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Relieve Bloating and Improve Digestion Naturally

How to Relieve Bloating and Improve Digestion Naturally

If you’re interested in using Ayurveda to relieve bloating and improve digestion, you’re in the right place. Ayurveda focuses on balancing the body and mind through diet, lifestyle, and natural remedies.

According to Ayurvedic principles, digestion is the foundation of good health, and many digestive issues can be traced back to an imbalance in the digestive system. 

By incorporating Ayurvedic practices into your daily routine, you can help restore balance to your digestive system and improve your overall well-being.

Here, we’ll explore some of the most effective Ayurvedic remedies for bloating and digestive discomfort. From simple dietary changes like eating warm, cooked foods and sipping ginger tea, to incorporating specific herbs and spices into your meals.

So if you’re ready to improve your digestion and feel better from the inside out, let’s get started!

Boosting Your Overall Health: The Vital Significance of Improving Digestion

Boosting Your Overall Health
Source: Canva

An individual’s total health and well-being depend on proper digestion. Bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, and vitamin shortages can all result from a digestive system malfunctioning. 

And, because the stomach is frequently referred to as the “second brain,” poor digestion can affect mental health and cognitive performance.

Understanding the Principles and Practices for Optimal Gut Health

An important focus of Ayurveda is on digestion and how important it is to optimum health. Ayurvedic principles state that the digestive tract is responsible for turning food into nutrients the body can utilise. 

The digestive fire, also known as “Agni,” which is in charge of breaking down food and drawing out nutrients, is significant, according to Ayurveda. Toxins, or “ama,” are recognized by Ayurveda as having a part in digestive problems. Ama may build up in the digestive system and obstruct normal digestion, causing bloating and other digestive problems.

Ayurveda also acknowledges that each person has a certain constitution, or “dosha,” which may impact digestion. Ayurveda has three doshas: Vata, Pitta, and Kapha. Each dosha has distinctive traits and propensities that can affect digestion. As a result, Ayurvedic therapies for digestive problems are specific to a person’s dosha type.

Unlocking the Power of Ayurvedic Principles for Optimal Digestion and Gut Health

the Power of Ayurvedic Principles
Source: Canva

1. Agni: The Digestive Fire

The digestive fire, Agni, converts food into nutrients and energy the body may utilise. Agni is strong when digestion is effective, and the body can eliminate waste. Food may not be effectively digested if agni is weak, which can produce ama or poisons. By boosting their Agni, people, according to Ayurveda, can enhance their digestion and avoid bloating.

Consuming warm, cooked foods and avoiding cold or raw foods can help people have better agni. Agni can be strengthened by eating slowly and deliberately. Consuming herbs and spices like fennel, cumin, and ginger can also energise the agni and support a healthy digestive system.

2. Ama: The Toxins

Ama is the term for unprocessed food fragments that build up in the body and cause the production of toxins. Ama can lead to gastrointestinal problems such as gas, bloating, and constipation. 

People can adhere to Ayurvedic dietary recommendations and consume readily digestible meals to stop the formation of ama. In fact, they can eat regularly spaced meals and refrain from overeating.

People can adopt Ayurvedic techniques like fasting, which lets the digestive system rest and flushes out toxins that have been collected to get rid of ama from the body. Consuming Triphala and turmeric, among other herbs and spices, can aid in the body’s detoxification process.

3. Doshas and Digestion

As per Ayurveda, a person’s dosha type affects their digestive system. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha are the three doshas. Each dosha has distinct qualities that may affect digestion. For instance, Vata dosha people frequently have sensitive digestive systems and may experience gas and bloating. On the other hand, the Pitta dosha is characterised by a powerful digestive fire and the potential for acidity and heartburn.

Individuals can adopt a dosha-specific diet and lifestyle to balance their doshas and encourage healthy digestion. For instance, Vata people should eat warm, nourishing foods and avoid cold, dry items that can aggravate their dosha. People with a Pitta dosha should take cooling foods and avoid spicy or greasy foods that aggravate their dosha. Individuals with a kapha dosha should take light, dry foods and stay away from heavy, fatty foods that can aggravate their doshas.

4. Importance of Elimination

People might adopt a dosha-specific diet and lifestyle to balance their doshas and promote healthy digestion. For instance, Vata folks should avoid cold, dry foods that can aggravate their dosha and consume warm, nutritious foods instead. 

People with a Pitta dosha should consume cooling meals and refrain from eating anything spicy or oily that can worsen their dosha. People who have a kapha dosha should consume light, dry foods and avoid heavy, fatty foods because these can make their doshas worse.

