Stomach acids are not harmless
Increased acidity in the stomach is the result of an imbalanced Agni – the fire of digestion. In Ayurveda's symbolism, fire represents the transformation, the change of matter from one type into another.
A person has 13 Agnis for the transformation of food from consumed mouthfuls into energy for the cells, tissues and organs. The most important is Jatar-Agni for digestion – it nourishes the rest.
It breaks down the large food particles in the gastrointestinal tract to smaller ones so that the body can absorb them. From the stomach, nutrients are transported by blood throughout the body, the 7 types of tissues having their own Agnis for the absorption of nutrients.
There are also 5 Agnis for the degradation of food to its constituent primary elements, of which actually everything in the universe, in nature and in the human body is built. These elements are Earth, Water, Fire, Air, and Ether.
When the biological processes in the main fire – Jatar-Agni are disturbed, its strength is weakened and this leads to negative consequences for the whole organism. Disturbance in these processes also leads to an imbalance. In the case of increased acidity, there is unnatural excess of acid in the gastric juices that serves to degrade the food over the neutralizers with which the body balances it.
It usually occurs when Pitta – the fiery Dosha – comes out of the established equilibrium with the other two doses – Vata and Kapha. The medical solution is for Pitta to return to balance and digestive fire to be optimized.
It should be noted, however, that there may be various manifestations of a Dosha imbalance – for example, a strong appetite characteristic of digestion in Pitta and, at the same time, poor digestion as in poor Kapha, etc. Therefore, the fact that stomach acids do not last long does not mean that they are harmless. They can be a precursor to gastritis or ulcers of the stomach or duodenum and others.
Causes for acidity and its treatment
The cause of all Agni problems, including increased acidity in the stomach, are bad eating habits. Once they have brought us to health problems, they have to be changed which is essentially also related to lifestyle changes. Otherwise, whatever treatment you might apply, the harmful habits will again result in health problems.
So, proper nutrition is prevention but also part of the treatment when, due to harmful habits, we have shattered our health. It is about selecting food, combining it by type and time of consumption, way of consumption itself.
Ayurveda has detailed lists of which foods are beneficial for the respectful Dosha, how to combine them, which ones are harmful in what way and should be restricted or excluded from the menu. It is also important that meals are not chaotically organized during the day, but that they are at the same time of the day.
Breakfast should not be skipped, the main meal should be at noon when Agni is the strongest to process heavier food, and dinner should be light and end before 7 PM. An important "detail" is that the food should be consumed no later than 3 hours after its preparation. Afterwards its usefulness is lost and it can even become harmful.
Consumption itself must be an absolute independent act and not performed while we are working on the computer or watching TV because a person can easily overeat. Ayurveda has identified a number of foods useful for the removal of acids, there are also many spices and herbs. Beneficial are, for example, fish, milk, millet, bananas, apples, melons, honey, curly cabbage and others.
Turmeric, which balances all Doshas, especially the fiery Pitta, and can be used as a spice for rice, quinoa, sautéed vegetables, etc. is also very beneficial. Ginger stimulates Agni; it is good to drink upto 300 grams of tea a day against acids. Chamomile, mint, thyme and others are also used.