Gastritis can be very well treated with medications. But since it is something which comes back to haunt us repeatedly, a good diet for gastritis is very important. It helps in avoiding recurrence of gastritis. The disease has been explained in many Ayurvedic books, centuries before. Here is the gastritis diet.
Common names used to explain gastritis – gastritis, gastric, paittic problem, chest burn, acid belching, acid peptic disorder. In Ayurvedic system of medicine it is called as Amlapitta.
When we eat food, it goes down through the food pipe and is stored in a bag called stomach for about 1.5 – 2 hours. Here, the food undergoes disintegration into very small particles. Hydrochloric acid kills many of the micro organisms that we might ingest in food and a small portion of the food is absorbed. After 1.5 hours, the food is pushed down to the intestine for further digestion.
If the inner lining of stomach is damaged or irritated or inflamed due to causes like heavy alcohol consumption etc. the condition is called gastritis. (Gastrum = stomach, itis = inflammation).
Gastritis is sometimes hard to cure because, gastritis treatment involves
- correction of gastric enzymes
- healing of inflamed inner lining of the stomach (gastric mucosa)
- Correction of secretion of gastric juices and acid.
- Achieving overall balanced function of stomach.
Signs and symptoms
Common features of the disease: Acid belching, regurgitation of food or sour substance, gaseous distension of abdomen, improper digestion, irregular appetite, tastelessness, tiredness, burning sensation of the chest, pricking sensation in the chest, headache etc.
- Nausea (Vomiting sensation)
- Bloating, fullness of abdomen
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling as if stomach is full with a very little amount of food.
- Belching, sour belching.
- Feeling of burning in stomach
Associated complaints (in chronic condition): Irregular bowel habits, pricking in the shoulder or back, untimely hunger, severe burning sensation followed with thirst, mouth ulcer, fatigue (specially in legs), neuritis (ant crawling sensation over the body) / numbness, backache etc.
Rarely- Constipation, severe back ache, loss of deep sleep (irregular sleep), loss of concentration (altered mood), loss of recent memory etc.
Causes for gastritis
Reason for the disease:
- Incompatible food (viruddhaara)
- Polluted food (dushta ahara)
- Sour substances (atyamla ahara)
- Spicy food (vidahi ahara)
- Pitta provoking food, beverages and habits (pittala ahara)
Now–a-days most of the people do not follow classical food habits. Taking pizza, burger, noodles etc followed with any juice or milk-shake is a typical example of incompatible food. Other than this, we are not sure about the type of oil used, spices mixed, the way of processing of food etc. Incidentally, these also act as incompatible foods. Due to this, the food is not digested properly (mal-digestion) and it provokes excess of acidic secretion (pitta according to Ayurveda) and thus results in gastric irritation (irritation in the stomach).
In our busy schedule, we often take food in hotels, restaurants or in the roadside fast food- shops. In many part of the country, in these shops good hygienic measures are not undertaken or else there will be every chance of contamination. Due to this, there will be infection by bacteria, fungus or such other micro organism and indirectly they become the reason for irritation of the stomach and gut.
Unknowingly our daily food is full of sour substances. Ayurvedic classics emphasize those substances which are remaining as sour or transformed into pungent material (mass) after once digestion of food (classical term- vipaka). Whereas all sour substances (like gooseberry, lemon, pomegranate, orange etc) are not the agents of gastritis (This seeks much explanation and will be explained in forthcoming articles)
As we are dependent upon the packed food, these possess significant percentage of preservatives, coloring agents, stabilizers, emulsifiers, taste enhancers etc. All these are one or other way the sour substances that cause gastric irritation in the long run.
Ayurvedic classics emphasize to follow satwik food. But, it will not be possible, all the time. Secondly, our tongue demands spicy food, every time. The spices and additives like chilly, cinnamon, clove, mustard, garam masala powder (spice mixture), garlic etc if used excessively, can cause irritation to the gastric mucosa and hence result in gastritis.
Pitta provocation food and beverages and habits:
Hurry, worry and curry are the reasons for any kind of irritation; it is applicable for the irritation of esophagus, stomach and intestines too.
