A Closer Look at Aci-Balance
A Knowledge Article with Anand Srivastava, Chairman of Maharishi Ayurveda Products Pvt. Ltd.
When acid, which is necessary for our digestive system to function, becomes hyper-acidity, problems can arise. It is not uncommon to see over-the-counter products for acidity that promise to bring stomach comfort instantly. When acid and alkaline meet, they get neutralized quickly - this is the basis for most modern acidity products. But, for a longer-term solution, it may not be as simple as this.
Our bodies require acid to digest food, and this is one of the very first stages of digestion. However, when the body produces excess acid or produces acid when unneeded, we need more than just a quick alkaline fix to neutralize it. What happens after the initial effect of a hyper-acidity product? The acidity may come right back, and sometimes in greater quantity. This phenomenon is called the “Rebound Effect”.
So, how do we balance acid and avoid the Rebound Effect? We have to understand how acid is produced and what controls digestion and metabolism. Pitta dosha. We run into problems when Pitta dosha is increased or goes out of balance. This increase could happen for a number of reasons -- anger, overworking, eating heat-increasing, spicy foods, to name a few. When Pitta aggravation is present, then more acid is produced by the system, because increased Pitta means that the body thinks that there is something to digest. And for that digestion, more acid is required.
When we eat, Pitta increases and takes over the initial stages of digestion. If your brain is receiving the wrong Pitta strong signals, it may produce more than the required amount of acid and that is what causes hyperacidity. If you take an antacid or alkaline solution, the acid level in the stomach is neutralized and you may feel comfort. But here is the key, what happens because the acid level goes down? The senses which are connected to the brain in the stomach, send the message that the acid level has gone down and this, in turn, stimulates the body to produce more acid. Additionally, because of this low acid level, digestion does not work efficiently, and this also is conveyed to the brain, effectively asking it to make sure that the digestion process is in play. Thus more acid is produced and an endless loop is created. The Rebound Effect. Then what happens? We may take a higher dose of antacid — it worked the last time, let’s take more; the acid level goes down again and again sends the message to the brain to produce more acid. This Rebound Effect goes on and on and can cause major problems; rather than curing the root cause of hyperacidity, it can actually increase it.
When we l digest this concept from the modern science perspective, we can consider the brain from front to back as having 3 parts. First the full brain, the second is the mid-brain, the third is the hindbrain. The hindbrain controls activities such as the production of hydrochloric acid produced in the stomach. When the vagus nerve, a pneumogastric nerve that controls the heart, lungs, and digestive tract, interacts with the parasympathetic nervous system a substance called acetyl is produced and hyper gastric acid is induced.
When Pitta is aggravated, you have to go to the root cause and pacify this production process in order to control the excessive acid and bring the entire process or loop back to balance.
What is the vpk solution? Let’s take a closer look at our Digestion Management herbal formula Aci-Balance. One of the first ingredients in Aci-Balance is amla, which is also known as Indian Gooseberry. Amla is said to have five of the six tastes of Ayurveda (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent, and astringent). In our Aci-Balance formula, we make use of the sweet taste, which is Pitta (and Vata) balancing. This sweet taste has a cooling effect, so it is highly recommended for balancing Pitta. The second ingredient is a small amount of sugarcane. It is sweet and cooling, further balancing for Pitta. Then comes licorice, another sweet herb; it is cooling and helpful in bringing overactive Pitta down, and it is also Vata balancing, helping to bring a relaxing or calming effect. The next ingredient is a mineral product called sodium carbonate. It is a type of alkaline substance that is produced naturally from trees. The sodium carbonate is collected, and then is it is purified using a traditional Ayurvedic process. It is included in this formula to directly reduce the hyper-acidity. Sodium carbonate is the only ingredient in this formula that works directly on the acidity, the others work towards balancing the root cause of imbalance. There are three ingredients that are combined together and processed in a special way to bring down Pitta: alum, sal ammoniac, and saltpetre. Indian jalap is used to isolate and then reduce Pitta, toxins, and firey emotions (such as anger). Dried ginger is found in the formula as well and is useful for bringing proper digestion; it has an appetizing and digestive effect, and it also has a cooling effect. Clove and black pepper are used in a small quantity for their digestive and Vata balancing effects. Black pepper is used for its synergistic effect with other herbs to improve digestion and favor balanced acid levels. Then there is chebulic myrobalan, or haritaki, for cooling digestion and supporting elimination (a key to reducing Pitta long term). The belleric myrobalan, included in this formula, is also helpful for elimination and its cooling effect. Vidanga is used in long-term hyperacidity cases to help with imbalances in the intestine due to excessive acid formation. In Aci-Balance, cardamom also works to cool the intestines, reducing the effects of excess acid. Then there is Indian cassia, which is helpful in supporting digestion and soothing stomach aches. Cabbage rose is very well known in Ayurveda for its cooling, digestion-balancing effect and its helpful effects on the heart. Indian cardamom helps promote healthy appetite, soothe the stomach, and further balance Pitta.
One can see from the meticulous and complex ingredients in Aci-Balance that it is not just a short term fix. Together, all of these ingredients, synergistically combined, help to reduce the root causes of hyperacidity with a long term effect. Aci-Balance also works at the superficial level, because of the sodium carbonate, but it is also helpful in signaling the brain to produce an appropriate amount of acid, avoiding the Rebound Effect all together.
Aci-Balance, our powerful blended formula, helps to maintain proper stomach balance and soothes occasional acid indigestion and heartburn through balancing Pitta dosha.
Our vpk Maharishi Ayurveda formulas are long-term, time-tested, ancient and authentic.
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