Agnimandya is itself considered an independent digestive disease and a cause to a huge number of other diseases in Ayurveda. Agni- the digestive fire is responsible for the transformation of food we take into energy and nourishment to body tissues. It is responsible for our strength, energy, complexion, health, sustainability as well as immunity. There are four forms of the Agni – Samagni, Visamagni, Mandagni, and Tikshagni; among which Mandagni or Agnimandya is referred to as the root cause of all diseases. As Acharya Vagbhata quotes- “Roga Sarvepi Mandegnau”
The idea of Agni and its type are discussed in our previous article Agni: The transformative fire. Here in this article, we will discuss, Agnimandya as a pathological condition, a disease.
Agni literally translates to fire. Manda means weakness. So, Agnimandya means the weak digestive fire. While an ignited digestive fire is responsible for the overall good health of a person, a weak form of the same is a disease and origin of diseases. When the fire and the digestion are weak, even light forms of food taken are not digested well resulting in indigestion. And when food is not digested well, the absorption, assimilation and tissues formation, nourishment and functioning are affected.
- Intake of excess, and unhabituated food
- Dry, cold and heavy foods
- Untimely food intake
- Day sleep and night awakening
- Control of the unsupressible urges
- Incompatibility of panchakarma procedures
- Excessive worry, fear, anger, jealousy
- Excessive intake of tea, coffee, tobacco, areca nut
- Kapha vitiating food and habits
When the abovementioned Aetiology along with the Kapha vitiating food and habits are consumed, the Jatharagni becomes polluted by Kapha, becomes weak and unable to transform the food. This leads to the formation of unmetabolized products called ama, which in time course leads to a number of diseases.
The three types of Agnimandya are described as Vataja, Pittaja, and Kaphaja type according to the dosha dominance in relation to cause and the symptoms.
Know The Types Of Agnimandya
1. Vataja Agnimandya
pricking type of pain in abdomen, fullness or distension of abdomen, constipation, dryness of mouth, weakness and body ache
2. Pittaja Agnimandya
Increased thirst, acidic eructation, burning sensation, anorexia, perspiration and vertigo
3. Kaphaja Agnimandya-
heaviness in the body, sweet taste in the mouth, sweet eructation, nausea and vomiting, lethargy, stiffness
Agnimandya is a curable disease, but never to be neglected. If the symptoms are neglected, it can lead to other serious problems and if the fire gets completely diminished, it results in death.
How To Manage Agnimandya?
Nidana Pariwarjana, the eradication of the cause is the first line of treatment of every disease. Because it is mostly an unbalanced lifestyle-induced problem, correcting the food habits and behaviors help to preserve our Agni.
- The digestive fire enhancing as well as digestive preparations shall be taken. Ghrita is best in enhancing and stimulating the digestive fire.
- If the doshas are vitiated to a greater extent, they are to be eliminated by Sodhana therapy, called panchakarma.
- Agnimandya induced by dryness of intestines may be managed by Ghrita and oil prepared with the digestive herbs.
- Polyherbal Ayurvedic medicines like chitrakadi vati, shankha vati, lavanabhaskara churna, hingwastak churna, avipattikar churna are given.
- Black pepper, dry ginger, cloves, ajwain, rock salt from our kitchen provides a great remedy to the condition.