Agni – The Digestive Fire

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Agni

The concept of Agni is very peculiar to Ayurveda. The energy necessary for all activities in our body is provided by Agni. Transformation the energy in the food to the energy, which can be utilized by our cells is done by biological Agni. The concept of Agni is the basis of Ayurvedic therapeutics .

Agni – The Digestive fire.

In Ayurveda good digestion is considered mandatory for maintaining perfect health. There is no demarcation like good or bad food but food has good or bad effect on your body. Your health depends on how well you can digest and utilize the food you take. The digestive power is specific for every body type.

Body Type Digestive Power
 Vata Changeable.
 Pitta Strong
 Kapha Slow.

The objective is to maintain or restore the digestive power you are endowed with and utilizing it in the best possible way. Agni holds an important place in the principles of Ayurveda .Good health is indicated if your digestion is ignited well which is shown if your food is being digested efficiently, meets the requirements of the body cells and elimination of the waste products formed in the body without being a trace of toxin left.

Classification/Types

The Agni present in the body is classified into following thirteen types – I. Jaathragni  or Pachak Agni (Digestive fire)- Pachak pitta present in the small intestine contains this Agni. . It is responsible for digestion and also strengthen and nurture other types of Agni present in the body in its natural or balanced state. II. Sapta Dhatwagni – Agni which is present in all the seven tissues that form the body is called Dhatwagni. It is named after the tissue it resides in. It is responsible for all the metabolic functions being carried out at the respective tissue level.

  • Rasa Dhatu Agni
  • Rakta Dhatu Agni
  • Maans Dhatu Agni
  • Med Dhatu Agni
  • Asthi Dhatu Agni
  • Majja Dhatu Agni
  • Shukra Dhatu Agni

III. Pancha Mahabhoota Agni – These are five in number one for each Mahabhuta. It is responsible to convert Asharir (Non body) Mahabhoota to Sharir (bodily) Mahabhoota. Every thing in the universe is made up of Pancha Mahabhuta. Food as well as our body both are formed of Panchamahabhuta. The Agni converts the Asharir Mahabhoota (external Mahabhuta) to Sharir Mahabhuta. For instance when we drink water Jal Mahabhuta (water) is predominant. The water is converted  to the Sharir Jal (body fluids)by Jal Mahabhuta Agni The following are the Panchamahabhuta Agni:

  • Akasha Mahabhuta Agni
  • Vayu Mahabhuta Agni
  • Agni Mahabhuta Agni
  • Jal Mahabhuta Agni
  • Prithvi Mahabhuta Agni

Ayurveda believes that all the pathology occurs due to the impairment of Agni (Kaya). Hence the rectification or treatment of  Kaya i.e. Agni is known as Kaya Chikitsa .

Imbalance of Agni (the digestive fire) leads to the follwoing:

  • Loss of appetite.
  • Acidity or heart burn.
  • Loose motions or constipation.
  • Increased weight or loss of weight.
  • Gastrointestinal tract ( Digestive tract) disorders.