GASTRITIS AND AYURVEDIC TREATMENT

- Dr. Murali Manohar Chirumamilla, M.D. (Ayurveda)

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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 include:

  1. Ingestion of caustic poisons, alcohol, and certain medications like aspirin or steroids.

  2. Physical stress from flu, major surgery, severe burns, or injuries.

  3. A drug allergy or food poisoning.

Atrophic 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.

Dietary Changes

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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.

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Milk has always been known to relieve pain in the peptic ulcer. Always choose milk instead of coffee or tea.

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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 gastritis.

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In some individuals, food allergies or intolerance may cause gastritis. If you are suspecting food sensitivity or allergy, you should consider discussing an allergy elimination programme with your physician.

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When helicobacter causes gastritis, free radical levels rise in the stomach lining. These unstable molecules contribute to inflammation and gastric damage.

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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.

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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.

Lifestyle Changes

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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.

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Avoid alcohol. Alcohol inhibits the secretion of the protective prostaglandin, thereby causing gastritis.

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Many 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 their doctor.

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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

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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.

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If you are having constipation along with gastritis, then Avipattikara choorna is the medicine of choice. Take two teaspoonfuls at bedtime. This neutralises the acid, stimulates the liver, and thus works as a laxative.

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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.

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Emblica officinalis (amla) is found useful in dyspepsia, burning sensation, anorexia, vomiting and haemorrhage. 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).

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Dhaatri 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.

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Other useful medicines are Kaamdudha ras, Leelaavilas ras, Chandrakala ras and Amalpittantak ras.

Note

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.

 

Address

Dr. Ch. Murali Manohar, M.D. (Ayurveda)

Ayurvedic Specialist

Raksha Ayurvedic Centre,

Opp. Directorate of Women Development,

Yousufguda Main Road (Sarathi Studio Road),

Ameerpet, Hyderabad - 500073.,

Andhra Pradesh, INDIA

Phones: Land: +91 (040) 23742146; Mobile: 09246575510

Consultation Hours  (by phone appointment)

Weekdays: 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 8.30 p.m.

Sundays: 10 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.

 E-mail: muralimanoharch@hotmail.com

 

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