Small intestine and the fire Agni
Ayurveda associates the abnormal function of the small intestine with deviations in the digestive fire. This fire Agni brakes down the consumed food in the stomach and in the small intestine, turning it into simple substances, so that the useful ones can be absorbed, and the others can be eliminated from the body through the colon.
In addition, Agni destroys various pathogenic bacteria and viruses that may eventually enter the body with food. When the digestive fire gets weaker, the degradation and absorption of the substances becomes incomplete, respectively, the feeding of the cells through the metabolism. This leads to tissue damage, damage to organs, decreased immunity.
The penetration of bacteria and viruses can cause different intestinal inflammations. If the small intestine doesn’t absorb nutrients well, various gastric disorders occur, affecting the entire digestive system, disturbing the excretory functions. All these risks are additionally increased by the formed toxins – when the food is not degraded completely, then food residues start to release poisons.
They clog up the energy channels and centers, pulling out of balance all three Doshas, leading to inflammatory processes and various diseases. When Agni is over-intensified, then “burns” occur, which also disturb the metabolism, and this leads to acids and feeling of burning.
It should be mentioned that there are different types of abnormalities in the activity of Agni, respectively, in the functions of the small intestine. These abnormalities can be caused by different reasons and they can appear without organic changes in the small intestine.
The opposite is also possible – in the case of organic changes, no functional disturbances occurred. Therefore, for any abnormalities in the activity of the small intestine, first organic changes should be sought and, after all possibilities are excluded, then they should be considered to be entirely functional.
How to stimulate Agni
Agni should be stimulated gradually, according to its natural activity during the day for the respective Dosha. Moreover, you shouldn’t activate the digestive fire on our own, if you are not feeling well and especially, if you feel pain – for example, you may suffer from ulcer or other disease requiring medical supervision.
In general, the digestive fire biologically is set to be weak in the morning, most strong at noon, and moderate in the evening.
However, there are some specifics related to Agni for the individual Doshas. For example, breakfast for Vata should be abundant, the lunch – lighter, while for Pitta, the lunch is the main meal, and the breakfast should be light. For Kapha type, they may even not have lunch, after a light breakfast at 9:00 a.m., because their digestion is slow.
There are differences in the eating hours. For Pitta and Kapha the dinner may be late, for Vata it is recommended dinner to be consumed earlier. All this is related to the diet and, accordingly, the use of herbs to stimulate Agni. They also have to be in accordance with the body type, but there are some universal that are useful for all Doshas.
The most popular among them in the ginger. Preferably fresh, but it is also offered in powder form. Ginger tea can be drunk before, during and after eating. For Pitta is good to be consumed with sugar, for Kapha – with honey.
30 minutes before eating or just before it, it is good to eat a piece of fresh ginger with a few drops of lemon and some slat.
People of Vata type can eat it grinded with salt. For them and for the Kapha type, the daily use is recommended, because their digestive fire is weaker. Another way to use ginger is as a spice – dry or fresh – by adding it to a variety of dishes: for example, from soups and stewed vegetables to sauces and cakes.