The Top Foods to Promote Healthy Digestion and Gut Health

The Top Foods to Promote Healthy Digestion and Gut Health
Source: Canva

Maintaining general health and well-being depends on proper digestion. Consuming meals that encourage healthy digestion and prevent bloating, gas, and other digestive problems is crucial. Let’s go through some of the meals that, in accordance with Ayurveda, can facilitate digestion and reduce bloating.

1. Foods to Increase Agni

Consuming agni-stimulating meals helps enhance digestion and reduce bloating. Foods like fennel, ginger, cumin, and turmeric can all help to stimulate agni. For instance, ginger can aid digestion by promoting stomach motility and boosting the release of digestive enzymes. 1

Cumin can enhance digestion by boosting the activity of digestive enzymes and lowering gas and bloating. The anti-inflammatory effects of turmeric can help with digestion and lessen bloating. By calming the digestive system’s muscles and lowering inflammation, fennel helps lessen bloating and enhance digestion.

Consuming warm, prepared foods can also boost agni and promote sound digestion. Warm soups, and stews might be very helpful for people with weak Agni.

2. Foods to Reduce Ama

People can eat easily digestible foods and limit their caloric intake to stop ama from forming and help their bodies eliminate pollutants. Fruits like papaya, pineapple, and mango, which contain enzymes that can break down proteins and assist digestion, are some foods that can lessen ama. 2

By stimulating the liver and facilitating the removal of toxins, vegetables, including bitter gourd, dandelion greens, and artichokes, can also aid in the reduction of ama. Consuming herbs and spices like Triphala, turmeric, and coriander can also aid in the body’s detoxification process.

3. Foods to Balance Doshas

People can consume foods specific to their dosha to balance their doshas and encourage healthy digestion. Individuals with vata constitutions should eat warm, nourishing foods such as cooked grains, root vegetables, and nuts. 3

Cucumbers, melons, and leafy greens are cooling foods that Pitta people can eat. Individuals with a kapha constitution can eat light, dry meals like legumes, vegetables, and spices.

Consuming locally grown and in-season foods can encourage balance and stave off stomach problems. For instance, cooling fruits and vegetables like watermelon, cucumber, and mint can be consumed throughout the heat to balance Pitta dosha.

Healthy Habits for a Happy Gut

Healthy Habits for a Happy Gut
Source: Canva

Lifestyle modifications can also aid in preventing bloating and other digestive problems, in addition to ingesting foods that enhance digestion. This section will discuss various lifestyle modifications that can help with digestion.

1. Exercise and Digestion

By increasing blood flow to the digestive organs and encouraging peristalsis (the intestines’ rhythmic contractions that move food through the digestive system), exercise can support a healthy digestive system. Regular exercise can also help to lower worry and stress, both of which are known to aggravate digestive problems, including bloating and constipation.

Ayurveda advises getting moderate exercise every day for at least 30 minutes. Swimming, cycling, running, and walking are all great exercises that can enhance digestion. Avoiding strenuous exercise just after eating is crucial because it can affect digestion.

2. Yoga and Digestion

Yoga is an activity that enhances circulation, lessens stress, and stimulates peristalsis to support healthy digestion. Yoga positions that massage the internal organs can also help with digestion.

The yoga poses listed below can enhance digestion and reduce bloating:

  • Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose): This posture, known as Pawanmuktasana (Wind-Relieving Pose), can aid in the digestive process by helping to remove accumulated gas in the intestines.
  • Trikonasana (Triangle Pose): By lengthening the abdominal muscles and promoting peristalsis, this pose might enhance digestion.
  • Marjariasana (Cat Pose): This posture can stimulate healthy digestion and massage the inside organs.
  • Paschimottanasana (Sitting Forward Bend): This posture might increase digestion by inducing peristalsis.

3. Stress Management and Digestion

Constipation and bloating are examples of digestive problems that can be worse by stress and worry. Stress can slow down the digestive process, resulting in bloating and poor digestion. As a result, stress reduction strategies can aid in better digestion.

Ayurveda suggests the following stress management methods:

  • Meditation: Meditation can ease anxiety and tension while fostering calm. This can facilitate better digestion and reduce bloating.
  • Breathing exercises: Exercises for deep breathing can help people relax and reduce stress and anxiety. And, it may aid with better digestion.
  • Ayurvedic massage: Abhyanga, an Ayurvedic massage, can promote relaxation and enhance circulation. This can facilitate better digestion and reduce bloating.

Additional Ayurvedic Practices for Digestive Health

Ayurvedic Practices for Digestive Health
Source: Canva

Apart from food and lifestyle changes, Ayurveda recommends certain additional practices that can help improve digestion and prevent bloating.

