When considering agni and digestion within the GI tract of the body, we focus our attention on 13 specific agnis:
Jatharagni is the agni present in the stomach and small intestine. Jatharagni is considered to be the first agni because each and every nutrient that one ingests comes to the stomach first, before traveling through to the small intestine.
Jatharagni is important for the digestion of food which is composed of the five basic elements: Ether, Air, Fire, Water, and Earth.
Jatharagni transforms this food for proper utilization by the respective tissues (7 Dhatus). Jatharagni separates food material into usable and waste products in the human body.
Jatharagni is subdivided into four categories according to its state of digestion in the human being.
Vishama agni (Variable)
- Here the digestive fire is influenced by Vata. Because of the variable nature of Vata, fluctuations of appetite and loss of appetite are common. Bloating and constipation are common symptoms of Vishamagni. Cholera, diarrhea, dysentery, enlarged spleen, abdominal tumor, gas, and variable appetite are examples of the results of vishamagni.
Tikshna agni (High)
- Here the digestive fire is influenced by pitta. In these cases, agni is usually high and both pitta and agni share similar qualities. In these cases, immunity against diseases is good, but because of pitta’s fiery nature, excessive, and unbearable appetite is common. There are increasing chances of developing diarrhea, ulcers, and building toxins in the blood. Hyperacidity, diarrhea, hemorrhage, jaundice, sour belching, tuberculosis, UTI complications, vertigo, jaundice, and malabsorption are all recognized outcomes of tikshagni.
Manda agni (Low)
- Here the digestive fire is influenced by kapha. Because of the slow moving nature of kapha, poor appetite, sluggish metabolism, and tendency towards weight gain are commonly seen. Excessive mucus or phlegm production and congestion are also common. Blood circulation is poor and one can easily get attacks of chest congestion to sinusitis. Bronchial asthma, bronchitis, cough, excessive salivation from the mouth, fatigue, and nausea are results of mandagni.
Sama agni (Balanced)
- A balanced digestive fire is characterised by a strong and appealing appetite that is easily satisfied with normal food intake. Digestive functions are proper; there are no episodes of gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Samagni is largely responsible for human body nutrition and building a strong foundation of the seven tissues (Dhatus).
Bhutagni is present within the Liver and helps process the five Bhutas, or elements, that are found within the digested food-stuff that starts traveling through the small intestine.
These five bhutagnis transform the food in such a way that these elemental components can be absorbed and utilized by the seven tissues (dhatus) respectively.
All the seven tissues of the body contain their own agni to metabolize the nutrients supplied to them through channels of circulation.
- Rasagni present in the Rasa Dhatu
- Raktagni present in the Rakta Dhatu
- Mamsagni present in the Mamsa Dhatu
- Medagni present in the Meda Dhatu
- Asthyagni present in the Asthi Dhatu
- Majjagni present in the Majja Dhatu
- Shukragni present in the Shukra Dhatu
Without these key digestive agnis, we would not be able to nourish our bodies or process and absorb all our essential nutrients. These agnis are important!