How to Combat Bloating & Indigestion with Ayurveda
Bloating is that uncomfortable, tight sensation in the abdominal area that can cause frustration when it becomes a regular occurrence. It can manifest as gassiness or distention, and it may be the cause of burping, which signals a release of excess gas in the body. As it turns out, this uncomfortable condition is quite common: studies suggest that 15-30% of the U.S. population experience symptoms of bloating. There are many potential causes of bloating, including a build-up of gas in the digestive system, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, IBS and high sodium levels.
Bloating is also a symptom of indigestion, which is a condition that causes people to feel full, uncomfortable and pained when their body struggles to properly digest food. Indigestion can be caused by eating a large meal, but it can also be a result of one’s lifestyle and dietary routines (such as smoking, drinking too much alcohol or eating greasy, fatty foods) and medical conditions (such as IBS, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcers).
If you experience bloating and indigestion, it’s important to see a medical professional to determine their cause and to formulate a routine specific to your needs. In addition, there are also a number of natural, Ayurvedic remedies that aid in alleviating these uncomfortable symptoms—regardless of their cause—and that will improve one’s overall health and wellness. Here are 3 Ayurvedic solutions for combating bloating and promoting a healthy, regulated digestive system.
Eat Slowly and Mindfully
Many of us have a tendency to eat quickly. However, eating too fast can cause indigestion and cause us to eat more than we normally would have. Ayurvedic tradition emphasizes the importance of eating slowly and mindfully, taking small bites, eating less food and savoring the meal. This helps you stay in touch with your digestive system and to provide it with essential nutrients without overwhelming it.
In terms of what you should be eating, Ayurveda recommends consuming natural, unprocessed foods and a balance of fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts. Furthermore, eating foods like yogurt or kefir—which contain lactobacillus and bifidobacterium, good bacteria—can further help combat indigestion. Ayurveda also recommends drinking room temperature water (especially first thing in the morning) as a means of stimulating our agni, or digestive fire; avoid cold water, as it stunts agni.
Take a Triphala Supplement
Triphala is an ancient polyherbal blend of three fruits native to India—bibhitaki, amalaki, and haritaki. Bibhitaki is known for its ability to detoxify muscles, fatty tissue and blood. Rich in Vitamin C, Amalaki, or Indian gooseberry, is known to boost the immune system and lower cholesterol. Haritaki is abundant in antioxidants and helps to combat inflammation, promote healing and enhance brain function. Comprised of these potent herbs, triphala is revered in Ayurveda for its nourishing and balancing properties, and especially for its positive impact on digestion; research has shown that it supports healthy bowel movements, internal cleansing and tissue nourishment. Taking triphala at the end of the day will help you to establish strong, healthy digestion.
Our UMA Digestive Detox Herbal Supplement harnesses the detoxifying powers of triphala to cleanse the digestive system and promote overall healing. To use, take one capsule in the evening (or in the morning, if you prefer) before or after a meal. Note: Always consult with your doctor or Ayurvedic practitioner before making significant changes to your routine. We do not recommend triphala for pregnant women.
Try Out Navel Therapy
Navel therapy is an ancient and revered Ayurvedic practice that involves pooling warm oil or ghee in the belly button. In Ayurvedic tradition, the navel is a vital energy center in the body; it also represents the origin of life, as it marks the site connecting mother and child during pregnancy. Navel therapy has a number of detoxifying benefits, which include balancing vata, relieving pain and inducing tranquility and calm. It also serves as a powerful tool for combating bloating and indigestion—navel therapy reignites our agni, or digestive fire, which contributes to healthy and regular digestion.Our UMA Body Balancing Navel Therapy Oil, formulated with purifying and detoxifying neem, turmeric and ginger, is specifically designed to stimulate agni and help balance the digestive system. To use, apply 1-2 drops of the oil onto your belly button before a night’s rest. Gently massage the skin around the belly button using your finger and thumb, using a gentle pinching motion for about 1 minute. Use a small ball of cotton on the belly button to prevent staining of clothes. Leave on overnight.