Did you know that in India there are about 250 million people (approx.) silently suffering from acidity every year? According to the principles of Ayurveda, imbalance of Doshas may result in problems related to digestive system. Out of the three Doshas, aggravated Pitta Dosha is the main cause of acidity. Ayurvedic treatment focuses on balancing aggravated pitta Dosha and helps in regulating agni- the digestive fire. Acidity is, considered to be a common problem but if ignored for a longer duration it may lead to various digestive health issues. Now, needn’t worry anymore! Manage the heartburn naturally by lifestyle modifications or by embracing Ayurvedic remedies and enjoy the scrumptious menu that you have long been waiting for. Use the power of Ayurveda to win the battle against hyperacidity and associated problems. It’s about time to manage your acidity, the Ayurvedic way for a Healthy Gut and healthy you!
What is Acidity?
The food travels via food pipe or Oesophagus into the stomach and this passage connects from mouth to stomach. Our stomach produces acid that is necessary for the digestion of the food we eat. There is a valve in the food pipe that closes after the food enters into the stomach. This closing of valve which opens only in one way, prevents the backing up of the food into the food pipe after it reaches your stomach. If the acid flows back into the food pipe from the stomach, it will cause burning in your chest or upper abdomen often after eating. More production of the acid can also be a reason for many uncomfortable symptoms of acidity.
How does acidity occur?
If there is any problem in the opening or closing of the valve, the acid might find its way back into the food pipe and cause the burning sensation. This burning sensation in the lower chest area is known as acidity or acid reflux. Stomach lining can tolerate the acid produced for the digestion. Whereas, the food pipe can't tolerate this acid. Our food pipe might not be able to hold the acid without undergoing damage itself. When acid contents come into contact with the food pipe it gives you a burning or fiery sensation and acidity occurs. (Webmd, 2020).
The acid reflux occurring 2-3 times a week, is called chronic acid reflux or “GERD”(gastroesophageal reflux disorder). GERD is a complication of acidity. If left untreated acid reflux may lead to further complications like inflammatory bowel disorder and malabsorption.
Hyperacidity is caused when excess acid is produced by the stomach and the protective mechanism fails to ensure safety against the excess acid. Hyperacidity is also known as major cause of Gastritis. Gastritis may occur suddenly or slowly over a time and if left untreated may lead to severe illnesses. (Central Council for Research in Ayurvedic Sciences (CCRAS)). Over time, repeated exposure of stomach acid to the lining of the oesophagus can cause more complications and eventually scarring of the tissue, a condition known as esophagitis.
Know the various ways acidity manifests (acidity symptoms):
Difficulty in swallowing- Difficulty in swallowing, also called as Dysphagia, takes more time to chew than usually to let travel food from the mouth to the stomach. This could be one consequence of acidity which could create lifestyle challenges. Heartburn- A continuous or discomfort within the system that moves from your stomach to your chest and at times it also moves up to your throat.
- Bad breath & Burping- In the event that you experience terrible breath even after you brush and floss your teeth consistently, it very well might be a result of the corrosive upholding into the food pipe from the stomach along with the release of air from the stomach through mouth with noise. This is often experienced as a sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your mouth.
- Chronic dry cough, Pain or swelling in the throat: GERD is a common cause for chronic, unexplained dry cough. Puking sensation: The reverse movement of the stomach makes you give the sound and feel of vomiting but without expulsion of vomitus.
- Other symptoms: Tooth erosion, dry mouth and sometimes tenderness of gums and draining is additionally seen due to acidity.
Here are the 5 Causes of Acidity:
The causes for heartburn differ from person to person. The following are few triggers that could precipitate heartburn and can lead to GERD.
Acidity problems are the result of poor eating habits. Type of food & choice of food play a very important role in keeping your gut healthy. In our daily life, many times individuals follow wrong eating practices leading to acidity problems. One should avoid having fatty and spicy foods that can trigger heartburn due to production of excess acids. Irregular eating habits are one of the main causes of acidity. People who tend to skip a meal because of their hectic daily schedules might end up in acidity symptoms in long run. Those who indulge in untimely eating habits or erratic eating habits due to busy lifestyle or various other reasons can also become victims of acidity if they do not try to stick to a proper timing. Having food in correct quantity is crucial one should not have larger meals as it stretches the stomach and increases the pressure on the sphincter leading to acidity problems.
Postures:Lying down immediately after eating food or sleeping on your right side can increase the risk of acid reflux. Standing or sitting position will ease digestion and prevent acidity. So, try not to lie down immediately after food to prevent acidity. Embrace and practice a few yoga poses that relieve acidity and aid in strengthening your digestive system.
ActivitiesActivities like jumping and lifting heavy loads, and exercises like crunches, involving bending immediately after food, increases pressure on the abdomen leading to reflux. Refrain from such activities which could possibly increase the pressure on abdomen after having your meal.
