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The Digestible Guide Volume II

Ayurveda thinks of our digestive system as being stoked by a fire and if that fire gets too hot or is too cold then we get symptoms of poor digestion. In Ayurveda, this digestive fire is known as ‘Agni’. There are four types of agni that categorise people’s digestive tendencies.

Balanced: Regular hunger and well digested food. These people have good digestion all the time.

• Irregular: Erratic appetite with bloating and indigestion. These signs are common in nervous vata types.

• Intense: Intense hunger but a poor digestion with acidity and strong thirst. These signs are common in fiery pitta types.

• Weak: Low appetite and a slow digestion with heaviness after eating a meal, persistent sweet cravings and need for stimulants. These signs are common in kapha types.

Key herbs used in Ayurveda to nourish and feed the digestive fire are turmeric and aloe vera:

Turmeric is known as the ‘Golden Goddess’ in India because of its incredible healing powers. Pigments known as curcuminoids and tumerones give turmeric its characteristic yellow colour and spicy scent, in addition to being responsible for its properties. It encourages an efficient digestion whilst relieving any excess heat and irritation. It is balancing for all three of the Ayurvedic dosha, but particularly good for those with weak agni.

Aloe Vera is a true herbal hero. In Ayurveda, aloe vera is considered to be an excellent carrier of nutrients, vitamins and minerals because of its ability to penetrate all tissues within the body. Aloe vera can enhance the absorption of fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins by over 200%. Aloe Vera is naturally soothing, cooling and moistening and an excellent remedy for any condition characterised by heat, dryness and irritation. It’s an excellent choice for those with an intense or irregular agni.

Find out what's right for your digestion, by discovering your dosha type using the dosha quiz.

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