Enliven The Fire of Agni


The single most important factor that predicts whether or not you have toxic ama build up and tissue damage leading to disease is, according to MVM, good digestion, or in Vedic medicine terms, agni (ugh-nee.).

The Charaka Samhita clearly states: “All disease occurs due to imbalance in agni.”

Now I realize that “good digestion” may sound like an anti-climax. What healthy woman thinks for one moment about her digestion? Yet that is precisely the point. If you have good digestion, you don’t have to think about it. And generally, you don’t have to think about your health either, because with good digestion, your body will most likely be strong and vital.

Agni, however, is more than simply good digestion, which you may know as the absence of gas, bloating, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, or other bothersome maladies of the digestive system. Loosely translated, agni means fire, a powerful burning force that governs all digestive and metabolic processes throughout your entire body.

It’s agni that is responsible for breaking down your food into the smallest possible particles of fat, carbohydrate and protein for rapid absorption and delivery to your cells, and agni again that lends fire to the same process within the cell (cellular metabolism). Agni governs burning your food for energy at every level, which includes the activity of all our enzymes, the deactivation of toxins by the liver, and all other internal transformative processes. Most important, a well-stoked agni, unhampered by any dampening factors, means your body runs efficiently and the accumulation of ama is kept at bay.

How then does the fire of your agni get dampened, and how does this cause unhealthy ama build up in your tissues? The first factor in dampening your agni is your doshas get out of balance, usually due to late nights, dinners on the run, midnight pizza sprees and constant stress. As you may have experienced, good digestion is usually one of the first victims. When your digestion is “off,” the acids and enzymes in your stomach and small intestine are too weak to do their job of breaking down your food and providing your body with vital nourishment. Even worse, undigested food molecules are absorbed and travel in your bloodstream until delivered to the various tissues of your body where, as ama, they accumulate to do serious damage to your tissues.

On their way to your tissues, these misshapen, partially-digested ama molecules travel through progressively smaller and smaller channels of the circulatory system until they are stopped by a narrow passageway and get “stuck.” This site of blockage can be in a tiny blood vessel, in a narrow gap between cells, in passageways lining the cell’s membrane, or somewhere inside the cell itself.

The bottom line is that ama, in its globular, awkward form, tends to stay wherever it lodges, clogging critical channels that would otherwise conduct nutrients and hormones into the cells of your tissues. The blockage also prevents cellular wastes from leaving the cell. By stopping these vital activities, the build up of ama can lead to damage, inflammation, and premature aging of the tissue involved, not to mention overall fatigue, aches, pains and discomfort.