"Don't worry, as long as you have Triphala in your life you will be fine!"
Desi remedies for gastritis and digestion problems are abundant and have been around for a very long time.
Some causes for gastritis include lengthy use of Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), immoderate use of alcohol consumption and the infection Helicobacter pylori.
Gastritis is a serious condition often aggravated by a poor diet, which many British Asians and South Asians all over the world follow.
According to the article, ‘Different Pathophysiology of Gastritis between East and West? An Asian Perspective‘ by Hidekazu Suzuki and Hideki Mori, the prevalence rate of H. pylori was 79.0 % in India.
Thus, with gastritis affecting so many people from a British South Asian background, medication prescribed by the doctor is advisable as the first port of call.
However, medication can lead to further complications if taken incorrectly. Besides, as with any medication, there can be side effects.
Foods that are high in fat, deep fried or very spicy will make the symptoms worse.
Thus, natural remedies are good alternative options to treat this condition of gastritis and digestion problems.
So, take a look in your kitchen and see what wonderful and amazing remedies you can find to alleviate, and perhaps even cure, your gastritis and digestion issues.
Churan (Triphala powder)
Most of us will remember, at some point, pulling a face as our mum told us to swallow churan to soothe stomach pains.
It is one of the most effective and natural Desi remedies which has been used for centuries.
Reena from Coventry told us that she firmly believes in the power of churan:
“Nothing else will do when I have gastritis symptoms or a stomach upset. It works wonders and tastes quite good too.”
Triphala is a combination of three very powerful fruits, which together form Triphala powder.
The meaning of Triphala is in fact ‘three fruits’ and it is a traditional Ayurvedic herbal formula. The three fruits originate from and are native to the Indian subcontinent.
They have many health benefits and can assist in natural cleansing. Triphala will also aid and support healthy absorption and digestion.
In addition to this, it is a natural antioxidant and will protect the body from the harmful effects of free radicals.
Benefits of Triphala
- Supports healthy digestion and absorption
- Helps to maintain regularity
- Nourishes and rejuvenates the tissues
- Assists in natural internal cleansing
- It is a natural antioxidant
The 3 fruits which make up this powerful powder are:
Amalaki – this fruit has a cooling effect and will help support the natural functions of the liver and immune system. It is very high in vitamin C and can help to treat the common cold and fever.
Bibhitaki – this fruit is particularly good at supporting the respiratory system. It will also help to control diabetes, high blood pressure, and rheumatism.
Haritaki – this fruit will remove toxins and help maintain healthy levels of weight. It aids in managing constipation, dementia, and diabetes.
So the next time you are experiencing gastritis problems, reach for some churan and take a teaspoonful mixed in warm water to ease those symptoms.
There is an old Indian saying that goes like this:
“You do not have a mother? Don’t worry, as long as you have Triphala in your life you will be fine!”
Ginger is the perfect accompaniment to any desi dish. Fresh root ginger, especially, is commonly used in everyday cooking. In fact, it is one of the main ingredients of any Asian curry.
It is great for soothing the uncomfortable and painful feeling caused by gastritis and digestion problems.
It also has natural anti-inflammatory properties, which help to reduce the irritation and discomfort.
Fresh ginger can be taken as it is; simply chew on a piece and wash it down with water. It also works well when grated or finely chopped and boiled in water to make ginger tea.
In addition to this, regular use in everyday cooking may help to keep the symptoms of gastritis at bay.
According to the Healthline website, small doses of ginger can help to treat acid reflux:
“Its phenolic compounds are said to relieve gastrointestinal irritation and lessen gastric contractions.”
“This means ginger can reduce the likelihood of acid flowing from your stomach back into your esophagus.”
In fact, one of the chemicals found in ginger is an ingredient common in most antacid medications.
The best form of ginger to help ease gastritis is the pure root form, but even then it should be taken in moderation. If unsure please take appropriate medical advice from your GP.
Powdered ginger is not generally used for gastritis as it can aggravate the symptoms.
Garlic, like ginger, is one of the most basic ingredients in Desi cooking. Curry is not the same without the pungent aroma of garlic added to it.
The beneficial properties have been known in South Asia for centuries.
Cloves of garlic grow underground in the form of bulbs and it is difficult to place garlic in a category. It is not really a vegetable but could be classed more appropriately as a herb.
However, as onions and shallots also grow underground, this makes them all members of the lily family.
Garlic is perfectly safe to eat raw, but the powerful taste and smell make it a difficult pill to swallow. Some may enjoy it in the form of garlic pickle.
This pungent herb, for this reason, is more frequently eaten cooked as this mellows the flavour and makes it more agreeable.
The benefits of garlic are huge. Essentially though, to ensure maximum pungency the cloves should be crushed, grated or pound rather than sliced.
This helps to release a compound called allicin which is responsible for garlic’s many anti-bacterial effects.
Consuming raw garlic will kill the ‘pathogenic micro-organism’ that is the main cause of gastroenteritis.