MedicationsMany medications can trigger or make heartburn worse.
- Consumption of medicines with anti-inflammatory property for a long period of time may cause acidity related problems. Eg- aspirin, ibuprofen
- Certain supplements such as iron and potassium may cause acidity related problems.
SmokingSmoking damages the mucous membrane (protective layer of stomach) and increases the acid secretion. It also reduces the salivation, which is helpful in neutralizing the excess stomach acid. The nicotine from tobacco is also known to relax the sphincter and causing the food to back up.
10 Common Home remedies followed for acidity management:
Millions of people experience acid reflux and heartburn. Treating the acidity symptoms by neutralizing the acid is the line of treatment by modern medicine. Ayurveda aims at calming down the fiery pitta by balancing it with sheet potency (cooling) elements. However, both Ayurveda and western medicine echo the approaches that involve changing dietary habits or lifestyle modifications helps to reduce acidity symptoms. It can promote better sleep and improve your quality of life. Few commonly followed home remedies (foods) that help relieve acidity are given below:
1. Lukewarm Water:Before sleeping at night, drinking a glass of lukewarm water relieves acidity. Drinking a glass of Lukewarm water after every meal daily can be beneficial.
2. Cucumber:Including cucumber in diet on a regular basis helps in relieving acidity due to its alkaline nature. It also helps in hydrating the body.
3. Ginger:Ginger aids in digestion either in raw or powdered form. Chewing bits of raw ginger or ginger tea can relieve the symptoms. Boiling ginger with water and consuming it can be beneficial.
4. Banana:Eating a banana can provide relief from acidity as it neutralises the acidity
5. Cloves:sucking a piece of clove during acidity can help in reducing the symptoms of acidity.
6. Watermelon:The high water content and the cooling properties of watermelon provide quick relief from acidity symptoms. They help in hydrating the body and aid in digestion.
7. Alkaline foods:Foods that are alkaline in nature like spinach and green leafy vegetables can help counter acidity. Including them in your daily meal can be beneficial.
8. Ajwain:Ajwain and Cumin seeds can help in relieving acidity related issues.
9. Cumin seeds:Cumin seeds or Jeera is a spice that can stimulate digestive juices and aid in digestion. It's acid neutralizing activity can relieve the symptoms of acidity. Consuming it either directly or preparing infusion with with water (Jeera water) is useful.
10. Baking soda:1/2 teaspoon baking soda mixed with 1/2 cup of water provides relief in acidity
9 Ways for Acidity Management:
1. Small frequent meals:It's better to eat many tiny meals rather than 2 or 3 massive meals. Larger volumes of meals or beverages, greater the chances of splashing up of the contents into the oesophagus.
2. Abstinence from smoking and alcohol:Smoking will cause aerophagia (Excessive air swallowing), that end up in accrued belching (Excess wind in the stomach or upper intestine released from the mouth).Consumption of alcohol may not play much role in severe disorders but may exacerbate acidity symptoms like heartburn.
3. Shed your extra kilos:Extra weight increases the risk of GERD, most likely through increased intra-abdominal pressure. Disruption of the esophagogastric (between end of oesophagus and stomach) junction has also been seen in patients with overweight.
4. Stroll but avoid arduous activities:Strenuous activities immediately after food increases the pressure on abdomen and reflexes the food contents backing up from stomach to food pipe leading to heartburn.
5. Let gravity hold back the acid in place:Because of gravity, the form of the abdomen, and also the angle of the association between it and also the oesophagus, sleeping on your left side will greatly scale back reflux.
6. Avoid stress:Stress may cause certain changes in the brain that can render you more sensitive to even slight increase in acid level. Stress exacerbates acid reflux though it is not known how. However, there is a link, which is so hard to deny as any activities that decrease stress seem to relieve acid reflux as well.
7. Maintain a trigger diary to identify the triggers:Maintaining a diary helps in easier tracking of substances that trigger acidity in us and make a person aware of the next time.
8. Look out for the prescription medications precipitating acidity:Some medicines can irritate the lining of your oesophagus and stomach causing heartburn pain and some may increase the severity of gastro oesophageal reflux ailment (GERD). Try fixing those with alternatives.
9. Stay up for a three-hour gap before going to bed:Lying down immediately after dinner can cause the stomach contents to reflux into the oesophagus, wait two to three hours before you lie horizontally.
Also, elevation of the upper body slightly than your waist while sleeping can prevent reflux.
Acidity & Digestion management from the house of Zandu:
Zandu Acidity Regulator (Amlapitta Har Vati) (60 tab)
Are you looking for tablets for acidity? Zandu Acidity Regulator (Amlapitta Har Vati) works as an acid reflux suppressant and helps relieve acidity naturally. A potent Ayurvedic formulation that is useful in promoting gut health and digestive wellness. Dosage: Take 1 tablet half an hour with water before the meals twice a day, or as directed by the physician.