Non- accustomed (unwholesome) food and beverages, soft drinks (added with preservatives, colorants etc), alcohol, finger chips (if spicy and pungent), hot soups, curried (fried) substances, non vegetarian diet (usually added with much spices) etc cause gastric irritation very easily.
Improper sleep, lesser intake of water, dry food, intake of food and beverages in its hot condition etc also cause mild to moderate degree of gastric irritation.
Untimely food, excess of food, repeated food intake (before the digestion of the previously taken food), excess intake of coffee and tea, habits like smoking, tobacco chewing etc too contribute in the causation as well as aggravation of the disease – sour belching due to excess acid secretion. According to modern science, prolonged intake of NSAIDS (pain killers) is also the main reason for the disease. Ayurveda emphasizes that stress, job dissatisfaction, jealousy, anger etc also as reasons for this disease – Amlapitta(acid peptic disorder).
If the condition is not treated timely or else if unwholesome food and habits continued, it may lead to complications like – gastric ulcer, duodenitis, mal-absorption, perforation, esophageal regurgitation, headache, backache etc.
Ayurvedic line of treatment
As the disease is of Pitta origin, all measures are undertaken to pacify pitta; otherwise, the medicament should subside the irritation. So, first of all, in worsened conditions, emesis is carried so as to take out the accumulated acidic substances from the stomach. These measures are taken for the pacification of pitta. After once complete remission of the complaints, elixirs (rasayanas) are prescribed so as to check the re-manifestation of the similar episode in coming days.
Effective Remedies For Acidity And Gastritis
You may not try all of these, you can follow a few.
- Long pepper powder- half a gram with one spoon of honey – two times a day is one of the effective home remedies for gastritis.
- Lemon juice helps to relieve vomiting sensation and bloating.
- Boiled Ash gourd with jaggery relieves bloating and burning sensation in stomach associated with acidity and gastritis.
- One table-spoon of Triphala powder added with one glass of water, boiled and reduced to half a glass, filtered. This water decoction when hot, along with one table-spoon of honey or ghee relieves gastritis.
- Regular chewing of half a teaspoon of fennel seeds after food is good for digestion and gastritis.
- Half a glass of buttermilk, added with a pinch of asa foetida, turmeric, half tea-spoon of fenugreek drunk at night, is good for effective treatment of gastritis.
- Crush cumin seeds into a fine powder. Add half a tea-spoon of cumin seeds to one litre of water. Boil the water for two minutes and filter. Drink this water, in place of normal water. But new water needs to be made everyday. This is a natural remedy for gastritis.
- Ginger – 5 grams.
Milk – 100 ml
Water – 100 ml.
Boil this till there is only 80 – 100 ml remaining. (meaning water is emptied)
Filter and drink. This is a good gastritis remedy. In the same way, garlic – drink is also a good home remedy for gastritis.
Activities And Diet For Gastritis
Barley, wheat, green gram, old rice, warm water, sugar candy, inflorescence of the plantain, cucumber, matured ash gourd, pomegranate, gooseberry, dry grapes etc. are ideal.
Activities for gastritis relief:
1. Avoiding heat and Sun light. According to Ayurveda, exposure to Sunlight increases Pitta and gastritis is a Pitta dominant disease. So avoid direct exposure to sunlight as much as possible. Use an umbrella or a hat.
2. Having food at the right time: Having food at fixed intervals of time helps the biological clock of the body to release gastric juice and enzymes at right times.
3. Avoiding fasting: Though Gastritis patients might have hunger disturbances, they should avoid fasting or delaying of meals.
Diet for gastritis:
Here is a list of food items that gastritis patients need to take regularly, according to Ayurveda.
Barley, Wheat and green gram.
Boiled and cooled water
Ash gourd – Many ash gourd recipes and herbal products are used in gastritis treatment. Regular use of Ash gourd is good.
Bitter vegetables like bitter gourd, asparagus, Indian Tinospora etc are good for stomach.
Asa foetida – Though it is not good to taste, it is used in many Indian dishes. It is very good for the stomach.
Cumin seeds / Jeera – Improves digestive power, increases hunger.
Coriander – coriander is a natural coolant.