Those that include garlic in everyday cooking will find that they have better stomach health. This will then help to prevent indigestion and consequently acidity.
Ajwain (Carom seeds) & Hing (Asafoetida)
Carom seeds and Hing can be taken together to treat digestion problems. It is a very effective Desi remedy to ease discomfort.
Ajwain, also called carom seeds, is packed full of protein, fat, minerals and carbohydrates.
These, in turn, contain many essential elements such as calcium, thiamine, riboflavin, phosphorous, iron, and niacin.
The thymol, which is present in ajwain is important for reducing acid reflux as it has antacid properties.
It also aids in balancing the production of acid in the stomach. Ajwain is great for reducing gastritis and improving digestion overall.
These seeds are an instant remedy for all digestive problems like acidity, bloating, indigestion, stomach aches, and flatulence.
The best way to take ajwain is with black salt.
Simply take one teaspoon and add a pinch of black salt. Wash down with warm water.
Hing originates from the resin of the giant fennel plants, which are found growing in Afghanistan and Iran.
However, it is used by many desi households to add that strong savoury flavour to dishes.
For those not accustomed to hing, the overpowering smell and taste definitely require some getting used to.
So much so that Europeans have called it ‘devil’s dung.’ Even the English name it is commonly known by, asafoetida comes from the Latin word for ‘fetid,’ which means smelling extremely unpleasant.
Nonetheless, it is invaluable for digestion related issues.
Thus, hing and ajwain when taken together create a powerful combination and can eliminate any gastritis symptoms.
Simply add a pinch of hing to a teaspoon of ajwain and black salt and swallow with water.
Saunf (Fennel Seeds)
Fennel seeds taste great. Many South Asian restaurants will provide fennel seeds to chew on after dinner to freshen breath and keep the digestive system at ease.
They are absolutely full of vitamins, minerals, and dietary fibre and contain a compound called Anethole.
This compound prevents flatulence and aids good digestion as it works as a soothing agent for the stomach.
This soothing action functions effectively to act as a natural remedy for indigestion, acidity and acid reflux.
They come in very handy for women who are expecting a baby too. Pregnancy can cause severe heartburn but many medications are prohibited during this time.
Fennel can ease any indigestion problems without the added concern of side effects.
Karina from London tells us that:
“When my baby has a tummy upset I just boil some saunf in water and give him a few teaspoons. It works a treat and helps his digestion.”
No doubt these aromatic seeds will be found in any desi home and they are so easy to take. You can chew on a handful and savour the delightful flavour.
Another method is to roast them and chew on them after a heavy meal. Adding a teaspoon of fennel seeds to a cup of water and bringing it to the boil makes a refreshing drink.
Just remember to simmer it for a few minutes and let the seeds steep in the water. A little bit of honey or jaggery added to it will sweeten the drink if need be.
Pudina (Mint Leaves)
The smell is refreshing, cool and aromatic. It makes you feel like you have just brushed your teeth.
Pudina leaves are natural coolants and are the best available in nature. So, unsurprisingly, the cooling effect makes them ideal for reducing the burning pain of acidity and indigestion.
The plant helps to lower the acid content of the stomach and supports digestion and the great thing is that you can grow it at home.
You can consume pudina leaves in many ways. Here are just some ideas:
- Boil a few leaves in water and drink once cooled.
- Add some finely chopped mint leaves to Greek yoghurt and fresh berries.
- Chop up some leaves and add them to your salad.
- Water tastes refreshing when smashed up mint leaves are left to soak in it for a few hours.
- Have fun with mint ice cubes. Add them to your drinks and kids will love them too.
- Add mint leaves to your blender when making fresh juice.
- Now, this is simply awesome; dip mint leaves in your favourite melted chocolate and leave to cool in the fridge.
Adding mint leaves to water and leaving it overnight seems to be quite a popular method of benefiting from this herb.
Talwinder, who lives in Birmingham, says:
“This is a family favourite drink. We love it, especially in the hot summer months.”
“It’s great for looking after everyone’s digestion.”
This is one home remedy, which works well in relieving acidity.
Raw almonds are rich in natural oils, which help to soothe and neutralise the acid in the stomach.
They have a very high fibre content and this helps with keeping the digestion process running smoothly.
Almond milk available in all supermarkets is also good for keeping the stomach in good health and gastritis at bay.
Almonds can be added to bananas and, when taken together, is the ideal antidote for acidity.
So, the next time you have that dreaded feeling of gastritis pain, grab a handful of almonds.
These Desi remedies for gastritis and digestion problems will, we hope, make a difference, especially if conventional medicine does not work.
They are easily available and, no doubt, most will already be in every Desi kitchen cupboard or larder.
If you do need to source them, they can be found in all South Asian stores and even some of the better-known supermarkets will stock them.
We all know that the British Asian diet is infamous for fried foods and foods full of sugar and ghee but there are always healthier alternatives.
Of course, as with anything, prevention is better than cure. The easiest way to avoid gastritis and digestion problems is to follow a healthy diet and lifestyle.