What is Indigestion?
Indigestion is a common digestive problem. It is also known as dyspepsia or upset stomach. It takes place when the digestive system of the body is unable to convert the food into simple soluble substances that can be digested in the bloodstream. Consequently, the food remains undigested and creates further problems like dysentery, diarrhea, constipation, stomach cramps tec. Indigestion may be triggered by eating particular foods, irregular eating habits, smoking etc.
Indigestion is not a very serious problem itself unless other symptoms like weight loss or trouble in swallowing the food also crop up. Though there is no sound evidence, but some people have reported that a healthy change in their lifestyle helped them get rid of the problem of indigestion. These changes include avoiding spicy food, coffee, hot drinks, alcoholic drinks, smoking, losing some weight to keep it within normal limits, putting less pressure on the stomach by bending forward instead of sitting hunched, and not wearing tight belts. On the other hand, experts have proposed an endless list of natural home remedies for indigestion.
Causes of Indigestion
Stress, nervousness and emotional trauma are considered as the main cause of indigestion. Apart from these, other causes are intake of allopathic medicines in excess, alcoholism (it causes diseases like ulcers which hinder the proper functioning of the digestive system), smoking, caffeine, having tea on empty stomach, quick eating, eating heavy or spicy foods, improper eating habits, overeating, inflammation of stomach, gastro esophageal reflux disease tuberculosis, irritable bowel syndrome, inflammation of pancreas, peptic ulcer, stomach cancer, gallstones and other related diseases, use of drugs like aspirin and other painkillers, antibiotics, estrogen and other oral contraceptives, non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and the like.
A considerable number of women face the problem of indigestion during the middle and later parts of pregnancy. This is supposed to be caused by a number of pregnancy-related factors including hormones which relax the muscles of the digestive tract and pressure exerted on the stomach because of the growing uterus. Indigestion is not a very serious health problem unless it is characterized by symptoms like weight loss, presence of blood in vomit or stool, or trouble in swallowing the food.
Symptoms of Indigestion
Indigestion is characterized by an unusual heaviness or uneasiness in the stomach or stomach ache. Other symptoms are bloating, growling stomach, acidic taste, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, burning in the stomach or upper abdomen, belching and gas. There could be an early fullness of stomach during a meal, because of which the person may not be able to finish the meal. The feeling of fullness after a meal may last longer than usual. People often consider heartburn as a symptom of indigestion. But these two are separate conditions. Heartburn is a condition in which there is pain or a burning sensation in the center of one’s chest. After the meal, this burning sensation may even radiate to one’s neck or back.
Natural Home Remedies for Indigestion
• Drinking a mixture of half a glass of carrot juice and the same amount of water is one of the simplest natural home remedies for indigestion.
• Taking lemon juice in lukewarm water two times in a day improves the digestive system of the body.
• Taking a drop of rosemary along with honey or any other edible oil like almond oil provides relief from indigestion. This is a form of aromatherapy.
• Coriander juice is also effective in treating indigestion.
• Taking half a teaspoon of aniseed everyday cures indigestion slowly but steadily.
• Taking 1-2 teaspoon ajwain with a pinch of rock salt is one of the most popular natural home remedies for indigestion.
• Extract the juice of curry leaves and add lemon juice and sugar to it. This is a very effective cure for indigestion.
• Taking a teaspoon of cinnamon water after meals prevents indigestion.
• Stir one teaspoon of cumin seeds in a glass of water with a pinch of salt. Taking this solution two times daily can reduce indigestion.
• Extract pomegranate juice and add roasted cumin seeds to it to make a paste and add jaggery in it. Taking one teaspoonful of this paste two-three times a day is a sure cure of indigestion. The pomegranates should be sweet not sour.
• Mix equal parts of baking soda and water and drink it to reduce indigestion to a great extent.
• Chamomile tea helps reduce indigestion in the summer season.
• Boil some fennel seeds in water for half an hour and give it to children when it is cools; treats indigestion in children due to excess carbohydrate consumption.
• Take half teaspoon of ginger juice, one tablespoon of honey, one teaspoon lime juice and mint. Mix the juices and drink the resultant solution for instant relief from indigestion caused by heavy oily and spicy food.
• Boil some fenugreek seeds in butter and consume them to treat indigestion.
• Prepare an infusion of crushed garlic cloves in water or milk. This is an effective solution for indigestion.
• Consuming seeds of datura plant checks indigestion caused by lentils and chickpeas.
• Indigestion caused by cucumber can be done away with by eating a few grains of wheat.
• Indigestion in children due to coconut can be prevented by eating a bowl of plain cooked rice.
Diet for Indigestion
The simplest way to avoid indigestion is to include plenty of salads and steamed vegetables in the diet. Stay away from fried and spicy foods as much as possible. Limit the consumption of tea, coffee and alcohol. A papaya a day keeps digestive problems at bay. Having papaya in breakfast also keeps one energetic and fresh the whole day. Other fruits like bael and orange should also be consumed regularly. Celery leaves can be used in salads to facilitate digestion, especially in case of heavy meals. Taking Bishop’s weed after meals aids in digestion. Including yogurt in the diet also guards against the possibility of indigestion. Water plays a very important role in digestion. One should try to drink water or other fluids after the meals rather than during the meals. If there is indigestion due to excess of water then taking a pinch of cardamom powder can work wonders. This is one of the most effective natural home remedies for indigestion.