Gastritis is a broad term for
inflammation or irritation of the inner lining (mucosa) of the stomach. In
some cases, it can even lead to an ulcer. In Ayurveda, this condition is
known as urdhvaga amlapitta. You are prone to this disease, if you have
pitta body constitution, according to Ayurveda.
The causes of gastritis
Ingestion of caustic poisons, alcohol,
and certain medications like aspirin or steroids.
Physical stress from flu, major surgery,
severe burns, or injuries.
A drug allergy or food poisoning.
gastritis is a form of gastritis found in the elderly, where stomach cells
are destroyed, potentially leading to pernicious anaemia.
A bacterial infection,
helicobacter pylori, is believed to be a major cause of gastritis during the
recent years. When addressing gastritis, many researchers now look for
substances that eradicate H. Pylori.
If suffering from gastritis,
you can adopt these dietary and lifestyle changes and take the following
herbal supplements to keep yourself comfortable.
You can take almost all
foods in moderation except chilies, spices, and sour food. Avoid chillies,
meat soups and extractives, tamarind and unripe citrus fruits such as
orange, sweet-lime, etc. Restrict the use of garlic, ginger, coriander (dhania),
and cumin seeds (jeera). Avoid papad, chutney, or pickles. You can use
ghee in cooking as it pacifies pitta. However, restrict the fried food and
recycled cooking oil, as they are difficult to digest. Restrict the intake
of salt as it irritates the stomach lining. Bland diet such as khichdi,
that contains cooked rice and dal, is perhaps the best diet in gastritis.
Always prefer the old rice that has been preserved for one year. A snack
or small meal every three hours does the trick in most of the cases.
Milk has always been known
to relieve pain in the peptic ulcer. Always choose milk instead of coffee
Caffeine found in coffee
and tea, some soft drinks, chocolate and many medications increase stomach
acid. Avoiding these substances can, therefore, aid in the healing of
In some individuals, food
allergies or intolerance may cause gastritis. If you are suspecting food
sensitivity or allergy, you should consider discussing an allergy
with your physician.
When helicobacter causes
gastritis, free radical levels rise in the stomach lining. These unstable
molecules contribute to inflammation and gastric damage.
Vitamin C, an antioxidant
that helps squelch free radical molecules, is low in the stomach juice of
people with chronic gastritis. This is the reason, some of the vitamin C
rich fruits, such as amla, are found to be helpful in gastritis. There is
some evidence that the antioxidant beta carotene may also reduce free
radical damage in the stomach, and eating foods such as carrots, that are
high in carotene, has been linked to a decreased risk of developing
chronic atrophic gastritis.
Moreover, people with
active gastritis have been reported to have low levels of beta-carotene in
their stomach. Combining vitamin C rich foods and carotene food lead to
improvement in most people with chronic atrophic gastritis.
Avoid tobacco. Smoking damages the mucous membrane and may even increase
acid secretion. Smoking also causes pyloric incompetence and reflux of
duodenal juice into the stomach. Tobacco chewing causes shedding of the
stomach lining and may have a role in the production of gastritis.
Avoid alcohol. Alcohol inhibits the secretion of the protective
prostaglandin, thereby causing gastritis.
medications, such as aspirin and related drugs, can induce or aggravate
stomach irritation. People with a history of gastritis should never take
aspirin or aspirin-like drugs without first discussing the matter with
Mental tension is usually associated with gastritis. Brooding,
frustrations, and inner resentment regarding matters connected with the
family or place of work not only predisposes you to gastritis, but also
contributes to the perpetuation of symptoms and subsequent recurrences.
Herbs and Medicines
Licorice root has been traditionally used to soothe inflammation and
injury in the stomach. It also stalls the growth of H. Pylori. Take one
teaspoonful of this powder and mix with half a teaspoonful of pure ghee
and one teaspoonful of pure honey. Take this medicine twice daily on an
empty stomach, once in the morning before breakfast and once in the
afternoon before tea when the stomach is nearly empty.
are having constipation along with gastritis, then Avipattikara choorna is
the medicine of choice. Take two teaspoonfuls at bedtime. This
the acid, stimulates the liver, and thus works as a laxative.
Asparagus racemosus (shataavar) is a refrigerant and antispasmodic. It
allays internal heat. Several studies have demonstrated that the root of
this plant is an effective drug in hyperacidity. Mineral contents, which
are biochemically important for the human system, were found in
significant concentration in different parts of the herb. This powder
should be taken three to six grams, twice daily.
officinalis (amla) is found useful in dyspepsia, burning sensation,
anorexia, vomiting and
You can take this in powder form, two teaspoonfuls four times a day.
(Clinical studies were conducted to investigate the effect of amla in
gastric syndrome. Aamalaki choorna was given in 20 cases in a dose of
three grams, three times a day for seven days. The drug was found
effective in 85 per cent of the cases).
loha, Sootasekhara rasa, Sukumaara ghrita, etc., are some of the ayurvedic
medicines that are prescribed commonly to treat gastritis. Always consult
your physician before using them.
Other useful medicines are
Kaamdudha ras, Leelaavilas ras, Chandrakala ras and Amalpittantak ras.
As we all are genetically different with
different constitutions and patterns, we respond to treatments in many
different ways. Hence Standard Ayurvedic Treatments are always individually
formulated. This article is intended only for information. It is not a
substitute to the standard medical diagnosis, personalized Ayurvedic
treatment or qualified Ayurvedic physician. For specific treatment, always
consult with a qualified Ayurvedic physician.
Dr. Ch. Murali
Manohar, M.D. (Ayurveda)
Directorate of Women Development,
Main Road (Sarathi Studio Road),
Hyderabad - 500073.,
+91 (040) 23742146; Mobile: 09246575510
a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.
a.m. to 1.30 p.m.