To Enhance Digestion


Ayurvedic healers consider digestion a key indicator and determinant of good health. If your digestive agnis (fires) are functioning effectively, the food you eat should get completely digested, absorbed and assimilated by your body, with the wastes regularly flushed out. An efficient digest-absorb-assimilate cycle leads to enhanced ojas. Ojas is the biochemical essence formed at the end of the chain of transformation that takes place with the raw materials we take in. Building ojas is crucial to an enhanced quality of life: physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.

On the other hand, imperfect digestion leaves behind a residue that ayurvedic healers call ama. Ama, if left to accumulate in the physiology, eventually turns toxic, and difficult to flush out. Ama in the physiology offers fertile soil for disorders to take root and flourish. Little wonder, then, that assessing the strength of your digestive agnis (there are 13 of them) is an important part of an ayurvedic health evaluation.

If your digestion feels sluggish, here are some simple dietary recommendations to help it function more efficiently:

1. Each morning, have a glass of warm water to which a tablespoon of lemon juice has been added. You can drink it straight, or with a touch of raw honey or turbinado sugar. Lemon juice is a purifier and cuts ama in the digestive tract.

2. Have a glass of digestive lassi at lunch. Lassi helps enhance the digestive flora without clogging the microcirculatory channels of the body. Lassi should not be taken after sundown.

3. A slice of fresh ginger with a little lemon juice is recommended by ayurvedic healers as a way to stoke the digestive fires and appetite before a main meal. If you can't eat the ginger root, try.