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Agni - the Digestive Power

Published on May 31, 2019   -  3 min read



The Agni in Ayurveda holds importance while treating patients. Here I am going to discuss the digestive power (Agni).

Agni - the Digestive Power

Agni is the digestive power of the body. According to Ayurveda, digestion has a vast meaning and is not merely about daily passing motion.

Properly digested food leads to normal growth, energy, and health, whereas undigested food causes Aama, which is the primary cause of many diseases. So, daily accumulation of this Aama can lead to some disease in a few days or months. So it is important to discuss digestion. Our body is made up of five elements, that is Prithvi, Jal, Tej, Vayu, and Akash, and whatever we eat enriches these elements accordingly. The Tej element comprises the digestive power, that is Agni of body.

Good Agni is the reason for healthy body, vitality, and longevity, and less Agni is the reason for all the diseases. As foods and drinks are burnt by digestive fire, they give out two products which are the essence of food:

  1. Aahar Rasa (chyle).
  2. Kitta (waste product).

The food that we eat is acted upon by various Agnis of body, and then it enriches the different dhatus of the body like Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja, and Shukra, and the remaining waste products are excreted out of the body. The exact process of replenishment is not clearly understood. It may be that the entire stream of chyle joins and recharges Rasa Dhatu initially and then moves on, in sequence to act upon blood, fat, muscle, bone, marrow, semen, and Ojas. Alternatively, it is possible that only a branch from the mainstream of chyle nourishes Rasa Dhatu and a sub-branch supplies blood and so on until the terminal flow joins Ojas.

There are different types of Agni, for example, Tikshna, Manda, Visham, and Sama. Among the various factors required for proper digestion of food Agni is a major one. Other factors being, quantity of food, characters of food item, etc.

The other type of Agni is called Bhautik Agni, which are Bhaum, Aapya, Agneya,Vayavya and Nabhasai, that is, Agnis of 5 elements. There are 7 more Agnis, those of 7 body dhatus, which are Rasa, Rakta, Mansa, Meda, Asthi, Majja, and Shukra.

How to Improve Agni (Digestive Power)?

What Is Tikshna Agni?

If on having food you feel better and on digestion of the food you feel debility, thirst, burning sensation, fainting, etc., then it is due toTikshna Agni. Guru, Snigdha, and Pichhil food should be taken and before it is completely digested, next meal should be taken. This will normalize the increased Agni.

Sama Agni is best for maintaining health.

Digestive disorders occur when the digestive fire is disturbed by various dietary indiscretions, misapplication of evaluative measures, suppression of natural urges, and poor adjustment of the individual to places and seasons. Grahani is a collective label applied to several gastrointestinal disorders, the common basis of which would seem to be indigestion. As food no longer gets digested, the Dhatus are deprived of nutrition and the body gets debilitated.

The prophylaxis against Grahani consists of abstinence from eating unwholesome food, eating more or less than necessary at improper hours, and eating before the previous meal has been digested.


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Last reviewed at:
31 May 2019  -  3 min read


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