Poor digestion, the root of all health disorders

Poor digestion, the root of all health disorders

One of the pillars of a healthy life is digestion. According to Ayurveda, our ability to digest food is directly linked to our state of health and illness.

This is because digestive fire is related to the body’s ability to build or destroy the tissues of the human body.

This force in our body that is responsible for carrying out digestion in Ayurveda is known as Agni, which we can translate as fire. Fire is the element of transformation and transmutation of a substance from one state to another, a process known as metabolism.

The metabolism can act in two ways, it has two pathways – catabolism and anabolism. Catabolism is those transformation reactions through which the decomposition of a substance into smaller or simpler particles or elements is obtained as a result. For its part, anabolism is the process by which new structures or more complex tissues are built from simpler or smaller components or particles.

The force of Agni is present wherever there are chemical or biochemical reactions, and it is part of the Pitta dosha, so alterations in this dosha influence variations in Agni.

Proper digestion is considered to be one in which the digested or transformed substance leaves no residue, and is simply transformed. When toxic residues remain in the transformation, they are considered by-products of poor digestion, and said substance is called AMA, the base substance of all physical, mental, and energetic diseases, according to Ayurveda.

There are four states in which our Agni, or digestive fire, can be found: normal, variable, low, or high. The normal or balanced Agni is called Samagni – it is not too high or low, and it is stable. It allows us to properly digest all food, without leaving any toxic residue. It is the state of Agni that allows building a healthy physical, mental and energetic body.

The variable Agni is called Vishmagni, which is sometimes high and sometimes low; it is characteristic of people with Vata-type imbalances; it tends to have peaks in which the digestive fire is very high and, as a consequence, it generates throughout the day or the week moments with a sensation of voracious appetite, and other moments in which there is no appetite at all.

These people tend to have low body weight, and difficulties creating tissue in the body. Your treatment will include plants that stabilise Agni, a divided diet throughout the day, and body therapies that calm the Vata force.

Poor digestion, the root of all health disorders

For its part, a constantly high Agni is called Tikshagni, characteristic of Pitta-type imbalances. This generates a complete digestion of food, with an insatiable appetite, and if there is not something to consume, it can generate wear of body tissues, such as fat, as well as burning indigestion, and consumption of the stomach lining or the digestive tract.

The therapeutics will include herbal formulas with plants that calm the Agni, without altering the Pitta force, regulate the amount of physical and mental activity, and cooling body therapies.

Finally, when the person has a constantly low appetite, his digestive fire is low, which is called Mandagni. This type of Agni is characteristic of Kapha-type imbalances. People with such an imbalance tend to feel heavy and tired after eating.

They tend to have a slow metabolism, and if their diet exceeds their digestibility, they tend to gain weight and generate a lot of AMA. Your treatment will include any action that leads to movement and heat production, plus hot and spicy herbal formulas.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that the state of our digestive Agni impacts the Agni of our mind, considering the existence of a relationship between the way we digest our food and the way we digest our thoughts and emotions. Also, a reciprocal relationship between the two is described, so that working on the treatment of one of the two indirectly works on the other.

The balance of the digestive fire is a fundamental step towards the rebalancing of our health. We are not what we eat, but what we digest. Namaste.

Dr. Silvestre González

Ayurveda orientated physician

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