Causes and symptoms
The functions of the small intestine are related to one of the basic concepts in Ayurveda – Agni. This is the digestive fire, as practically on it depends the entire health condition of the human. Its function is to degrade the food so the body can absorb the substances that are useful and to nourish the cells.
It goes without saying that this is vital for the existence and activity of the tissues and organs in the body. The abnormalities in the activity of Agni, part of which is performed by the small intestine, lead to confusion and imbalance of the doshas – Kapha, Pitta and Vata, through which are carried out all processes in the body. This impaired energy balance has a very negative impact on the body, including on Agni and the small intestine, by disturbing their functions. Moreover – according to Ayurveda, the abnormalities in Agni are the basis of all diseases.
According to the characteristics and deviations of the doshas, there are different types of disorders of the functions of the small intestine. The reactions of the organism are also different. If there is a poor absorption of the Vata type in the small intestine, then gas and bloating occur; the tongue cracks; weight is greatly reduced; possible hemorrhoids and arthritis, palpitation, disturbed sleep. Periods of watery and dry stools also occur. Psychologically, anxiety and depressive states are characteristic.
The symptoms of Pitta type are inflammation, feeling of burning in the intestines, possible ulcer of the mucosa, risk of anemia. With regard to the emotional plan, irritation and anger may occur.
The Kapha type has symptoms such as dull pain in the abdomen, feeling of heaviness, difficulty in breathing, edema. Possible risk of diabetes. Mucus appears in the stools.
Digestive fire and proper nutrition
Many people contribute to the deviations in their digestive fire – not only by eating foods that are not good for their Dosha, as well as their combinations, but also by the way the eat. The Ayurvedic nutrition and, respectively, the digestion, are basic vital processes, and for these processes the body must be in relaxed position and environment.
We shouldn’t eat while we walk, drive, watch the news or a football game on TV, work on the computer and so on. According to Ayurveda, eating is a ritual, a sacred action, because through food, human gathers energy from nature and thus sustains his life.
We have to eat seated, without other activities, the consciousness has to be focused on the taste and flavors. Thus, one feels when it is enough and avoids overloading by overeating.
Before meal, Agni can be activated by eating a piece of ginger with salt and a few drops of fresh lemon. This will activate the salivary glands to produce enzymes and the nutrients will be easier to digest.
Drinking during meal is not good for Agni – water, juices, milk, because they suppress its power. Drinking cold drinks is also very bad for the organism – very often their mixture with warm food causes spasms.
With regard to water, which Ayurveda recommends to be at least 2 liters per day, distributed throughout the day, is good to be warmer. Cooler foods, but not directly from the fridge, can be eaten when there is an imbalance of Pitta, which has to be calmed down, as the same applies for the beverages at adequate intervals between meals.
For Pitta is good to consume milk, rose water, mango juice. For Vata the recommended juices are of strawberries, apricots, grapefruits, almond milk and so on.
The recommended juices for Kapha are pineapple, apple, plums and carrots juice. The time of the meal is also important. Agni follows the solar activity and when it is the most active – at noon, then the digestive fire is strongest and it can take on more and heavier foods. Therefore, the lunch should be the main meal for the day, and breakfast and dinner have to be lighter.