Ayurvedic treatment for Indigestion

Ayurvedic management for Ajeerna (Indigestion):

न जीर्यति सुखेनान्नम् विकारान् कुरुते अपि च।
तदजीर्णंमिति प्राहुस्तन्मूला विविधा रुजः।।
This is a disorder in which food is not properly digested due to low digestive power or other reasons. It is the root cause of many diseases and causes many types of pains.

Causative factors:
अत्यम्बूपानात् – Excessive drinking of water,
विषमाशनाच्च – Taking of incompatible diets,
संधारनात् – Suppression of natural urges,
स्वप्नविपर्ययातच्च – Reversal of sleeping habits,
काले अपि सात्म्यम् लघुचापि भुक्तमन्नं पाकं भजते नरस्य – Due to above reasons, the food does not get digested even if it has been taken at proper time and wholesome as well as light to digest.
ईर्ष्याभयक्रोधपरिप्लुतेन लुब्धेन रूक् दैन्य निपीडितेन
प्रद्वेषयुक्तेन च  सेव्यमानमन्नम् न सम्यक्परिपाकमेति – Further the food is not properly digested by the person who is emotionally upset due to jealousy, fear, anger or greed or who is distressed due to suffering from other diseases or who has taken food not according to his likings. (M.N.)

1) Due to ama (toxin) formation- Amajeerna
2) Due to vitiation of pitta- Vidagdhajeerna
3) Due to vitiation of vata- Vishtabdhajeerna
4) Due to vitiation of plasma channel- Rasasheshajeerna

According to Charaka (school of Ayurvedic medicine), the symptoms of indigestion are as per below.
विष्टम्भ: – Stasis of food in stomach,
सदनं – Malaise,
शिरसोरुक् – Headache,
मूर्च्छा – Fainting,
भ्रम – Giddiness,
पृष्ठकटिग्रह – Stiffness in back and waist,
जृम्भा – Yawning,
अंगमर्द – Body-ache,
तृष्णा – Thirst,
ज्वर – Fever,
छर्दि – Vomiting,
प्रवाहणम् – Griping pain,
अरोचक – Anorexia,
अविपाक – Improper digestion of food.
‘Madhav Nidana’ has also explained some other symptoms like- constipation or diarrhoea, obstruction to the movement of ‘Vata’ and feeling of heaviness.

Specific features:
Amajeerna: The symptoms of this type are heaviness in abdomen, nausea, belching and slight oedema on the cheeks and below eyelids. Ama is toxin and can cause various symptoms. It can also vitiate other doshas and produce specific symptoms:
1) Ama with Pitta aggravation- Burning, thirst, diseases of mouth, hyperacidity and other Pitta diseases.
2) Ama with Kapha aggravation- Acute cold and diseases like diabetes and tuberculosis.
3) Ama with Vata aggravation- Different types of Vata disorders.
Vishtabdhajeerna: The symptoms of this type are different type of pains and aches in the abdomen and in the body like headache, backache etc., gas in the abdomen, which does not move at all, and various types of Vataja disorders like obstruction to the flatus and faeces, stiffness, confusion and body-ache.
Vidagdhajeerna: The symptoms of this type are vertigo, thirst, fainting, and various other disorders due to Pitta like smoky and acidic eructation, perspiration and burning sensation in stomach.
Rasasheshajeerna: The symptoms of this type are dyspepsia and loss of appetite.
According to Ayurveda, complications are mainly fainting, talkativeness, vomiting, excessive salivation, depression, giddiness and even death may occur. (M.N.)
Patient having indigestion who has cyanosed lips and nails, who is in semi comatose state and is vomiting constantly, has sunken eyes, weak voice and flaccidity of all joints rarely survives.(Su. U. 56)

Home Remedy for Indigestion:
One should take 4-5 teaspoonfuls of fresh “Ginger Juice” 2-3 times a day mix with honey or lemon juice before taking meal for improving digestive power.

Ayurvedic treatment of indigestion:
Basic line of treatment:
Fasting in Ama type, medicated vomiting(emesis) in Pitta type, fomentation in Vata type and light diet in Plasma channel type should be followed. (Su. Su. 46)

Specific line of treatment:
Fasting is the treatment of choice, when Ama(undigested food particals/toxins) in small quantity. When Ama is in medium quantity, it is better to give digestive herbs along with fasting and when it is in excessive along with aggravation of Kapha, then it is better to give medicated vomiting by giving mixture of ‘Vacha’(Acorus calamus)and licorice powder. Herbs of choice are spices like piper nigrum, ginger, piper longum, cloves and cumin seeds.
Famous Ayurvedic Formulations for this type:
Churna (Powders): Hingwastak churna, Ajmodadi churna, Vaishwanar churna
Vati (Tab lets):  Shatyadi vati, Kalingadi vati
Medicated Wines: Mustarishta, Vidangarishta, Draksharishta
Whole body fomentation should be done.
Carminative herbs and substances like asafoetida, garlic, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom should be given.
Famous Ayurvedic Formulations for this type:
Churna(Powders): Trikatu churna mixed with jiggery, Panchkol churna, Vaishwanar churna, Sunthi haritaki churna
Vati (Tablets): Chitrakadi vati, Shatyadi Vati, Shankhvati
Medicated Wines: Jirakadyarishta
Medicated vomiting should be done if patient is strong enough.
Famous Ayurvedic Formulations for this type:
Churna(Powders): 1 teaspoon of Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) churna mixed with dry black grapes, honey and sugar in equal quantity after each meal , ideally should taken three times a day.
Vati (Tablets): Shatyadi vati, Kalingadi vati, Shankh vati
Medicated Wines: Draksharishta, Drakshasav
Patient should be given proper rest. Fomentation should be done on abdomen with hot water beg. Light fasting is advisable with herbs having digestive action.
Famous Ayurvedic Formulations for this type:
Churna(Powders): Trikatu churna, Panchkol churna, Vaishwanar churna
Vati (Tablets): Chitrakadi vati, Shatyadi Vati, Shankhvati, Kalingadi vati, Sanjivani vati
Medicated Wines: Jirakadyarishta, Drakshrishta, Mustarishta
Diet Plan:
One should follow the ‘Ayurvedic life-style’ (given on the home page of this web site) during entire treatment.