Solving digestion problem should be your priority. It is an essential process for its well-being and the prevention of disease.
Digestive disorders spoil our daily lives and are one of the causes of the creation of diseases, but fortunately there are valuable methods to improve this essential process.
By turning to Ayurveda and naturopathy, we discover natural solutions that make our digestion fluid and harmonious. In this article, I offer you powerful strategies to apply to cultivate an easy, pleasant digestion and capitalize on your future health.
Why good digestion is important: Ama
Ama is the accumulation of toxins, undigested food or waste that unbalances our three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha). In general, Ama has the same characteristics as kapha, it is very dense, cold and viscous, and composed mainly of mucoid accretions.
Digestion problems leads to the formation of ama (toxins) and altered blood chemistry.
This imbalance of the doshas manifests itself as explained below:
Vata accumulates gases in the large intestine and spread to the small intestine, blocking the digestive power called Agni and giving rise to Ama.
Kapha can accumulate in the stomach as mucus, spread to the small intestine, block Agni and also create Ama.
Pitta can accumulate as bile in the small intestine, which although hot, can block Agni by its liquid or oily character.
Ama and Agni are opposite in properties. Ama is cold, damp, heavy, smelly and impure. Agni is warm, dry, light, clear, fragrant and pure. To treat Ama, it is necessary to increase your Agni or your digestive power.
There is also a psychological resultant as Ama is the result of negative emotions which extinguish mental Agni or clarity of mind. Undigested experiences become toxic like undigested food.
Symptoms of Ama that results from the accumulation of waste or toxins include:
- loss of taste and appetite,
- indigestion (gas, swollen stomach, diarrhea, constipation, etc.)
- a loaded tongue,
- bad breath,
- loss of strength,
- heaviness, lethargy,
- obstructions of channels and vessels,
- the bad smell of the body, urine or feces,
- a dull pulse,
- lack of attention and loss of mental clarity,
- depression, irritability and obstruction of other doshas.
- Musculoskeletal pain
Ama is at the origin of our ailments: colds, fevers, chronic diseases of a weakened immune system, allergies, from hay fever to asthma, to osteoarthritis, to arthritis … and if nothing is done for much more serious illnesses such as cancer…
How to remove toxins from the body.
Your first priority: your diet. Learn how to solve your digestion problem by applying simple rules.
It’s no longer a secret that processed products bought in supermarkets contain a plethora of additives, pesticides, salt, sugar, irradiated, chemical foods that the food industry has developed to make you addicted, to improve the taste and that make you sick…And all of that food is not anymore alive, so no nutriments, vitamins or essential elements are there to nourish the body properly.
So, first advice, buy fresh seasonal foods in a local market that you can trust and cook yourself.
The body also works with the seasons, and therefore its nutrient needs work with the seasons. An example, do not buy tomatoes in the middle of winter for example. Tomatoes are summer, and it’s in summer that your body needs the nutrients from tomatoes…not winter. In addition, winter tomatoes have no taste, grown with pesticides and chemicals and out of the ground.
Your argument would be to say to me: “I don’t have time”… so in vogue for years…
You can’t say that when it comes to your health…or you’re really disconnected from your body and your soul…disconnected from the reality of real life.
Wait for signs of genuine hunger.
Let your body digest between meals, leave it at least 4 hours between meals so that your digestive system can optimally process the food you eat. The less time you give it between meals, the more you tire your digestive system, which then becomes less efficient. It is in this case that you accumulate ama.
Know that the duration of your intestinal transit is 18h to 24h… So, you understand that if you do not allow time for this process to be complete, you tire it and you accumulate ama.
The miracle of lukewarm water
A simple glass of warm water twenty minutes before a meal can improve digestive function by up to 24%. You can also do that just after wake-up to flush your toxins from the night…
Eat at the same time every day.
Because your digestive juices will be ready and optimal to receive and process the food you eat.
Chews thoroughly and mixes food with saliva.
