Indigestion - causes and remedies

Dr. Violeta Pîrvu
Family doctor
competent phytotherapy, ayurveda, apitherapy, aromatherapy

Many of us, after hearty meals especially on holidays, we-I have experienced abdominal pain, bloating, gastric acidity, nausea (even vomiting), lack of appetite, feeling of a "heavy" stomach, feeling like I can't digest anything and a terrible state of general discomfort. These are the common symptoms of indigestion or gastric dyspepsia (as it is also known in medical terms), a condition which occurs when the digestive processes in the stomach and duodenum are disturbed.

What causes indigestion?

When it is acute (when symptoms appear suddenly), indigestion is caused by heavy, abundant meals (which exceed the stomach's capacity to digest them), improper chewing (eating quickly, without chewing food carefully), to which are added long-term, general causes that lead to the appearance of chronic indigestion: the habit of eating before the previous meal has been fully digested, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, stress and anxiety, frequent use of anti-inflammatory drugs, peptic ulcer, major changes in lifestyle (to which the person cannot adapt). From an Ayurvedic point of view, indigestion is the result of excessive accumulation of Ama (toxins) in the stomach due to a decrease in the Agni digestive fire (the totality of digestive enzymes).

What kind of foods can cause indigestion?

Meat and meat products - due to the fact that they require quite a long digestion time, this type of food can most often cause indigestion.

Fats from meat, sausages, cream, fatty cheese, cakes, because they are "heavy", require a greater discharge of digestive juices (gastric, biliary, pancreatic), and by the same mechanism (also present in meat consumption), it slows down gastric evacuation prolonging the gastric evacuation.digestion time and stasis of food in the stomach (which leads to fermentation).

Fried foods, sauces, semi-prepared foods, white bread and white flour in general, consumed constantly, lead to chronic indigestion.

Consumption of alcohol, coffee, carbonated drinks, commercial juices (consumed during meals) causes the condition.

How can we prevent it?

First of all, avoid the habit of eating without a strong feeling of hunger.

Meals will be taken in small, repeated amounts and large amounts of food will not be eaten at one meal.

Avoid alcohol, coffee, black tea, mineral water, chocolate, cocoa during meals.

No strenuous physical exertion or sports immediately after meals.

Constantly engage in a mental relaxation technique to protect yourself from the negative effects of stress.

What can we do?

When the symptoms of the disease have already appeared, it is necessary to keep a diet from the day the symptoms appear.

If there is a feeling of vomiting, it is advisable that first, the person vomits the entire stomach contents. On that day you will not eat anything, you will only drink warm water in which we can possibly add lemon juice.

The next day the diet should be very light: boiled rice water and boiled rice, vegetable soups and vegetable purees, compotes, generally light cooked or baked foods.

What herbs can we use in case of indigestion?

Mousetail, mint, sage, St. John's wort, basil, aniseed, fennel, ginger, artichoke. These can be taken as heated cold macerates, powders held sublingually for 1015 minutes and then swallowed with water, alcoholic extracts, taken in plain water.

In addition to herbs, essential oils such as mint, coriander, fennel, dripped in a macerate or taken directly on a piece of bread, are very helpful.

Also the consumption of spices such as ginger, cardamom, coriander, fennel immediately after meals stimulates digestion and assimilation of food.

By following these minimal tips, you can have a healthy digestion, which is the basis of "iron" health and full harmony in body and mind.