Agni is fire. It’s responsible for transforming one substance into another. In the body, these are all of the biochemical reactions that make up metabolism.
The most obvious example of metabolism is digestion. Proper digestion yields usable materials to build tissues and normal waste products. Poor digestion results in a toxic residue called ama. Ama is a contributing factor in the disease process. (If you want to learn more about ama and how to reduce, there is a previous post on this!)
The state of agni is often reflected in a persons body weight and appetite. Low agni is often seen in individuals who are overweight and have a low appetite. High agni is reflected in those who have a strong appetite and tend to be underweight. Balanced Agni is demonstrated by a moderate appetite and a healthy body weight.
How do you increase agni and therefore the strength of digestion?
One way is increase the heat in your body! Take in hot, spicy foods, exercise, and sit in the sun.
The strength of agni is reduced by Drinking ice water, taking in cold, heavy foods and overeating.
Want to learn about the agni of the mind? It’s called Tejas. There is a post on this!