Ayurvedic approach for Acid reflux.

These days large number of people complain of heart burn or the stomach content either liquid or food comes to the throat or mouth. This are common complains of the majority of people. Theses complains can be occasionally or chronic. if it is seldom then a person should become alert and should start to work on it to prevent major issue in future. if it is chronic then it should be taken seriously and should work aggressively to stop it.
Then what is that makes heart burn or what makes the stomach content to comes in throat ? for that we will need to understand the anatomy of upper digestive system. when we eat food that goes from mouth to esophagus and from esophagus it goes to the stomach. There is a smooth muscle sphincter at the junction of the esophagus and stomach, which opens when the food enters to the stomach and it closes once the food entered in to stomach. if this sphincter is loose or weak then it will not closed properly and remains partially or complete open even after food entered in the stomach and that allows the stomach substances to come in throat.
Now we know that what causes this Acid reflux or GERD. GERD is defined gastro esophageal reflux diseases. exact cause of weak sphincter is unknown. though heavy weight lifting in improper posture, pregnancy, over eating, hiatus hernia and obesity can cause weak sphincter that results in GERD.
Ayurvedic sages have claimed that the gut health is the most important aspect for the overall health. as per Ayurveda root cause of any illnesses starts from gut. Agnimadhya or weak digestive fire is the root cause of any diseases. because gut is the primary location of all the doshas and if the gut health is maintained then The doshas can be keep in balance which are the culprit for any disorder in our body.
As per Ayurvedic pathogenesis for GERD, over consumption of hot and spicy properties of food, routine not as per body constitution, and consumptions of incompatible food. These corrupts all the three doshas mainly pitta dosha. These corrupted dosha produces Ama that is carried to the esophagus by one of the vata, which causes heart burn or Acid reflux.
What can be done to get rid of Acid reflux? Ayurveda is considered as the science which helps to remove diseases from the root cause. to remove any disorder from the root, we need to work from all the aspect not just to subside by taking symptomatic reliver. it’s not your diet only but your lifestyle also is equal responsible for gastro esophageal reflux diseases. In my final year of Kayachikitsa (General medicine) viva exam, I was asked a question, A driver and a conductor both travels in the same bus and same night time, what is the reason that a driver is more likely to develop Acid reflux then a conductor? The answer is, The driver has responsibility of fifty six passengers travelling in the same bus and he has to be focused to drive safely while the conductor’s job is to collect fare from the passengers and after then he does not have any other responsibility. so because the driver is more stressed to drive safely and has responsibilities he is more likely to develop GERD. similarly if we are more stressed and anxious we can develop GERD. Though there is no proved relation between mind and digestive system, when you are more stressed you can see the symptoms of digestive issues. So stress must be eliminated from your lifestyle. We need to find a way to live with less stress in this fast life. once you know, how you can eliminate stress form your life you can easily improve your health.
We will also need to develop healthy routine, we should have a fixed scheduled routine and that should be easygoing, not with effort. any routine for which we have to force ourselves that is going to create issue. we need to learn to make it as our habit.
We should also keep an eye on our dietary routine and eating habits. for example, eat only when we are hungry, no late night eating, to keep enough interval between two meals etc. avoiding Tea, coffee and alcoholic beverages, processed and fermented food, extreme hot and spicy food, sour and salty food can help to minimize the symptoms of GERD.
GERD can be corelated with Amlapitta and the name defines that the diseases is caused by pitta. for that try to avoid pitta misbalancing diet and routine. avoiding hot properties of food and routine can help to balance pitta. practicing yoga poses and pranayama like ujjayi breathing can help to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux.
Ayurveda has two types of treatments, Shamana (palliative ) and Shodhana (cleansing). for shamana treatment of GERD, we can use the herbs or diet which contains cooling properties like fennel, cardamom, dill and many more but with taking in account other aspects of the disorder. for shodhana or detoxifying treatment we can get done panchakarma from a qualified Ayurvedic physician. panchakama can help to detoxify the accumulated toxins and balance the corrupted dosha.
So overall, Ayurvedic management of GERD should compose of all the aspects and individual’s body type and strength. These is the basic guideline for Ayurvedic management for acid reflux, it can be done with proper assessment and considering the strength of dosha, dushya, and individual’s strength by a qualified Ayurvedic physician.
Thank you for taking your time to read this blog. I hope this reading will be useful to improve your health. see you next month with new interesting subject of wellness.

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