Jan 27, 2015


AGNI  The proper digestion of food is fundamental to health and the element fire or pitta is responsible for the digestion of food and metabolism. Pitta is the force of transformation, it is the energy which takes raw material i.e. food and water and turns it into a substance which the body can use. Agni is vital to life, everything living has fire even disease has fire, a negative fire which fights against the fire of health. The fundamental cause of disease is inadequate or too much agni - digestive Fire. 

There are 13 different agnis defined in Ayurveda. The digestive fire of food imparts its energy to the whole body and this is the main agni. The waste product from this transformation is stool. Each of the five elements has an agni specific to it and these reside in the liver. These agnis are necessary for building the related tissues in the body and if their function is impaired the element in the body will not be formed properly. Each of the 7 tissues or dhatus has its own agni which is responsible for the proper formation of tissue. 

The state of agni is crucial in determining optimum health and it can be in any of four states high is pitta, low is kapha and variable is vata and balanced which is optimum. Too much fire in the body causes disease and in digestion it causes hyperacidity. Excessive heat is carried to other parts of the body by vata and can cause, skin diseases such as psoriasis, Inflammation and bleeding. When the fire is burning too low, food is not digested properly and creates a toxic material called ama. Ama is carried around the body by vata.

There are seven layers of transformation in the process of bringing nutrition to the tissues. The first layer is Lymph or plasma, all tissues depend on lymph for nutrition, lymph becomes blood, a concentrated form of plasma. The second layer is blood which becomes muscle, a concentrated form of blood. The third layer is muscle which becomes fat a concentrated form of muscle. The fourth layer is fat which becomes bone a concentrated form of fat. The fifth layer is bone which becomes bone marrow a concentrated form of bone. The sixth layer is bone marrow which becomes reproductive fluid a concentrated form of bone marrow. 

Reproductive fluid is a concentrated form of all the tissues. It takes 35 days to develop reproductive fluid, but plasma is developed daily. Each issue has a stable and unstable aspect and the purified portion of formative tissue forms the next layer. This way there is an on-going flow of nutrition and transformation through the seven tissues. Impairment of nutrition of one tissue will be reflected in the next, and agni has to be exact, If it’s too low the tissue produced will be low quality, if it is too high it will burn up. It must be balanced otherwise there will be an imbalance in the system.


The doshas create the tissues. Vata is in bone, Pitta is in blood, Kapha is in all the tissues. Each tissue has its own particular function and can be aggravated in the same way that the doshas aggravate. Each tissue produces a waste product and a secondary tissue in the process of transformation.

According To Ayurveda & Yoga - Ann Holaday     

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