Ayurvedic Remedies to Improve Digestion

ayurvedicWhat is ayurvedic?

Ayurveda is an alternative medicine used primarily in India for 5,000 years until now. It deals with measures of healthy living, along with therapeutic measures that relate to physical, mental, social, and spiritual harmony, to the environment.

Nowadays, people complain that we seem to be constipated more often, or our bowels becomes irritable. Ayurveda provides simple solutions to these complaints by considering not only what we eat but also how we eat. For instance, eating a sandwich while driving through traffic may cause stress in your body.

According to Ayurveda, the act of eating is life-giving. The process of eating is reverent and important for the development of consciousness as well as our physical health. Here are some recommended procedures to improve your digestion.

Eat while sitting down

Our bodies need an uplifting and settled environment in order to process and absorb the nutrients from our meals. If that is not available, we should at least sit down-without the TV on-as we eat and not while standing, walking, or driving.

Eat a fresh piece of ginger and lemon before a meal

You should improve your digestion by stimulating the "digestive fire" (or "agni") before eating. A weak digestive agni may result in fatigue after eating. Ayurvedic practitioners would recommend eating a one-inch piece of fresh ginger with a few drops of lemon juice and a pinch of salt on it before having a full meal.

Doing so would activate the salivary glands, producing the necessary enzymes so that the nutrients in the food are easily absorbed by the body. However, if you have excessive agni (which is determined by a high level of stomach acidity), pomegranate chutney may be more suitable for you.

Drink "Lassi" with or before lunch

A Lassi is a type of fresh yogurt drink that you should take either during or after lunch. This light concoction contains lactobacilli bacteria that lubricate the intestines to help digestion go smoothly. Lassi also helps reducing stomach gas and bloating.

Here is a recommended Lassi recipe, blending all ingredients for about a minute:

  • 1 cup water, set to room temperature
  • ¼ fresh homemade yogurt
  • 1 pinch ground ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 pinch ground coriander
  • 1 pinch salt

Avoid ice-cold drinks and food

Another way to increase your agni is to avoid cold drinks (including iced water) at meals and even ice-cold foods in general. Imagine it as if you are pouring cold water over burning logs. 

Also, cold drinks and foods mixed with warm, cooked foods can cause stomach cramps, bloating, and general discomfort in the digestive area. Drinks such as water and juice should be taken at room temperature.

Lunch should be the biggest meal of the day

Follow nature’s prescription of suitable times to eat. When the sun is strongest between noon and 2:00 p.m., the digestive fire is also strongest. It is recommended to take a big amount of lunch since it is during this time that agni is working at its maximum potency. 

As the sun goes down, so does the agni. That is why you should keep your dinner to a minimum no later than 8:00 p.m. Eating food later than that time may cause toxins to accumulate in the system, and as a result you wake up tired the next day.