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Agni Teas

The basic human condition is dependent upon skillfully tending the fire within in the form of digestion.

Life itself cannot be sustained if the process of learning how to tend this flame is not of primary importance. This means that we are looking for ways our diet, lifestyle and relationships can support samagni or balanced digestion.

Remember the children’s story of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” where she tests their porridge, chairs and beds to find the one that is just right? This is the essence of the science of Agni. We will know that our Agni is sama or balanced when what we eat makes us feel just right.

Why Tea?

Herbs and spices can have a pronounced and long term effect on the body and mind. That is why something as simple as an herbal tea when drank regularly can bring balance to the digestive fire.

Our ability to digest food is the keystone to good health and agni has four different forms it takes based on genetics, environment, consciousness.

Again, the four forms of agni are:

Irregular digestion (Vishamagni)
Slow digestion (Mandagni)
Hot, intense digestion (Tikshnagni)
Balanced, resilient digestion (Samagni)

As you can imagine we are all trying to bring the inner flame into a state of balance and equilibrium so that it responds accurately to any foods or experiences that we eat. If however, our body over or under responds, we can use Agni Teas to restore equilibrium and optimize the digestive and absorptive capacity of the digestive system.

A note about making teas:

Formulating teas in Ayurvedic medicine follows a general pattern that allows for a synergy between the respective herbs that are utilized. This pattern has been described in many ways. The California College of Ayurveda describes a tea formulation as consisting of 4 parts. These are:

1. Chief – This is the primary herb that directs all the other herbs, like the CEO of the tea. It is in the highest proportion in the formula and thus has the strongest effect.

2. Support- This is the chief herb’s primary support system and could be considered his/her direct reports or board of directors. They act in accordance with the CEO for an enhanced effect.

3. Assist – The assist is like the administrative assistant, it has a smaller overall impact but without it the formula could not complete any task.

4. Carrier – This is the messenger or in our analogy it would be the phones, computers, etc. that are used to complete the task. Without it the energy of the previous parts would not go to the right place.

Using this basic formula we can come up with a simple yet effective formulation for restoring our Agni back to samagni so that our food is efficiently utilized for maximum energy, vitality and health. 

Vishama Agni Tea Blend


Get off the digestive roller coaster! If your agni has been taken over by the vata dosha you will experience irregular digestion characterized by gas, bloating or heaviness and gurgling in the abdomen. In addition to not overeating and instituting regular meal times, this tea blend can be helpful.

Chief: 1 teaspoon Fennel seed
Support: 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger root
Assist: 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon stick pieces
Carrier: 1⁄4 teaspoon licorice stick pieces

This sweet and spicy blend will help to normalize the reactivity of the digestive system. For best results place all ingredients in 1 cup of water, bring to a boil, then strain into a cup and drink when warm.

Watch the video. Study the herb chart below.

Manda Agni Tea Blend

Wake up from your hibernation! If your digestive strength is on vacation it is likely that kapha is blocking its natural flow.

Although the appetite may appear strong on the surface only small meals can be taken without discomfort and heaviness in the abdomen, sleepiness after eating, nausea and fatigue.

To remedy this sluggish digestion we use a tea with hot, stimulating spices.

Chief: 1 teaspoon fresh Ginger root cut into small pieces
Support: 1⁄2 teaspoon Tulsi leaves
Assist: 1⁄2 teaspoon Cloves
Carrier: 1⁄4 teaspoon Stevia leaf

This spicy blend will wake up the digestive bear from hibernation. For best results place cloves and ginger in a saucepan with 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Turn off the heat and add tulsi and stevia. In about 5 minutes strain the herbs and pour tea into a cup. Drink when sufficiently cooled.

Watch the video. Study the herb chart below.

Tikshna Agni Tea Blend


Cool your jets! When the bonfire of pitta mixes with the flame of agni it becomes more than the body can handle and will lead to dryness of the throat, acidity, and a feeling of burnout. There may be a ravenous appetite that feels insatiable.

In order to rejuvenate pitta and bring balance to the digestive fire cooling spices can be used.

Chief: 1 teaspoon Coriander seeds
Support: 1⁄2 teaspoon Cardamom seeds
Assist: 1⁄2 teaspoon Hibiscus powder
Carrier: 1⁄4 teaspoon Turmeric powder or fresh root pieces

This cooling blend will cool the jets that are burning the inside of your body. For the best results place coriander seed and cardamom seed in a saucepan with a cup of water. Bring to a boil, turn off the heat and add hibiscus and turmeric. After 5 minutes strain herbs and pour into a cup.

Watch the video. Study the herb chart below.


3 Steps For Success

Balanced Agni is a key to health. Follow these 3 steps:

1. Pre-mix the herbs and store them in an airtight container.

2. Use 2 teaspoons of tea blend for each cup that you brew.

3. Drink these teas consistently for 1-2 weeks for a noticeable effect on the digestive system.

As you may identify with more than one of the four Agni types it can be helpful to work with an Ayurvedic professional. If you would like to work with Noah, please contact him at Rhythm of Healing.

For a list of references for this article, please visit Rhythm of Healing.

Digestive Health Guide

Your Objectives For Chapter 4:

Become familiar with the 4 types of agni.

Consider which agni type you are: Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

If you liked this guide then share it with your friends!

Noah Volz

Noah Volz is the owner of Rhythm of Healing, a full fledged Ayurvedic clinic offering Ayurvedic massage, cleanse classes, Ayurvedic yoga and consultations. When not working with clients he can be found backpacking through Oregon’s rivers and mountains or reading a good book.

Adena Says…

By now you are probably understanding your digestion in a whole new way.  You have been introduced to the four agni types by Myra Lewin, and you have learned more about how to eat for agni in my last article (Chapter 2).  Now you can add another tool to begin deeper healing.  Noah has introduced us to one of the core principles to understanding diagnosis and healing through diet in Ayurveda: the gunas or qualities and the 6 tastes.  Spices tend to be light, warm and fragrant – three main qualities of agni. And we know that ‘like increases like’ in Ayurveda.  This is true not only for spices, but for everything we take in through all 5 senses.

Adena’s bio

Adena Rose Harford is an Ayurvedic Practitioner and Panchakarma therapist, professionally trained in The Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy.  She helps women heal from painful menstrual cycles and stubborn digestive complaints.

Adena is the founder of Adena Rose Ayurveda and the online program The Healing Diet.