Gastritis is a common name for all kinds of inflammation of the inner lining of the stomach, which is known as the mucosa.
In Ayurveda, gastritis is known as Urdhavaga Amalapitta. It is caused in people with pitta constitution. When the pitta dosha gets vitiated in such people, there are greater chances of getting gastritis.
There are many causes of gastritis. Food poisoning can lead to gastritis, and so can consuming alcohol and drugs like aspirin and steroids. Allergies to certain foods can cause gastritis. Oblique causes for gastritis are physical stresses caused due to flu, some major surgery, severe burns or injuries.
Nowadays the infection of the bacteria Helicobacter pylori is looked upon as an important cause of gastritis.
(1) Useful Herbs in the Treatment of Gastritis
Asparagus (Asparagus racemosa) Asparagus is known to be an antispasmodic. It reduces the fire in the stomach. The root of the asparagus is effective in reducing the hyperacidity of the digestive system.
Bitter Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla) The tea of the bitter chamomile is effective in allaying the gastritis that is caused due to tensions and worries.
Cardamom (Elattaria cardamomum) Cardamom has soothing effects on the stomach. It is especially beneficial if the gastritis causes heartburn.
Fennel (Fenneliculum vulgare) Fennel is used as a digestive traditionally by Indians. After each meal, there is a tradition of chewing some seeds of fennel. Fennel soothes the stomach, facilitates digestion, reduces flatulence and relieves the stomach of excess acidity.
Ginger (Zingiber officinale) The extract of ginger is effective in treating the acid dyspepsia that is associated with gastritis. It is especially useful for people who consume more of a non-vegetarian food.
Indian Gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) The Indian gooseberry, or amla, is very beneficial in the treatment of several stomach ailments, gastritis included. The other digestive ailments it is used for dyspepsia, burning sensation, anorexia, vomiting and hemorrhage.
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) The root of the licorice can soothe the inflammation and the injury to the stomach. It is also known to reduce the proliferation of Helicobacter pylori.
Rhubarb (Rheum emodi) Rhubarb is a mild agent; so it is effectively used in treating gastritis problems in children. It can reduce the acidity in the stomach.
Sandalwood (Santalum album) Sandalwood helps in gastritis because it has cooling properties. It can soothe the stomach muscles inflamed by gastritis.
(2) Dietary Treatments for Gastritis
A careful dietary regime is needed in case of gastritis. The following points must be noted.
Only rice that has been aged for one year must be used. Wheat and barley are beneficial.
Among vegetables white pumpkin, bitter gourd, cucumber, green banana and banana flower are effective.
Cow's milk is preferable to buffalo's milk.
People suffering from gastritis must not confuse their stomach glands with different kinds of foods at the same time. It is beneficial if the person is kept on a single diet. Ideally the person must be kept on a milk diet or on a diet of old rice.
Vitamin C has the capacity to help in the absorption of iron and calcium salts in the body. This eases the digestive process. Therefore, the diet must be rich in vitamin C. Foods that contain vitamin C to a commendable quantity are amlas, oranges, etc.
Pungent and sour tastes must be avoided. Even chocolates, tea and coffee must be avoided as these can increase the acidic contents in the stomach.
The person must never eat till the stomach is fool. In gastritis it is better to eat little quantities each time, so that the stomach gets proper time to digest the food.
Sesame seeds and curds must be avoided.
There should be a total stop to alcoholism.
(3) Ayurvedic Treatment for Gastritis
Amalaki choorna or Triphala choorna is given in a dose of three grams thrice a day for seven days.
If there is constipation along with gastritis, then Avipattikara choorna is taken as the medicine of choice. The dosage is two teaspoonfuls at bedtime.
There is a list of other Ayurvedic preparations that are useful in the treatment of gastritis. Some of these are Dhaatri loha, Sukumara ghrita, Sootashekhara rasa, Kaamadudha rasa, Leela Vilas rasa, Chandrakala rasa and Amalapittantaka rasa.
(4) Home Medications
Take one teaspoonful of licorice root powder and mix it with pure ghee and honey. Take this twice each day on an empty stomach.
Have a banana early in the morning. Drown them with milk. This reduces the acidity within the stomach in some days.
After each meal have a glassful of milk with Isphagula in it.
Squeeze the juice of an orange and add some roasted cumin seeds in it. Have this with some salt in it. It provides immense relief in gastritis.
Apart from these, keep the mind always stress-free. Do not go to bed immediately after a meal. There should be an ideal gap of an hour between taking a meal and going to bed.