The verbal meaning of agni is fire (digestive fire) and maandya is decreased or reduced. According to Ayurveda, low or disturbed digestive fire is considered as the root cause for all the diseases. Agni maandya is a chronic disease in which the digestion of food and nourishment of body tissues does not take place properly due to the reduction in the digestive capacity of agni.
They are of different types depending on the dosha involved that is:
- Mandagni due to kapha
- Teekshnagni due to pitta
- Vishamagni due to vata
The causative factors of Agni maandya are irregular food habits, excess quantity of food consumption, consuming food which is not wholesome, extreme dry and cold food, incompatible food, misuse of purification (panchakarma) treatment, weakness due to diseases, irregularities in the season, time, suppression of natural urges and, emotional factors like fear, sorrow, worries, anger and insomnia.
Due to the causative factors and vitiated doshas, it affects the normal functioning of Agni or digestive fire. The disturbed Agni again aggravates the doshas and this is like a vicious circle which continues.
Indigestion even after very less intake of food is seen in kaphaja Agni maandya (due to kapha dosha).
In vataja agni mandhya, there is always variation in the digestion process. It is very irregular, sometimes there is proper digestion, and at times the food does not get digested. Any amount of food taken is digested completely. It is due to the sharp quality of Agni and is called as pittaja Agni maandya or the one caused due to pitta dosha; it leads to diminution of body tissues.
Symptoms produced can be burning sensation and thirst due to pitta; rhinitis, tuberculosis, obesity due to kapha and various vata dominant diseases due to vata dosha.
Mandagni or Agni maandya is the basic and root cause of all the diseases.
Sometimes there is no manifestation of disease but Agni maandya is present. This shows the following symptoms:
- Loss of appetite, abdominal distention, belching, foul smelling faecal matter, irregular micturition
- Disturbed sleep
- Foul smell in the mouth
Ayurvedic Line of Management
1. For vishamagni or vataja: anti vata treatment like; giving unctuous sour,salty items, fasting with light food. Formulations like Agni tundi vati and Hingvashtaka churna would be beneficial.
2. For teekshnagni or pittaja: anti -pitta treatments like; heavy, cold unctuous quality food items are useful. Rice gruel, rice water can be given. Formulations like Kaamadugha rasa with Mouktika bhasma would be beneficial.
3. In mandagni or kaphaja: anti kapha line of treatment is followed like; fasting, expelling the phlegm out of the body through vamana or emesis. Giving appetisers, digestive, pungent, salty medicines and food items. Formulations like Hingvashtaka churna, Trikatu churna, and Panchakolasava would be beneficial.
The ideal food during Agni maandya is kichree (old rice with moong dal).
Following the biological clock and sticking on to fixed timings and refraining from unhealthy eating habits are the best remedies to prevent agni maandhya.
Editor’s Note: Dear readers, we know that this is a bit technical and not a “bloggy” type of topic. But, this is the core of Ayurveda and cannot be explained in simpler terms. So, if you have any queries, feel free to ask us. Our doctor will be happy to answer them.