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Digestive health is a crucial element for the overall health and wellbeing of the body

Digestive health: An Ayurvedic perspective

Understanding digestive health

Digestive health An Ayurvedic perspective

Digestive health is a crucial element for the overall health and wellbeing of the body. The digestive system consists of the gastrointestinal tract (mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, rectum and anus), pancreas, liver and gall bladder. These organs work together to digest food. Through digestion, food is broken down into the components which are used by the body to grow and repair, namely the macronutrients carbohydrates, fats and proteins and micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals (1).

Common digestive diseases feature in the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors (GBD) study 2019 (2). It includes gastritis, peptic ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenitis, chronic liver diseases, cirrhosis, abdominal, femoral and inguinal hernias, intestinal obstruction and paralytic ileus, appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, gallbladder and biliary diseases, vascular intestinal disorders and other groups of digestive diseases (2).

In 2019, due to digestive diseases, the disability adjusted life years (DALYs) were 88.99 million globally. This places digestive diseases globally at 13th leading reason of DALYs. Liver cirrhosis and other chronic liver diseases caused the highest proportion of global burden. Furthermore, DALYs were found highest in South Asia and middle sociodemographic index. It was also higher in men than women. Alcohol use is considered the leading causative factor of this situation(3).The United European Gastroenterology (UEG) reported that more than 332 million people in the Europe lived with digestive disorders in 2019 (4).

Many herbs are suitable for self-care. However if a health condition does not resolve with home remedies we recommend using the information in Herbal Reality along with your health advisors, especially herbal practitioners from the professional associations listed in our Resources page (‘If you want to find a herbalist”). When buying any herbal products, you should choose responsible manufacturers with independently assured quality standards and sustainability practices. Check the label carefully for the appropriate safety and sustainability information.

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