You might as well have swallowed a cinder block. That mystery meat sandwich from the cafeteria is sitting in your stomach like a ten-pound hunk of marble, refusing to be digested, refusing to move along and leaving you with a bellyful of discomfort.
Lots of things can cause indigestion: eating too much too fast, eating spicy or fatty foods, even being tense, upset or emotional when you’re eating. For whatever reason your body occasionally has trouble breaking down the foods you eat, sometimes resulting in stomachaches, cramps, flatulence, nausea and other problems.
According to Ayurvedic Practitioners, bay leaf helps kindle agni, or gastric fire, one of the most vital elements of good digestion. To relieve indigestion, try steeping ½ teaspoon of crushed or ground bay leaf in a cup of hot water for ten minutes. Strain the tea so so that there’s no bay leaf left in it, add a pinch of cardamom and drink the tea after eating. You can also try chewing ½ teaspoon each of roasted fennel and cumin seeds after meals to aid digestion or stir 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of cool water, then drink this mixture quickly whenever you’re suffering from indigestion.
There are two major forms of indigestion, says Michael A. Klaper, M.D., a nutritional medicine specialist and director of the Institute of Nutritional education and Research in CA, that teaches doctors about nutrition and its relationships to disease. “One is the upper tract: a stomach filled with acid, which is usually the result of plopping a lot of protein into the stomach and the stomach responding with a big gush of acid to digest it. For that kind of indigestion, it’s a matter of not eating protein-rich foods too late in a day. So if you must have meat, have it for lunch, and stick with salad and pasta for dinner. “The other form of indigestion is due to swallowed air in the lower gastrointestinal tract, and that’s often a matter of how fast you’re eating. For that the best thing is to slow down, chew each mouthful at least 10 to 15 times, avoid drinking with meals and minimize talking while eating,” says Dr.Klaper.
Traditional Herbal remedies for indigestion include peppermint, ginger and chamomile tea, all of which you can find in tea bag form in most health stores. Drink a cup one of those teas after every meal. I personally try to maintain my healthy digestion with YouVeda’s supplements from Digestion series. It contains a unique blend of Ayurvedic herbs, probiotics, enzymes and naturally sourced multivitamins that work synergistically to provide complete digestive support. I like the fact that supplements have Proprietary GI Enzyme Blend which is great for breaking down proteins, fats, carbs. There are also specific probiotics that will help you maintain or improve your gut bacteria which essentially can help you fight any infections your might face especially during the winter season.
In The Complete Book of Juicing, naturopathic physician Michael Murray, N.D., recommends juicing a
¼-inch-thick slice of fresh ginger
1/2 of a handful fresh mint
1/4 of a pineapple
He says drinking this 8 oz blend twice daily, in conjunction with supplements or medical treatment, should speed up digestion, sooth the intestine and help eliminate gas.
Here are some Yoga poses that can help with indigestion as well (if you’re new to yoga, you can google below poses for instructions):
Cobra Pose – stretches abdominal muscles, stimulates circulation, improves digestions and relives constipation.
Spinal Twist – aids digestion by making it easier for food to move though the intestines
Cat Pose – the digestive tract is compressed, cleansing and renewing the blood reservoirs in the abdominal region.
Wind Relieving Pose (with nose touching your knee) – hold this pose of up to a minute. The excess gas would be removed from the stomach and intestines, thus improving digestive system.
“A good eater must be a good man; for a good eater must have a good digestion, and a good digestion depends upon a good conscience.”- Benjamin Disraeli
Shop the Story: My Healthy Digestion
Author – Nazira Creager (YouVeda Wellness Contributor)