7 Ayurvedic Herbs to Improve Digestion
If you’ve ever practiced intermittent fasting, or sipped on lemon water to prime digestion, or wanted to deepen your yoga practice, you’re one of many who already participate in ancient Ayurvedic healing practices.
Ayurvedic herbs help support every aspect of life, from physical wellbeing, to spiritual health, and even natural beauty, including the root of all health–your digestive system. Keep reading to find out how you can use Ayurvedic medicine for digestion, a healthy microbiome, and to feel your best.
Why You Should Use Ayurvedic Medicine for Digestion
Ayurvedic medicine uses ancient wisdom dating back thousands of years to address imbalances within the body, seeking to improve not only physical health, but spiritual and emotional health as well.
Ayurvedic medicine for digestion helps promote a healthy microbiome, decrease inflammation in the gut, and promote the breakdown and absorption of nutrients–ensuring the foods you eat provide you with the micronutrients your body needs.
Ayurvedic remedies may predate modern science, but much of their benefits are well supported by research, making them a great natural choice to support a healthy gut function. Ayurvedic herbs are helpful for many of today’s most common digestive complaints.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Bloating
Occasional bloating can be normal in response to some foods, especially if you’re sensitive to things like legumes or cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower). However, if you find yourself uncomfortable with bloating often, you’ll want to try these tips.
First thing in the morning, add 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice to room temperature water and drink. This primes digestion and promotes healthy enzyme production. For added support, combine lemon with fresh ginger tea.
If bloating persists, you’ll want to work with a holistic doctor to determine whether or not you have any underlying infections, bacterial overgrowth, like Candida, or dysbiosis like SIBO.
You can also learn how to heal your gut and get rid of stubborn bloating in as little as 21 days.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Heartburn
Stress, spicy foods, or fried foods can aggravate acid balance in the stomach, causing indigestion and uncomfortable heartburn. Many people rely on over-the-counter drugs to combat heartburn, but these drugs can have significantly detrimental side effects if used in the long-term.
For natural acid balance, try sipping coconut water, which contains beneficial electrolytes that can help restore the pH balance in the stomach.
If you experience indigestion, Ayurvedic teachings recommend eating regular meals, not skipping breakfast, and eating slowly in non-stressful situations.
Keep reading to find out which Ayurvedic herbs can help you feel your best.
7 Ayurvedic Herbs to Improve Digestion
Triphala, or “three fruits” is one of the most popular solutions for digestive health in Ayurvedic herbal medicine. Triphala is considered an adaptogen, and supports the digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Made up of trikatu, amla, and bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), triphala is naturally anti-inflammatory, can support the immune system, and has been shown to be effective against Candida in the gut and oral microbiome (1).
2. Olive leaf
Maintaining a healthy gut flora is essential to making sure your digestive system can break down and absorb nutrients. In a compromised gut, damaging bacteria such as yeast can flourish, causing inflammation and digestive upself.
Olive leaf is naturally antimicrobial, supports immune function in the digestive tract, and is a powerful antioxidant, scavenging damaging particles that could wreak havoc in the gut.
Olive leaf extract contains key phenols like oleacein and oleuropein, which give olive leaf much of it’s beneficial properties. Olive leaf extract is especially beneficial if you have known or suspected gut bacteria imbalance caused by Candida or other unfriendly gut bacteria (2).
Ginger root is becoming more common in Western culture, both as a warming spice and a powerful digestive remedy.
Ginger contains active compounds, gingerol and shogaol, that help to keep food moving along the digestive system at a normal pace. If digestion is delayed in the stomach, it can cause heartburn, nausea, and symptoms of indigestion (or dyspepsia).
Ginger has been shown to prompt the movement of food from the stomach through the intestines, promoting gut comfort, and improved digestion (3).
When food is able to move at a proper pace through the stomach and intestines, this decreases the chance for things like development of bacterial imbalance, SIBO, and can reduce gas and bloating.
This bright and earthy spice doesn’t just make foods tasty, but is one of the more powerful natural anti-inflammatory ingredients used in Eastern medicine and cuisine.
Inflammation produced in the gut is the most significant factor contributing to conditions like leaky gut and intestinal hyperpermeability. If left unchecked, a leaky gut can trigger an immune response, leading to the development of autoimmune diseases.
Turmeric modulates inflammation within the gut and also promotes the health of tight junction proteins within the lining of the gut, keeping undigested food particles and harmful substances from circulating freely in the body (4).
Turmeric is one of the most beneficial Ayurvedic supplements you can incorporate into your daily routine, which is why you’ll find fermented turmeric–the most readily absorbed form–in the Belly Fix digestive supplement. In Belly Fix, I’ve also included amino acids to heal the gut, botanicals to balance gut flora, and green superfoods to nourish and protect your digestive system.
Want solutions for bloating, inflammation, or stubborn belly fat? Learn more about Belly Fix.
In Eastern medicine, chyawanprash is the original superfood. This diverse and extensive blend of herbs, spices, and botanical has been used for thousands of years to support everything from a healthy immune system, heart health, and strong digestive function (5).
Depending on the recipe, there can be as many as 50 medical ingredients, including the star of this nutrient-dense mix–amla, which is the richest natural source of vitamin C.
Ayurvedic medicine uses chyawanprash to support vitality, digestive fire, and overall well being.
This root might have a funny-sounding name, but its benefits are nothing to joke about. Berberine has been shown to fight Candida in the gut, which can be the cause of gas, bloating, and uncomfortable digestive systems.
It also upregulates an enzyme called AMPK, improving your body’s energy balance, supporting healthy blood sugar balance, and a healthy weight (6).
You’ll find clove in dozens of different Ayurvedic remedies due to its versatility. Clove is naturally antimicrobial, anti-fungal, and antiviral (7).
In the digestive system, clove can help naturally rid the body of unwanted pathogens and underlying infections that could be causing bloating or poor digestion.
You’ll commonly see clove added to Ayurvedic oral products, like toothpaste and oral rinses, to promote a healthy oral microbiome.
Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle Changes
Ayurvedic herbs to improve digestion are a great way to promote a healthy microbiome, calm inflammation, and increase nutrient absorption, but these measures are most effective when combined with other diet and lifestyle routines. Maximize digestive health by:
- Getting enough sleep, and reducing stress: Being tired can make you crave unhealthy foods, while unmanaged stress can create hormone dysregulation and inflammation that significantly impact digestion.
- Drinking plenty of water: Water promotes healthy detox function, and helps digestive processes.
- Exercising more: A moderate daily exercise routine promotes healthy digestion and can reduce inflammation.
- Avoiding inflammatory foods such as gluten, dairy, sugar, and processed carbohydrates.
The Benefits of East West Medicine for Digestion
Eastern medicine relies heavily on restoring balance to your body as a whole, and this often begins with the digestive system.
If you’re experiencing uncomfortable digestive symptoms such as gas, bloating, constipation, or trouble digesting foods, you should consider making changes to support a gut-healthy lifestyle.
For gut health solutions to heal leaky gut, inflammation, and identify your food triggers, I recommend the 21-Day Belly Fix. This course will heal your gut, promote detox function and digestion, and give you the tools you need to identify which dietary patterns suit you best.