In this post, we will explore the principles of Ayurvedic medicine for digestion and provide practical tips you can include in your daily routine to support optimal digestion.
Ayurveda originated in India thousands of years ago and emphasizes using natural remedies, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications to maintain and restore health.
What is Ayurveda?
Ayurveda is a natural system of medicine that originated in India more than 3000 years ago. It is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems.
Ayurveda focuses on the prevention of disease rather than treatment. Ayurveda encourages lifestyle interventions and natural therapies to regain a balance between your body, mind, spirit, and the environment.
Ayurvedic Medicine for Digestion
When you’re dealing with a gut imbalance or digestive issues, using Ayurvedic medicine for digestion can be an effective way to improve impaired digestion.
The quality of your digestion is one of the biggest keys to your overall health. In Ayurveda, the term that is used for digestion is called digestive fire. Digestive fire helps break down the food we eat. It also helps assimilate what is beneficial while eliminating what isn’t. Ayurveda teaches that impaired Agni or digestive fire is the root cause of every imbalance in our body.
Some of the symptoms you may experience with impaired digestion include:
You may benefit from stimulating your digestive fire if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. Stimulating your digestive fire before you start eating your meals can help optimize your digestion.
Tips for Optimal Digestion
There are many Ayurvedic natural medicines for digestion. Try incorporating two or three of these tips and see how much better your digestion feels!
1. Stimulate Your Digestive Fire
If you’re wondering how to increase digestive fire, the following tips will be helpful. First, consider taking a short walk before eating. If this isn’t possible, drink a glass of warm or room-temperature water about 20 to 30 minutes before eating. Finally, before eating, take a moment to be grateful for the food you’re about to eat. These strategies can help increase digestive fire.
2. Eat Real Food
The standard American diet is high in refined carbohydrates and saturated and trans fats, and low in fiber. This has been linked to an increased risk of digestive disorders. Plus, processed foods and foods with added color, chemicals, preservatives, and flavorings have been shown to increase inflammation in the body.
Foods with artificial sweeteners create a severe gut imbalance, increasing the number of harmful microbes in your gut. Studies suggest that nutrient-dense diets and eating foods in their most natural form (especially plant-based foods) protect us against digestive disorders. Focus on whole foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, while limiting processed foods for optimal digestion.
3. Chew Your Food Well
Chewing is the first step in digestion but is the most often neglected step. Chewing increases saliva production, which starts the process of digestion.
Chewing your food well also helps your stomach process food by breaking down large food particles into smaller fragments. Try to chew your food into applesauce consistency before swallowing.
4. Switch to Warm or Room Temperature Drinks
Cold temperature drinks with meals extinguish the digestive fire and can make digestion more challenging.
Instead, drink warm or room-temperature drinks to increase digestive fire.
5. Rest and Digest
Before jumping back into your workday, take a few moments to breathe and allow your body to relax for optimal digestion. Meditation and deep breathing can effectively switch on your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, which prepares the body for digestion.
6. Only Eat When You Are Hungry
Many people eat because they’re bored, tired, or stressed. We allow our emotions to dictate what we eat rather than our hunger. This can lead to overeating and feeling bloated and uncomfortable.
Our digestive enzymes are most potent when we’re truly hungry. Listen to your body and only eat when you’re hungry. Some signs you might be hungry are grumbling in your stomach, feeling tired, or having a mild headache.
Ayurveda recommends eating only until you are about 80% full, which allows space for the body to digest your meals easily.
7. Eat in a Calm Environment
When you don’t eat mindfully, you won’t feel as satisfied and could over-eat. By eating mindfully, you’ll feel more satisfied and will be able to register when you’ve eaten enough.
To eat mindfully, remove distractions such as TV or work. Notice how the food tastes and smells and how it makes you feel. With practice, mindful eating will become second nature to you.
8. Manage Stress
Negative emotions and stress profoundly impact our digestion and can inhibit the natural digestive process. There is a powerful connection between the gut and the brain. In a stressful environment, the brain sends signals to your gut to release chemicals that can impair digestion. This can lead to malabsorption and inflammation.
If you struggle to manage stress, consider meditation, walking, or working with a therapist.
If you want to take a natural approach to improving digestion, using Ayurvedic medicine for digestion may be helpful for you. By changing a few lifestyle habits, you can make a significant impact on your digestive health.
If you’re unsure how to start improving your digestion, my gut healing program provides a structured framework and strategies to help heal your gut. Click here to get in touch and book a complimentary 15-minute health discovery call to learn how my gut healing program can help you.