Digestive System

The digestive or gastrointestinal system starts at our mouth and ends at the anus. According to the ayurvedic school of thought, jathar agni, or gastric fire has control over digestion, imbalance of this agni causes diseases.

There are three stages of digestion according to Ayurveda.
Stage 1: Limited to mouth and upper stomach where saliva mixes in with the food. Kapha is prominent in this stage.
Stage 2: This stage occurs in the lower stomach and small intestine. Pitha elements are essential in this stage. Disbalance in this stage causes heartburn and acid reflux.
Stage 3: This is the final stage of digestion, which takes place in the colon. Vata elements are associated with this stage, and imbalances cause gas and bloating.

Different kinds of vasty utilizing various liquids such as medicated decoction, milk, or oils are the most common treatment prescribed for the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders.

It is a condition of the digestive tract which can be rooted in congenital physiological abnormalities, side effects of medication, and unhealthy dietary habits, among other causes. The presentation of this condition also varies from person to person.

In Ayurveda, Vata dosha, concentrated in the colon, is implicated in constipation. Therefore, natural laxatives like Triphala are often recommended in conjunction with vasty, a group of treatments focused on ayurvedic enemas using medicated liquids that clear, revitalize, and nourish the digestive tract. Panchkarma, a combination of multiple ayurvedic techniques, are also recommended.

Loose motion or watery stools happen when the digestive tracts expel feces before the intestines have had the chance to reabsorb water. There are multiple causes of diarrhea. It can be a side effect from medication or ingestion of toxic substances or the body’s protective reaction when introduced to a destructive pathogen. Persistent diarrhea can be a sign of a more server underlying cause. 

In Ayurveda, diarrhea is called atisaaram. It is connected with jataragni mandhya(low stomach-related fire). Vata dosha is primarily implicated because it pulls out liquid from different body tissues and carries it into the digestive tract causing an overabundance of fluid in the intestines, which is then excreted. Apart from Vata, pitha and Kapha dosha can also cause atisaaram. Diet and inclusion of revitalizing and hydrating herbal decoction and extracts are usually recommended along with vasty, which can assist the body in detoxifying and nourishing the digestive tract. 

gastritis is a digestive tract disorder characterized by inflammation, or erosion of the stomach lining. This condition can be rooted in various factors such as specific prescription, presence of allergen, nausea, infection, or immune disorders. 

Gastritis can be of two kinds: acute, which has a sudden and extremely painful onset, or chronic, which is more insidious and can cause loss of hunger or queasiness. Generally speaking, individuals experience no side effects.

Ayurveda refers to severe gastritis as “urdhvaga amlapitha roga.” which principally emerges because of irritation of metabolic problems or pitha dosha. Internal medications are prescribed. Panchkarma can also be recommended in more severe cases after consultation with the doctor.

IBS, also known as mucous colitis, spastic colitis, and apprehensive colon, is a condition that influences the gastrointestinal (gi)tract.

In Ayurveda, IBS is called grahani dosha. It is viewed as one of the eight maha gadhas diseases considered challenging to cure. 

Grahani, or the intestine, is the source of digestive fire or Agni, which holds fire until the food t is processed and digested. Therefore, irregularity in all three or at least one of the doshas, Vata, Pitha, and Kapha, can cause complex Grahani dosha.

The three kinds of disturbed Agni:

  • Vishama Agni – due to disturbed Vata,
  • Tikshna Agni – because of bothering Pitha,
  • Manda Agni – due to bothered Kapha.

Lifestyle and dietary changes, in addition to external therapies such as Panchkarma and abhyanga are also recommended.

Peptic ulcers are sores or open wounds in the stomach or the duodenum, which is the beginning of the intestine. Parinamashula, referenced in ayurvedic writings, can be connected to duodenal ulcer/peptic. Like other digestive tract disorders, ulcers are caused or aggravated by medications, stress, alcohol, and tobacco use. Ayurveda offers to remedy this condition through restricted food habits, relaxation, and a combination of external therapies such as virechan, where the patient receives a natural purgative to promote gut clearance, and kashaya vasty, a cleansing enema carried out using herbal decoctions or extracts, honey, and other medicated liquids. 

Jaundice is a common disease caused due to a failing or diseased liver. This disease can develop in any demography because of underlying liver and bile duct issues, which leads to the accumulation of unnatural levels of bilirubin. In Ayurveda, jaundice is known as Kamala. Ayurvedic treatment for jaundice primarily focuses on balancing pitha dosha. Ayurveda offers two alternatives; one is shodhan, and the other is a shaman. Shodhan aims to pull out toxins and detoxify the body through panchkarma treatments. Shaman is adjusting the doshas by Ayurveda prescriptions, diet, and way of life changes.

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