As Ayurvedic Practitioners all around the world will know, we are not what we eat, but “we are what we digest.”
Eating and digestion are daily, life-sustaining events and a healthy digestive system is valued in Ayurveda as a cornerstone of well-being and every disease is believed to arise from inefficient digestion.
The fiery metabolic energy of digestion, known as Agni, allows us to adapt food whilst clearing the body of wastes and toxins (ama). It transforms dense physical substances into the more delicate forms of energy the body needs to be vital, generate core (interior) warmth, and produce a clear and focussed mind.
There are many types of Agni in the body. Within the digestive system, Agni determines the production of acid in the stomach (where it’s known as jathar Agni), bile acids in the liver (bhuta Agni), and sugar-digesting pancreatic enzymes (kloma Agni).
It also regulates the thyroid gland and the metabolic transformations of the tissues.
This might sound complex. But simply put, when Agni is weak, there is not enough digestive power to metabolise food into energy.
You want a balanced Agni that is not too weak nor too excessive. The quality of Agni varies depending upon one’s dosha: vata, pitta, or kapha. In vata and kapha types, Agni tends to be weak and the digestive system “cold,” sluggish, or irregular, which can result in malabsorption disorders, chronic constipation, loose stools, and gas. In pittas, the fires of Agni can become excessive and cause heartburn, acid reflux, colitis, and other burning sensations.
Cooking with herbs and spices used in the healing tradition of Ayurveda teach us that health and wellbeing depends upon our ability to absorb everything we take in from the environment. This includes not only tangible substances like food and drink, but also our experiences, emotions, and the impressions we take in via our sensory entrance ways, namely our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and skin. Agni is the Sanskrit term for the “digestive fire” that breaks down the food and other things we ingest from the environment, assimilating what is useful, and eliminating the rest.
An easy way to support digestive Agni is through the daily use of culinary herbs and spices, used to increase Agni before and during meals. There is no need to distinguish between the culinary and medicinal uses of herbs and spices. In Ayurvedic cooking, it is believed that within them lies the linctus of optimal health and long life, aiding digestion and ensuring that more energy and fewer toxins are taken into the body.
Ayurveda recommends a variety of practical techniques for keeping our digestive fire strong. Incorporating these practices into your daily life can strengthen Agni and, in turn, facilitate weight loss, improve the metabolism of food, and minimize uncomfortable GI symptoms.
During your consultation and treatment you will learn many powerful ways to strengthen your Agni and learn how to release emotional pain which affects our complex digestive systems; Proper digestion, with a strong Agni, plays a central role in our physical and emotional wellbeing.
You can also learn how to herbs and spices correctly during one of our cookery workshops aimed at uncovering the Root Causes of Digestive Issues and aiding and vastly improving symptoms such as:
Back Pain, bad skin, a racing heart, lumps in throat, citric acid and dairy intolerance and wheezing/breathing problems.
Changing to the Ayurvedic way of diet and nutrition will change your life.