Simply put, Ama is a term that denotes undigested food that gets absorbed into the system without proper assimilation. Such partly digested material cannot be used by the system, and acts to clog it, eliciting an immune reaction. The formation of Ama is the first stage of energy vitiation. It can accumulate in different parts of the body. Due to diminished digestive fire (Agni), the first dhatu, namely Rasa, does not form properly so it remains in the Amashaya (stomach) for a long time and undergoes fermentation. Also, if the Vata, Pitta and Kapha doshas get mixed wrongly, it leads to the formation of Ama dosha.
What Triggers Ama Formation
There can be many factors that may contribute to ama formation in the body such as:
Inadequate nutrition and mental stress contribute to the formation of Ama.
Intense emotional tension caused by a feeling of grief, anger, worry, fear, etc.
Food containing incompatible products such as fruit and milk.
Heavy or indigestible food.
Overeating or irregular eating habits.
Regular consumption of raw, cold and uncooked food such as salad.
Food which produces distension of the abdomen.
Foods which are irritating and capable of causing inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Consumption of unclean and contaminated food, for instance food that has been stored in the refrigerator for a long period of time.
Consumption of dry, fried or dehydrated food such as sandwiches.
Food soaked in too much water.
Signs and symptoms of Ama
Srotosang – obstruction of channels;
Balakshaya – loss of strength;
Gauravta – heaviness;
Anilamudhta – impediment to the flow of Vayu;
Klama – lethargy;
Ajeerna – indigestion;
Atyapraseka – excessive salivation;
Vegavrodha – disturbance of the natural urge in terms of faeces, urine, flatus, etc.;
Mandagni – anorexia;
Angsada – malaise.
Doshas, Dhatus, and Malas influenced by Ama are called as Sama dosha, Sama dhatu, and Sama mala, respectively. Those not affected by Ama are known as Prakruti, Niram dhatu, and Nirama mala, respectively.
Many signs and symptoms are often observed in the body due to Ama creating disturbances in the functions of the different dosha energies like vata, kapha and pitta. This is why it is important to identify the dosha imbalance by consulting a qualified ayurvedic practitioner for proper diagnosis and effective treatment.
Ayurvedic Treatment Of Ama - Ayurvedic Detoxification of the Body
An Ayurvedic doctor can diagnose Ama by observing certain clinical features and also examining your tongue and pulse. In case of an Ama condition, the tongue has specific coating and a loss of proper taste perception generally is observed.
The pulse will be Sama Nadi and feel heavy, too fast or too slow, or irregular. Patients with Ama will have fever while their blood will have a high white blood cell count or an abnormal level of immunoglobulins.
Treatments such as panchakarma, dry sudation therapy and the usage of specific ayurvedic medications can prove very beneficial when performed under the expert guidance of experienced ayurvedic doctors.