Acid Reflux or GERD (Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease) is caused when the valve between the esophagus and stomach becomes weak. Normally, this valve opens to allow food in and then it shuts tightly. With GERD, the valve stays open, allowing stomach acids to flow back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and many other symptoms. It leads to a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates (backs up or refluxes) into the esophagus. If you have heartburn that occurs more than twice a week and/or does not get better with over-the-counter antacids, you may have GERD.
Consumption of pitta (fire) aggregating foods and foods of incompatible nature (virudh aahar) vitiates all the doshas, predominantly pitta dosha. Vitiated doshas produce heating toxins that are expelled upwards into the food pipe causing heartburn. Increased intake of tea or coffee, or oily, spicy, or fried foods aggravates pitta and leads to acidity. An aggressive nature and hyperactivity are also causal factors. Pitta is aggravated by late night work schedules, irregular eating patterns, and/or drinking alcoholic and carbonated beverages. Increased intake of painkillers and antibiotics also cause acidity and heartburn.
- Chest pain
- Pain while swallowing food
Ayurvedic Treatment for Acid Reflux or GERD:
According to Ayurveda, Acid Reflux is a result of aggravation of pitta Dosha. The Dosha can be treated with systemic use of medicines combined with healthy Diet and Lifestyle. Panchakarma procedures such as Takra Vasti, Kashaya Vasti has tremendous results in subsiding the symptoms.
Diet & Lifestyle Advice:
- Avoid tea, coffee, and carbonated or alcoholic beverages.
- Avoid processed and fermented foods.
- Avoid using garlic, ginger, onions, tomatoes, and vinegar in cooking.
- Also, avoid rich gravies, sour, salty, and spicy foods.
- Curd should be strictly avoided.
- Take meals in a relaxed atmosphere at regular intervals.
- Practice Yoga and Pranayama such as Vajrasana, Bhujangasana, Salabhasana, Bhastrika Pranayama, Shitali Pranayama, and Shitkari Pranayama.
- Make a powdered mixture of equal parts of rock candy (mishri), fennel, and green cardamom. Whenever you experience heartburn, mix 1 teaspoon of the mixture in a glass of cold milk and drink.
- Mix together equal parts of powdered fennel, licorice root, basil leaves, and coriander seeds. Have ½ teaspoon of this mixture with ½ teaspoon of powdered rock candy (mishri) 15 minutes before lunch and dinner.