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Ayurvedic Tips For Healthy Digestion

Ayurvedic Tips For Healthy Digestion

Digestion is important for good health according to Ayurveda texts. They say digestion takes place with the help of digestive fire or Agni. When this Agni is in good supply, digestion will be good.

Digestion takes in steps – intake of food in the form of hunger, digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients, elimination.

STATES OF DIGESTION AND HOW IT AFFECTS ONE`S CONSTITUTION

  • Balanced metabolism (Sama) leads to health, immunity, longevity, strength and happiness.
  • Irregular digestion (vishama) leads to dry skin, cracking of joints, lower back pain, insomnia, anxiety, insecurity, fear and neurological disorders.
  • Hyper metabolism (tikshana) leads to inflammatory conditions of the skin, pain in the liver, nausea, vomiting, has feelings of hate, envy and anger.
  • Slow digestion (manda) leads to lethargy, excessive sleep, weakness of body and mentally one suffers from greed, attachment and possessiveness.

AGNI–DIGESTIVE FIRE

GOOD-DIGESTION
  • Ayurveda texts say that Agni is the main source of life and worshipping Agni would help one get good health
  • It is the creative flame of intelligence present in all forms of life. It is responsible for digestion and all transformation of food into energy.
  • In fact there are 13 different types of Agni governing all the metabolic activities of the body.
  • The digestive fire is called Jathara Agni, which is found within the lower stomach as hydrochloric acid or HCL and small intestine.
  • Agni becomes weak or aggravated when one eats foods not in accordance with one`s constitution, overeating, eating insipid food, intake of excess water between mealtimes, irregular meals, lack of exercise and late night sleep.

WAYS TO INCREASE DIGESTIVE FIRE

  • Eat meals at the same time each day.
  • Prepare and eat fresh food. Include all tastes in each meal: sour, salty, bitter, sweet and astringent.
  • Breakfast should be light, lunch can be heavy and dinner should be taken early and should be light.
  • Physical exercise helps strengthen Agni by stimulating the metabolic activity of the body.
  • Avoid processed foods.
  • Cow`s ghee is good for increasing Agni.
  • Herbs to improve Agni: aloe Vera, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, fennel seeds, ginger root, cumin, ajwain.
  • Fasting once a week should be done regularly to ease the burden on the gastrointestinal tract, eliminate wastes and rekindle digestive fire.

AMA OR TOXIC WASTE

  • Due to the poor states of digestion, ama or toxic waste or undigested substance is created in the body, which is sticky and foul.
  • It clogs the intestines, vital pathways and creates toxins that are slowly released into the blood stream, causing diseases.
  • Symptoms of Ama: loss of appetite, indigestion, coating on the tongue, bad breath, heaviness, loss of strength and lethargy.

TIPS FOR GOOD DIGESTION

plethora-foods
  • Eat only when hungry.
  • Eat slowly with a calm disposition and chew your food thoroughly.
  • Pay attention to the smells, tastes and textures of food. Appreciate the food you take.
  • Eat freshly cooked foods as stale food would have lost its prana or life force and that could leave one feeling tired and sluggish.
  • Sip warm water as if one is hydrated it is easier for the food to pass into the digestive system. It takes the body 30 minutes to digest warm water and one hour to digest cold water.
  • After meals one should relax for a few minutes otherwise it would hinder the body`s ability to absorb food.
  • The digestive fire is strongest when the sun is at the highest point of the day. So the biggest meal should be at lunch.
  • Slowly sip weakly brewed ginger tea to burn away sluggishness and heaviness after meals.
  • Avoid watching TV or talking over mobile phone while eating.
  • Avoid drinks that are too cold or too hot, reheated food, snacks in between meals.
Read our relevant articles: 6 Ayurvedic Tips for Better Digestion