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Ayurveda: What Is Agni, the Digestive Fire?

ayurveda yoga fire
ayurveda yoga fire

The fire component (Agni)

Agni is the Ayurvedic word for digestive fire and is a powerful transformative factor responsible for digesting and metabolizing food. Ama that is caused by eating the wrong type of food over a long period of time is responsible for many types of diseases. If Agni or the digestive fire is weak then it leads to poor digestion, circulation, immunity, less energy, and poor complexion. Addressing the root cause of disease means correcting the persons Agni or digestive fire.

The ancient Ayurvedic text, explains there are 13 different types of Agni.

⦁ Jatharagni -the place where all digestion begins.

⦁ Bhutagni -5 variants that metabolizes the 5 elements of earth, water, fire, air, and space.

⦁ Dhatuagni -7 types that metabolizes each succeeding layer of body tissue, lymph, blood, muscle, fat, bone, nerve, and reproductive.

The Most Important Agni is Jatharagni and is the king of all the Agni. Jatharagni is classified into four categories according to how well it digests the nutrients and it’s based on influence of the Tridosha (vata-pitta-kapha).

1. Sama Agni (balanced metabolism) This Agni will produces good health, better metabolism, calm state of mind, clarity of thought, and positive effusive personality.

2. Vishama Agni (erratic metabolic state): This Agni is imbalanced and irregular and is influenced by excess Vata dosha. This is an unstable or variable Agni which can be both too strong and too weak at the same time. Vishama Agni will produce erratic appetite and may cause indigestion, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea.

3. Tikshana Agni (hyper metabolic state): This Agni is overactive intense and has fiery qualities. It is influenced by excess pitta dosha and can become inflamed and triggers hyper metabolism resulting in fast digestion.

4. Manda Agni Manda Agni (hypo metabolic state): This Agni is underactive and is influenced by Kapha dosha. It affects metabolism, digestion, and prana or life force in general and leads to the production of ama because everything is digested slowly.

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