Updated: Jan 26
According to Ayurveda*, a balanced Digestive fire is the key to great health. An impaired Agni if left unchecked leads to disease. Here is an information on the four basic types of Digestive fire.
Visham Agni ( Irregular Metabolism - Unpredictable State of Agni ) : People with Visham Agni can sometimes digest food quickly and at other times do so very slowly. This type of Agni is due to the dominance of Vata ( the air and ether element).
Some of the signs and symptoms of Vişamāgni are :
• Irregular appetite, variable digestion, indigestion
• Abdominal distension, gas, colicky pain
• Alternating constipation and diarrhea
• Dry mouth, receding gums, dry skin, cracking joints
• Insomnia, anxiety, fear and insecurity.
Balancing Vişamāgni :
- A robust healthy routine is most useful for balancing Vişamāgni. This means eating meals at the same appropriate time everyday ie breakfast between 8 am and 9 am, Lunch between 12 and 1 pm and an early dinner by 6 pm. Sleeping at the same time everyday.
- Eat healthy fats such as avocados, sesame seeds, almonds and grounding nourishing foods ie sweet potatoes
- Kindle the digestive fire about 20 minutes before lunch and dinner by chewing a slice of fresh ginger (1/8 of an inch) with a pinch of sea salt . You can also drink it as a decoction .
- Its best to do gentle exercises like walking, hiking etc. Avoid over stimulating exercises.
Tikshna Agni ( Irregular Metabolism - Sharp and Very Strong Digestive Fire ) : People with Tīkşņāgni have the ability to digest heavy meals in a very short span of time. This type of Agni is dominated by Pitta ( Fire and water Elements).
In this case food passes through the digestive tract very quickly and may leave the tissues undernourished.
The following are some of the signs of Tīkşņāgni :
• Always Hungry.
• Insatiable appetite.
• Tendency to eat frequently and large quantities of food.
• Fiery symptoms like hyperacidity, acid indigestion, gastritis, heartburn, hot flashes, acidic saliva, and fever.
• Tikshna agni can also cause skin conditions including rashes, redness, acne, hives etc
• The lips, throat, and palate feel excessively dry after eating and the tongue can develop red margins and tenderness
• Symptoms such as hypoglycemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dysentery, loose stools, ulcerative colitis, and other inflammatory conditions
• Emotionally, tikshna agni tends to trigger angry emotions such as anger, hate, envy, irritability, aggression, need to be in control, being critical and harsh.
• Having a sharp judgment of everyone and everything.
To Balance Tīkşņāgni :
- Drink Cooling drinks such as Coriander seeds tea, Aloe Vera gel, Coconut Water.
- Eat a Pitta pacifying Diet and eat cooling foods such as Cilantro, Coriander, Mint , Fennel etc.
- Add fresh Cilantro in your diet 🍀
- Take 1 tablespoon of fresh Aloe Vera gel / juice a couple of times a day.
- Eliminate pungent peppers as well as pungent foods and spices.
- Do not exercise in the hot afternoon Sun.
- Do cooling breathing exercises called 𝘚𝘩𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘢𝘭𝘪 𝘗𝘳𝘢𝘯𝘢𝘺𝘢𝘮𝘢.
- Exercise moderately. Do not over exert.
- Meditation can be a great way to calm and soothe the mind. Meditation can also be very useful for pacifying intense heated emotions connected with Tishnagni.
Manda Agni ( Hypo Metabolism - Slow, Dull type of Digestive Fire ) : Mandāgni is associated with excess Kapha ie the water and earth elements. In excess, Kapha tends to make the Agni ie Digestive fire sluggish, slow and dull and makes the food passes through the digestive tract very slowly.
The following are some of the signs of Mandāgni :
• White coating on the tongue.
• Heaviness and lethargy after eating.
• Overall grogginess , sluggishness, lack of motivation and enthusiasm.
• Excessive attachment, greed and possessiveness.
• Desire for excessive sleeping.
• Excessive salivation, nausea, hypertension.
• Hyperglycemia, diabetes, hypothyroid, excess weight and obesity.
Balancing Mandāgni :
- Eat a diet mostly of light, spicy, bitter foods
- Eliminate processed sugar
- Drink warm beverages ie warm water, herbal teas etc. Be careful not to overhydrate
- Avoid snacking between meals. Have three square meals a day. Make your lunch the main meal and have smaller breakfast and dinners.
- Get plenty of exercise.
Sama Agni ( The Balanced Digestive Fire ) : The balanced Digestive Fire is a blessed type of Agni to have. It's a state wherein one has optimal health and a calm , clear mind. People having Samāgni also can be very loving. They can transit through seasons and changes in weather quite gracefully. They have strong immunity and have balanced digestion, elimination and absorption.
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*Ayurveda is one of the oldest systems of traditional natural healing in the world. Also known as the sister of Yoga, it stresses deeply on nutrition and lifestyle for optimal health.
Ayurveda believes that there are three bio energies ie Vata ( Air and Ether Elements), Pitta ( Fire and Water ) and Kapha ( Earth and Water) within the body and their balance or imbalance determines the state of good or ill health .