Acidity, acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and gastritis are groups of diseases caused by excess secretions from gastric glands of the stomach; these include hydrochloric acid, bile juice, and various other enzymes.

Acidity refers to the heartburn and formation of gas in the stomach resulting from the excess secretions. The acid may irritate and enter the lower oesophagus or the food pipe causing acid reflux (also known as urdhva gati amalpitta in Ayurveda). Another problem that may be caused or aggravated by the acid may be Gastritis or the inflammation of the lining of the stomach.

Understanding the right treatment at the right time and causes of any disease, like acidity or acid reflux, is very helpful for effective treatments. In Ayurveda ailments such as acidity, heartburn, indigestion, and reflux are considered to be caused by the aggravation of pitta dosha or pitta imbalance. Pitta may be loosely defined as the heat energy within the body with a high concentration centred in the stomach area.

Read more about Pitta dosha


Acidity Causes and Symptoms

There may be various reasons for pitta aggravation, the most common being an excessive intake of foods that produce heat, these foods may lead to the digestive tract overreacting and an increase in acid production. Such foods include:

  • Extra Hot and spicy foods
  • Foods rich in fats like chocolates
  • Excessively fried food or junk food

Excessive intake of alcohol and caffeine (tea/coffee) are also well-known reasons for acidity. Skipping meals especially breakfast is another common cause along with pregnancy, obesity, sedentary lifestyle and irregular eating habits which lead to an acidic body with a burning sensation in the stomach and chest.

Being stressed, angry, impatient and nervous are also detrimental to the system and will lead to aggravation of pitta and acidity.

The symptoms of the disease may include

  1. Stomach ache
  2. Bad breath
  3. Gas
  4. Heartburn
  5. Bloating of the body
  6. Inflammation in chest
  7. Gastroesophageal Reflux
  8. Ulcers in the mouth or in the food pipe
  9. Weight loss in an abnormal way
  10. Difficulty in swallowing foods.

In Ayurveda, there are many simple home remedies for acidity along with more complex formulations for more serious patients. Though the remedies are useful in alleviating the problem and giving relief, it is important to understand the source of the problem and bring the Pitta into balance for an effective digestive system and for greater peace of body and mind.


Ayurvedic Home Remedies as relief from Acidity, Reflux, Gastritis

1. Buttermilk (Chach/छाछ)

One of the most common cures for acidity which is still widely used in India is buttermilk. Buttermilk contains lactic acid that neutralizes the acidity in the stomach. The lactic acid further soothes the stomach by coating the stomach lining and reducing the irritation and acid reflux symptoms.

Buttermilk - Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity
Buttermilk – Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity

For better results grind half to one teaspoon of fenugreek seeds (मेथी के बीज) with a little water to make a paste, mix with the Chach and then consume to relieve stomach ache and gas caused by an acidic stomach. It is also recommended for people with chronic acidity to have buttermilk at room temperature after lunch every day. It helps digestion, soothes the stomach and helps reduce acidity.


2. Holy Basil (Tulsi/ तुलसी)


Tulsi - Holy Basil - Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity
Tulsi – Holy Basil – Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity

Tulsi has tremendous medicinal properties including relief from acidity. Consuming some basil leaves after chewing them thoroughly relieves acidic stomach. You may also boil a few (3 – 5) Tulsi leaves in water and consume it for relief.

3. Amla (आंवला/Indian Gooseberry)


Amla - Indian Goose Berries - Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity
Amla – Indian Goose Berries – Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity

Like Holy Basil, consumption of Amla has many medicinal properties and is also an effective herb for acidity treatment. Regular consumption of Amla in the morning on empty stomach can also help reduce acid refluxes.


4. Apple Cider Vinegar (सेब का सिरका)


Apple Cider Vinegar - Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity
Apple Cider Vinegar – Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity

Though acidic in nature, Apple Cider Vinegar has an alkalizing effect on the body. You may take two teaspoons of raw, apple cider vinegar in a cup of water for relieving acidity.


5. Ginger (Adrak/अदरक)


Ginger - Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity
Ginger – Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity

Ginger juice has anti-inflammatory properties and is helpful in neutralizing stomach acid. A few spoonfuls of ginger juice is helpful in lessening acidity.


6. Jaggery (Gur/गुड़)


Jaggery - Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity
Jaggery – Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity

Although Jaggery is warm in nature, it becomes alkaline in the digestive system and hence aids in healing an acidic stomach.


7. Cumin Seeds (Jeera/ जीरा)


Cumin Seeds - Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity
Cumin Seeds – Ayurvedic Remedies For Acidity

Cumin seeds are helpful in digestion and relief from gas and acidity. Dry roast some cumin seeds, crush and grind them and drink the powder dissolved in water.

The above remedies may be tried the next time you suffer from acidity but it is advisable to seek professional help in case you do not experience relief. If acidity is more of a chronic problem it is also advisable to consider some tips and advise.


Precautions and tips for the avoidance of Acidity

1. Warm Water

One of the simplest remedies for chronic acidity problems is drinking warm water. Drink a glass of lukewarm water every day before going to sleep and immediately after waking up in the morning to get relief. It is also important to mention that one must not intake water between and immediately after meals as it leads to indigestion and acidity.

2. Avoid pitta aggravating foods

Foods like tomatoes, onions, garlic, fried and junk food, chili peppers, sour citrus fruits, salsa, orange juice and alcohol among some others are known to aggravate pitta and must be avoided or eaten with restraint.

3. It is advisable to consume fruits like watermelon, papaya, cucumber, and banana.

4. Intake of cold milk, coconut water, almonds, mint, raw garlic, and coriander is also advisable.

5. Trying to keep the body and mind at ease and avoiding any depression, anxiety etc. would be optimal for health. There are several yogic practices that are designed for such purposes and may be followed to achieve the same.

6. Avoid eating protein and calcium-rich foods at night

7. Avoid alcohol, smoking, and caffeine



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Acidity Causes, Precautions & Top Ayurvedic Remedies for Acidity Relief
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