Indigestion and Flatulence


Indigestion and flatulence are common issues that many individuals face in their daily lives. In this article, we delve deep into the ancient wisdom of Ayurveda, exploring its unique perspective on digestive health and offering practical insights for achieving balance.

Ayurveda, the ancient Indian system of medicine, views health as a harmonious balance of mind, body, and spirit. In this holistic approach, digestion plays a pivotal role in maintaining overall well-being.

 Understanding Indigestion in Ayurveda

Indigestion occurs when our digestive power is weak. It is a crucial signal from our digestive system warning us about internal issues, and it should not be ignored. Neglecting indigestion can lead to various diseases. Flatulence is a result of indigestion.
In a normal condition without any digestive system deformity, tasteless and odorless gas passes. But, when gases pass through the mouth, carrying the taste and smell of recently eaten food or a sour and hot taste, it is known as flatulence or burps.
Ayurveda advises a specific way of taking food for healthy digestion. One-third of the stomach should be filled with solid food, another one-third with liquid food or water, and the remaining one-third should be kept empty for Vaat dosha (gases). This proportion varies according to an individual’s constitution (Prakruti), and Ayurveda has a specific trick to calculate these parts. If we exceed the two-thirds level of stomach filling, burps without any taste or smell occur. Overfilling the stomach, especially with weak digestive power, results in burps with smell and taste, which is known as flatulence.
Following this division makes digestion easier, ensuring it occurs effectively. Unfortunately, not everyone adheres to this trick in their daily lives, and irregular eating timings further disrupt digestion. Since every system in the body relies on energy and nutrients from the digestive system, reduced digestion weakens the entire body.
It’s crucial to remember that our body absorbs nutrients only after proper digestion. Therefore, for absorption, whatever we eat should be digested effectively. This is why some people remain strong despite consuming common foods, while others may be weak even after eating a lot of healthy food.

Causes of Indigestion

Indigestion, known as “Ajirna” in Ayurveda, is attributed to various factors that disrupt the balance of digestive processes. According to Ayurvedic principles, the causes of indigestion include:

1. Weak Digestive Fire (Agni Dosha):
  • Imbalance in AgniAyurveda emphasizes the significance of Agni, the digestive fire. Indigestion may occur when Agni is weak, leading to incomplete digestion of food.
  • Contributing FactorsIrregular eating habits, excessive consumption of heavy or incompatible foods, and sedentary lifestyle contribute to weakened Agni.
2. Wrong Food Combinations (Viruddha Ahara):
  • Incompatible Food PairingConsuming foods that are incompatible in nature or have conflicting qualities can disturb the digestive process.
  • ExamplesMixing dairy with fruits, combining hot and cold foods, or pairing certain proteins with starchy foods can lead to indigestion.

3. Overeating (Ati Bhojana):

  • Excessive Food Intake: Overloading the digestive system with large quantities of food overwhelms Agni, causing indigestion.
  • Poor Eating HabitsEating too quickly, not chewing food thoroughly, and consuming excessive snacks between meals contribute to overeating.
4. Eating at Improper Times:
  • Mismatched Eating Timing: Ayurveda emphasizes eating at the right times according to the body’s natural rhythm. Irregular eating schedules or consuming heavy meals late at night can disrupt digestion.
5. Emotional Factors (Mansa Dosha):
  • Stress and AnxietyEmotional stress and anxiety can negatively impact digestion. The mind-body connection in Ayurveda recognizes the influence of mental states on the digestive process.
6. Toxins and Ama Formation:
  • Accumulation of AmaIncomplete digestion leads to the formation of Ama, a toxic substance. Ama accumulation can hinder the proper functioning of Agni and result in indigestion.

Identifying Indigestion Symptoms

  • Irregular Digestive Fire (Agni): Indigestion often manifests as irregular Agni. This may result in symptoms such as fluctuating appetite, a feeling of fullness, or an inability to digest certain foods.
  • Abdominal Discomfort: Individuals experiencing indigestion may feel a sense of heaviness or discomfort in the abdomen, especially after meals.The accumulation of gas in the digestive tract can lead to bloating, flatulence, and a feeling of fullness.
  • Acid Reflux and Heartburn: Indigestion, particularly when associated with increased Pitta dosha, may result in symptoms like acid reflux and heartburn.A burning sensation in the chest or throat, especially after consuming spicy or acidic foods, is a common sign of indigestion.
  • Irregular Bowel Movements: Indigestion can disrupt the normal bowel movements, leading to constipation, diarrhea, or alternating between the two.
  • Foul Breath and Taste: Incomplete digestion may contribute to foul breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth.
  • Fatigue and Malaise: Indigestion can affect the absorption of nutrients, leading to fatigue, weakness, and a general sense of malaise.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Individuals with indigestion may experience a sense of nausea, especially after consuming heavy or incompatible foods. In severe cases, indigestion may lead to vomiting, attempting to expel undigested food.
  • Mental Discomfort: The mind-body connection in Ayurveda acknowledges that indigestion can impact mental states, leading to irritability, anxiety, or mood swings.
  • Coated Tongue: A coated or white tongue may indicate the presence of Ama, the toxic residue from incomplete digestion.


