Appetite is a longing or desire to eat and digestion is the process by which the food you intake is broken into simpler form, which is later utilised by the body for growth, development and various activities or metabolism.
According to Ayurveda, a very good appetite and digestion is the sign of being healthy, whereas loss of appetite may be a symptom of simple ailments or major diseases like cancer and weak digestion is the cause for all kinds of diseases.
Consumption of proper quantity of food and appropriate food is the activator of agni (digestive functions). Consumption of less food causes vitiation of vata dosha and intake of excess quantity leads to vitiation of all doshas.
Intake of incompatible food, overeating and eating uncooked food leads to formation of Ama dosha, which is considered as the causative factor for diseases.
Following are a few unhealthy dietary habits, which leads to weak digestive power:
- Samasana- Consuming wholesome and unwholesome foods together.
- Adhyasana- Overeating before the previous meal is digested.
- Visamasana- Consuming less or more quantity of food at improper timing.
The first line of management for indigestion is Langhana (fasting), skip the next meal and drink lukewarm water few sips, wait till you feel hungry then eat very light food like rice gruel or kichadi.
If you are feeling heavy and uneasy, try to vomit out the undigested food by drinking salt water or stimulating your throat by fingers gently.
Home Remedies to Improve Your Appetite and Digestion
Here are few home remedies to improve your appetite and digestive fire:
- The juice extracted from the herb aloe vera is the answer to most digestive problems. You can have 10 to 20 ml of juice twice a day.
- A piece of ginger crushed and mixed with lime juice and honey, can be taken just before meals.
- Chew ½ tsp of jeera with a pinch of rock salt, followed with a glass of warm water.
- Include pepper, ajwain, asafoetida and ghee in your diet.
Ayurvedic Treatment to Improve Digestion
Ayurvedic formulations which improve digestion are:
- To re-kindle your digestive fire ,take 1/2 tsp Trikatu churna, twice daily with warm water or buttermilk, after food
- Hingvastaka churna, 1 tsp should be mixed with butter milk and taken daily before lunch
- Lavanbhaskar churna, Dadimashtaka churna, Agnitundi vati, Chitrakadi vati and Dasamoolajeerakarishtam
Dos and Dont’s
- You need to avoid spicy, deep fried, refrigerated, frozen and stale foods.
- Avoid dry foods, include ghee and oil in your diet according to your caloric requirement.
- Avoid night outs and day sleep.
- Avoid suppression of natural urges.
- Minimise the frequency of tea and coffee intake.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol intake.
- Avoid curds and include butter milk.
- Don’t drink more water just before and after meals.