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Symptoms

The main symptom as is clear from the name is ache or pain. The pain can be of many types depending upon the cause of pain. In some cases it can be very mild and bearable while in other it could be very severe and appears as if the patient is going to lose his/her life. Depending upon the cause of pain it can be continously high, sometimes high and sometimes low like a wave, appear during a specific time, like one hour before or after the meals or on empty stomach. The nature of pain is also different . It can be biting, burning, throbbing, spasmodic, piercing or sometimes very mild and relief giving.

Causes

Stomach ache is a term which is generally used for the abdominal region, so even if the pain is not exactly in the stomach, it can be termed as stomach ache in a layman's language. Common causes of pain in the abdominal region can be appendicitis, stones in the kidney and the gall bladder, gastric or duodenal ulcers, colitis, inflammation of liver or any other part of the alimentary canal and infection in the urinary tract.

Pain in the abdominal region can also be caused due to presence of worms in the digestive tract, constipation, indigestion, wind and distention, gastritis, food poisoning or food allergies ,acidity and diarrhea. It can also be caused due to the presence of a toxic material called ama. Though most pains according to Ayurveda are caused by vata (air ) aggravation, it can also occur by the aggravation of pitta (fire) and kapha (water and mucus ) doshas.

Remedies

The treatment according to Ayurveda varies according to the cause of the pain. As the aim of Ayurvedic treatment is to remove the root cause, it could be different in different cases depending upon the cause. In this way the Ayurvedic approach is different from the modern medicine where generally pain killers are prescribed irrespective of the cause. Some general remedies for stomach ache are given here. In case of severe symptoms it is advised to consult the Ayurvedic physician.

1. The patient should have clear bowel movements and should not be constipated. According to Ayurveda every one should pass stool at least once in 24 hours. Early morning (first thing after waking up ) is the best time to do this. In the case of severe constipation an enema with warm water can be given. Two tea spoons of castor oil mixed in a cup of warm milk can be given to the patient every night before going to bed or whenever necessary. 2. If the pain is due to acidity or gas, drinking plain soda water provides immediate relief. 3. Two tea spoons of lemon juice mixed with 50 ml. of warm water helps in relieving all kinds of stomach aches. One gram of rock salt powder should be mixed in this and can be taken at least thrice a day. 4. Take equal weights of dry ginger, black pepper, roasted cumin seeds, dry mint leaves, coriander, asa asafetida, garlic and rock salt. Make a fine powder by grinding all these together. Taking one or half tea spoon of this powder with warm water gives relief from stomach ache. This can be taken two or three times a day after meals. If some of the ingredients are not found, you can make the powder with what ever items being available. Common salt can be used if rock salt is unavailable. 5. Taking one to three grams of ajowan seeds with warm water relieves stomach ache. It becomes more effective if an equal weight of rock salt is added to it. In case rock salt is not available, common salt can be used. 6. Giving local heat treatment at the site of the pain also gives some relief from the pain. 7. One tea spoonful ginger juice and one tea spoonful castor oil mixed in half cup warm water relieves stomach ache. It can be taken twice a day. 8. Take about 20 gms. of anise seeds. Put them in one cup water for about 4 hours. Then strain and drink this water. It is better to soak the anise seeds overnight, and drink it in the next morning.

Diet and Regimen

Diet should be mainly light and easily digestible. Little grains, rice, yogurt or butter milk, a little salad with a thin dressing of oil or yogurt on it is good. A dressing of lemon juice can also be used on the salad. Cooked vegetables like squash, zucchini, pumpkin and mung dal (green beans or pulses) will also help. Khichree is also good. Khichree is prepared by cooking together one part rice and six parts mung beans. Mung beans can be found in any Indian store. A soup of vegetables is good as are fruit juices and fruits like grapes, papaya, orange, peaches etc.

Fried and spicy foods which contain too much oil are prohibited. Beans, potatoes, sweets, creams and yogurt in the night time are also not good.

Avoid all kinds of physical activities immediately after meals. The patient should take sufficient rest. Mental tension, worry, anxiety, greed, anger and fear should be given up and the patient must have a relaxed mind.


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(last edited January 6, 2002 by Kishore Balakrishnan. Contact for feedback and suggestions) [info] [diff] [full] EditText of this page

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