According to Ayurveda, our digestive system, or Agni, is at the base of our health. Agni means ‘fire’ in Sanskrit, and is like a flame that is burning inside each of us.
Agni can transform. And that is what happens during digestion. Everything we take in, like our food, but also thoughts, experiences, and impulses from our environment, is transformed by Agni in nutrients for our tissues. If we take the right food, in the right amount and at the right time, then it contributes to our health and can prevent that we fall ill. And then our immune system will be optimal.
Agni can also get out of balance, which can give digestive problems like stomach ache, constipation, diarrhoea, acid reflux, and/or bloated feeling. Digestive power can become less, and digestive waste products can stay behind in the digestive tract, creating blockages, and/or body tissues not getting enough nourishment, making them weak and prone to disease. According to Ayurveda, an Agni that is out of balance can be the cause of disease.
How to maintain a balanced Agni? Here are a few tips to maintain a healthy Agni:
- Eat at the same time every day;
- Make lunch your main meal. Then your Agni is at its most powerful state of the day;
- Only eat when hungry;
- Eat your food warm, cooked, and fresh;
- Make the right combinations when choosing your meal. Read more about food combinations to avoid;
- Use Ghee for cooking and baking. Read more about why Ghee is so good for you;
- Drink warm water or herbal teas in between meals and avoid drinking (ice)cold water, also in Summer;
- Cook and bake with spices that stimulate Agni, like ginger, black pepper, cumin, fennelseed, mustardseed, and Himalaya salt.