1. Tongue Scraping

A basic Ayurvedic procedure known as tongue scraping includes cleaning the tongue of bacteria, dead cells, and poisons accumulated there with a metal scraper. By removing the toxins that might lead to digestive problems like bloating, gas, and foul breath, this technique not only supports healthy digestion but also improves dental hygiene.

Use a metal tongue scraper to gently scrape the tongue from the rear to the front to practise tongue scraping. After each pass, continue scraping the tongue until it is clean, rinsing the scraper with water. 4

2. Oil Pulling

To remove toxins and improve oral health, oil pulling is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that includes swishing oil (often sesame or coconut oil) in the mouth for a few minutes. However, new research has also indicated that oil pulling can benefit intestinal health.

Bloating and other digestive problems can be avoided by increasing the synthesis of digestive enzymes and improving nutrient absorption by oil pulling. A tablespoon of oil should be swished around in the mouth for 10 to 20 minutes before being spat out and followed by a water rinse.

3. Abhyanga: Ayurvedic Self-Massage

Warm oil is massaged into the skin during abhyanga, an Ayurvedic self-massage technique, to increase circulation, encourage relaxation, and stimulate digestion. And, this routine can facilitate better bowel motions and ward off constipation.

Warm some oil (such as coconut or sesame oil) and apply it to the skin from the head to the feet to perform abhyanga. Use circular motions to massage the oil into the skin, paying special attention to the lower back and abdomen. 5

4. Fasting and Digestion

By giving the digestive system a break and enabling it to relax and recover, fasting is a traditional Ayurvedic practice that helps enhance digestion and avoid bloating. In fact, fasting can increase the synthesis of digestive enzymes and enhance nutrient absorption.

Fasting, meanwhile, must be done under the direction of a qualified Ayurvedic professional because it may not be appropriate for all people. Instead of long-term or excessive fasting, Ayurveda advises intermittent fasting, such as skipping one meal per day or going without food for one day each week. 6

Summary

Relieve Bloating and Improve Digestion Naturally
Source: Canva

For enhancing digestion and reducing bloating, Ayurveda provides a plethora of knowledge and techniques. The digestive system’s health and general well-being can be significantly improved by embracing the principles of Ayurveda and implementing a few easy lifestyle modifications.

Incorporating particular foods and altering one’s lifestyle can all help to improve digestion and reduce bloating. Other ayurvedic methods that can help are harmonising the doshas, boosting Agni, lowering ama, and encouraging evacuation.

Further supporting digestive health and minimising bloating are other activities like tongue scraping, oil pulling, abhyanga, and fasting that can be added to the Ayurvedic diet and lifestyle adjustments.

It’s critical to remember that Ayurveda takes a holistic approach to health and that maintaining good digestive health involves more than just what you consume. Bloating can be avoided, and regular exercise, yoga, and stress reduction can benefit digestion.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some natural remedies to relieve bloating?

Ginger, peppermint, and chamomile tea, as well as probiotics and digestive enzymes, can help reduce bloating.

What foods should I avoid to reduce bloating?

Foods high in salt, sugar, and artificial sweeteners, as well as cruciferous vegetables, beans, and dairy products, can cause bloating.

How can I improve my digestion naturally?

Eating slowly, drinking plenty of water, and incorporating fibre-rich foods like fruits and vegetables into your diet can improve digestion.

References

  1. Chumpitazi, B. P., Kearns, G. L., & Shulman, R. J. (2018). Review article: the physiological effects and safety of peppermint oil and its efficacy in irritable bowel syndrome and other functional disorders. Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics, 47(6), 738-752.[]
  2. Prasad, S., Tyagi, A. K., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2014). Recent developments in delivery, bioavailability, absorption and metabolism of curcumin: the golden pigment from golden spice. Cancer research and treatment, 46(1), 2-18.[]
  3. Al-Said, M. S., Ageel, A. M., Parmar, N. S., & Tariq, M. (1994). Evaluation of mastic, a crude drug obtained from Pistacia lentiscus for gastric and duodenal anti-ulcer activity. Journal of ethnopharmacology, 43(3), 125-133.[]
  4. Singh, A. K., & Acharya, S. B. (2019). A comprehensive review of Ayurvedic concept of tongue cleaning. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 10(4), 247-252. doi: 10.1016/j.jaim.2018.03.001[]
  5. Nagarathna, R., Nagendra, H. R., & Majumdar, V. (2015). A randomized controlled trial of the effect of yoga and peer support on glycaemic outcomes in women with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a feasibility study. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 6(3), 145-150. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.146557[]
  6. Sharma, H., & Chandola, H. M. (2015). Ayurvedic approach to management of irritable bowel syndrome: a clinical trial. Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, 6(4), 250-257. doi: 10.4103/0975-9476.172558[]