Ama is a peculiar concept in Ayurveda (for which modern chemistry has no correlate). It is an important factor in a cause of disease and in modification of disease process.
Role of Ama -
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 system, arteries and veins, capillaries, and genitourinary tract. Others are nonphysical channels called nadis through which your energy flows. Ama toxicity accumulates wherever there is a weakness in the body, and this will result in disease
Causes of 'Ama' production :
- Agnimandya -Low digestive fire
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 product is formed. Therefore its absorption becomes sluggish and it gets retained in the intestine for a longer 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 it is the root cause of all diseases. ( Ash. Su. 13 /23)
- Dhatu-agnimandya - Low tissue fire
Tissue fire plays an important role in the process of formation of tissues from the nutrient substances (of the particular dhatu). Hence when the power of the tissue fire of a particular tissue is diminished, either in the liver or in a particular channel, the formation or utilization of that tissue becomes incomplete and ama is produced. Such tissues containing ama are called Sama tissues-tissues with ama. This type of pathology is seen in various diseases. In diabetes, fat and muscle tissues are formed as "Sama tissues" because of the low tissue fire of the fat and muscle tissues. Hence the normal functional activities of these tissues are hampered. In obesity a similar type of fat tissue is produced due to 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. (Ch. Ni. 4/7 Chakrapani)
- Mala Sanchaya - Accumulation of waste products
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, which is called secondary or tissue digestion. Here the action of tissue fire takes place on nutrient food substances, and different tissues are produced. This is the anabolic activity of tissue fire. (M.N.)
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 substances are 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 for the body, and the excess is excreted from the body. When this excretion becomes inadequate due to excessive production or its defective excretion, it gets accumulated in the body-which results in the formation of toxic substance- Ama.
- Dosha sammurcchana - Interaction or amalgamation between vitiated doshas
Every dosha has certain qualities, which are antagonistic to the qualities of other doshas-e.g. the dry and light qualities of Vata are antagonistic to the oily and heavy qualities of Kapha. Similarly the hot quality of Pitta is antagonistic to the cold quality of Kapha and Vata. Therefore when two or three doshas become severely vitiated and combined, they produce interaction between them. In such conditions opposite qualities, instead of nullifying each other interact and produce a toxic substance. ( Ash. Su. 13 /26)
- 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 odor which can be experienced only when it is combined with excretory products such as sweat, urine, and feces, or when products such as sputum, vomit, etc., are expelled from the body.
- It is very sticky.
- it produces lethargy in the body.
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