Ayurvedic Remedies for Indigestion

Dietary Recommendations

  • Follow a Regular Eating ScheduleEstablish regular meal times to synchronize with the body’s natural circadian rhythm. Avoid irregular eating patterns, which can disrupt digestion.
  • Favor Warm, Cooked FoodsOpt for warm, cooked meals over raw or cold foods. Cooking enhances digestibility and helps balance Agni, the digestive fire. Include digestive spices such as cumin, coriander, fennel, and ginger in your meals to stimulate Agni.
  • Avoid Incompatible Food CombinationsAvoid combining incompatible foods, such as mixing fruits with dairy or consuming conflicting tastes in a single meal.
  • Moderate Portion SizesConsume moderate portion sizes that allow for optimal digestion. Overeating can overwhelm the digestive system.
  • Stay HydratedDrink warm water throughout the day, especially between meals. Avoid cold beverages, as they can dampen Agni.
  • Include Digestive TeasIncorporate digestive teas like peppermint, fennel, or coriander to support healthy digestion.
  • Fasting PeriodsConsider intermittent fasting or leaving a gap between dinner and breakfast to allow the digestive system to rest.
  • Avoid Heavy and Rich FoodsChoose lighter, easily digestible meals. Minimize the intake of heavy, rich, and deep-fried foods.
  • Avoid Excessive Intake of Spicy and Sour FoodsWhile spices are beneficial, limit the intake of excessively spicy or sour foods, as they may aggravate Pitta dosha.
  • Mindful EatingEat in a calm and mindful environment, free from distractions. Chew food thoroughly to aid in the initial stages of digestion.
  • Include Digestive HerbsConsider using Ayurvedic formulations like Triphala to support overall digestive health.
  • Post-Meal HabitsTake a short walk after meals to encourage digestion.

Herbal Solutions

  1. Triphala: Triphala is a classic Ayurvedic formulation consisting of three fruits: Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Haritaki, and Bibhitaki. It helps in balancing all three doshas, promoting digestion, and eliminating toxins.
  2.  Ajwain (Carom Seeds): Ajwain possesses carminative properties, aiding in the relief of gas and bloating. It stimulates digestive enzymes and enhances digestion.
  3. Jeera (Cumin): Cumin seeds have digestive stimulant properties, improving overall digestion, reducing gas, and alleviating bloating.
  4. Ginger: Ginger is well-known for its digestive benefits. It helps in reducing nausea, improving appetite, and enhancing overall digestion. Fennel Seeds: Fennel seeds have carminative and digestive properties, providing relief from bloating, gas, and indigestion.
  5. Pudina (Peppermint): Peppermint has a cooling effect and is known for its ability to relieve indigestion, bloating, and nausea.
  6. Hing (Asafoetida):Asafoetida has anti-flatulent and digestive properties, aiding in relieving gas and improving digestion.
  7. Coriander: Coriander helps in soothing the digestive system, reducing inflammation, and alleviating indigestion.
  8. DhaniaPippali Powder: A combination of coriander and long pepper (pippali) in powder form helps in improving digestion and reducing indigestion symptoms.


8. Yoga and Ayurveda: A Symbiotic Relationship

Yoga Poses for Digestive Health

  • Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose)
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
  • Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
  • Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
  • Marjarasana (Cat-Cow Pose)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Setu Bandhasana (Bridge Pose)
  • Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
  • Vajrasana (Thunderbolt Pose)
  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose)
  • Balasana (Child’s Pose)
  • Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose)
  • Naukasana (Boat Pose)
  • Vakrasana (Twisted Pose)
  • Supta Matsyendrasana (Reclining Fish Pose)

Pranayama Techniques

  • Kapalbhati Pranayama
  • Bhramari Pranayama
  • Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
  • Ujjayi Pranayama
  • Sheetali Pranayama
  • Agni Sara
  • Dirgha Pranayama (Three-Part Breath)
  • Bhastrika Pranayama
  • Shitali Pranayama

9. Ayurvedic Daily Practices for Digestive Harmony

Tongue Scraping

This simple morning ritual helps remove toxins and promotes oral and digestive health.

Oil Pulling

Swishing oil in the mouth for a few minutes daily can aid in detoxification and support digestive well-being.

Mindful Eating

Being present during meals and savoring each bite fosters a positive relationship with food and aids digestion.


Ayurveda is generally suitable for most individuals, but it’s advisable to consult with an Ayurvedic practitioner for personalized recommendations.

The timeline for results varies, but consistent adherence to Ayurvedic practices can lead to gradual improvements in digestive health.

Pregnant women should consult with a qualified Ayurvedic practitioner to ensure the safety and suitability of remedies during pregnancy.

Uniqueness of our therapies  

At Arogya Mandir – Shri Siddhanath Ayurvedic Hospital, Miraj, we delve deeply into the ayurvedic examination of each patient. Utilizing noninvasive Ayurvedic diagnostic tools such as Ashtavidha Parikshan and Nadi Parikshan, we precisely determine the pathogenesis of the disease and then prescribe therapies tailored to the specific condition. This approach leads to expedited results.

Our therapies boast the following distinctive features:
– Tranquil and hygienic therapy rooms staffed with trained therapists in a positive environment.
– Selection of appropriate massage oil based on the patient’s Prakruti and the condition of the disease.
– Complimentary Prakruti and Dhatu Sarata examinations before the commencement of therapies.
– Authenticated procedures for each therapy.
– Judicious use of herbal medicines and instruments during the therapy sessions.
– Specialized rooms equipped with all facilities for inpatient care.

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