Hyperacidity or acid dyspepsia is a very common dietary disorder which affects almost 25% people in the US each year. Hyperacidity could be described as a disorder of the modern and urban cities where the eating habits of people are quite irregular. Curbing the problem of hyperacidity needs a total overhaul of the dietary regimen in addition to healthy exercise and lifestyle.

Conquering hyperacidity is certainly a very important issue. The right way to fight against this disease is to become well-informed about its various aspects.


Definition of Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia (Amalpitta)

Hyperacidity or acid dyspepsia simply means increase of acidity in the stomach. The human stomach secretes hydrochloric acid which is necessary for the digestion of food. When the stomach contains an excessive amount of hydrochloric acid, then the condition is called as hyperacidity or acid dyspepsia.

Sometimes, hyperacidity is confused for a simple bellyache. This is because people with hyperacidity usually generally get pains in their stomachs with similar symptoms as bellyaches. This confusion is more rampant in children who cannot differentiate between different kinds of stomach ailments. However, hyperacidity can be found out with the sour belching and aftertaste of the already eaten food in the mouth.


Causes of Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia (Amalpitta)

The prime medical factors of hyperacidity or acid dyspepsia are as follows:-

(i) Stomach Ulcers – Ulcers in the stomach are one of the prime causes of hyperacidity. Once this is diagnosed, the treatment will be done by the surgical removal of the stomach ulcers.

(ii) Acid Reflux Disease – Some people have a gastric disorder called as the acid reflux disease. In this condition, the acids of the stomach, i.e. gastric acids or hydrochloric acid, get refluxed up to the food pipe, which is biologically called as the esophagus. When this happens, it builds up the level of acidity in the stomach.

(iii) Stomach Cancers – Stomach cancers can also cause hyperacidity as one of their symptoms. This is a very rare case, but the mortality rate is quite high. Hence, a hyperacidity that lasts more than two weeks must be immediately shown to the doctor and got checked for any cancer. A timely diagnosis can enable complete treatment of the disease.


Hyperacidity gets aggravated by the following triggers:-

Excessive intake of oily, spicy and salty foods

Excessive intake of sour foods that contain high acid content

Inadequate exercise

Going to bed immediately after a heavy meal

Too much mental stress and worries

Taxing the mind excessively

Consumption of alcohol

Smoking and drug addiction

Addictive consumption of coffee

Too much intake of therapeutic drugs like aspirin

Diseases of the digestive organs such as the stomach, intestines, gallbladder or the pancreas

Peptic ulcers

Spinal lesions

According to the theories of Ayurveda, amalpitta or hyperacidity is a result of the imbalances in the agni of the body. Agni is the fire of the body which is responsible for proper digestion. In a normal person, the agni is properly balanced; while in a person with digestive disorders, there is an imbalance of agni.


There are different causes of vitiation of agni. The important ones are:-

Prajnaparadha , i.e. intellectual blasphemy

Asatmyendriyartha Samyoga , i.e. unwholesome conjunction of sense organs with their objects

Kaala or Parinama, i.e. fluctuations of time and weather conditions

Any vitiation in agni causes an imbalance of the pitta dosha. It is this vitiation in pitta dosha that causes amalpitta. Hence, amalpitta can be caused by low amounts of agni (mandagni) or with high amounts of agni (teekshagni).


Symptoms of Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia (Amalpitta)

Hyperacidity symptoms are observed a couple of hours after eating, when the food has been digested and still excess acids are left within the stomach. At this stage, the following symptoms are seen:-

  • A typical feeling of restlessness
  • Feeling of nausea (wanting to throw up) and actual vomiting
  • Sour belching with an aftertaste of the already-eaten food
  • Stiffness in the stomach, which is called as atonic dyspepsia
  • Lack of desire for any other type of food
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation


Complications due to Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia (Amalpitta)

Several digestive complications are known to be caused due to prolonged hyperacidity. The following are some of them:-




Chronic gastritis

Chronic gastritis is a chronic catarrh of the digestive system. It is very similar to the conditions of hyperacidity, with the added complication that the person may become a neurasthenic.

Loss of appetite

Loss of weight

Sour belching

Pain after eating food, especially heavy meals

Indigestion in the form of constipation

Mental restlessness

Nausea and vomiting

Gastric ulcers

Gastric ulcers are formed after prolonged bouts of hyperacidity in the stomach which are not treated. Gastric ulcers are not formed in all persons with hyperacidity, and so they are not a universal complication of the disorder.

Painful ulcers are formed in the inner lining of the stomach

Gnawing pains in the stomach during meals

Sour belching


If the acid content is too much, then the acid can reflux into the esophagus, i.e. the food pipe. This is caused as heartburn.

Searing sensation in the chest with symptoms similar to those of a stroke.



