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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 processes.

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
  • Constipation
  • 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 buttermilk.
  • 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.

To Know more , talk to a Jiva doctor. Dial 0129-4040404 or click on ‘Speak to a Doctor
under the CONNECT tab in Jiva Health App.

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