast 32 times. This ensures that the before the food reaches the stomach it is already digested and thus to break down the food, really small quantities of acid is released by the body
7. Avoid drinking Water / Cold Drinks with Food
The food eating process kick starts the digestive fire in our body. Now every time we have water with food or cold drink with food – this digestive fire is immediately extinguished. Since food needs to be digested – the fire restarts, this time needing more acid and more energy ( that it draws in form of blood and oxygen from other vital organs of the body ) . Thus drinking water in Ayurveda is compared to slow poisoning of the body , because what ever kills the digestive process, will result in undigested food in our intestines which will stay there and keep becoming toxic and keep releasing acid in your body to somehow break it down. Drinking water will keep increasing the acid produced in the body ad this excess acid will always seep into the blood flow.
8. Any form of alcohol must be highly avoided on empty stomach
Alcohol needs acids to break down in the body and when we end up drinking alcohol, on empty stomach this ensures a lot of acid release which along with the alcohol is absorbed into the blood stream. As a comparison if alcohol is consumed after 1 hour of eating it is still far better, than alcohol on empty stomach since the acid produced during the eating process is sufficient for breaking the alcohol consumed.
9. Yoga Asanas that help with Acidity
All yoga postures that work directly on the solar plexus or the stomach will be very effective in increasing the effectiveness of the digestive process as well as reducing instances of acidity. Even though all kinds of exercises , increase circulation of the blood and bring about reduction in uric acid that is found in bones however the following postures are especially helpful in acidity. It is to be noted that every posture has a prepatory sequence of postures and some follow up postures, so to do these postures, you must consult a yoga therapist to guide you properly through this poses without having any adverse side effects. Today Yoga is treated as a sport and from that perspective causes a lot of injuries.
- Headstand ( Sheersh Asana )
- Shoulder Stand ( Sarvanga Asana )
- Plough Pose ( Hala Asana )
- Bridge Pose ( Setubandh Sarvanga Asana )
- Wheel Pose ( Chakra Asana )
- Forward bending Pose while sitting ( Paschimottan Asana )
- Cobra Pose ( Sarp Asana )
- Peacock Pose ( Mayur Asana )
10. Ayurvedic Medicines that help
Being in India these are easy to find, however in most western countries these are sometimes also available via amazon quite easily
For instant relief in case of acid burp, or strong feeling of acidity in stomach
Avipattikar Churana ( manufactured by Patanjali Brand ).
Take 1 tea spoon with water for instant relief.
For gradual release of acidity
Amalaki Rasayan ( manufactured by Baidyanath Brand )
Consume ½ teaspoon with organic honey morning first thing and last thing in the night.
** It is to be noted that every posture has a preparatory sequence of postures and some follow up postures, so to do these postures, you must consult a yoga therapist to guide you properly through this poses without having any adverse side effects. Today Yoga is treated as a sport and from that perspective causes a lot of injuries.
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