The pancreas is both an exocrine and endocrine gland. As an exocrine gland, it is an integral part of the digestive system as it secretes pancreatic juice, which contains digestive enzymes to break down carbohydrates, proteins and lipids. As an endocrine gland, it produces hormones like insulin and glucagon, which regulate glucose metabolism.
Symptoms of Pancreatitis
Abdominal pain which worsens after eating heavy, fatty meals
Indigestion, nausea, vomiting and gases
Fever and chills
Low blood pressure, rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing
Sweating and weakness
Mild signs of jaundice
Unreasonable chronic weight loss
Diarrhea and/or oily stools
Abdominal pain, indigestion, gases and nausea
Diet: Intake of foods rich in Vitamin E, Vitamin B12, magnesium and antioxidants is advised for people with pancreatitis. Avoid eating heavy, rich, creamy, fried, dry, spicy, and frozen foods. Also, avoid the intake of beans, peas, garlic, raw onions and corn. Eat food items which are light and easy to digest – like vegetable broth, lentil soup, steam cooked vegetables, zucchini, squash, coconut water, and chamomile tea.
One can take Ayurvedic supplements like Turmeric (anti inflammatory), Amalaki (full of antioxidants), Bael (soothing and healing).
An alternate suggestion would be the application of Clarified butter, or ghee, in the belly button after every meal (prepare a concoction of one tablespoon of Clarified butter heated with two pinches of asafetida and stored).
Chew one-fourth teaspoon of Ajwain seeds (Bishop’s weed) with one cup of warm water after meals to help in digestion.
Drink warm water 30 minutes before each meal.
Mudra Therapy: Practice Samaan mudra and Vayu mudra for immediate relief in indigestion and abdominal pain.
Rapid heartbeat and shallow breathing
Diet: Avoid salty, sour and heavy foods.
Mritsanjeevani Mudra: Practice this mudra as and when you experience shortness, shallowness of breath and rapid heartbeat as a first aid to calm down the nervous system and deepen the breath. To perform this mudra, fold the index finger at the base of the thumb, join the tip of the middle finger and the ring finger with the tip of the thumb, keep the little finger reasonably stretched out.
Diarrhea and/or oily stools
Diet: Avoid spicy and deep fried food. Increase the intake of cooling herbs like mint, cilantro; spices like fennel, cardamom, coriander and cumin seeds; and drinks like buttermilk and coconut water.
CCF tea: Mix coriander seeds, cumin seeds and cardamom seeds in equal quantity. In two cups of water, boil one teaspoon of this mixture for five to ten minutes. Drink 2-3 cups of this tea at room temperature to warm temperature.
Dry roasted fennel seeds: Chew one teaspoon of dry roasted fennel seeds with some water two times a day.
Buttermilk: Drink a cup of fresh buttermilk with lunch.
Massage: Massage the center of the foot sole and the center of the palm with sesame oil every day as these two areas are the reflexology regions of the abdominal organs as well as the two most healing marma points. Do this massage before going to bed.
These will help reduce inflammation in the pancreas.
Yogic Solution: Practice Prithvi mudra and Samaan mudra daily. Practice Nadi Shodhan Pranayama twice daily for ten minutes in each practice session.
Meditation, chanting and Yoga Nidra: The regular practice of relaxation therapies like meditation, mantra chanting and Yoga Nidra can be of immense help to reduce the inflammatory conditions in the body and ease the stress levels. The audible chanting of “OM” has a deep therapeutic effect on increasing the absorption of oxygen, regulation of breath, calming down of the nervous system, and increasing blood circulation. Chant OM 21 to 51 times audibly every day.
Herbal paste: Take one-fourth teaspoon of turmeric powder mixed with one teaspoon of organic honey and two pinches of cinnamon powder after meals.
Herbal pack: Apply a mixture of sandalwood powder and dried rose petal powder in the ratio 3:1 on the front as well as back right side of the body at the level of the abdomen once a day.
Indu Arora, Ayurveda and Yoga Therapist considers herself a student for lifetime. She has been sharing about Yoga philosophy, Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda since 1999. She is inspired by and taught under Kriya Yoga, Himalayan Yoga, Kashmir Shivaism and Sivananda Yoga lineages. She has studied both Yoga and Ayurveda in a traditional Guru paramapara setting. Her teaching style is rooted in empowering and inspiring students to awaken the inner Guru. Her core philosophy is, ‘Nothing has the greatest power to heal, but Self!” www.yogsadhna.com