Hyperacidity is generally a simple condition that can be resolved by some simple medication. However, in certain types of people, this situation becomes more complicated. Hyperacidity is more dangerous in people if:-

  1. They are above fifty years of age.
  2. They are trying to lose weight below the normal values.
  3. They are suffering from anorexia.
  4. The hyperacidity condition is continuing for more than two weeks.
  5. There is a feeling of some mass in the stomach.

Under any of the above situations, immediate doctoral attention is needed. There are high chances of there being a complication under the guise of simple hyperacidity.


Transmission of Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia (Amalpitta)

Hyperacidity is a functional disorder of the digestive system. It is not a communicable disease and hence there is no question of transmission


Prevention of Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia (Amalpitta)

Hyperacidity can be taken care of with a strict and healthy dietary routine. The following principles must be observed:-

  1. A person with hyperacidity problems must totally abstain from consuming heavy food.
  2. It is very important to perform some light exercise after every meal in order to burn some calories. Alternatively, the person can go on a brisk walk.
  3. Smoking and alcoholism must be totally avoided by people having repeated complaints of hyperacidity.
  4. The mind should be kept free and devoid of tensions during eating.


Diet during Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia

Hyperacidity is caused by indigestion. Hence, a proper hyperacidity diet is the most proper way to get the disease treated. The following dietary regimen must be followed by people to get their hyperacidity treated:-

  1. The diet must be pitta pacifying, as hyperacidity is caused due to vitiation of the pitta dosha. To obtain such a diet, salads and legumes must be included. The diet must contain more of bitter and astringent tastes.
  2. Foods that are difficult to digest must be avoided. This includes salty, oily and spicy foods.
  3. Sour foods have acid content; hence they must be avoided. Tamarind contains tartaric acid; lemons contain citric acid; curds contain lactic acid. Thus these foods can increase the acidity within the stomach.
  4. The intake of pulses must be avoided as they cause heat in the stomach.
  5. The food must be properly cooked, but not overcooked, in order to aid digestion.


Ayurvedic Treatment for Hyperacidity / Acid Dyspepsia (Amalpitta)

Hyperacidity is a pittaja, i.e. it is caused by vitiation in the pitta dosha. Hence, Ayurveda tries to control the disorder by using herbs that are known to be pitta-pacifying. The list given below gives some of these herbs with their actions on the human body.


Ayurvedic Name of the Herb

Biological Name of the Herb

Common English Name of the Herb

Action on the Human Body


Zingiber officinale


The juice of ginger mixed with lime and honey is a traditionally used cure for treating dyspepsia. It is exceptional for treating the hyperacidity caused by consuming more of flesh foods.


Withania somnifera

Winter Cherry

Ashwagandha is a very effective cure in the treatment of loss of appetite and dyspepsia-related conditions.


Matricaria chamomilla

Bitter Chamomile

Bitter chamomile is a good remedy for treating dyspepsia, especially of the type which is caused due to nervous dispositions such as tensions and worries.


Santalum album


Chandana is an age-old remedy for treating amalpitta. It can produce a cooling effect in the stomach by treating gastric irritabilities. It is a very potent cure for hyperacidity.


Swertia chirata


Chirayata is used in the treatment of stomach disorders such as dyspepsia and diarrhea.


Alstonia scholaris

Devil’s tree

The powdered bark of the Devil’s tree is effective in the treatment of catarrhal dyspepsia, i.e. the dyspepsia which is characterized with mucus stools.


Elettaria cardomum


Cardamom is a good remedy to treat some kinds of heartburns which are a result of hyperacidity.


Terminalia chebula retz

Chebulic Myroblan

The juice of the leaves of the chebulic myroblan is a very effective remedy in relieving the acidity of the stomach and treating heartburn.


Cuminum cyminum

Cumin seeds

The cumin seeds are used in treating atonic dyspepsia.


Allium sativum


Garlic is considered to be the best remedy for all kinds of stomach ailments.


Syzygium aromaticum


A few pieces of cloves taken directly are excellent in treating acidity and irritability in the stomach.


Solanum nigrum

Black Nightshade

Black nightshade is a very potent herb for treating peptic ulcers and colitis. Its juice of the leaves is consumed.


Trigonella foenum graecum


Methi leaves are considered to be a very good remedy in the treatment of dyspepsia.

Revand Chini

Rheum emodi


Rhubarb is a purgative. It expels the excess acids from the stomach. Rhubarb is a mild agent; hence it is mostly used to treat hyperacidity in children.


Rosmarinus officinalis


Rosemary is found effective in the treatment of atonic dyspepsia. It is more effective in the treatment of hyperacidity caused by the intake of flesh foods and starchy foods like eggplant and lima beans.


Fenneliculum vulgare


Fennel seeds have been found to be effective in the treatment of atonic dyspepsia. It is a mild purgative; hence it is also used to treat digestive and acidity complaints in infants and young children.


Anethum sowa

Indian Dill

The oil obtained from the dill plant is used in the treatment of hyperacidity.