Zandu Aadhman Har Churna
Dosage: 1-2 teaspoons to be taken with meals or as directed by the physician.
Zandu Pancharishta is an Ayurvedic digestive tonic, a combination of 35 selected Ayurvedic herbs for promoting digestive health. It stimulates the secretion of the hydrochloric acid and other stomach acids in the stomach and helps to increase appetite. It also reduces burning in the throat, chest, stomach, and abdomen. It works on the roots and improves the functions of seven digestive centres: salivary glands, stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small intestine, and large intestine.
Dosage: 30ml twice daily. With the same quantity of water after a meal or as directed by the physician.
Zandu Nityam Vati
Zandu Nityam Vati is an Ayurvedic laxative enriched with the goodness of seven natural ingredients. It helps to relieve constipation alongside providing relief from gas, acidity and bloating. Nityam Vati is non-habit forming. Thus if acidity occurs due to constipation, Nityam vati is the best choice.
Dosage: One-two tablets to be taken with water at bed time
Zandu Nityam Churna
Nityam Churna is an Ayurvedic laxative, enriched with seven laxative ingredients like castor oil, Triphala and Saunf. Nityam Churna is indicated for relief from constipation, acidity, nausea and indigestion. Thus if acidity occurs due to constipation, Nityam churna is the best choice.
Dosage: Add 1-2 teaspoons of Nityam Churna to a glass of water. Stir gently & consume immediately at bedtime.
List of Foods that can cause acidity:
It is known to aggravate pitta that lead acidity in some people. Should you feel the heartburn intensity after consumption Garlic, try avoiding it.
Onions, especially raw onions, can cause acid reflux by relaxing the lower oesophageal sphincter.
A fresh tomato has a pH 4.3. It can go further down for canned or pasted tomatoes. Lower the pH, higher the risk of developing reflux.
Pippermint is known to cause heartburn by relaxing oesophageal sphincter which may lead to increase acid reflux.
Spicy foods like pepper and chilli
They contain capsaicin, which can slow down the digestion rate causing the food to sit in your belly longer and can cause heartburn.
Fatty and greasy foods
Fried and fatty meals enable stomach acids to back up into the oesophagus. These meals also cause a delay in stomach emptying thus increasing the chances of reflux.
Consumption of high content of chocolate can trigger acidity because of its caffeine, serotonin levels, and fat content by relaxing the sphincter and causing the acid seep up.
Note: Not everybody has the same triggers. Keep a close eye on your meals, identify the triggers and try avoiding them.
Frequently asked questions around acidity management:
Can Ayurveda cure hyperacidity?
Ayurvedic ingredients as well as polyherbal formulation have been effective in treating acidity related lifestyle disorders. They work by calming pitta and vata doshas which restores the balance. They bring the acid production down and improve mucous secretion.
Avoiding pitta enhancing foods and processed foods that increase ama in your body can help you relieve acidity symptoms. Zandu brings you a range of products that can help in managing acidity.
Zandu Acidity Regulator (Amlapitta Har Vati) is an Ayurvedic formulation enriched with the goodness of Yasti & Muktashukti Bhasma that helps in reducing symptoms associated with acidity.
Zandu Aadhman Har Churna is a unique Ayurvedic formulation prepared with the goodness of Shunthi (Dry ginger), Hing, Marich (Mari), Pippali that helps in addressing root cause of acidity and enhances digestive health.
Last 90 days acidity trend in India?
With reference to the data obtained from google trends for the last 90 days, the peak time for Acidity has been observed in May 2021.
What can I drink to kill acidity?
Consume more fluids such as buttermilk, watermelon, coconut water, herbal teas, fruit juices, cold milk, water etc.
Do all chest pains be considered heartburn?
Some symptoms of heartburn and heart attack could be similar, such as chest pain.
However, heartburn is a painful burning sensation behind the breastbone which is a symptom of GERD whereas a chest pain like a feeling of constriction or tightness that is experienced due to obstructed blood flow to the heart could be different. Heartburn associated with shortness of breath, cold sweat, or radiating pain in arms could be something more serious and can be cardiac- related and don't ignore the warning signs.
Therapeutic uses of the products and the different combinations in which it can be consumed are recommendations based on facts established by Ayurveda’s age-old wisdom. Zandu Care always strives to present data that is both authentic and safe. Yet, usage of our products is at the sole discretion of the consumer. In case, any persisting side effects are perceived on account of any product, you are requested to consult a physician immediately. As every product depends upon individual body constitution & prakriti, the recommendations in this article, may in no way, be considered as a substitute for diagnosis and remedies offered by physicians.