Types of Agni (digestive fire) in Ayurveda
'Agni' is the digestive fire that helps in processing what we eat, what we think and what we experience. It is responsible for all types of absorption, assimilation, metabolism and digestion within the body. A balanced agni strengthens immunity. It also exudes cheerfulness, courage, clarity and intelligence in an individual; linking mental well being with digestive health.
The three types of agni related to the different doshas:
Visham Agni is the unsteady or erratic type of digestion. It changes from one day to another or from day to night. It is very unpredictable and its qualities are similar to that of vata dosha.
Tiksnagni is the increased digestive fire. It is capable of digesting large quantities of food, very quickly and still desiring more. Its nature and qualities resemble that of pitta dosha.
Mandagni is the decreased digestive fire. It makes digestion slow and sluggish due to its nature and qualities of kapha dosha.
Samagni is a balanced state of agni. It is the ideal form of agni for the maintenance of good health.
All the other three types of agni are considered unhealthy or imbalanced.
Some tips to maintain a balanced agni in the body :
1) Avoid eating between meals and eat your meals at the right time.
2) Identify and implement the changes in your food habits and lifestyle in accordance to your prakriti.
3) Add spices to your food like ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cumin, asafeotida, cayenne that stimulates the digestive fire.
4) Do not drink water right before or after a meal. If you really wish to then take a sip or two with the meal.
5) Masala tea, mint tea and ginger tea is ideal to stimulate or balance the digestive fire.
6) Do not have excessively oily or spicy food that may aggravate Agni and lead to acid reflux and heartburn.