Ama is one of the concepts of Ayurveda which has a major role in causing variety of disorders ranging from acute to chronic. The concept of Ama is the most important fundamental principle of Ayurveda in understanding the physio-pathology of the diseases.
When a person ingests food, the undigested or unprocessed food particle is known as ‘Ama’. Due to mandagni (low digestive fire), the first dhatu (tissue), ‘Rasa’ is not properly digested. Due to this, it undergoes fermentation which is retained in the Amashaya. This rasa is known as Ama. Therefore, rasa dhatu is not capable of executing its function and also not capable of transforming into Rakta.
Therefore, Ama is an undigested, unprocessed consisting of heavy, unctuous liquid, sticky and fibrous material which has foul smell and becomes the cause of various disorders such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Skin disorders, Ulcerative Colitis, Auto-Immune disorders etc. Apakwa Ahaar Rasa cannot get absorbed in the body as compared to Prakruitaahar-rasa. It remains stagnant in the gastro-intestinal tract. In short, ama acts like a poison in the body.
Analysing Ama in different Health Conditions:
- Ama in Grahni Roga (Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome): In Grahani Roga, Amadosha is the main causative factor. In Ayurveda, it is said that mithyaharavihara (wrong dietary habits and lifestyle) leads to Agnidushti which in turn causes Amadosha. Therefore, the disorders of gastrointestinal tract are caused by:
- Excessive consumption of junk food
- Intake of incompatible food items like taking fruits with milk, sour food milk and milk products etc.
- Excessive consumption of alcohol, tea and coffee.
- The above said factors cause the vitiation of Agni (digestive fire) and ultimately there is formation of Ama. This ama in Pakkv stage is called Grahani.
- Amavata (Rheumatoid Arthritis) is not only a joint disorder but is also a systemic disorder.
- In amavata, there is production of ama. This ama moves quickly to the sleshma kapha with vata. There is a formation of Amarasa which is vitiated by Vata, Pitta and Kapha. This amarasa blocks the channels and causes stiffness in different body joints.
- Ama in Amavata (Rhematoid Arthritis): In Amavata, both Ama and Vata dosha play a predominant role in the pathogenesis of the diseases.
- Ama in Tamakswasa (Bronchial Asthma): Tamakswasa arises from the dust, smoke, pollution, over-indulgence in heavy meals etc. and affects the Pranavaha Srotas. The agni becomes diminished which lead to the Jatharagni Vaishmya. This results into the formation of Ama. This ama causes Pranvaha Vitiation and aggravates Kapha dosha. Since there is an obstruction in the Pranavaha Srotas, this leads to narrowing of airways, stambha and sankocha occur. Thus, there is manifestation of the disease Tamaka Swasa.
- The factors such as lack of physical activity, sleeping during the day time, consumption of foods that increase kapha dosha etc. make the end product of digestion too sweet which in turn causes the increase of medas (fat) and Ama.
- Ama thus forms causes blockage in the srotas (body channels).
- Role of Ama in Sthaulya (Obesity): Obesity is a predominant metabolic disorder.
How to Prevent the formation of Ama in the body:
- The treatment of Ama is done by simply adjusting to a proper diet and lifestyle. Then, ama pachana – which means the burning off ama is done with the use of certain herbs and spices in supervision of an Ayurvedic physician.
- The simple Ayurvedic principles if followed in routine are helpful in improving digestion and overall health.
- Intake of Trikatu Churna (simple Ayurvedic powder consisting of equal parts of ginger, black pepper and pippali). All the herbs used in this churna are pungent in nature and it is a wonderful churna with strong digestive properties.
In Ayurveda, it is said that ama is the major cause of mandagni. It is described as a causative factor of wide variety of disorders. Ama has been described in two states i.e., Sama and Nirama avastha which set a specific strategy for finding the root cause of a particular disease. By knowing these two phases, an Ayurvedic physician can specify different stages of diseases.
Thus, there are disorders whose causes are unknown in modern medical science but Ayurvedic concept of Ama is an answer to the causes of such disorders.
This article is not a substitute to the standard Medical Diagnosis or personalized Ayurvedic Treatment! It is intended only for Information!
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