You understand that the less you chew, the more you increase the work of digestion and you weaken the energy available to properly assimilate nutrients. Digestive juices are not unlimited and are not meant to digest large chunks of coarsely chewed foods. The more the food ingested is fragmented and smaller, the more easily your food bowl will be digested.
Saliva is also a secretion that allows us effective predigestion and live a happy digestion!
Fill your stomach 1/3 full with food, 1/3 with water and 1/3 empty.
If you leave a vacuum in your stomach, the food bolus can be suitably degraded by the gastric juices.
Relax while eating and go for a walk at least 2 minutes later
It has been demonstrated that a walking just two minutes after eating has positive effects on the body, with ten minutes being ideal.
By doing this, you prevent the glucose spike after the meal and help stabilize its level. Many people struggle with those high glucose spikes after meals, especially if they contain high amounts of carbs.
It is important to prevent this blood sugar spike because it can reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
It is a question of taking this time to digest well, to clear your head. There is no question of doing 30 minutes of active walking here, it will have the opposite effect and disturb your digestion
Eat simple food combinations.
Some food combinations cannot be assimilated correctly. And if it can’t be properly assimilated you know it will create toxins.
When two or more foods with different taste, energy, and post-digestive effect are combined, Agni can become overloaded, which inhibits the enzyme system and results in the production of toxins. Yet these same foods, if eaten separately, may well boost agni, be digested faster, and even help burn ama (toxins).
A wrong combination can lead to indigestion, fermentation, putrefaction and gas formation and, if prolonged, can lead to toxemia and disease.
For example, eating bananas or most fruits with milk can decrease agni, alter gut flora, produce toxins, and cause sinus congestion, colds, coughs, and allergies.
Although these two foods have a sweet taste and refreshing energy, their post-digestive effect is very different: bananas are hot while milk is cold. This causes confusion in our digestive system and can lead to toxins, allergies and other imbalances.
Avoid cold drinks or foods.
Simply because it weakens your digestive fire.
Eat a simple breakfast, a hearty lunch and a sweet dinner.
From 6 a.m. to 10 a.m., it is the Kapha phase.
Your body doesn’t need a lot of energy. You get out of bed after eating your dinner and your liver is loaded with enough sugar to carry out your activities until 10 am.
It also allows your digestive system and other physiological digestive processes to rest after this night of digestion and regeneration.
Choose a vegetable and fruit juice to load your body with good nutrients and vitamins.
It also allows you to maintain your weight or lose it.
Then a light dinner is obvious since you have finished your activities and you will go to bed at least 2 hours later…
Use herbs in your cooking to solve digestion problems
The herbs and spices have therapeutic virtues largely underestimated. I strongly urge you to use them.
Ama or toxin is diminished by herbs which are pungent and bitter in taste as they restore Agni.
Ama is increased by sweet, salty and sour taste.
If you need to treat a Vata imbalance use pungent herbs, stimulants and carminatives as well as laxatives and purgatives to eliminate them.
For Pitta mainly uses herbs with a bitter and pungent taste, bitter tonics and stimulants.
For Kapha, incorporates pungent and bitter herbs for a stimulating and decongestant action to cut mucus and fat.
In addition to following the principles above, here are some other habits to adopt:
Avoid snack between meals, it will help to decrease your digestive problems.
Too much fat, especially fatsaturated and trans fatty acids so-called “bad fats”. A high cholesterol level is very often due to an excess of bad fats in the diet.
Prioritize the ghee, sesame and olive oils for cooking and seasoning. Their qualities do not change during cooking and above all do not produce toxic substances.
Too much processed products, protein, sweets, sour, fried, salty and sweet foods.
Eating heavy foods late at night or sleeping right after eating.
Eating too much or too soon after a meal
Do not eat when you are stressed, besides you are not hungry when this is the case. Your body is busy managing your stress by providing the appropriate responses to keep your homeostasis balanced.
Learn to manage your emotions, especially if you tend to overeat…or if you have eating disorders. Why are you doing this?
