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Balancing Digestive Fire (Agni)

In Ayurveda, there are two main foundational terms to know: ama and agni. Ama is unprocessed food and/or emotions and agni (in it’s simplest understanding) is our digestive fire. Build up of ama and low agni lead to disease and illness.

The signs of insufficient agni are much more common than those of excess. Gas, burping, belching, sluggish digestion, difficulty waking, scanty or no sweating, and constipation can all be indicators of deficient agni. Overeating is a common way that people inhibit their agni. It can also progressively overtime repress the creation of our digestive fire. Different constitutions are more prone to insufficient agni, with Vata being the most prominent.

Excessive agni can also result in belching, burping, or indigestion. A burning sensation in the digestive tract is a noticeable sign, especially in the stomach or duodenum. Irritability, diarrhea, hyperexcitability, and excessive talking can also occur when agni is increased. Other symptoms include: excessive perspiration, thirst, and other digestive issues. This can happen from too many heating foods and going too long without eating.

Tips to Rebuild Your Agni

  1. Eating smaller, simpler meals is a good way to rekindle your agni.

  2. Fresh lemon or lime in water is a gentle and cleansing stimulant to agni.

  3. Mild ginger tea is a stimulant for slow agniand can help reduce gas and bloating.

  4. Combine cumin, coriander, and fennel is a great way to stimulate and tonify agni.

  5. Listen to your body and its needs! This seems to good to be true. Tap into what your feeling and thinking and choose accordingly!

  6. For a more radical balancing of the digestive system, a consultation with an Ayurvedic Practitioner will help the most. Ayurvedic preparations, such as triphala, amalaki, bibhitaki, haritaki, and pippali can all be excellent tools when used with the guide of a certified professional.

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