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Our stomach produces acid to digest the food that we eat. This is a regular and natural process. Whenever we eat, cells within the lining of the stomach pump acid to liquefy your sumptuous dinner, from mash potatoes to a slab of steak.

Problem occurs when these cells produce large amount of acid, more than your stomach needs. When this happens, you will suffer from stomach acidity. You would know if you were suffering from stomach acidity if you feel a burning sensation just above the stomach, or right below (the hollow part) your breastbone. This is the most classic sign of acidity.

Symptoms :

  • Respiratory problems.

  • inadequate weight.

  • vomiting.

  • coughing.

  • turning down food.

  • heartburn, chest and stomach pain, gas formation in stomach.

Root Causes :

A weakness of the valve between the stomach and oesophagus (food pipe) can cause a reflux of the acid from the stomach to the lower part of the oesophagus. This gastro-oesophageal reflux can cause heart-burn.

Sometimes, a heavy meal or increase in intra-abdominal pressure such as while straining or lifting weights, can bring about this reflux.

Excess acid secretion can also cause acidity and ulcers, when the normal protective lining of the stomach and duodenum (the part of the intestine that joins the stomach), is damaged. The resulting ulcer is called gastric ulcer if it is in the stomach and duodenal ulcer if it is in the duodenum.

In a condition known as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, a large amount of acid is secreted because of stimulation by tumours located in the pancreas or duodenum.

Any kind of break down in the defense mechanisms that protect the stomach and intestine from damage by acid can cause acidity.

The body secretes bicarbonate into the mucous layer, which neutralises the acid. Hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins, help to keep the blood vessels in the stomach dilated, ensuring adequate blood flow.

Lack of adequate blood flow to the stomach may contribute to ulcers.

Prostaglandins are also believed to stimulate bicarbonate and mucous production, which help protect the stomach.

Consumption of alcohol, highly spicy foodstuffs, irregular food habits, and Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) also predispose to gastric acidity.

There is a higher incidence of acidity in highly emotional and nervous individuals. It is also more common in the developed and industrialized nations, though a recent increase in incidence has also occurred in the developing countries.

Diseases that May Cause Hyperacidity:

Heartburn is characterized by a deeply placed, burning pain in the chest behind the sternum (breast-bone). It occurs after meals and is precipitated by increase in intra-abdominal pressure like straining or lifting weights. It is more common at night when a person is lying down. Heartburn is usually relieved when the person sits up. Regurgitation of the gastric contents may also occur. The symptoms of ulcers are mainly pain that can be either localized or diffuse. Sometimes it radiates to the back or to the chest.

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a chronic disease that inflicts people with stomach acidity. It is called a ‘reflux’ because gastric acid goes from the stomach up to the esophagus whenever a person with stomach acidity lies down to bed. At times, even mere change in position causes the gastric acid to reflux. This disease is more known to many as heartburn. A person with GERD feels a stabbing like pain near his heart area.

Dyspepsia is a burning or an aching pain in the upper abdomen, sometimes described as a stabbing sensation penetrating through the gut. In rare cases there may be no pain, but only a feeling of indigestion, fullness, bloating, flatulence or nausea. When the cause is a duodenal ulcer, having a meal usually relieves the pain. But in the case of a gastric ulcer there may be no change, or the pain may become worse after eating. Peptic ulcer disease can sometimes occur without symptoms. Symptoms may also arise when there is no ulcer present, which is known as non-ulcer dyspepsia.

Gallstones are pebble-like deposits in the gallbladder. Gallbladder contains bile which is responsible for stabilizing gastric acid in the body. However, with gallstones, the gallbladder cannot function well. Bile cannot flow to some important organs in the body, including the duodenum. With this, excess gastric acid stay in the stomach.

Herbs which is useful :

Hyperacidity is a pittaja, i.e. it is caused by vitiation in the pitta dosha. Hence, Ayurveda tries to control the disorder by using herbs that are known to be pitta-pacifying.

Yastimadhu (Glycyzrrhiza glabra) :

Most effective anti-ulcer herb, gives miraculous results in acid peptic disorders. It is very effective in treating pain due to stomach ulcers, as it soothes the irritation caused by acids.

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Amla (Phyllanthus emblica) :

Amla is a natural and effective herb that helps in curing many diseases like  indigestion, heartburn. It promotes ojas and the reproductive fluids, and is useful in the treatment of ulcers and hyperacidity.

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Adrak (Zingiber officinale) :

The juice of ginger mixed with lime and honey is a traditionally used cure for treating dyspepsia. It is exceptional for treating the hyperacidity caused by consuming more of flesh foods.

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Lavanga (Syzygium aromaticum - Clove) :

A few pieces of cloves taken directly are excellent in treating acidity and irritability in the stomach.

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Saunf (Fenneliculum vulgare  - Fennel ) :

Fennel seeds have been found to be effective in the treatment of atonic dyspepsia. It is a mild purgative; hence it is also used to treat digestive and acidity complaints in infants and young children.

Black pepper (Piper nigrum) :

Pepper has a stimulating effect on acidity, digestive organs and produces an increase flow of saliva and gastric juices. It is an appetizer and a home remedy for any digestive disorder or heartburn or acidity. Powdered black pepper, thoroughly mixed with malted jaggery, may be taken in the treatment of such conditions. Alternatively, a quarter teaspoon of pepper powder mixed in thin buttermilk can be taken during indigestion, acidity or heaviness in the stomach. For better results, an equal part of cumin powder may also be added to the buttermilk.

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Diet & Life sytle:

  • Avoid foods that are rich in oils and fats. These foods are difficult to digest, so they may make the stomach release more acids.

  • The diet should contain a proper blend of all the tastes. Spicy food must be just one dish rather than the whole meal.

  • Fibers are necessary in the diet as they help in the digestion.

  • Red meats must be eaten only occasionally, if at all.

  • After a meal, the body must be given some sort of exercise. This could be as simple as going for a stroll.

  • Too much addiction to strong foods such as tea and coffee may cause hyperacidity. This is also true for other addictions such as smoking and alcohol.

  • Do not consume sour foods as they already have acidic contents. Acidic foods to avoid are pickles, curds, tamarinds, vinegar, etc.

  • Avoid or limit alcohol.

  • Maintain upright position during and at least 45 mins after eating.

  • Try elevating the head of bed 6 - 8 inches when lying down.  

    For more information please also read Gastritis topic............

Ayurvedic Supplements :



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Avipatrikar Churna

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Dhatri lauh   
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Amla Capsule
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Lavanbhaskar Churna
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