Agni - The Digestive Fire

Ayurveda gives foremost importance to this factor which is responsible for transformation. 

By Dr. Nutan Pakhare

Agni is mainly responsible for transformation. Ayurveda has given foremost importance to balance function of Agni in view of health.Because Agni encompasses all the changes in the body and mind from the gross to the subtle, through digestion and absorption of food that you eat. Agni influences your structure & functions of Tridosha, Dhatu and Mala.

Agni and Pitta are closely related with each other. Their strength hence has a lot of impact on above functions. Pitta is the container and Agni the content. Pitta and Agni both act under the influence of speed of Vata.

According to modern science it affects chemical interactions and neuroendocrine and neuromuscular coordination. It manifests in cellular transformations, assimilation, sensory cognitions and emotional experiences. Agni maintains auto-immune mechanism by destroying unnecessary toxins in every dhatu or each cells. The physical strength is directly related the metabolic processes of the body.

Types of Agni based on structures in the body

  • Jatharagni – 1
  • Panchmahabhtagni – 5
  • Dhatu Agni – 7

The foremost of among them is the Jatharagni (the digestive fire) responsible for digestion. If digestive Agni is low and the capacity is impaired, one may experience pain, uneasiness, feeling of heaviness or gases bubbling, constipation or loose stools.

Imbalance of Agni is the chief cause of diseases in Ayurveda.

It considered jatharagi as hydrochloric acid in the stomach and the digestive enzymes and juices secreted into the stomach, duodenum and the small intestines.


Types of Agni based on digestion & dosha predominance


  1. Vishama Agni: It can be regulated with Vata pacifying diet discipline and lifestyle.
  2. Tikshna Agni: When Agni is sharp, it can be regulated with Pitta pacifying diet discipline and lifestyle.
  3. Manda Agni: When Agni is weakened or slow, it can be regulated with Kapha pacifying diet discipline and lifestyle.

Samagni: When Agni is balanced, it can be maintained with balanced diet for all tridosha.