Hyperacidity is a result of all three doshas being out of balance, but pitta is the primary dosha at work. When this dosha increases, the power of digestion decreases, causing a cycle of fermentation and indigestion.
Acidity can be classified into two categories: upward or downward. Upward manifests as vomiting or eructations with a sour, sticky, salty, or bitter taste. It also tends to be a yellowish, greenish, or blackish in color with burning sensations of the throat, chest, and abdomen.
You might also experience some nausea, burning sensations, and headaches. Downward acidity manifests as burning diarrhea with poor digestion, thirst, and loss of appetite.
Because stress is often the cause of hyperacidity, asanas should be both cooling and calming.
Restful postures and practices such as Savasana, yoga nidra, and yin yoga can help to calm the mind, while postures such as Seated Forward Bend and twists specifically target the seat of pitta. You should try to avoid midday and hot yoga as well as rigorous or obsessively alignment-based yoga.
As with asana, pranayama for hyperacidity should be cooling and calming. Try practicing cooling breath (sheetkari pranayama), in which the breath is drawn in through the tongue, this can have an immediate cooling effect. You can practice different breathing techniques several times throughout the day to cool yourself down.
Breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing (nadi shodhana) and honeybee breathing (bhramari pranayama) can be used for their stress-relieving effects.
An excellent daily practice would be 10 rounds of cooling breath followed by several minutes of alternate nostril breathing and honeybee breathing. Pranayama can also be practiced 10 minutes before eating to put the mind in a calm and peaceful state.
Stress should definitely be avoided as much as possible. While it’s not always possible to decrease our workload or stress levels, adding in 10 minutes of yoga each day can help to wash away the negative effects of stress.
Ayurveda considers waking up at night to be a cause of hyperacidity, so it’s important to be asleep while pitta is at its height, this means getting into bed before 10 p.m.
Gently inhaling a cooling essential oil such as vetiver, jasmine, rose, or fennel can help to keep the mind cool and relaxed. You can also try spritzing rosewater on the face to make your skin feel even more refreshed.
Try to avoid foods that tend to increase pitta, this includes sour, salty, pungent, and fermented foods. A diet rich in freshly steamed vegetables, whole grains, and legumes such as mung and lentils help to support pitta.
Moderate amounts of ghee and coconut oil provide healthy fats so do seeds, however keep in mind that nuts can aggravate pitta. Also, try drinking coconut water, mint infused water, or even barley water to provide cooling relief to the body.
How a person with hyperacidity eats is just as important as what they eat. Some of these guidelines might seem obvious, but many of them are often overlooked. It’s important to always sit down to eat, chew properly, and eat until you are satiated rather than stuffed.
While all of theses guidelines are supportive measures, it’s best to have hyperacidity assessed by a physician and an Ayurvedic practitioner.