Improve Digestion with These Ayurvedic Remedies
Are you feeling tired, bloated or sluggish after eating? If yes, then these simple Ayurvedic practices to support your overall health and digestion might be the solution you’ve been looking for.
A bit about Ayurveda, which translates to ‘the science of life’ (Ayur = life, Veda = science or knowledge) — it’s an ancient medical system from India that originated thousands of years before modern medicine, and teaches that your digestive system is the key indicator of good health. The healing tradition of Ayurveda teaches that agni, the ‘digestive fire’, is essential for good digestive health. When the agni is strong, we break down the food and other things we ingest from the environment and eliminate waste efficiently. On the other hand, if the agni is weak, our body produces toxins which are stored in the body. This can be caused through things like improper eating, lack of activity or negative emotional energy. Sound familiar?
Fortunately, there are many easy and all-natural Ayurvedic remedies you can use at home to get that digestive fire going. Let’s dive in:
Drink Ginger Tea Throughout the Day
Ginger is an Ayurvedic herb that is known as the ‘universal remedy’ due to its many health benefits, one of them being its digestion-promoting properties. Ayurveda recommends staying away from cold drinks to promote digestion and instead sip on warm ginger tea in between meals.
Ginger is great for banishing bloating and can relax the muscles of the intestines, making it great for relieving cramps, gas and other uncomfortable sensations that you may experience after eating a meal. It’s also great for stimulating the digestive tract by activating saliva, bile and enzymes, making ginger a great remedy to enjoy after a heavy meal. Try it out by using an all-natural ginger tincture in warm water, or a high-quality ginger tea. Those with acid reflux, we recommend consulting with your health practitioner prior to incorporating ginger into your diet, as it’s considered a heating spice.
Replace Your Cooking Oil with Ghee
Another common recommendation in Ayurvedic medicine to promote digestion is eating warm, cooked foods. We recommend taking it a step further and cooking your food with ghee instead of your standard cooking oil or butter.
According to Lee’s Provisions, the butyrate found in ghee helps to convert fibre into butyric acid, which is essential for eliminating waste and toxins from the body. Ayurveda believes that ghee jumpstarts digestion by kindling the digestive fire. It’s no wonder ghee is referred to as liquid gold! Along with being great for digestion, ghee is also anti-inflammatory, supports weight management, and has nutrients like omega-3 and 9 fatty acids, vitamin A and vitamin K. How do you cook with it? Easy! Simply swap it for your cooking oil or butter. Some people even like to stir it into their morning coffee, spread it on toast or melt it over popcorn. Luckily, Lee’s Provisions offers ghee in a variety of delicious flavors, including vanilla brown butter, canadian maple and turmeric.
Give Yourself a Massage
Ayurveda recommends a daily self massage, or ‘Abhyanga’, which uses oil to practice self-care, nourish your tissues and put your mind at ease. Ayurveda strongly believes in ridding yourself of negative feelings and having a connection with your food, and a massage just might help you get there. It’s recommended that you take your time using long strokes on your limbs in circular motions around the joints using an oil to gently massage your skin. Another option is to simply rub the oil onto your feet before bed to promote better sleep, and ultimately better digestion. Try using an organic almond oil, or melting some ghee, as your massage oil.
Clear Toxins with Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is popular for its ability to clear toxins from the digestive system, acting as a mild laxative in nature. When used internally, it can help stimulate digestion and elimination through its ability to promote the discharge of bile from the liver and gallbladder, which is essential in order to break down and eliminate waste. Drinking aloe vera can also promote the absorption of nutrients, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation. It also contains antioxidants, essential amino acids, vitamins, minerals and enzymes to promote overall health. To keep things moving and soothe your stomach, try adding aloe vera juice to your morning glass of water each day.
Cook with These Digestive Spices
There are so many digestive spices used in Ayurveda that can be used to increase your digestive fire to help promote the digestion of food while preventing gas and bloating if consumed regularly. We recommend cooking with these spices using ghee to really gain the benefits of Ayurvedic tradition! Remember, as we said earlier, if you’re dealing with heat sensitivity from acid reflux or heartburn, consult with your health practitioner prior to consuming heating spices like ginger.
1. Cumin: This spice has anti-inflammatory properties and is commonly used in Ayurvedic medicine to help with gas, bloating and other pain and discomfort caused by digestive upset.
2. Turmeric: By now you’ve likely read a lot about this this spice that’s become so popular in the health community. Aside from its beautiful colour, turmeric has a plethora of healing properties, including having one of nature’s most powerful anti-inflammatory properties: curcumin. Turmeric also helps stimulate bile, which you know by now helps break down and digest food, and may also help with gas and bloating.
3. Ginger: We previously talked about ginger tea, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about using it in your cooking! This warming spice has incredible digestive properties, and can also help with nausea and prevent diarrhea.
4. Clove: Highly prized in Ayurvedic medicine, clove is known for its antioxidant, antiseptic and anesthetic properties. In Ayurveda, it’s known to prevent or provide relief for gas, and is used to treat many digestive discomforts like bloating, flatulence, indigestion and acid reflux while stimulating the body’s enzymes for the breakdown and elimination of waste.
5. Cinnamon: It’s fragrant and comforting, and also has a long history for providing digestive aid. Widely used as an effective anti-inflammatory, cinnamon can reduce muscle pain and inflammation in the digestive tract, while also providing relief for indigestion, stomach cramps, heartburn and may help prevent infections in the GI tract.
Wishing you happy and healthy eating (and digestion)!