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Dr. Murali Manohar Chirumamilla
Raksha Ayurvedalaya: The Family Wellness Center

Hyper Acidity and Ayurvedic Treatment


Everyone knows that excessive secretion of acid leads to hyperacidity. Inside the stomach, nutrients are broken into small units for the purpose of assimilation. The stomach can digest things similar to its own structure and composition—like a piece of meat. But, then how come the stomach does not digest itself? The process of digestion takes place because of many different gastric secretions, which are highly acidic. What prevent the stomach from digesting itself are the cells, which form its inner lining? These cells have a special permeability barrier, which does not let anything permeate. If this is challenged with certain foods like too much tea, coffee, alcohol or certain chemical drugs, especially some pain-relieving and anti-arthritic drugs, then this will be weakened or damaged.

As a result, the highly acidic medium, which prevails in the stomach, traverses the stomach wall, thus causing pain and discomfort. If the same thing is repeated again and again, it may give rise to acidity and gastritis thereby inflaming the lining of the stomach. Ayurveda calls this condition as 'amla pitta'.

To understand the disease amla pitta, one has to understand the concept of 'agni'. Ayurveda has described this agni as fire of life. It has been given a pivotal place in the delicate balance between health and disease. In other words, 'agni' is the fire that cooks or digests the food.

A normal 'agni' means a healthy person and conversely, an abnormal agni is a sure pointer to disease.

At times, this 'agni' may be impaired due to intellectual blasphemy (prajnaaparaadha), unwholesome conjunction of sense organs with their objects (asaatmyendriyaartha samyoga) and vagaries of weather and time (kaala or parinaama). This impaired 'agni' shows effect on 'pitta', the fiery energy of the body responsible for transformation. 'Amla pitta' is the by-product of this defective process.

“It is difficult to produce fire either without fire logs or with too many fire logs occupying the whole furnace.” The same is the case with digestive fire. This will be hampered either with low amounts (mandaagni) or with high amounts (teekshnaagni). Amla pitta is the resultant of teekshnaagni, says Ayurveda.

Guidelines and Ayurvedic Remedies

As we know that acidity is due to improper regimen, it can be easily tackled by following simple methods:

It is clear that amla pitta is mainly due to aggravation of pitta. Factors responsible for aggravation of this pitta dosha are excessive intake of pungent and sour food items, alcoholic preparations, salt, hot and sharp stuff which cause burning sensations. Anger, fear, excessive exposure to sun and fire, intake of dry vegetables and alkalis, irregularity in taking food, etc. should be avoided as far as possible.

As a rule, all persons with acidity can take a milk diet excellently, although some, at first have trouble in absorbing milk. This is because the large amount of acid in the stomach forms hard curds combined with the proteins of the milk. Often these are vomited. Yet milk is excellent in the condition, especially when preceded by a fast, adjusted to your general condition.

The milk diet should be adhered to several weeks if possible. Along with this, drink warm water freely. Ayurveda insists on this because, according to it, "hot destroys hot" (ushnam ushnena hanti). Moreover, it has been found by physiological experiments that cold water increases the amount of acid secreted in the stomach. When the stomach seems to be in better condition, the milk may be taken with an evening meal consisting of easily digestible and non-irritating foods.

For a time, it is better to use foods requiring only moderate mastication, since mastication naturally increases the flow of gastric juice with its acid. Yet insufficient mastication of the food chosen will aggravate by causing gastric irritation. So, mastication should always be moderate in this particular condition.

It is important not to overeat, but to take small meals, three times a day. Avoid artificial stimulants, all of which raise pitta. Alcohol, in any form, is like throwing fuel on the pitta fire. The drawback of the caffeine in coffee and tea is that it increases acid production in stomach if consumed excessively.

Even an excess intake of sweets can cause acidity as the sugar causes fermentation and produces acid in the stomach, particularly if wrongly combined with other food types.

According to Ayurveda, the pre-digestive characters of a particular food need not correlate with its post-digestive effect. It calls this effect as 'vipaaka'.

  • Avoid salt, oil, pickles, curd, fried foods, sour foods like tamarind, etc., all of which heat the body.

  • Take pitta pacifying diet. It should contain bitter and astringent tastes, which are usually supplied mainly through salads and legumes. These two tastes curb the appetite, dry up excessive moisture and keep the palate sharp.

  • To bring down aggravated pitta, a standard recommendation is to take two teaspoonfuls of ghee in a glass of warm milk. This also acts as a laxative, which helps flush excess pitta from the system. Ayurveda recommends this laxation (virechana karma) to be the best therapy to correct the aggravated pitta. Have your ghee and milk instead of dinner, or two hours after a very light dinner. You can also have it in place of breakfast (do not take ghee, however, if you have a problem with high cholesterol).

  • Avipattikara choorna relieves all the agonising symptoms caused by acidity. It moves the bowels and flushes them. It also maintains your appetite. This powder can be taken in a dose of 3 to 6 grams with water before and during the meal. Dried grapes, fruit bark of harad (Terminalia chebula) in powdered form and sugar pounded together and taken  in 12 grams quantity does relieve acidity.

  • Buttermilk is not found useful in amla pitta. Hence, it may be avoided.

  • Cereals from fresh crops should be avoided. Pulses should be moderately used.

  • Two to three years old rice, wheat flour, milk, green leafy vegetables and fruits containing sweet juice are all permitted.

  • Coconut water is exceptionally good is this condition.

  • Sukumaara ghritam is specific for this condition and may be taken in doses of one to two teaspoonfuls mixed with a cup of milk in the morning.

  • Amla (Emblica officinalis) in powdered form is also helpful. The standard dose is two teaspoonfuls three times a day.

  • Alternatively, Dhaatri lauha (calyx of iron mixed with the juice of amla) may be taken in one teaspoonful dose twice a day. In acidity, iron absorption is impaired and this will be corrected with this medicine.

  • In severe cases, Ayurvedic physicians usually prescribe Swarna parpatee, Leela vilaas ras, Soota sekhara ras etc. If needed, these medicines may be taken under medical supervision.

  • A decoction of sandal (chandan) consumed thrice daily, gives good relief from hyperacidity. Kamadudharas (with pearls) is a drug of choice for hyperacidity in the dose of 1 tablet thrice daily.


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. Murali Manohar Chirumamilla, M.D. (Ayurveda)
Plot No. 13, H.No: 16-2-67/13,
Ramamurthy Nagar (CBCID Colony),
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