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The digestive system is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus. Inside this tube is a lining called the mucosa. In the mouth, stomach and small intestine, the mucosa contains tiny glands that produce juices to help digest food.
There are also two solid digestive organs, the liver and the pancreas, which produce juices that reach the intestine through small tubes. In addition, parts of other organ systems (for instance, nerves and blood) play a major role in the digestive system.

When we eat such things as bread, meat, and vegetables, they are not in a form that the body can use as nourishment. Our food and drink must be changed into smaller molecules of nutrients before they can be absorbed into the blood and carried to cells throughout the body. Digestion is the process by which food and liquids are broken down into their smallest parts so that the body can use them to build and nourish cells and to provide energy.

Indigestion, also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia, is discomfort or a burning feeling in the upper abdomen, often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting.

In Ayurveda the condition of indigestion is called ‘Agnimandya’. It is caused by the aggravation of doshas likely, Vata, Pitta and Kapha. Characteristic symptoms of agnimandya caused by the vitiation of these doshas are elaborately described in Ayurvedic texts. In brief when Vata is vitiated there is more pain, when Pitta is vitiated there is more burning sensation and when Kapha is vitiated there is more of nausea and vomiting.

Psychic factors like anger, anxiety and worry play an important role in the digestion of food. According to Ayurveda the food taken in time and in proper quantity does not get digested if the individual is suffering from these mental afflictions.

Root Causes:

  • Aggravation of the three doshas - vata, pitta, kapha.
  • Overeating or excessive intake of improper food
  • Eating too fast
  • Significant caffeine intake
  • Eating fatty or greasy foods
  • Overindulgence in alcohol
  • Tobacco smoking
  • Eating spicy foods and eating less of high-fiber foods.
  • Emotional trauma, nervousness or other psychic factors as anger, anxiety and worry.
  • Cholecystitis (inflammation of the gall bladder)
  • Acute or chronic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach)
  • Acute or chronic pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas)
  • Duodenal ulcer
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Drugs such as antibiotics, aspirin, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs


  • Feeling of a heavy stomach
  • Stomach pain
  • Puking
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhoea
  • Acidity
  • Burning Sensation in the chest.


Avoiding the foods and situations that seem to cause indigestion in some cases is the most successful way to treat it. Smokers can help relieve their indigestion by quitting smoking, or at least not smoking right before eating. Exercising with a full stomach may cause indigestion, so scheduling exercise before a meal or at least an hour afterward might help.

Herbs which are useful :

Jeera (Cumin seeds, Cuminum cyminum):

The fruit is a source of thymol. Thymol is used as an anthelmintic against hookworm infections and also as an antiseptic in many proprietary preparations. It is a stimulant, which increases the secretion and discharge of urine and relieves flatulence. It strengthens the functions of stomach and arrests any bleeding.


Hing (Asafoetida, Ferula foetida):

Hing (Asafoetida) has been held in great esteem amongst indigenous medicines from the earliest times in India. It is reputed as a drug, which expels wind from stomach and counteracts any spasmodic disorders. It is also a nervine stimulant, digestive agent and a sedative.

Ajwain (Bishop’s weed, Trachyspermum ammi): 

The seeds are stimulant and are useful in counteracting spasmodic disorders. Ajwain has been used in indigenous medicine for the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, atonic dyspepsia, cholera, colic, flatulence and indigestion. The volatile oil extracted from the seeds is also useful in cholera, flatulent colic, diarrhoea, atonic colic and indigestion.

Dhania (Coriander, Coriandrum sativum)

he leaves of dhania are stimulant and tonic. They strengthen the stomach and promote its action., relieve flatulence, increase secretion and discharge of urine and reduce fever. They act as an aphrodisiac, help in removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes and thereby counteracting any spasmodic disorders. Dhania seeds reduce fever and promote a feeling of coolness. Dhania juice is highly beneficial in deficiencies of vitamin A, B1, B2, C and iron.

Saunf (Fennel, Fenniculum vulgare):

The leaves of saunf are digestive, appetizing and stimulating. They increase the secretion and discharge of urine. The seeds are sweet, laxative, aphrodisiac and arrest bleeding. They also relieve flatulence and promote the removal of catarrhal matter and phlegm from the bronchial tubes. Oil of fennel, distilled from the dry seeds is aromatic, carminative and antispasmodic.

Kitchen Remedies to correct Indigestion

Jeera (Cumin seeds) is very useful in digestive disorders like biliousness, morning sickness, indigestion, atonic dyspepsia, diarrhoea, malabsorption syndrome and flatulent colic. One teaspoon of jeera is boiled in a glass of water and the decoction mixed with one teaspoon of fresh dhania leaf juice and a pinch of salt. This decoction can be taken twice daily after meals as a medicine for diarrhoea.
Hing (Asafoetida): The herb is an effective remedy for several diseases of the stomach. It is one of the best remedies available for flatulence and is essential ingredient for most of the digestive powders. In case of flatulence and distension of the stomach, hing should be dissolved in hot water and a pad of cloth steeped in it may be used for fomenting the abdomen.
Ajwain (Bishop’s weed): For relieving flatulence, dyspepsia and spasmodic disorders, the seeds may be eaten with betel leaves. A teaspoon of these seeds with a little rock salt is a household remedy for indigestion.
Dhania (Corriander): One to two teaspoons of dhania juice, added to fresh buttermilk, is highly beneficial in treating digestive disorders such as indigestion, nausea, dysentery etc.
Saunf (Fennel): An infusion prepared by boiling a tablespoon of fennel seeds in 100 ml of water for half an hour, is highly beneficial in indigestion, biliousness, flatulence, constipation and atonic dyspepsia. Chewing its seeds after meals prevent foul breath, indigestion, constipation and vomiting.

Diet :

Take a light fat-less diet. It is better to observe fast. Have plenty of water and juices, especially lemon juice laced with a pinch of salt. Intake of raw garlic is very beneficial in this condition. Thin and fat-less buttermilk is useful in treating all types of indigestion. Hing in powder form is also useful.

Foods to avoid:

  • Alcohol
  • Peppermint / Spearmint
  • Chocolate
  • All caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, many soft drinks)
  • Fatty foods

Life Style :

Smokers can help relieve their indigestion by quitting smoking, or at least not smoking right before eating. Avoid eating before bed and avoid wearing tight-waisted clothes. Sleeping just after having a full meal produces indigestion and a sleep before lunch during daytime helps in digestion. Try to take physical and mental rest and keep free from worry and anxiety. Physical exercise is a must.

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