Milk : Widely used in Panchakarma Gastritis treatment. Rich in calcium and good for gastritis.
Ghee: Calms Pitta and improves digestion.
Amla – Indian gooseberry – it will take one whole book to write about Amla benefits.
Ajowan: Improves digestive power, a cure for pain abdomen due to gastritis.
Ginger: Ginger processed in milk is a good home remedy for gastritis.
Fruits for Gastritis: Pomegranate, grapes, apple, and banana.
Diet to avoid
All factors mentioned under the reasons for the disease, sesame, black gram, horsegram, oil cake, sheep’s milk, sour gruel, salty- sour and pungent food, heavy meals, fasting, curd, alcohol etc
- Do not go directly under afternoon sun: Direct bright Sun exposure increases Pitta and worsens gastritis. So, wear a hat or use an umbrella.
- Do not fast or skip meals: At regular intervals, gastric juice is produced inside the stomach, with enzymes and Hydrochloric acid. If you fast or skip meals, the juice is left unused, leading to worsening of gastritis. So, it is important to have meals at the right time. During unavoidable circumstances, have at least a couple of fibre rich biscuits or fruit juice.
- Avoid heavy meals: Since there is a problem with digestion, a heavy meal leads to vomiting or nausea (vomiting sensation). Instead, having small meals, for 4 – 5 times is good.
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, smoking.
- Avoid stress and anger – which imbalances Pitta and thereby worsens gastritis.
Spicy food stuff, chilly, sesame seeds, black gram, horse gram, mustard oil, goat milk, curds, and food stuffs that are heavy to digest are to be avoided for gastritis relief.
Avoid strong tea and coffee.
Gastritis tips: While taking any medicine, make sure you drink plenty of water. If not, the tablet may get stuck at the food pipe and may start disintegrating there, leading to irritation of the inner mucosal lining and worsening gastritis.
Herbs used to treat gastritis
Common herbs used in gastritis remedies and treatment:
Patola (pointed gourd) – Trichosanthes dioica Roxb.
Nimba – Neem – Azadirachta indica A. Juss.
Amalaki – Emblica officinalis Gaertn.
Parpataka – Fumaria vaillantii Loise.
Guduchi (Giloy)- Tinospora cordifolia (Willd.) Miers.
Bhoonimba – Juncia kurroa Linn
Haritaki – Terminalia chebula Retz.
Bhringaraja – Eclipta alba (Linn) Hassk.
Ela – Cardamom – Eletharia cardamomum Matom.
Chandana – Sandalwood Santalum alba Linn.
Usheera – Vetiveria zizanioides (Linn.) Nash.
Draksha – Raisins – Vitis vinifera Linn.
Jiraka – Cumin seeds – Cuminum cyminum Linn.
Musta – Cyperus rotundus Linn.
Ayurvedic medicines for gastritis
Home Remedy For Acidity
Home remedy video
What do you need?
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) – 10 grams. It is a very famous herb, it is one among the three ingredients of Triphala. This herb can be purchased from any part of the world.
Pippali – Long pepper – 10 grams – Famous spice, one among the three ingredients of Trikatu Churna.
Dry grapes – Widely used in many gastritis remedies. We have already covered in detail about dry grapes benefits.
Dhanvayasa – This herb is known as Fagonia cretica / Alhagi pseudalhagi. If you can not find the herb, remove from this home remedy.
Honey – Used in gastritis due to its ulcer healing and gastric calming properties.
All the above ingredients are taken in equal quantities and pounded to form a paste. To make it easy, first dry grapes are pounded with sugar candy and then fine power of other ingredients are added, at the end honey is added to form a uniform paste. If needed, a little more honey is fine.
Once prepared, this remedy can be stored for 2 – 3 months in air tight container.
Benefits: Useful to relieve –
- Burning sensation in throat (say, after vomiting or after eating chilli)
- Burning sensation in upper stomach – related to hyperacidity.
- It is traditionally used as a remedy for gastritis.
Dose: 2 – 3 grams after food with water or honey
Where to get herbs?
Note: All the ingredients are quite easily available in any Ayurvedic shop in India. These organic herbs can be purchased from any part of the world from USA with these links (ad) –