Concept of Digestion in Ayurveda
Concept of Digestion in Ayurveda:
Also known as Concept of ‘Agni’ (Digestive Fire) and ‘Ama’(Toxins) in Ayurveda:
Agni is the root of the English word “ignite”.
Agni or the “digestive fire,” is one of the most important principles in the ancient science of Ayurveda. It refers broadly to our ability of processing all food (solid and liquid) in our intake. For you to understand this concept, you can compare ‘Agni’ to what the Modern Medical science calls hydrochloric acid, pancreatic juice, bile and other juices. These are responsible for digestion and absorption of essential nutrients, vitamins and other elements your body and mind need on a daily basis to perform their activities normally.
If your Agni is strong, you would be able to digest food efficiently and the nutrients are effectively distributed to form healthy body tissues, at the same time eliminating the waste products (as mentioned above). Thus all the other hormonal activities would be normal and you have a natural balance in your body, mind and consciousness.
On the other hand, if our ‘Agni’ is weak, our body won’t digest well, creating toxic residue or undigested food material called ‘Ama’. This toxic undigested food or Ama if not taken care of, soon lodges deep in our cells, giving rise to various chronic metabolic disorders like Diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disorders, Arthritis, Alzheimer’s diseases, Insomnia, leucorrhea, dysmenorrhea, fibromalgia, migrane, asthma, gout, etc.
For e.g. when this ‘Ama’ or Toxic Residue starts accumulating in one or many joints it hampers the functioning and movement of those joints, which if not detoxified from the body can lead to various types of Arthritis and joint disorder. Thus, leading to slow deterioration of the body and ultimately chronic disease.
Thus depending on the body’s individual constitution which is determined genetically, this Toxic residue would get stuck in the weakest part of our body and thus create a perfect base for major diseases to slowly pop up.
For further understanding of how a disease would actually progress please check – Six stages of the disease.