By Prabhath P
Free yourself from the discomforts of hyperacidity through the application of a spectrum of alternative cures
Sushila Iyer and her sister both suffer from hyperacidity that often has them doubled up in pain. The culprit – their proclivity for sour and spicy food. Having tried allopathy in vain, the duo are now on ayurvedic medication and responding well.
Stressful lifestyles and erratic diets have made people prone to ailments that jeapordise the quality of life. Hyperacidity is one such condition. Hyperacidity means an excessive release of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It could lead to ulcers. According to studies, 90 per cent of the Indian population is acidic. Conventional treatment with antacids causes side-effects and suppresses the symptoms temporarily, rather than curing the disease. Here is a look at the symptoms, causes and holistic remedies offered by alternative therapies.
G. Kumar, healer, astrologer and epistemologist, in his article on pranic therapy on the website: www.pioneerthinking.com, mentions that the acid-alkaline balance is key to health. He writes, “ Foods either leave an acid ash or an alkaline ash. Maximum health is in an alkaline body. The average 20th century diet, stress, pace, lifestyle and environment, produce far more acid than is healthy…. Most of the stressors in today’s society (cigarette smoke, alcohol, stress itself, bad diet, coffee, sodas, pharmaceuticals), all produce an acid state in the body. All cancerous states are acid states of long duration…being acidic is the main cause of degenerative diseases and aging… Grains, sugar, dairy, animal or vegetarian protein and oils yield an acid ash while fruits, sea vegetables, vegetables, quality water and herbs yield an alkaline ash…It is ideal to incorporate two glasses of lime juice along with the 8-12 glasses of water… A diet of 80 per cent alkaline ash foods is ideal. ”
According to Dr. Sooriadas, of Ashtavaidyan Thaikkattu Mooss’s Vaidyaratnam Oushadhasala, ayurveda sees hyperacidity as part of indigestion. Says he, “It is the result of ‘agnimandyam’ (sluggish digestive fire). The main cause is imbalance of pitta dosha, though imbalance in vata and kapha too could produce acidity. Untimely food habits, contradictory food like milk and meat together, stale, sour and spicy food, non-vegetarian food, heavy meals, fizzy drinks and fast food weaken the digestive fire, causing hyperacidity.”
Ayurveda tailors treatment as per the unique prakriti (dosha constitution) of the individual. Medicines include rasayanas (paste), arishta and kashaya (liquid). Ayurveda prescribes a proper lifestyle and diet, regular food habits and the avoidance of stress and harmful diet.
Mumbai-based Dr. Malathi Kuppu-swamy, homeopath, naturopath, hypnotherapist and crystal therapist, explains the approach of these disciplines in dealing with hyperacidity. She says, “According to homeopathy and hypnotherapy, the problems in the mind lead to problems in the physical body. Homeopathic prescriptions are not based on the names of the disease but the symptoms the person has. Tension, worry, anxiety, untimely eating habits, burning in the esophagus and other physical symptoms are carefully noted before prescribing constitutional remedy. A few doses of the choice remedy get the body back to normalcy. Homeopathy addresses and heals physical, mental, and emotional levels of our existence. Any thought leads to positive or negative emotions. If negative emotions like tension, worry, anxiety, fear, anger, are suppressed, the chakras get closed and block the free flow of energy through he body. In hyperacidity, there is definite closure of the solar plexus chakra, Manipura.”
She further outlines the methods of naturopathy, hypnotherapy and crystal therapy. Naturopathy looks in detail about what is being put into the body. Regularly eating negative foods like old, frozen, wrongly cooked, processed foods leads to acidity. The treatment involves detoxifying the body by three days of fast followed by 15 days of coconut water and fresh fruit juices. Later, a natural, organic fruits and vegetable diet with very little cooked meals are recommended to maintain good health.
In crystal therapy, a quartz crystal generator is used to open and clear the chakras to establish the energy movement. Crystals like aventurine quartz, calcite, citrine, malachite and sunstone have a cheering effect and stimulate digestion and activity of the stomach, spleen and pancreas.
Hypnotherapy addresses the mind with reference to thoughts and emotions. Any trauma in the past and any thought in the present, which continuously triggers negative emotions or negative responses are discarded and the person gets the ability to look at life positively. Memories from past lives could also be responsible for chronic physical ailments. These are addressed by past-life regression therapy under hypnosis.
These yoga asanas keep the digestive system healthy and reduce hyperacidity.
Sit with both legs kept together underneath both knees. The big toes of both the legs should touch each other.
Spread the heels out with buttocks placed between the heels. Do not put one foot over the other. Practise after meals.
The bow (dhanur asana)
• Lie down on your front, head down. Inhale and bend your knees up, then reach back with your hands and clasp hold of your ankles. Exhale.
• lnhaling, raise head and chest, and simultaneously pull your ankles up, lifting the knees and thighs off the floor. Arch backward and look up. Take three deep breaths in this pose, exhale and release. Knee to chest (Pawanmuktasana)
• Lie down on a mat. Exhale, then stop breathing. Lift left leg, bend it and bring it up to the stomach. Knee should touch the chin. With the rest of the leg touching the chest, press down on the leg, so that the stomach and chest receive pressure.
• Lift neck and place chin on the knee. Remain in this position as long as you can hold your breath. Then breathe slowly, and straighten your leg. Put your head back on the floor.
• Repeat with the right leg.
• Repeat with both legs
• Repeat the whole operation three times.
Since in this asana, the stomach is pressed and then becomes limp, the liver, urinary bladder, spleen, intestines and stomach are exercised well. This cures hyperacidity, constipation, improves appetite, releases wind and reduces flatulence.
In mudra yoga, holding the hand mudra where the tip of all fingers touch, improves digestion and prevents hyperacidity.
Since stress and anxiety cause hyperacidity, practising a suitable meditation method aids prevention and cure.
Contact: Dr. Malathi Kuppuswamy
Ph: 022- 2422 2083, 2431 0599, 98204 94788
Dr. K. Sooriadas, Ph: 011-65447707
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• Heartburn (gastric juice goes back into esophagus)
• Flatulence (belching, burping)
• Stomach cramps
• Bitter taste and hyper salivation in the mouth
• Pain in the upper abdomen after large meals
• Lack of appetite
Hyperacidity – Dos and Don’ts Do
• chew basil leaves
• drink a glass of chilled milk
• eat almonds or ginger root with honey for heartburn
• opt for fibre-rich food, watermelon, apple, banana, wheat bran, green and leafy vegetables
• maintain proper posture while eating and chew well
• drink plenty of water
• have radish, onion, pepper, cabbage, garlic, unripe fruits
• imbibe alcohol, or smoke
• have fried, oily food, pickle
• eat meat, fish, eggs
• wear tight clothes
• suffer sleeplessness