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Kindling Your Metabolic Fire (agni) to Maintain Your Weight and Improve Digestion

Ayurveda believes in kindling the internal metabolic fire during the months of winter to avoid weight gain, congestion and weak digestion.  Just like a house, the body has its own heating system. The central heating system of our body is the "Metabolic Fire" or in Ayurveda it is called your inner Agni. During the winter months it is crucial to nurture this metabolic fire and keep it strong.

Your metabolic fire/Agni is low when you feel or there are:

  • Thick Tongue Coating
  • Loss of Appetite or No Zest for Food/ or Food seems tasteless
  • Constipation
  • Sinus Congestion
  • Heavy Feeling in the Gut
  • Lethargic and Unmotivated
  • Chronic cough
  • Depression
  • Catch Colds too frequently

Tips to kindle your metabolic fire during winter:

  • When the sun comes out at the heat of the day, bathe and then go in the sunlight.
  • Sip hot ginger tea before and even with meals, or alternatively, grade some fresh ginger, squeeze some lemon on it and add a few pinches of salt and chew on about 1/2 tspn before meals. (not suitable for most pitta types)
  • Prepare vegetable broths, soups, stews with warming spices such as rosemary, thyme, cayenne, cumin, turmeric, ginger, clove, bay leaf and cinnamon.
  • If your body type is Vata or Kapha – take extra care to keep the body warm by taking warm baths and wearing layers of clothing.
  • Abhyanga or Self Massage (for vata types) or Nasya/nose cleaning (for kapha types) using warm sesame seed oil.
  • Use warming essential oils to such as wintergreen, eucalyptus, rosemary and calamus. Diffuse the oil or inhale by putting a drop on the palm of your hands or mix with carrier oil and apply externally.

Digestive fire/Agni metabolic fire is healthy when there is:

  • Normal hunger
  • No belching with the meal
  • A feeling of satisfaction and well being after meals
  • Regular excretion of wastes
  • Wastes have a mild odor
  • An absence of respiratory and other infectious illness
  • Good immune system

Let me know if you need assistance to increase your metabolic fire or addressing other health issues.

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