From an Ayurvedic perspective, digestion has everything to do with health and well-being. In fact, it teaches that all disease and imbalance stems from something gone awry in the digestive system, while a state of overall health is the result of healthy and happy digestion. Therefore, Ayurveda offers many tips and tools to improve natural gut health and in so doing, to support the immune system as well.
In Ayurveda, the digestive fire is known as agni, and you can think of it like an internal campfire. When the fire doesn’t have enough fuel, it will slowly sputter out until there’s no more flame. If the fire is too strong on the other hand, it will burn hot and fast and out of control. The goal is to have just the right amount of fuel and careful tending so that the fire burns warm and bright.
The way to restore gut health, according to Ayurveda, is similar to tending a fire—making sure that we get just what we need in terms of food, spices, and herbs so that our digestion stays healthy and strong.
This begins with incorporating an Ayurvedic diet appropriate to one’s dosha, while becoming acutely aware of what we put into our body and how it makes us feel. It can also be helpful to avoid processed foods and add in things like probiotic-rich foods to ensure good bacteria. Speaking of, incorporating fermented foods into your diet is a great way to cultivate healthy gut bacteria.
Another wonderful way to support healthy digestion is by getting to know some of the top herbs for gut health. Whether cooking with herbs and spices or simply taking herbs as a supplement to your diet, the plant kingdom offers incredible support when it comes to tending the health of the digestive fire.
One common misconception is that your diet must be vegetarian or plant-based to be considered Ayurvedic. But the truth is, an Ayurvedic diet is all about what works best for the individual and what digestive support is needed for the optimal health of your unique body. While some people do best without meat or choose not to consume it for ethical reasons, others thrive with some meat in their diet.
Like all things Ayurveda, it always comes back to what works best for YOU. The more we begin to pay attention to our diet, our digestion, and even our elimination, the more we learn about what we need as individuals to stay balanced and keep our digestive fires burning strong.
And this goes way beyond food as well—even our lifestyle practices, daily routine, stress levels, and the restfulness of our sleep affect the quality of our digestion! And similarly, they all play a role when we seek to improve gut health naturally.
Ayurveda was way ahead of its time in the belief that the gut and the brain are intricately connected, recognizing that our mental and emotional health can be just as important as the foods we eat when it comes to proper digestion and overall health. These blog articles explore healthy digestion from every angle, bringing a truly holistic lens to this important and timeless conversation.