Concept of Agni in Ayurveda

Being one of the panchamahabhoota, agni (fire) has the characteristic that it cannot exist without a base. In the body it exists in pitta dosha.

Agni is responsible for the following functions:

Digestion - indigestion (Pakti- Apakti)

Vision- absence of vision (Darshanam- Adarshanam)

Degree of heat (Matra- Amatratvamushmanala)

Normal -abnormal complexion (Prakrit - Vikarit varnam)

Prowess- fear (Shaurya- Bhaya)

Anger - exholoration (krodham- Harsham)

Confusion- clarity of mind (Moha- Prasadan)

For the metabolic processes in the body, there are three main groups of biological factors, probably exhibiting enzymatic functions (agnis).

Jatharagni or Koshthagni:

Present in the pachak pitta. It is responsible for the digestion and the absorption of nutritious substances during this process.

The process of digestion (ahar pachan) is divided in three stages, which collectively is called awastha paka and can be divided in the following.

Amavstha (Madhuravastha) Paka - in stomach

Pachymanavastha (Amlavstha) Paka - in 'grahani' (Duodenum)

Pakavstha (Katuavstha) Paka - in small and large intestine

As the rasa changes in different phase of digestion these phase of digestion are called avsthapaka. At the end of the digestion the digested food have their original rasa which is in accordance with the rasa of the ingested food. This is called as Nistha paka .It is also called popularly as Vipaka.

Madhur rasa & Lavan rasa have Madhura Vipaka, Amla rasa have amla vipaka and Katu, Tikta & Kashaya rasa have Katu vipaka.

Panchabhutagnis :

In ayurveda it is believed that everything is made up of five elements and so is the body. These five elements are the panchmahabhoota and are responsible for constituting every living being in the world. Agni transforms the Asharir Mahabhoota (external mahabhoot) to Sharir Mahabhoota. Example - When we drink water Jala Mahabhoota (water) dominates and later the water is transformed by Jala Mahabhoota agni to the Sharir Jala Containing five types of biological factors, it is responsible for the processing of the five basic elements into a composition useful to the body.

Dhatvagnis : The third group contains seven types, each for the assimilation of the seven tissues This assimilation takes place successively. From the absorbed nutritious substance, plasma (rasa) is produced first; from plasma, blood (rakta) is formed, then muscular tissue (mamsa), adipose tissue (meda), bony tissue (asthi), bone marrow (majjan) and the reproductive cells (shukra).

Besides performing all the metabolic functions agni takes care of digestion (ahar pachan) and in the absence of ahar it acts on the ama pachan i.e. properly metabolize the improper metabolites. When ahar and ama are absence Agni does the function of dhatu i.e. rasa, rakta etc. Digestion of dhatu is a fatal condition in which dhatus are broken down to get energy. The reduction or deficiency of the quantum of dhatu in the human body leads to the disease called 'Kshaya roga'.

In ayurveda it is believed that all the pathology occurs due to the impairment in Agni (Kaya). Hence the correction of Kaya i.e. Agni is called the treatment or 'Kaya Chikitsa' in ayurveda

Agnis are also classified into four categories according to how they manifest in the human being:

Tikshnagni -sharp,

Mandagni - mild,

Vishamagni - irregular, and

Samagni - regular or Balanced.

About The Author

Dr.Shashikant Patwardhan is practicing as 'Ayurvedic Consultant' for last 25 years at the city -Sangli , Maharashtra -India. He has done his graduation in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery [B.A.M&S] and post graduate Fellowship of Faculty of Ayurvedic Medicine [F.F.A.M.] From Tilak Ayurved Mahavidyalaya, Pune University , India, during the years 1970-1976. He is a chief editor and Ayurvedic Consultant of a 'Comprehensive website on Ayurveda - http://www.ayurveda-foryou.com He is an author of many books on Ayurveda and is first to publish them in ebook format.Up till now he has written four ebooks - 1. Ayurvedic Cure of Diabetes 2. Home Remedies in Ayurveda 3. Treat Common Diseases with Ayurveda & Yoga and 4. Ayurvedic Principles Revealed He regularly writes articles on various topics in Ayurveda in Ayurvedic health magazines and alternative medicine sites.

[email protected]

In The News:

America – the alternative  times-advocate.com

Neroli: The Fragrance that Exudes Contentment

One whiff of this unique fragrance will be enough to... Read More

How Visualization Is Different from What You May Have Tried for Pain Relief

You've probably tried everything you can think of to ease... Read More

Kyolic Clears Constipation and Strengthens Your Colon

Garlic is another wonder herb. It has action in all... Read More

Can I Be Hypnotised?

If you are conscious, have an IQ higher than about... Read More

What are the Best Roles for Western and Alternative Medicine?

I think it's very confusing for patients to decide what... Read More

Getting Rid Of Gallstones Naturally

The gallbladder is a small pear-shaped organ that sits on... Read More

Anxiety

Anxiety is a pernicious little devil; it can hold us... Read More

Contact Lenses Explained And Compared To Glasess

Many people over the past ten years have changed from... Read More

Ayurveda: A Natural Health 101 Article

What It IsAyurveda is the traditional medical system of sub-continental... Read More

Superb Skin Disorder Relief found in Common Diaper Rash Ointment

"Accidental" discoveries are made each day. Common substances can sometimes... Read More

What Exactly is Alternative Therapy and How Does It Boost Your Health and Well-being?

My first yoga retreatI never wanted it to stop. It... Read More

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils for Physical and Psychological Well-being

What is Aromatherapy?It is the practice of using volatile plant... Read More

What Type of Arthritis Do You Have?

Arthritis dates back to prehistoric times and is seen all... Read More

Garlic ? My Favorite Healing Herb

Garlic is a wonderful healing herb and, unlike many of... Read More

Vibrational Medicine

Vibrational medicine attempts to treat people with various forms of... Read More

Aromatherapy for Common Ailments

Aromatherapy works in several ways to combat common ailments. Essential... Read More

How Many Bowel Movements Should You Have Each Day?

Most doctors don't ask you about your regularity. They may... Read More

A Constipation Home Remedy - Cayenne

Cayenne is a constipation home remedy that is effective in... Read More

Exercise: Tai Chi for Mind, Body, and Spirit

The practice of Tai Chi combines flowing movement and breathing... Read More

Massage Magic - Music & Touch

What Massage Therapists Do!Have you ever thought what massage therapists... Read More

Hypnosis Cures For Nail Biting

One little-thought-of application for hypnosis is to help people stop... Read More

A Better Hope for Alcohol & Drug Problems

People with alcohol and drug problems have been done a... Read More

The Making of Essential Oils ? Steam Distillation, Absolutes, and CO2s Explained

Aromatherapy Goes 'High Tech'New methods of essential oil extraction are... Read More

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a mental and emotional condition that... Read More

An Udderly Ricidulous Home Remedy

Home Remedies - Facts or Quacks?That's what I recently asked... Read More