In Ayurveda, ama is known as anything undigested in the body. This can be from food, thoughts, emotions or experiences.
Undigested food, or food that isn’t digested, assimilated and absorbed well or waste that isn’t removed efficiently, builds up as ama in the body.
The digestive tract is one of the first places that ama accumulates. Overtime, if too much builds up, it will be transferred or overflow to other body tissues and organs. This is one of the underlying reasons we have weakened immunities, get sick, create dis-ease, or experience seasonal allergies and other recurring health problems.
Common signs or symptoms that ama is present:
- a white coating on the tongue
- bad breath
- tired or sluggish feeling, especially first thing in the morning
- persistent headaches
- cloudy eyes (in the white region)
- constipation or diarrhea
- dull aches and pains
- itchy ears
- skin rashes
- the sniffles
- reoccurring colds
- unhealthy food cravings
- and more 🙁
So what can be done to rid the body of ama and regain stronger, more vibrant health?
Depending on the weak tissue where the ama has accumulated, how or when the ama built up, and the prakruti or natural tendencies of the individual, there are many ways to burn, unblock, loosen, or flush ama from the body.
Some of the most basic ways to prevent or reduce ama include:
- increase your agni (digestive fire)
- do a cleanse or detox
- make dinner your lightest meal of the day, and eat it early in the evening (or skip dinner altogether until ama subsides)
- use triphala, an ayurvedic herbal combination to help cleanse the digestive system and body
- use more spices in your diet based on your vikruti and prakriti (nature of disease and inherent nature) such as ginger, black pepper, cumin, fennel, ajwain, hing, etc
- avoid vityahara (improper food combining) such as bananas and milk, fish and dairy, citrus fruits and dairy, multiple protein sources, very cold with very hot foods, etc.
- never over-eat
- never eat without hunger
- never eat with indigestion
- only sip room-temperature water with your meal (never with ice, or large quantities after your meal)
- sip hot lemon water throughout the day
- fast on water between meals
These are just a few suggestions to help reduce or prevent ama from forming in your body. More specific, personalized and relevant suggestions can be made through an ayurvedic consultation. To learn more about a consultation, click here.