In Ayurveda, AMA is claimed to be a toxic byproduct generated due to improper or incomplete digestion. The concept does not have a direct equivalent in standard medicine.
"Ama" is a Sanskrit word literally meaning "uncooked" or "undigested".
Role of Ama –
Ama originates from improperly digested toxic particles that clog the channels in our body. These channels include the intestines, lymphatic system, arteries and veins, capillaries, and genitourinary tract. Others channels are called Nadis through which your energy flows. Ama toxicity accumulates wherever there is weak metabolism in the body, and this leads to diseases.
Causes of 'Ama' production :
- Agnimandya – Low digestive fire
- Dhatu-agnimandya - Low tissue fire
Mala Sanchaya - Accumulation of waste products.
- Dosha sammurcchana – Interaction or amalgamation between vitiated doshas
- Krimi visha – Bacterial toxins. When an infection is caused by the pathogenic organisms, they liberate a toxic substance.
Properties of ama :
- It is always in the form of incompletely digested substance
- Hence it is non-homogenous, has a very bad or foul odour which can be experienced only when it is combined with excretory products such as sweat, urine, and faeces, or when products such as sputum, vomit, etc., are expelled from the body.
- It is very sticky.
- It produces lethargy in the body.
Signs of Ama :
- Feeling heavy, muzzy headed, unclear thinking, aches and pains, bloating, gas, skin blemishes, fever, lack of energy, stickiness, foul smells (breath, sweat, urine, stools, phlegm), sinking stool, mucous in stool, turbid urine, lack of appetite or taste, indigestion, sticky/sweet taste in the mouth, copious phlegm. Pulse; deep, dull, slippery Tongue; thick, greasy coating.
- Modern signs of ama: High triglycerides, atherosclerosis, late-onset diabetes, high blood sugar levels, some forms of depression, rheumatoid factor, the presence of H. pylori bacteria, blood urea, gout, excess platelet count, gall stones as a sign of excess bile, kidney stones as a sign of un-metabolised calcium and oxalates, high liver enzymes (ALT, AST ) tumours.
Treatment of ama :
Anti-vata: Medicines- Hinguvachadi Choornam, Gandharvahastadi ks;
Herbs – ,ginger, garlic.
Anti-pitta:Medicines – Amruthotharam kashayam, Kumaryasvam , Neem.
Herbs – Aloe Vera, Fennel, Coriander, Amalaki(Indian Goosberry) formula that contains cooling herbs to clear heat toxins from the system.
Anti-kapha:Medicines – Taleespatradi Choornam, Vaishvanara Choornam, Trikatu
Herbs – Ginger, Cumin, Black pepper, Pushkaramoola, Punarnava, Tulsi, Vacha, Guggul
Panchakarma: Ayurvedic detox therapies( Abhyangam (oil bath), swedana(sudation), virechana(induced purgation), vamana (induced emices), etc.
Anti-ama Diet: Emphasise pungent, bitter, astringent flavour.