Agni, the digestive fire

Agni, the digestive fire

According to Ayurveda, our digestive fire, or Agni, is at the base of our health. Agni means ‘fire’ in Sanskrit, and is like a flame that is burning inside each of us, digesting everything we take in: food, thoughts, experiences, and impulses from our environment.

The ability to transform

Agni can transform. And that is what happens during digestion. Everything we take in is 'transformed', or metabolised by Agni into nutrients for our tissues.

If we take the right food, in the right amount and at the right time, then it contributes to our health and can prevent disease. And then our immune system will be optimal. Because according to Ayurveda, an Agni that is out of balance can be the cause of disease.

The cause of digestive issues and disease

When Agni gets out of balance, it can give problems in the digestive tract that can be experience like stomach ache, constipation, diarrhoea, acid reflux, and/or bloated feeling.

The digestive power can become less, and digestive waste products can stay behind in the digestive tract, creating blockages, and/or body tissues not getting enough nourishment, making them weak and prone to disease.

How to maintain a balanced digestive fire?

Here are a few tips:

  • Eat at the same time every day;
  • Make lunch your main meal. Then your digestive fire is at its most powerful state of the day;
  • Eat your food warm, cooked, and fresh. Avoid prepared meals and fast food as much as you can;
  • Drink warm water or herbal teas in between meals and avoid drinking (ice)cold water, also in Summer;
  • Make the right combinations when choosing your meal. Read more about food combinations to avoid;
  • Use Ghee for cooking and baking. Read more about why Ghee is so good for you;
  • Use spices that stimulate Agni, like ginger, black pepper, cumin, mustardseed, and Himalaya salt.