There is a saying in Ayurveda that a person is as old as his or her Agni. According to charaka Samhita, one of the great classics of Ayurvedic Medicine:
“The span of life, health, immunity, energy, metabolism, complexion, strength, enthusiasm, luster, and the vital breath are all dependent on Agni (bodily fire).
One lives on a long healthy life if it is functioning properly, becomes sick if it is deranged, or dies if this fire is extinguished. Proper nourishment of the body, Dhatus,
Ojas, etc., depends upon the proper functioning of Agni in the digestion.”
“The five types of Agni, corresponding to ether, air, fire, water and earth, digest the respective components of the food…. In this way, balanced Agni cooks the
appropriately chosen and timely consumed food, and leads to promotion of health….
Agni is necessary for the normal process of digestion, and the subtle energy of Agni transforms the life less molecules of food, water, and air into the conciousness of the cell”
Agni is sometimes mistakenly regards the Jathar Agni (digestive-fire) alone, but it is not what is happening, although it is an important Agni, there are 39 more Agnis in the body.
The Bhuta (elements) Agni (in the liver)
Fifteen Dosha Agni (all the sub-doshas)
Kloma Agni (of the pancreas)
Jathru Agni (Throid and Thymus)
Dhatu agni (7 tissues)
Pilu agni (outside the cell)
Pithara Agni (of the cell level)
Indriya Agni (of the senses)
Mala Agni (for each Mala – Urine, Faeces, Sweat)
When discussing the Jathar Agni (digestive-fire), we consider 4 states of Agni:
1. Sama Agni – When the Agni is in optimal state. No Ama is present, Malas are evacuated in time, digestion is good, and there is energy and not heaviness after food.
2. Visham Agni – Agni which is governed by Vata. It is changeable, gas will be indicated, also gas which will not be evacuated, appetite is variable, bloating, constipation (usually hard), pains in the stomach, cracking joints, dry skin, insomnia, low-back aches.
3. Tikshna Agni – Agni which is governed by Pitta. It is a strong Agni, diarehea or many evacuations of stools (4-5 times a day), dryness in the lips and throat after consuming food; heartburns and heat-waves my occur, the person will be hungry more often and usually will look for food.
4. Manda Agni – Agni which is governed by Kapha. It is a slow Agni, sleepy Agni, lethargic. The person will feel heavy and bloated even when not consuming food. Feeling of adding fat easily, phlegm, productive coughs, heaviness in the stomch area, over drooling, loss of appetite, edemas.
Agni – God of Fire
* Knowledge from Vasant Lad, The complete book of Ayurvedic home remedies.