Ayurvedic tips for better digestion

The concept of agni, the Sanskrit word for “fire,” is rather essential to the Ayurvedic tradition. Agni is used to refer the digestive juices. We can focus on foods and other forms of nourishment that enhance the qualities of agni or we can ingest substances and experiences that dilute and smother the sacred fire. Either way, the health of agni throughout the system will be affected. Here are some practical tips for protecting your sacred fire and improve digestion.

Eat your biggest meal at lunch

There’s an Ayurvedic principle that the digestion works the best, when the sun is at its highest point. That is around 12 noon to 2 pm. Thus, give your body plenty of time to fully digest the food before sunset.

Stimulate the digestive fire

Ghee and ginger-lemon juice are great aids for digestion. Eating raw ghee with your food or drinking 2 teaspoons of ginger-lemon juice before meals eases the digestion process.

Drink buttermilk

Buttermilk is perfect to soothe the stomach. The carminative properties of the spices coupled with the soothing and refreshing properties of buttermilk improve your digestion. So, if you feel a bout of indigestion coming on, try sipping on some buttermilk for instant relief.

Eat only when you’re hungry

The problem with eating when you’re not hungry (aside from possible weight gain) is that it leaves you feeling bloated and uncomfortable. Only when your stomach is truly empty are your digestive enzymes strong enough to thoroughly break down your food.

Sip on digestive teas

Approximately 15-30 minutes after eating, sip on ginger, chamomile, or peppermint tea. (Yes, sipping again and not drinking.) The difference between sipping and drinking is that the former gives a kick to your digestive system whereas the latter floods your stomach and slows down the process.

Drink warm water

Ayurveda compares our digestive capacity to a physical fire. We ‘extinguish’ this fire when we consume cold water, whereas warm water kindles digestive fire, supporting elimination. Sip warm water especially first thing in the morning and at least thirty minutes before larger meals. This will help cleanse your digestive system and facilitate the secretion of gastric juice in the stomach. Besides, when you are hydrated, it’s easier for food to pass through the digestive system!

Practice Vajrasana after meals

Come into a kneeling position and sit on your heels, with your palms on your knees. Sit in this position (called Vajrasana) for about 3-5 minutes after you finish your meals. This simple asana helps you digest in the most optimal way, preventing constipation, indigestion, hyperacidity, and other digestive challenges.


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