The antacids are drugs that have pharmacological property to relieve hyperacidity caused due to indigestion and heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid.
The complication of hyperacidity occurs due to the reflux of hydrochloric acid in stomach during the process.
This process of digestion is controlled by the hormonal function of gastrin and somatostatin that induces the secretion and suppression of hydro-choric choleric acid respectively. This is normal physiological process of digestion but when it gets interrupted either by hormonal imbalance or mechanical disorder, it develops the complication of hyperacidity.
This is characterized by following symptoms.
1. The very primary symptom of hyperacidity is feeling of bitter taste in mouth and increased saliva.
2. After wards it is developed to heartburns, nausea, belching, and often stomach cramps are occurs.
3. There is pain in the upper abdominal region (mostly Epigastric).
4. Headache and giddiness is also present in some patients. The heartburn increases while the patient lies in bed. This is one of the most uncomfortable symptoms of hyperacidity.
Pregnant women also suffer from this complication. In advance stages, the complications can be caused in the form of ulcers. Sometimes several mouth ulcers that can range from oral cavity to the esophagus characterize it. This is generally due to the increased secretion of hydro-choric acid.
Ayurveda describes this condition as Amlapitta.it is considered to be a disease caused due to aggravation pitta. The sign and symptoms described in Ayurvedic texts are very similar to that of modern sciences.
This root cause of this disease is as follows the main cause is irregular dietary habits, indigestion, the excessive intake of spicy, heavy and fried food, disturbed sleep and biorhythms, hormonal imbalance of gastrin and somatostatin and loss of appetite. There are certain other causes like alcohol, smoking there could be a mechanical disorder responsible for this disease. The esophageal sphincter helps to separate wind pipe from food pipe. Sometimes it may be loose and thus the acid produced is refluxed with the food or alone. This is also a reason behind hyperacidity.
Generally we can classify the root causes for hyperacidity as improper life style and dietary habits like pregnancy, mechanical disorder like the malfunctioning of esophageal sphincter, hormonal imbalance. Ayurveda states that the elevated pitta is responsible for this disease. When the pitta get with the rasa dhatu and enters the Annavaha strota (digestive tract) then this disease happens.
Basic line of treatment in Ayurveda and modern science is quite different in other words opposite to each other.
1. The antacid category drugs as well as central nervous system depressant. The antacid are generally containing the aluminum and magnesium salts. Alginic acids also used for this purpose.. Alginic acid is responsible to make a foamy froth into the stomach by resetting with the saliva to control the acid reflux. These antacids are having side effects of constipation and abdominal pain, nausea and giddiness sometimes.
However the antacids are among the one of the most widely used medicine all over the word and about 1/3 rd of Americans and others world population. In India about 35% of the population is suffering with this disease. This is life style problem and those who are addicted with tobacco, alcohol as well as excess of packaged food with rich salt content can easily caught by this disease.
2. The Ayurveda line of treatment is just opposite to that of the modern sciences. The basic principle of treating this disease is virechan karma (the removal of undigested food as well as bile by purgative drugs). The basic line of treatment is the same in allopathic and Ayurveda. That is life style modification to avoid the food stuff that causes the hyperacidity. According to Ayurveda, over exposure to heat should be avoidable in this disease. but the second stage of treatment that is drug based is quite different is the drugs in Ayurveda are purgatives that have got the tendency to remove out the pitta .but the allopathic drugs are acting upon the acids to neutralize it as well as they stop the secretion of the gastric juices.
Again the allopathic side has got the surgical intervention in the chronic stages of hyperacidity that is either endoscopic anti reflux measure or the gastro esophageal surgery to prevent the reflux of acid.The side effects of allopathic drugs used in hyperacidity are headache, vertigo, abdominal pains, and indigestion.As far as the Ayurveda drugs are concerned the single drugs used as antacid are Amaltas, amalaki, haritaki, turmeric, aloe vera, pippali, parpat, bhumyamalaki, shatavari, madhuyashti and in general all drugs that have property of tikta and madhur rasa and snigdha guru are suppose to be antacidic in nature.
They have vata pitta shamak property. The Patoladi gana harbs, patol, chandana, murva, guduchi, patha,are also used as pitta shamak. The herb shatavari has got good result in the treatment of this disease. It is also used in Ayurveda for treating Amlapitta. The diet preparations used for treating this disease are generally containing the above category drugs. The Yavagu used for treatment are prepared by using the above drugs as wheel as the 4 purgative category drugs to control hyperacidity byperforming virechan. In early stages that use of deepana, pachan are useful.
In Ayurveda the mineral preparations are also used for the treatment of this disease. Pravaal pishti like drugs that are rich in calcium salts are very much effective in treating the hyper-acidic conditions. Which are parthiv in nature had special role in pitta viruddha shaman guna Apart from that several medicines from Ayurveda to treat this disease are multi drug combinations. Like-Avipittikar choorna, Madhuyastyadi choorna and mineral based like Abhraka bhasma, Shankha bhasma, confectionary preparation like Dhatri rasayana and the mercuric preparations like kamdutha rasa, sutsekhar rasa and more are used in the treatment of hyperacidity. The recent studies show that the shatavari herb has effects like metaclopramide; this has been stated by Ayurveda thousands of years ago.