Agni – the digestive fire

“Agni’ is the digestive fire that helps in processing what we eat, what we think and what we experience. It is responsible for all types of absorption, assimilation, metabolism and digestion within the body. A balanced agni gives immunity and exudes cheerfulness, courage, clarity and intelligence in an individual; linking mental well being with digestive health.

 

The three types of agni related to the different doshas:

Visham Agni is unsteady or erratic type of digestion, which changes from one day to another or from day to night; very unpredictable, in accordance to qualities of vata.

Tiksnagni is increased and strong digestive fire, capable of digesting large quantities of food, very quickly and still desiring more, due to nature and qualities of pitta.

Mandagni is decreased digestive fire, leading slow and sluggish digestion  due to the nature and qualities of kapha.

 

All these three are considered unhealthy, since they are a symptomatic condition that could lead to many diseases.

 

Only Samagni which is a balanced state of agni is ideal for maintenance of good health.

 

Some tips to maintain a balanced agni in the body :

 

1) Avoid eating between meals and eat your meals at the right time.
2) Identify and implement the changes in your food habits and lifestyle in accordance to your prakriti.
3) Add spices to your food like ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, asafeotida, cayenne that stimulate the digestive fire.
4) Do not drink water right before or after a meal. If you really wish to then take a sip or two with the meal.
5) Drink hot drinks. Masala tea, mint tea, herbal tea is ideal to stimulate or balance the digestive fire.
6) Do not have excessively oily or spicy food that may aggravate Agni and lead to acid reflux and heartburn.

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