About Toxicity (Ama) in Ayurveda
A substance that causes toxicity in the body, or that harms the body.
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AYURVEDIC PERSPECTIVE ON TOXIC
How to Cleanse Toxicity and Ama with AyurvedaIs your blood toxic? Toxins come from many sources: your body, food, bacteria, and the environment. Cells in your body constantly produce waste that must be filtered and drained from your body. When your lymphatic system is congested or your circulation poor, the natural process of eliminating toxins may be compromised. Similarly, if you are constipated, have trouble sweating, are dehydrated, or your kidneys don't produce enough urine, toxins may accumulate.
Certain foods may contain toxins in them, just like the air we breath. More often the biggest source of toxins from food is indigestion. Undigested food lingers and rots in your intestines due to fermentation by bacteria and gut flora such as cloistridia. These bacteria produce waste products such as phenols, indols, and ammonia, from digestion of proteins specifically. The 20th century Russian scientist and Nobel laureate Elie Metchnikoff proposed this process of "intestinal auto-intoxication", was responsible for the aging process. The volume of toxins created from indigestion puts it at the center of an unwell body and mind.
Bacteria, wherever they reside in your body, create toxins. A sinus infection, yeast infection, toe fungus, or jock itch may each and all be responsible for an abundance of toxins in your blood stream. Eating too much fats, sugar, salt, or of any one type of food can also cause an excess of a particular nutrient in the blood, also considered toxic in Ayurveda. Even your own hormones, if they remain unprocessed, can represent a toxic buildup. Ayurveda has a special name for all these different types of toxins, called ama.
Types of Ama
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. Kapha ama tends to be white and thick in appearance. Sometimes, kapha ama becomes so heavy it causes lymphatic congestion. In that case, you will notice your skin appears read and puffy. Pitta ama tends to be yellowish in nature, easily seen in the corner of the eyes, the back of the tongue, the teeth, and the hands. Vata ama tends to be brown or gray in color, most easily noticed in the hue of the skin or the coating of the tongue.
The common early signs of ama in the body include:
DetoxificationLearning 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 according to dosha. Then follow the steps outlined in the article on Agni.
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INGREDIENTS WITH TOXIC QUALITY
About the AuthorJohn Immel, the founder of Joyful Belly, teaches people how to have a healthy diet and lifestyle with Ayurveda. His approach to Ayurveda exudes a certain ease, which many find enjoyable and insightful. His online course Balance Your Ayurvedic Diet in a Week provides tools for gracefully healing with Ayurveda to thousands. John also directs Joyful Belly's School of Ayurveda , which specializes in digestive tract pathology & Ayurvedic nutrition. John and his wife Natalie recently published Explore Your Hunger: A Guide to Hunger, Appetite & Food.
John's interest in Ayurveda and digestive tract pathology was inspired by a complex digestive disorder acquired from years of international travel, including his public service work in South Asia. John's commitment to the detailed study of digestive disorders reflects his zeal to get down to the roots of the problem. His hope and belief in the capacity of each & every client to improve their quality of life is nothing short of a personal passion. John's creativity in the kitchen and delight in cooking for others comes from his family oriented upbringing. In addition to his certification in Ayurveda, John holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Harvard University.
John enjoys sharing Ayurveda within the context of his Catholic roots, and finds Ayurveda gives him an opportunity to participate in the healing mission of the Church. Jesus expressed God's love by feeding and healing the sick. That kindness is the fundamental ministry of Ayurveda as well.