Search This Blog


The Concept Of Agni

ayurveda digestion

Agni is biological fire that governs metabolism and it is present in every cell of the body. It is composed of different types of enzymes, hormones and secretions responsible for good digestion. Agni converts food in the form of energy which is responsible for all the vital functions of our body and longevity. It determines which substances enter our cells and tissues and which substances should be removed as waste. 

Digestive abilities are directly proportional to the strength of Agni. When Agni is balanced it maintains healthy condition of the body. Malfunctioning of Agni leads to production of Ama - undigested food that remains in tract and causes toxins and diseases. 

Read more: Formation Of Toxins In Ayurvedic Medicine - Ama.

The heat energy to help digestion contained by Pitta dosha is Agni. Pitta is the cause and Agni is the result. There is no existence of Agni without Pitta. 
While both are hot and light, Agni is subtle and dry, while Pitta is gross and fluid.

13 Types Of Agni

Agni is divided into 13 types:

Jatharagni - one main Agni
Bhutagni - five elemental Agnis
Dhatvagni - seven Agnis present in seven bodily tissues

The most important Agni is Jatharagni. It is responsible for whole process of digestion and absorption in gastrointestinal tract and the 12 other Agnis. It converts the gross food particles into smaller particles which are then able to be absorbed. 
If Jatharagni is proper, the other forms of Agnis under its control are also in equilibrium. It is present inside stomach and duodenum.

Each Bhutagni metabolize the five basic elements that are present in the body's tissues. The action of the Bhutagnis can be equated with the conversion of digested materials in the liver. Liver is their main site. 
Its functions starts immediately after absorption.

Read more: Panchmahabhutas - The Five Great Elements

Dhatvagni metabolize Dhatus– supportive tissues of the body. This is biochemical process that includes anabolic and catabolic activity. Dhatvagni performs synthesis of new tissues and yields energy for the function of tissue.
Each Dhatu has its own Agni to metabolize nutrients supplied to them trough the channels of circulation. Dhatvagnis are located in its own bodily tissues. 

- Rasagni is the fire of Rasa dhatu (plasma tissue). 
- Raktagni is the fire of Rakta dhatu (blood tissue).
- Mamsagni is the fire of Mamsa dhatu (muscle tissue).
- Medagni is the fire of Meda dhatu (fat tissue).
- Asthagni is the fire of Asthi dhatu (bone tissue).
- Majjagni is the fire of Majja dhatu (bone marrow and nervous tissue).
- Shukragni is the fire of Shukra dhatu (reproductive tissue).

Read more: The Seven Dhatus

Different states of Agni (Jatharagni)

- Samagni (normal secretion of digestive enzymes) 
- Vishamagni (irregular secretion of digestive enzymes)
- Tikshnagni (hypersecretion of digestive enzymes) 
- Mandagni (hyposecretion of digestive enzymes)

Samagni is the normal state of Agni which digests and assimilates the food properly at the proper time. This increases the quality of the supportive tissues of the body.

Visamagni is abnormal state of Agni disturbed by Vata dosha, which changes in its functioning producing flatulence, pain in abdomen, obstruction to the free elimination of feces, enlarged spleen, abdominal tumor and colic. 
There are alternating cycles of strong appetite with loss of appetite, and there is a mixture of digested and undigested food.

Tikshnagni is abnormal state of Agni disturbed by Pitta dosha, which digests large quantities of food earlier than it should. 
It produces burning sensation inside the abdomen, belching, thirst, bleeding, abdominal colic, anemia, diarrhea, hepatitis, hyperacidity, jaundice, pyuria, tuberculosis and vertigo.

Mandagni is abnormal type of Agni disturbed by Kapha dosha, which cannot digest adequate quantities of food. 
It produces heaviness of the abdomen, difficulty in breathing, asthma, bronchitis, poor appetite, weight gain, excessive mucus production, congestion, poor blood circulation and fatigue.

If the Agni of the person is vitiated, the whole metabolism in his body will be disturbed which leads to accumulation of Ama – the root of all diseases.

Symptoms of proper functioning of Agni

- Good immunity
- Strength
- Healthy skin
- Normal evacuation of bowel and bladder 
- Proper functioning of all sensory organs
- Clear mind
- Perfect health

Moderate malfunctioning


- Loss of appetite
- Lethargy
- Recurrent infection
- Incomplete evacuation of bowel and bladder 
- Improper functioning of sense organs
- Depression

Severe malfunctioning

- Accumulation of fluid in body
- Loss of energy
- Weak immunity 
- Stiffness or inhibited movement
- Soreness at the roots of the hair
- Improper sleep
- Dull eyes

The key to healthy Agni is the intake of easily digested, freshly cooked, pure and compatible foods eaten at the appropriate times. Understanding the concept of Agni is very important for preventive and curative purpose. 

Read more about Ayurvedic nutrition:

Improper Food Combining In Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Dietary Guidelines 

The Ultimate Food List For All Doshas

Kitchari - Ayurvedic Healing Dish

Author: Ayurveda Tutorials

No comments:

Post a Comment