Nov 20, 2012

Attack Ama before it attacks your Body!

 Attack Ama before it attacks your Body!
If you have been an Ayurveda follower, you have surely
come across the term ‘ama’ on a regular basis. A peculiar
concept in Ayurveda, ama has no direct correlation in
modern science and can best be equated to ‘toxins’.
According to Ayurveda, ama is the residue of undigested or
partially digested food, which is usually caused by a poor
digestive fire (jatharagni). This residue can accumulate,
stagnate, ferment and cause disease. It is the earliest form
of disease manifestation in the body. Hence, controlling the
production of ama is critical to maintaining health. To be
able to do so, we first need to understand the causes behind
the production of toxins in our body.

Causes of Ama Production
Even though a poor digestive fire is known to be the main
cause behind ama, there could actually be several other
reasons as well. Some of these reasons are discussed below:
    Agnimandya (Low digestive fire) – The body’s digestive
fire performs the task of digesting food in its entirety.
However, when this fire is low, the food we eat is not
properly digested and toxins are formed. When these toxins
get retained in the intestine for a longer time, they become
fermented and cause health problems.

    Mala Sanchaya (Waste accumulation) When the body
liberates heat and energy, the tissues get disintegrated and
certain minute waste products are formed (known as kleda)
during this process. Up to a certain limit, the existence of
this waste is essential for the body and the excess waste is
excreted. When this excretion process becomes inefficient,
these waste products get accumulated in the body, resulting
in the formation of ama.

    Dhatu-agnimandya (Low tissue fire)Tissue fire plays an
elemental role in the process of dhatu (tissue) formation
from nutrient plasma. Thus, when the tissue fire of a
particular tissue is diminished, the formation of that tissue
remains incomplete and ama is produced. Tissues
containing ama are known as Sama Dhatu.

    Krimi Visha (Bacterial toxins) – During infections caused
by bacteria or viruses, the body liberates toxic substances
that can cause diseases.
How to know if you have ama
In today’s times, most of us lead sedentary lifestyles and
have inappropriate eating habits, because we do not realize
that these wrong choices eventually lead to formation of
ama. Even though ama may not immediately manifest itself
in the form of a serious disease, it starts giving indications
through improper functioning of body systems and
Here are some of the basic symptoms of ama presence that
you should look out for:

    Laziness, drowsiness or weakness
    Depression and irritability
    Slight fever, general pain in the body or the legs
    Loss of appetite
    Heaviness in the stomach after eating
    Formation of gas or wind
    A coating on the tongue
    Bad breath
    Excessive perspiration with a strong odor
    Dull skin and eyes
    Presence of mucus in the stool

Controlling Ama with Ayurveda

Unfortunately, ama cannot be biologically removed from the
internal systems of the body, as there are no srotas
(channels) for its elimination. But, you don’t need to worry.
Ayurveda offers several solutions to detoxify your body and
control the production of ama.

One such technique is Panchakarma  

specialized Ayurvedic
therapies that help eliminate built-up waste materials and
ama to stabilize the body’s doshas. Secondly, the right
choice of diet and lifestyle habits, along with certain herbal
medications, will help strengthen the digestive fire, reduce
formation of ama and cleanse your body channels. When the
channels are clean, the agnis work more efficiently and ama
production is more easily prevented.
The Right Diet and Lifestyle

The following tips will help you establish a healthy
diet-lifestyle pattern and minimize the production of ama in
your body:

    Include more of fresh, organic vegetables; sweet, juicy
fruits; whole grains such as couscous, barley (jau),
amaranth (chauli), millet (bajra) and rice; and easily
digested proteins such as lentil soup in your diet.

    Increase intake of boiled or steamed vegetables, bitter
foods, vegetable soup, vegetable and fruit juices and

    Avoid fried foods, heavy foods such as aged cheese, meat,
rich desserts and all other items that are difficult to digest.
Avoid eating or drinking anything cold.

    Drinking warm water throughout the day is a good way to
flush out ama from the body.

    Don't snack between meals unless you are actually
hungry, and wait until your previous meal is digested.
    In cooking, use spices such as turmeric (haldi), cumin
(jeera), asafetida (hing) and coriander (dhania) as they
assist the process of digestion.

    Occasional fasting (once every two weeks) contributes to
maintaining the strength of the digestive system. On days of
fasting, have fruits and light vegetable soup and drink
juices, herbal tea and water to cleanse the system.

    Go to sleep before 10pm as Pitta time starts after that. If
you stay up, you'll probably feel hungry about midnight and
will want to eat, which will tax the digestive process and
create ama.

    Wake up before 6am. Sleeping late into the Kapha time
(6-10am) clogs the body’s channels with ama and makes
you feel fatigued.

    Eat all three meals at the same time every day. If your
body gets used to a regular routine, the digestive system
will become more efficient

    Daily exercise is highly recommended as it stimulates
digestion and helps cleanse the body of toxins. You can also
try Pranayama and Yoga.

    Ayurvedic herbal preparations such as Lavana Bhaskar
and Chitrakadi Vati can be used when the jatharagni
becomes impaired.



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