In the world of Ayurveda, there is nothing more important to our health and wellbeing than our digestion. The digestive fire, known as Agni, is so important that ALL toxins and diseases stem from an imbalance in this area. There are many factors that may weaken our fire, such as a poor diet, stress, overeating, mental imbalances, and improper lifestyle habits. Therefore we must discover the cause (in order to remove it) while simultaneously administering treatment to balance our digestion. Being of such an essential nature, it is no surprise that Ayurveda shines bright in this area, providing a wide variety of effective herbal treatment options for each of our unique needs.
In Ayurvedic medicine there are three main types of digestive imbalances in the system, often referred to as one’s “Agni type”. Here is a quick overview of each digestive imbalance type along with the related doshic involvement. In order to give proper treatment, one must always be aware of their Agni type, as this will be the foundation to which herbs and treatment options will be needed.
**Please note that there is a fourth Agni type known as Sama Agni (lit. balanced fire), and this refers to one that has complete health and balance in their digestion.
The Three Main Digestive Imbalances of Ayurveda
1. Vishama Agni
2. Tikshna Agni
3. Manda Agni
Although your digestion issue may not be so black and white (it rarely is!), you can hopefully see which type your main digestive imbalance falls into. If there is an even amount of symptoms in multiple categories, it most likely will be best to contact a trusted Ayurvedic practitioner, as the treatment regimen will be a bit more complex and will need professional guidance. Of course, this is typically the best route to take with any severe or chronic digestive disorder as well.
If you have a pretty clear idea of your digestive type, let us continue on as we look into some of the most powerful digestive herbs Ayurveda has to offer for each imbalance. It is always essential to remember that herbs will merely act as a temporary bandaid if the main causes are not removed, so this will need to be addressed while taking your herbal support consistently. Here is a quick overview of the main causes of digestive disorders:
Main Causes of Digestive Disorders
- Emotional imbalances (anxiety, worry, fear, depression, anger, etc)
- Eating too late at night
- Constant grazing
- Poor dietary choices
- Improper lifestyle habits
- Improper food combining
- Eating allergenic foods (dairy, wheat, gluten, soy, sugar, etc)
- Yeast infection or Candida overgrowth
- Parasitic Infection
Once again, you must discover your specific causes and remove them if you want to find long-term relief in your digestion issues. Please note that some foods may have to be avoided permanently, while others only temporarily until the Agni or digestive fire is burning bright again. This means that you may have to be on a fairly strict diet in the beginning; however, you should be able to play around more once you find digestive health and balance. The length of treatment will vary from person to person, although typically the more severe or chronic the disorder, the longer the treatment protocol will need to be followed.
Herbal Treatment for each Agni Type
1. Best Herbs for Vishama Agni
If this is your main digestion type, you will also most likely need to follow a Vata-pacifying dietary regimen.
Here are some of the best herbal medicines for Vishama Agni:
2. Best Herbs for Tikshana Agni
If this is your main digestion type, you will also most likely need to follow a Pitta-pacifying dietary regimen.
Here are some of the best herbal medicines for Tikshna Agni:
- Pitta Honey Infusion
- Tikta Ghrita (Bitter Ghee)
- Pitta Churna
- Mahasudarshana Churna
- Triphala Churna (avoid with loose stools or diarrhea)
- Healthy Digestion Tea
- Detox Tea
3. Best herbs for Manda Agni
If this is your main digestion type, you will also most likely need to follow a Kapha pacifying dietary regimen.
Here are some of the best herbal medicines for Manda Agni:
- Kapha Honey Infusion
- Agni Elixir
- Digestive Tonic Tincture
- Kapha Churna
- Trikatu Churna
- Triphala Churna
- AWAKEN Tea