Lifestyle

How To Increase Digestive System According To Ayurveda

INTRODUCTION

Your digestive system is uniquely constructed to do its job of turning your food into the nutrients and energy you need to survive. And when it’s done with that, it handily packages your solid waste, or stool, for disposal when you have a bowel movement.

The main organs that make up the digestive system (in order of their function) are the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus. Helping them along the way are the pancreas, gall bladder and liver.

The primary functions of the GI tract are digestion, absorption, excretion, and protection. These functions are achieved through a series of organs with distinct roles from mouth to anus. The stomach and small intestine are principally responsible for digestion and absorption, a process incorporating both physical (e.g., retropulsion in the stomach) and chemical (e.g., bile and enzymes in the small intestine) mechanisms. The large intestine is primarily concerned with desiccation and compaction of waste, with storage in the sigmoid colon and rectum prior to elimination.

Why is digestion important?

Digestion is important because your body needs nutrients from food and drink to work properly and stay healthy. Proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins NIH external link, minerals NIH external link, and water are nutrients. Your digestive system breaks nutrients into parts small enough for your body to absorb and use for energy, growth, and cell repair.

How does the digestive system work?

Each part of your digestive system helps to move food and liquid through your GI tract, break food and liquid into smaller parts, or both. Once foods are broken into small enough parts, your body can absorb and move the nutrients to where they are needed. Your large intestine absorbs water, and the waste products of digestion become stool. Nerves and hormones help control the digestive process.

KOSTHA

KOSHTA is a unique concept in ayurveda. It is defined as nature of digestive tract, which represents motility of the intestines and movement of food and fecal matter in the alimentary canal and elimination of the stool.

TYPES OF KOSTHA

KOSHTA Type Dominant Dosha
KRURA (Hard) VATA DOSHA
MRIDU (Soft) PITTA DOSHA
MADHYA (Moderate) KAPHA DOSHA

KRURA (Hard) KOSHTA

KRURA KOSHTA means Vata is more dominant in the alimentary canal, which reduces liquid content in the stool and resulting in elimination of hard stools. It causes difficulty in elimination and may also dry the stool.

LAGHU (Light) and RUKSHA (Dry) qualities of Vata reduces softness, stickiness, and oiliness of the stool. However, these qualities are also required in harmony with others for proper elimination of the fecal matter and preventing the loose stools, but in KRURA KOSHTA, these qualities are more than the usual, which may result in:

  • Difficulty in defecation
  • Hard and dry Stool
  • Constipation commonly occurs

It is not necessary that KRURA KOSHTA causes these symptoms or problems, but people with it are more prone to these problems.

MRIDU (Soft) KOSHTA

MRIDU KOSHTA means Pitta is predominant in the alimentary canal, which slightly increases the liquid content due to its DRAVA (liquid) quality in the fecal matter resulting in semi-solid discharge of fecal matter.

  • Loose stools or semi-solid stools
  • Increased frequency of defecation
  • Diarrhea can commonly occur

It is not necessary that MRIDU KOSHTA causes these symptoms or problems, but people with MRIDU KOSHTA are more prone to these problems.

MADHYA (Moderate) KOSHTA

MADHYA KOSHTA means Kapha is more predominant in the alimentary canal resulting in passage soft and solid stool, which is desirable and ideal. The optimum level of Kapha keeps the VATA and PITTA under control and prevents loose and hard stools.

When Kapha is excess in the alimentary canal, mucus content is observed in the stool. It is more common problem in people with MADHYA KOSHTA.

How to Improve Digestion Power?

A weak digestive system leads to weakened agni. To improve digestion and have to keep the digestive fire strong, Ayurveda suggests few remedies that you can easily incorporate in your daily regime , which in turn will facilitate weight loss, improve your metabolism, regularize bowel movements and also help you find a definitive answer to the ultimate question of ‘how to improve digestive system naturally.’

According to Ayurveda, harmful foods, such as fried foods, processed meats, and very cold foods, can create undigested residue that forms toxins, or in Ayurvedic terms “ama.” Ama is described as the root cause of disease

Stay hydrated

Dehydration is known to wreak havoc on our digestive system. We need to drink at least 3 litres of water a day to keep our system well hydrated. Our intestines use water to push the digested waste through the system. Consciously take the time to drink the amount of water you need every day, at regular intervals.

Consume a high-fibre diet

Eat a diet that’s high in fibre and rich in whole grains, vegetables, legumes and fruits can improve your digestive health. A high-fibre diet helps to move food through your digestive tract, making you less likely to get constipated. It also helps you prevent or treat various digestive conditions.

Avoid foods that annoy your digestive tract

Some people can tolerate spicy foods. Understand what works for you and eat accordingly. Red chillies, hot spices, caffeine, desserts rich in sugar and fat are few substances which may be suitable for some. While spicy food can irritate the stomach lining in some people. The secret to a healthy digestive system is to either avoid or balance your intake of substances that cause irritation to your system.

Exercise regularly and ward off stress

Too much stress or anxiety can cause your digestive system to go into overdrive. Stress can cause an imbalance in gut bacteria and increase the risk of inflammation. Moderate exercise on a daily basis can combat stress effectively, restoring a sense of balance in physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Improve your posture

Bathroom posture and posture when sitting or standing can affect your digestive health. It is important to have good posture so digestive organs can work optimally. You simply need to adopt a more natural squatting position. Focus on your posture, sit and stand in a way that is more beneficial for digestion.

Don’t overeat

When we eat more food than our stomach can accommodate, we cannot properly break it down. We tend to produce more acid, thus causing reflux and indigestion. Ayurveda recommends that we leave one-third to one-quarter of our stomach empty to allow space for our body to easily digest our meal.

Sip on ginger tea throughout the day

In Ayurveda, ginger is known as the universal remedy due to its many benefits for the body and it has been used to treat digestive issues. It can relax the smooth muscle of the intestines, thereby relieving symptoms of gas and cramping. Add one teaspoon of grated or sliced fresh ginger root to a cup of hot water and sip throughout the day.

CONCLUSION

The healing tradition of Ayurveda teaches that health and well-being depend upon our ability to digest everything we take in from the environment. When our digestive ability, or agni, is strong, we create healthy tissues and eliminate waste products efficiently. One of the important aspects of our digestive fire is our stomach acid, which is essential to good digestion.

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About author
Nishkarsh kumar recieved his bachelor of science in nutritional sciences from Chandigarh University and completed his internship program in Chandigarh. He is an ayurvedic enthusiastic and passionate about evidence based nutritional information.
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