Hyperacidity/ Retrosternal Burning (Hurqat-e- Me’da) is one of the commonest disease seen in people of all ages. It affects both sexes, all classes and communities. It is a medical condition, wherein acid levels of the stomach are much more than normal. Some of the peculiar symptoms of the hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da) are epigastric and retrosternal burning either at full or empty stomach, nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort. It causes uneasiness along with other symptoms like loss of appetite, heartburn, unexpected stomach pain etc.
Causes of Hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- Me’da)
According to Unani system of medicine, it is mainly caused by Ghiza-e- Ghaleez Kham (Diet that is partially cooked and hard to digest), pouring of irritants, sour black bile, and bilious fluid on stomach.
As per Unani classical texts, some other important causes of hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da) are taking foods that don't match body constitution or those aren't supposed to take medically good, like milk and salt or milk and fish, extremely spicy and sour beverages and foods, white flour products, products made from white sugar, and fatty foods.
Taking food even though some one is suffering from indigestion, smoking, controlling the urge to urinate or pass stool, prolonged exposure to heat and sunlight, eating large meals or lying down specially on your back just after a meal, being overweight or obese, eating partially or uncooked food, taking snacks at bedtime, eating certain items such as citrus fruits, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onion etc.
A part from above, some other causes mostly noticed are, drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea, taking aspirin and ibuprofen during pregnancy, certain muscle relaxants, or blood pressure medications.
Prolonged use of Non Steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs (pain killers), taking insufficient sleep at night, stressful life style, excessive anxiety, worry, jealousy, anger, fear, Job dissatisfaction etc are other important factors responsible for hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me,da).
Signs and Symptoms of Hyperacidity(Hurqat-e- Me’da)
According to Unani medicine, some important signs and symptoms of hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me,da) are, heart and chest burn (Retrosternal burning), sometimes chest pain, Nausea, Throat burn, Sour or bitter belching, Regurgitation of food or vomiting of sour substance, Heaviness /Pain in abdomen, Gaseous distension of abdomen, Indigestion, Aversion towards food. Headache, Foul smelling loose motions. Bad breath, Thirst, Mouth ulcer, Fatigue (especially in legs), Tiredness, Severe burning sensation over feet, hands, Fainting, Giddiness, Itching all over the body etc.
Usoole-e- Ilaj (Principles of Treatment)
Taskeen-e- Laza’ (Neutralization of Irritation)
Rad-e- Mawad-e- Faasida (Repulsion of causative bad matter)
Taqwiyat-e- Me’da (Tonning up of stomach)
Ilaj Bil Dawa (Pharmacotherapy)
Oral administration of the decoction of Tukhm-e- Turab (Raphanus sativus Linn.), common salt and honey for emesis, followed by oral administration of Sharbat-e- Anaarain 48 ml.
Oral administration of powder of Gul-e- babool (Acacia arabica, Willd.) 1 part, Namak-e- tabarzad (Rock salt) 1 part in the dose of 7 gm.
Oral administration of mucilaginous decanted liquid prepared from Aspghol Musallam (Seed of Plantago ovata, Forsk) 17.5 gm mixed with sugar.
Unani Home-made Remedies
Boil some mint (Mentha piperita Linn.) leaves and take a glass after meals.
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum Linn.) seeds are very effective in curing hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da) symptoms.
Take Coconut (Cocos nucifera Linn.) Water. It soothes the system if you suffer from hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da).
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus (Thunb.) Syn. Citrullus vulgaris Schrad.) juice is also very effective in hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da).
Sucking on a piece of clove (Syzygium aromaticum (Linn.) is very effective in hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da).
Jaggery, banana and almonds give instant relief from hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da).
Lemon (Citrus lemon) juice with sugar is also very useful in hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da).
Basil leaves (Barg-e- Raihan) are also very useful in hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da).
Chewing a slice of fresh ginger or taking a spoonful of ginger juice 2-3 times a day or steep fresh ginger in a cup of boiling water and drinking it are very effective in hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da).
Some Useful Compound Unani Drugs
Sikanjabin Buzoori 24 ml BD
Murabba Amla daily one piece after washing with water
Murabba Halaila 1- 2 piece after washing with water at bed time
Namak Sulaimani 3 gm after meal
Jawarish Mastagi 5-9 gm with Arq-e- Badiyaan 144 ml
Sikanjabeen Unsuli 12- 24 ml
Ilaj Bil Tadbeer (Regimenal Therapy)
Fasd-e- Usaylim (Salvatella venesecion/ Bloodletting through Usaylim Vein)
Qai (Emesis/ Vomitting)
Ma’ al- Sha’ir (Barley water)
Aghziya Lateefa (Light diet)
Ma’ ul- Jubn (Whey (of Paneer))
Diets that may produce black bile
Tahaffuz (Prevention/ Precaution)
Regimens that may increase the production of black bile should be avoided
Some Useful tips to avoid/ Prevent hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da)
According to Unani philosophy, Prevention is better than cure. It is better to avoid all the causative factors of hyperacidity (Hurqat-e- me’da). To keep this problem at bay, certain dietary modifications and lifestyle changes are suggested. These are as follows.
Avoid excessive salty, oily, sour and spicy foods. Also avoid pickles, spicy chutneys, vinegar, etc.
Avoid taking beverages during meals. Take them after 30 minutes of meals.
Avoid heavy and untimely food. Maintain a regular eating time
Food should consist mainly of bitters like bitter gourd, matured ash gourd
Include barley, wheat, old rice and green gram in diet.
Avoid overcooked, stale and contaminated food. The food must be properly cooked.
Follow mental relaxation techniques
Avoid stressful conditions and try to relax after meals
Avoid chewing with open mouth also avoid talking while chewing
Avoid foods that trigger acidity
Avoid consumption of acidic foods like garlic, onions, ginger, vinegar, and tomatoes
Avoid fermented as well as processed foods
Avoid coffee, tea and carbonated beverages
Avoid lying down immediately after food and in supine position
Avoid eating too fast also eating at late night
Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption
If not treated timely and properly or if unhealthy diet habits, regimens and lifestyle continued, it may lead to some other diseases like, gastric Ulcer, chronic Gastritis, duodenitis, irritable bowel syndrome, mal-absorption, anemia, peptic stenosis etc.
Note: Drugs should be taken under the advice of the qualified Unani physician. The patients are required to follow strict Unani regimen for optimum results.