What is Ajeerna Roga?
It is a state of illness of the digestive system which occurs as a sequel (or secondary) to the impaired functioning of the digestive fire. It is the indigestion of food. This is quite common in all individuals, right from infants to elderly people.
It is usually accompanied by the following features:
– Heaviness of the body
– Laziness and lack of enthusiasm
– Swelling in different parts of the body
– Frequent belching with/without a sour aftertaste
– Nausea with/without vomiting
– Altered bowel habits like constipation
– Loss of taste and interest in food
– Giddiness with/without blackouts
– Excess thirst
– Burning sensation in the body
– Constant or intermittent body ache
– Stomach ache, backache
How is it caused?
– Overeating or binge eating: One of the major causes which tax the digestive fire to work more than its capacity
– Undereating or excess fasting: This leads to the extinguishing of the digestive fire in the absence of the fuel (food)
– Untimely food: Confuses the digestive system regarding the time of production of the digestive enzymes
– Frequent night outs: Keeps your nerves at the edge and in a state of constant
Hence, the food that is eaten is not digested properly
– Unsuitable food:
➔ Eating not in accordance with the seasons
➔ Excessively dry food
➔ Foods heavy for digestion
➔ Excess trans fats
➔ Exotic fruits and vegetables
➔ Raw sprouts and raw salads; using cruciferous veggies (cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, etc)
➔ Acidic food: Alcohol, vinegar, sauces, ketchup
➔ Inflammatory foods: The Four Big Whites!
– White flour (Maida)
– White sugar (table sugar/refined sugar)
– White salt (table salt)
– White of the egg
➔ Nightshade fruits and vegetables: Potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, brinjal, blueberries; these contain a plant alkaloid, “SOLANINE” which causes gastric irritation
➔ Excess dairy products: raw milk, curds, paneer, and cheese
➔ Wrong food combinations: Mixing sour fruits with milk, namkeen with dairy products, heating curds, mixing eggs or green leafy vegetables with milk, etc
➔ Drinking water in excess quantity: It is a myth that the more you drink water, the more healthy you will be! Avoid drinking more than 2 litres of water/day; also avoid drinking water forcefully when you are not thirsty.
➔ Eating under the influence of intense emotions: Emotions like anger, fear, guilt, jealousy adversely affect the enteric system (that part of the nervous system supplying to your guts) and thus cause indigestion.
➔ Suppression of urges: Forcefully controlling natural urges like hunger, thirst, burps, gas, urine, and stools also have a negative effect on the gut leading to indigestion.
What happens if it is neglected?
– Leads to the accumulation of semi-digested food particles in the body, which over a period of time turn toxic. This is very harmful to the body as it affects many and almost all systems in the
– Malnutrition: The body tissues do not get properly nourished, and hence are deprived of the essential micro and macronutrients.
– The digestive fire is further damaged. The digestive fire is crucial for one’s existence and if that is disturbed then it affects immunity which leads to various diseases.
What is the solution?
➔ Stick to a regular and healthy diet plan
➔ Include a few essential foods* in your everyday meal
➔ Include the Shadrasas-the 6 primary tastes in your daily diet: sweet, sour, salty, pungent, bitter, and astringent
➔ Set a timeline for your meal structure
➔ Prefer home cooked, hygienic food
➔ Follow seasonal regimen with regards to food and drinks
➔ Avoid eating when you are experiencing any intense emotions: Take time out, relax, meditate and only then eat.
➔ Prefer traditional foods or the recipes that are a part of your family and/or your place
➔ You are what you eat! Be conscious and aware of the food you are eating.
➔ Contact your Ayurveda physician for a personalized diet plan, seasonal eating tips, and/or any queries related to these.
* Everyday essential foods: These food items are a part of the balanced diet according to Ayurveda, as they provide just the right amount of the required macro and micronutrients to the body.
– Red rice or Shashtika rice (Navara rice variety)
– Barley-in the form of water or Ganji
– Green gram-khichdi or porridge
– Thin meats/lean meats
– Saindhava Lavana (Himalayan pink rock salt)
– Gooseberry-dried or fresh fruits
– Water as per season: boiled and cooled/cool/herb-infused/medicated
– Boiled and cooled milk: preferably cow’s milk
– Ghee: 5g/day of pure ethically prepared ghee
– Honey (do not heat it or mix it with hot substances)
About The Author
I am an Ayurveda Vaidya with 5 years of clinical practice with post graduation specialisation in DIAGNOSTIC MEDICINE from Government Ayurvedic Medical College, Bengaluru.
I believe in following and prescribing the wholistic principles of the Ayurveda science.