Yoga and holistic therapies to improve digestion problems
I don’t think I’m teaching you anything by telling you that yoga regulates your emotions, your appetite, improves your digestion and to speak more generally, maintains your homeostasis.
I’m also a yoga teacher and I’ve had a lot of digestive issues which I dealt with through my diet and lifestyle. Now the problems are over.
I sincerely invite you to practice because yoga undeniably improves and cures the pathological conditions that it would be a shame to deprive yourself of.
I give you here an exercise that you can practice. There are also different postures or asanas that are useful for improving your digestion. I cannot detail them here because it would be too long and will therefore be the subject of another article. If you can’t wait, I invite you to take your first free yoga session with me for your digestive problems in particular.
Matangi Mudra to improve your digestion
Matanga is one of the names of Shiva
His Shakti (his feminine energy or manifestation) is called Matangi, one of the ten Mahavidyas, tantric goddesses, who control power and creative expression. It is said to destroy demons and bring inner harmony.
Thus, the Matangi Mudra is the Hasta Mudra (hand gesture) of inner harmony.
It is performed by interlacing the fingers of both hands, except those in the middle, which are held upright and pressed together; the thumb plays no role.
As the middle finger represents the akasha or spatial element, it is used for focus in advanced yoga practices.
In the Upanishads, akasha is the first material element that evolved from Brahman, the ultimate reality.
The practice of Matangi mudra activates the manipura chakra, located behind your navel.
How to practice?
Clasp your hands in front of the solar plexus (stomach area).
Interlace the fingers, except the middle fingers which are extended one against the other.
Women cross the left thumb over the right thumb.
Men cross the right thumb over the left thumb.
Observe the breath in the solar plexus region. The Matangi Mudra can be practiced for 45 minutes when needed, or 3 times 15 minutes a day.
I gladly practice it a little longer and I like to associate it with different series of Hasta Mudra, which I alternate, each for a few minutes…
One can also practice Matangi Mudra with a mantra.
Chanting the following mantra helps to manifest the energies needed to improve your condition.
Om Matangai Namah
Maa Matangi Mantra is considered to be the main mantra for attaining all that one wishes positively in life and for a comfortable life.
It gives mental, physical and financial stability, promotes good digestion, frees the solar plexus region, and breathing is facilitated.
This mudra balances the energies in the middle of the body. It stimulates the Earth element which gives depth to life and regulates the fire element linked to digestion.
It is favorable to the heart (which it calms), the stomach, the liver, the duodenum, the gallbladder, the spleen, the pancreas and the kidneys.
The Matangi Mudra provides inner harmony and self-confidence. It calms the mind and centers our spirit.
There are many other methods to implement and all of those are a really good start. Ayurveda offers us a treasure of knowledge to improve our condition, promote our overall well-being and avoid diseases.
By understanding the doshas that govern our physiology and adapting our diet and lifestyle accordingly, we can harmonize our digestive system. Practicing mindful chewing, incorporating healthy spices into our cooking, and exploring intermittent fasting, offer simple, natural ways to cultivate smooth, worry-free digestion.
Ayurveda also reminds us that each individual is unique. It is therefore essential to understand that personalized advice, according to our personal needs, is essential. It is important to consult to respond precisely and be effective in the approach and in the treatment. If you want to make an appointment with me, it’s here.
By adopting these principles in your daily life you will improve your digestion, which will contribute to your overall well-being.
Let’s not forget that the attention paid to our digestion goes well beyond simple intestinal comfort. By cultivating easy digestion, we promote better absorption of nutrients, more efficient elimination of toxins and therefore an overall improvement in our physical and mental health.
So whether we are looking to relieve existing digestive disorders or simply to maintain optimal digestion, Ayurveda offers us valuable tools to achieve this goal. By putting these ancestral teachings into practice, we can pave the way to a life of well-being, balance and vitality, while preserving our digestion as an essential pillar of our health…