Agni is the ayurvedic for the biological digestive fire that is responsible for the governance of our metabolic system. When our agni becomes impaired due to a tridoshic imbalance, our metabolisms are immensely affected by it. It inevitably results in the body’s immune system and resilience to any illness being compromised. Undigested and unabsorbed foodstuffs accumulate within the large intestinal tract, transforming into a composite, sticky, vile-smelling substance called ama.
The Flames of Agni
Ama blocks and clogs the intestines and other channels within the body, like the blood vessels, capillaries and lymphatic ducts, whilst undergoing many chemical changes whilst in the body it creates toxins as by-products of these changes. Ultimately, these toxins become absorbed into the bloodstream and then the general circulatory system. Once these toxins have entered the circulatory system they ultimately accumulate in the weakest parts of the body, where they cause blockages, clogging, contractions, weakness and stagnation in the body’s organs and diminish the immunity mechanisms that protect certain tissues.
Eventually, a condition we identify as a disease shows within the now affected tissues and organs and is classified as gastritis, polycystic ovaries, fibromyalgia and so forth. And the source of all these conditions or afflictions is ama!
The development and production of ama have many causes, for example ingesting foods that are incompatible will directly affect your agni due to the toxins or ama created by these poorly digested foods. A symptom of the existence of Ama in the large intestinal tract, small intestinal tract or stomach is a layer of white film coating various parts of the tongue, depending on where the ama is located.
When the function of agni is retarded, it facilitates the development of ama. However, overactive Agni can be equally detrimental as the hyperactive production of Agni burns away the digestive process and the beneficial nutrients biologically found in food, resulting in emaciation, which in turn, can drastically lower the body’s immune system.