Stomach Anxiety Ayurvedic Treatment

Some people experience anxiety in their stomach, ie when they become anxious about certain things or situations, their stomach gets irritated. This problem often relieves with settling of the stressful event or thought, but in some people the symptoms may persist. The exact reason is not known, but the possible causes are:

Gut-brain connection: there is a strong connection between brain and gut. Whatever you feel in your mind/ brain will reflect in stomach (such as anxiety, stress etc). this connection is brought about by Vagus nerve (the longest nerve in body) which passes between brain and gut. The nervous system exclusively seen in gut (enteric nervous system) can receive signals from brain. When a stressful situation comes, the ‘fight or flight response’ initiates which needs extra blood supply to brain. As a result, blood supply to stomach reduces causing indigestion and other discomforts owing to increased blood supply to organs that involved in survival such as heart. 

Stress: gut microbes maintain normal gut-brain connection. When a stressful event occurs, these microbes initiate anxiety symptoms in stomach. The stressful events cause alteration in the levels of chemical messengers leading to imbalance of gut microbiome. It also initiates anxiety symptoms in gut. 

Similar to this, the gut also sends signals to brain. Thought about stomach pain can initiate it by passing signals to brain. 

Stomach Anxiety Signs and Symptoms

The common symptoms of anxious stomach are bloating, butterflies in stomach, nausea, indigestion, abdominal cramps etc. 

Stomach Anxiety Ayurvedic Analysis

Ayurveda explains many conditions characterised by stomach symptoms associated with stress or anxiety- eg: bhayatisara (diarrhoea associated with fear). Pitta is the vitiated dosha here. Pitta is the major dosha in intestine especially stomach, which is responsible for digestion. The effect of pitta on psyche/ emotions is that, it is aggravated during anxiety, stress, jealousy, fear etc. Its results are seen in stomach as it is the territory of pitta. Common symptoms are indigestion, urge for stool, bloating, cramps etc. If these symptoms continue for a long period, it will lead to complications like bhayatisara. These issues are mostly seen among those people having a weak satwa (mind power), pitta prakrti (pitta predominant body constitution), accustomed to food items that aggravate pitta etc. 

Stomach Anxiety Causative Factors (Ayurveda)

The inevitable factor is pitta prakrti– which cannot be changed. External factors, that contribute to aggravation of pitta are excess intake of spicy, hot food; stress, anxiety, excess intake of alcohol etc. 

Possible Complications of Stomach Anxiety Disease

Prolonged anxious stomach may lead to IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), poor quality of life etc. 

Other systemic diseases and precautions to be taken

Consider other conditions like IBS, IBD, stomach ulcers etc before planning treatment. 

Stomach Anxiety Disease Management with Ayurveda Treatment

The management of this condition can be done in two ways- treating the symptoms, and treating the underlying mental problem (anxiety, stress). For this, internal medicines are provided that can pacify aggravated pitta and vata, correct agni (digestive power), balancing the koshta krimi (gut microbiota) etc. Treatment procedures like snehapana (internal administration of lipid formulation of drugs), swedana (eg: steam bath), nasya (nasal instillation of medicines), virechana (purgation therapy), vasthi (enema therapy) etc are provided. In order to tackle the underlying cause- anxiety/ stress- psychotherapy is given. It can give complete cure by removing the root cause of the disease. Along with these, yoga, meditation and pranayama are also provided to achieve mental stability, as well as balancing the tridosha


Avoid food items that increases pitta- such as spicy food, sour food, very hot items, containing added preservatives/ colouring agents etc. Include more whole grains, green and leafy vegetables, fruits, buttermilk, honey, nuts etc in diet. Drink enough water. 


Moderate exercise on a regular basis can help to manage anxiety and digestion. It enables normal production of gastric juices, hormones etc. 

Stomach Anxiety Preventive Aspects in Ayurveda

Exercise regularly. Ensure adequate sleep. Eat healthy nutritious diet containing enough fibre. Reduce the consumption of spicy/ dry/ hot/ junk foods. Avoid stress and anxiety. Practice yoga or mindfulness. Perform purgation therapy at regular intervals as per the guidance of physician. Ayurvedic daily regimens such as nasya, gandusha, dhoomapana etc help to balance the gut microbes. 

Importance of Diet

Modification of diet is much important in managing anxious stomach. Spicy food, very hot food, excess intake of tea/ coffee/ alcohol etc, food containing added sugar/ preservatives/ colour etc worsen the symptoms. All these can trigger anxiety as they vitiate pitta which is responsible for stress/ anxiety. Choosing a right diet pattern along with treatment is important to achieve expected results. 


  • Include more fibrous food in diet.
  • Drink enough water.
  • Practice yoga, meditation, and pranayama to manage stress and anxiety.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Avoid day sleep and keeping awake at night.
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, curd etc.
  • Quit smoking.

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