Agni According to Ayurveda
There are 13 Agnis mentioned in various Ayurved samhitas, viz- Jatharagni, seven Dhatwagni & five Mahbhutagni. Among these Jatharagni has prime importance & is responsible for digestion of ingested food as well as root of other 12 agnis. In the western schools, the Agni concept which is broadly known to be digestive fire is merely correlated with the digestive juices and secretions of primary and accessory organs involved under gastrointestinal system. The Agni is understood by sustaining the integrity of body and its organs and ultimately life by continuous transformation, transmutation, combustion, oxidation and reduction reactions which helps the ingested food to get converted into smaller constituents adaptable to bodily tissues. This is done by Pakakarma (biochemical metabolic) processes and thus providing energy to every cell of body to perform various physical, mental and other activities inside and through the body. The Agni is responsible for digestion, metabolism and absorption of proximal elements of food in a sequential pattern throughout the gut line. This Agni is said to be Paramsukshma (almost an atom like invisible) which transforms the food substances to meet the physiological and psychological requirements of bodyis therefore comprehensively known something far apart from being just fire which exists in universe. The digestion is accompanied by generation of Ushma (heat) which catalyses the metabolic transformations. This digestion process that occurs stage-wise throughout the gut is known as Avasthapaka and it is successfully completed by Jatharagni inside the body. Looking precisely, it can be said that Jatharagni has two types of actions viz., local and systemic. The former involving the gastric and intestinal digestive activities whereas the systemic involves the metabolism occurring at cellular and tissue level this can be again compared with the Bhutagni and Dhatwagni.