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The Concept of “Ama” in Ayurveda

???? ?? ???⁣ Ama originates from improperly digested toxic particles that clog the channels in your body. Some of these channels are physical and include the intestines, lymphatic systems, arteries and veins, capillaries, and GI tract. Others are non physical channels called “nadis”  through which your energy flows. Ama toxicity accumulates wherever there is weakness in the body, and this will result in diseases. ⁣ ?????? ?? “???” ??????????:⁣ ?????????? (??? ????????? ????)⁣ Normal activity of digestive fire is essential for the complete and proper digestion of food. But due to low digestive fire, the food is not properly digested, and toxic products are formed.  Therefore, its absorption becomes sluggish and it gets retained in the intestine for a longer period of time. Due to this retention, it becomes fermented or even putrefied. This toxic product remains unabsorbed in the intestine because of its incomplete digestion and is the root cause of all diseases. ⁣ (Reference: Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra Sthana 13/23)⁣ ?????-?????????? ( ??? ?????? ????):⁣ Tissues fire plays an important role in the formation of tissues from the nutrient substances (of the particular Dhatu). Hence when the power of a particular tissue is diminished, either in the liver or in a particular channel, the formation or utilisation of that tissue becomes incomplete and Ama is produced. Such tissues containing Ama are called sāma tissues (tissues with Ama). This type of pathology is seen in various diseases. In diabetes,  muscle tissues are formed as “Sama tissue” because of the low tissue fire of fat and muscle. Hence the normal functional activities of these tissues are hampered. In obesity a similar type of fat tissue is produced due to a low tissue fire of fat tissue. A peculiar thing observed in these two conditions is that, though there is low tissue fire, there is no associated low digestive fire; on the contrary digestive fire becomes sharper. In all other types of low tissue fire there is an associated low digestive fire. ⁣ (Reference: Charak Samhita Nidana Sthana 4/7 Chakrapani commentary)⁣ ???? ??????? (???????????? ?? ????? ????????) ⁣ Agni is the energy responsible for transformation of food substances into body tissues. In the first stage, it produces nutritious substance which is converted to tissues in the second phase of digestion. Here the action of tissue fire takes place on nutritive food substances and different tissues are produced. This is the anabolic activity of metabolic tissue fire. ⁣ (Reference: Madhava Nidana)⁣ The tissues produced by this process are utilized for the liberation of energy required for each and every activity of the body. During this process the tissue substance is again digested, disintegrated and utilized for the liberation of heat and energy by the tissue fire. This is the catabolic process. During this activity of disintegration of tissues, certain minute waste products are formed. They are called subtle waste products or “kleda”. Up to a certain limit the existence of these is essential to the body and the excess is excreted. When this excretion becomes inadequate due to excessive production or defective excretion, it gets accumulated in the body which results in the formation of the toxic substance called “Ama”. ⁣ ????? ??????????? – ??????????  ?? ???????????? ??????? ???????? ??????. ⁣ Every dosha has certain qualities which are antagonistic to qualities of the Doshas e.g. the dry and light quality of Vata are antagonistic to oily and heavy qualities of Kapha. Similarly the qualities of Pitta is antagonistic to the cold qualities of Vata and Kapha. Therefore when two or three doshas become severely vitiated and combined, they produce interaction between them. In such conditions opposite qualities instead of nullifying ones interact and produce a toxic substance. ⁣ (Reference: Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra Sthana 13/26)⁣ ????? ????? (????????? ??????) ⁣ When an infection is caused by the pathogenic organisms, they liberate a toxic substance. ⁣ ?????????? ?? ???⁣ • Always in the form of incompletely digested substance ⁣ • Hence it is non homogeneous, has a very foul or bad odour which can be experienced only when it is combined with excretory products such as sweat, urine and feces or when products such as sputum, volition etc are expelled from the body. ⁣ • Very sticky. ⁣ • Produces lethargy in the body. ⁣ ???????? ?? ???⁣ ?????????? (??????????? ?? ????????)⁣ This can occur in any large, small or minute channels, when it is indicated by stagnation and disturbance in transport, and metabolism can occur even at the cellular level. The commonly observed obstructions are in the liver (affecting the passage of bile), the urinary tract, the Fallopian tubes, the blood vessels and the respiratory tract etc. ⁣ Weakness or reduced working power in any part of organ is due to the difficulty produced by ama in the contraction and relaxation of the musculature, even when the organic structure of the muscle is normal. ⁣ Obstruction in the movement Vata- Ama on one side causes distrurbance in the action of the musculature part of the organ, and on the other side it causes disturbances in the conduction of nerve impulses. Ultimately the activity of the concerned part becomes reduced or stopped. You will lack mental clarity and energy and feel weary and unenthusiastic, heavy and lethargic. ⁣ The tongue is coated especially upon awaking in the morning, due to the accumulation of Ama during sleep. ⁣ Due to various diseases such as obesity, diabetes etc. metabolic disturbance is produced. ⁣ ????? ?? ???⁣ Feeling heavy, fuzzy headed, unclear thinking, aches and pains, bloating, gas, skin blemishes, fever, lack of energy, stickiness, foul smell (breath, sweat, urine, stools, phlegm), sinking stool, mucous in stool, turbid urine, lack of appetite or taste. ⁣ ?????? ????? ?? ???⁣ High triglycerides, atherosclerosis, late-onset diabetes, high blood sugar levels, some forms of depression, rheumatoid factor, the presence of H. pylori bacteria, leukocytosis or luekocytopenia (deficient and excessive white blood cells), excess antibodies, Candida albicans in the uterus and gut, blood urea, gout, excess platelet count, excess red blood cells, gall stones as a sign of excess bile, Kidney stones as sign of unmetabolized calcium and oxalates, high liver enzymes, occular pressure (glaucoma), bacterial infection, high temperature and tumors. ⁣ Effects of Ama⁣ When such toxins come in contact with doshas, tissues, or waste products, it produces sama dosha, sama tissues and sama mala. In Ayurvedic texts, symptoms of the sama and nirama stage of the dosha , tissues and waste products are described for all the diseases ⁣ Ayurveda attributes cause of any disease to an imbalance in one or all of the doshas and for successful treatment of a particular disease physician has to determine, whether the imbalance dosha is “Sama” or “Nirama”.


  1. Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra Sthana 13/23

  2. Charak Samhita Nidana Sthana 4/7 Chakrapani commentary

  3. Ashtanga Hridaya Sutra Sthana 13/26

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