Almost every person has experienced acid indigestion. It can cause great discomfort ranging from a simple stomachache to a more complicated formation of ulcers. We will look at the causes and symptoms of acid indigestion, what you can do to prevent it, and a simple herbal remedy to help you with this very common and easily treated digestion problem.
The symptoms of acid indigestion are:
- increase in weight
- destabilized blood sugar level
- increase in toxins
- weaker immune and digestive systems
The causes of acid indigestion are:
- poor food combination
- eating too fast and overeating
- excess water taken with meals
- excessive use of raw foods
A Simple Acid Indigestion Prevention Plan
1. A balanced diet must be made up of primary, secondary, and tertiary food.
- Primary food is an essential part of any healing. It includes whole grains (20-30% of the diet), vegetable and animal protein, tofu, tempeh and beans (20-30% of the diet). You should avoid white sugar, refined grains, denatured flour and artificial stimulants, as over consumption of refined carbohydrates weakens your digestion. The protein component in this group is needed to repair any damaged tissues, and to stimulate and maintain body functions.
- Secondary food (30-40% of the diet) includes fresh seasonal vegetables. This group provides us with vitamins and minerals, and stimulates elimination. The role of vitamins and minerals is to maintain health. Any deviation from the balanced diet will produce vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Any deficiencies could be corrected by including some sea vegetables such as nori, kombu, wakame, arame, hiziki, kelp, or sea vegetable soups.
- Tertiary food includes dairy, eggs, seasonally available fruit (5-10% of the diet), fats and oils (olive and sesame oils), and ghee (2%). Tertiary food should be consumed in small amounts and as it should be eliminated completely. Any discomfort caused by the use of raw fruit can be alleviated by eating a piece of citrus peel, apple seeds and apricot or peach kernels. The role of fats in this group is to assist in burning of fat, and absorption of Vitamin A, D, E and K.
2. Proper food combination is a must. The following is recommended:
- Breakfast – in the morning you should eat a warm meal (yang) as the temperature of the body is low (yin). Breakfast should contain a significant amount a protein, carbohydrates, and other essential nutrients to prepare the body for the day’s activity. A possible breakfast menu might include whole grain cereal, rice cream, buckwheat cream or miso soup. Cereal could be sweetened with chopped apple, some dried fruits, walnuts, onions and mushrooms can be used with tamari sauce.
- Lunch – this is when your body temperature is high (yang), eating a cool (yin) meal is recommended such as a salad with some protein to regulate the blood sugar and to provide metabolic components for the afternoon. A possible lunch menu might include sushi rolls, brown rice balls, tempeh or tofu burger with pressed salad. For a warmer lunch kicharee soup is recommended.
- Dinner – this is when the body temperature is cooling (yin), therefore eat a lightly cooked meal (yang). Avoid a combination of yeast and flour (bread) which can cause problems. Dinner menu might include miso soup, whole grain dish, steamed or sautéed vegetables, baked apple for desert. Some healthy beverages to consider include: roasted dandelion root tea, camomile tea, chrysanthenum tea, hibiscus tea, Bancha twig tea, mu tea, umeboshio tea, and yanoh. Complete all eating at least three hours before retiring to bed.
- Chewing starts your digestion process, so before swallowing food make sure your food is chewed properly until it becomes liquid. This will also assist you in eating slower and minimize any overeating. Your liquids must also be mixed well with your saliva.
- Drinking liquids with your meal is not recommended as they dilute the digestive enzymes and weaken the digestive process. Drink at least 30 minutes before a meal or two hours after a meal.
- Many kitchen spices and herbs should be included in your cooking as they aid the digestive system and provide us with many vitamins and minerals that might be lacking in the diet. The digestion aiding carminatives herbs are: alfalfa, bay leaves, sweet basil leaves, anise, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cayenne, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel, ginger, marjoram, thyme, amaranth, aniseed, asafoetida, blessed thistle, buckthorn, burdock, camomile, cascara sagrada, comfrey, elecampane, goldenseal, juniper, nigella, papaya, parsley, rice, rosemary.
3. Good acid indigestion herbal remedies are:
- Equal parts of calamus, wild cherry bark, gentian, Oregon grape root, cascara bark, goldenseal, dandelion root, wild yam root, lobelia, ginger root and licorice. For internal use take two “00” capsules of this mixture with one cup of dandelion tea one-half hour before and after meals to and to stimulate the secretion of bile.
- Make an extract in any white wine of the following: dandelion root (1 part), calamus root (1 part), gentian (1part), angelica (1 part), valerian (1 part), ginger root (1/2 part). For internal use add two ounces of herbs to one pint of wine and let extract for two weeks. Take one teaspoon before and after meals.
The above plan should assist you in preventing and successfully treating acid indigestion. It should be noted that untreated acid indigestion can produce more serious chronic problems and its symptoms should be taken very seriously.
This article appears in Miscellany of Topics 2.
Copyright Robert Mijas 2011.