| Learn Ayurveda
| Indigestion, Toxicity & Ama
Digestion is at the heart of a healthy mind and body. When the digestive system is strong, the food we eat transforms into fuel that becomes blood and that blood feeds each element of our body: our brain, our organs, our tissues, and our bones. Conversely, a weak digestive system is at the center of an unwell body and mind. Undigested food becomes rotten, lingers in the body and forms a plaque-like paste instead of blood, and this material stresses our organs, tissues and bones instead of feeding them. When the digestive tract is poor, this builds bad blood chemistry that affects all our organs, including our mind. Poor blood quality is the breeding ground for sickness and disease.
Plaque as we commonly know it is a film on our teeth, a collection of undigested food matter that the toothbrush missed. If left unchecked it becomes tartar which then further develops into infection and decay. The plaque left behind from undigested food is given a special name in Ayurveda called ama.
Ama works in the same way as the plaque we see on our teeth: undigested food that has not been cleaned away by a strong digestive system builds up and sticks to the organs and tissues which then causes infection and decay. So what does ama look like? If you see a thick white coating on the tongue in the morning before you brush your teeth, that white film is ama itself. What does ama feel like? Common early signs of ama in the body are:
- Thick, white coating on the tongue
- Sluggish, bloated and sleepy feelings, especially after a meal even though you may have slept well
- Strong cravings for fast foods or junk foods
- Skin breakouts and/or foul breath, sweat, gas and stools
- Gray or luster-less skin, whites of the eyes, or yellow teeth.
- Clouded thoughts, feeling unable to focus, or generally unmotivated in life
Types of Ama
- Sometimes, ama is heavy as in a heavy stomach, low energy, and a foggy mind. This type of ama is Kapha ama and is often caused by heavy or fatty meals.
- Sometimes ama feels swollen and inflamed, hot, and itchy. This type of ama is Pitta ama and is caused by infection, Candida, and fermentation in the gut.
- Other times ama feels jittery, scattered, and hyper. This type of ama is Vata ama and is also caused by fermentation in the gut, or a rough, scattered lifestyle.
Learning to catch the signs of this plaque early before it begins to build up and knowing how to remove it properly is often the very first step that an Ayurveda practitioner takes guiding a client back towards health. Begin by identifying what forms of ama you are experiencing and modifying your diet. Then follow the steps outlined in the article on Agni
For more complete results, try one of our cleansing or coaching programs.
What do customers buy after viewing this article?
Fix Bad Odor Before it Becomes Disease
questions, comments & reviews
Write a review!
Do I need to detoxify my body if the cause of increased toxins is due to a poor elimination process which in turn was caused by malabsorption, poor digestion and intestinal inflammation? Which problem should I focus on?
- sally, Kewaskum, WI, 07-01-12
Your body will detox naturally once your digestion and absorption are back on track...
if you would like to 1) republish this article in another journal; 2) send comments and edits; 3) submit your own articles on Joyful Belly; or 4) request additional topics!