At its core, ayurveda is a healing science focusing on strengthening and maintaining one’s agni. The concept of agni, or fire, is of the utmost importance. According to the ancient text, every disease or manifestation stems from an imbalance in the digestive tract. Thus it is crucial to maintain strong agni when seeking optimal health. In contrast, ama is a toxic substance that results from an impaired agni or poor digestion. The accumulation of ama can severely impact one’s health, which is why ayurveda ama cleansing is vital. This article will explain what ama is and general techniques on how to support ayurveda ama cleansing.

What is Ama?

Ama is essentially the result of poor digestion or agni. In Sanskrit, ama translates to “raw,” “uncooked,” “unripe,” or “undigested.” It is unprocessed waste inside the body that is of no use. Ama can form from eating food too quickly, overeating, eating too late at night, eating poorly prepared food, or unresolved emotions, to name a few. While some degree of ama is standard, too much ama that is not regularly cleaned or eliminated from the body can cause disruptions and become problematic. Generally, ama is cold, dull, heavy, oily, gross, stagnant, slimy, and foul-smelling, the opposite qualities of agni. To identify ama, look for these general signs and symptoms:
  • Thick coating on the tongue
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Heaviness
  • Clogged channels; sinus congestion, constipation, stagnant lymph
  • Indigestion
  • Mental fog, dizziness, clouded judgment
  • Abnormal taste
Depending on what part of the body ama settles into, it can cause more specific signs and symptoms. The location ama is in can also give insight into optimally targeting the ama one may be experiencing.

Three Types of Ama

It can help understand what type of ama you may be experiencing, so you have a better idea of targeting it.

Sama Vata

Sama vata is ama of the vata dosha. This type of ama may show itself through more vata type symptoms such as constipation, gas, bloating, lack of appetite or taste, pain in the joints, or disinterest in life.

Sama Pitta

Sama pitta is ama of the pitta dosha. This ama can be identified through pitta-type symptoms such as foul smells, acid eructation, burning sensations, or green or yellow coloring.

Sama Kapha

Sama kapha is ama of the kapha dosha. This type of ama is seen through kapha-type imbalance symptoms such as obstructed channels, heaviness, sluggish digestion, or no appetite.

Ayurveda Ama Cleansing General Techniques

Cleansing techniques are helpful to eliminate ama. These techniques may be simple lifestyle practices that support ayurveda ama cleansing or more intense cleansing therapies. You may consider seeking an ayurvedic practitioner to participate in a deep ama cleansing therapy such as panchakarma. Learn more about cleansing with a 7-day ayurvedic cleanse.

Herbal Support

Herbal therapies are a powerful choice when looking to combat ama because they can directly target and reach the digestive tract. Since agni is the opposite of ama, herbs that stimulate the agni will be most beneficial. The astringent and pungent tastes can be a powerful combination as the astringent taste dries the ama, and the pungent taste helps destroy and digest it. The good news is that you don’t have to go far to find herbs to support ayurveda ama cleansing. You can find powerful herbs right in your kitchen cabinet. Herbs such as dried ginger, cumin, fennel, black pepper, mustard seed, garlic, and coriander all assist in removing ama. To further assist in ama removal while also maintaining ojas and personal strength, consider taking chyawanprash daily. This unique formula contains all ayurvedic 6-tastes, making it the perfect balance to assist in ama cleansing without depleting your body or mind. Learn how organic chyawanprash promotes detoxification.

Diet

Simple changes to your diet can also effectively aid in cleansing out ama. It is best to favor the pungent, astringent, and bitter tastes. Focus on whole foods, whole grains, lots of green vegetables, eating in a calm environment, and following the ayurveda eating guidelines and proper food combination. Avoid processed foods, canned foods, frozen foods, fried foods, alcohol, caffeine, dairy, and meat.

Fasting

Fasting can be a potent remedy to eliminate ama. However, not all doshas do well with fasting, so please consult with a practitioner before beginning any form of fasting.

Yoga

Although it may seem simple, yoga can have a remarkable impact on aiding the removal of ama. Yoga helps awaken prana throughout the body, creating warmth and possibly moderate sweat. Through various yoga postures, you can rinse and cleanse stagnant energy and toxins, helping to calm the mind and wring out stored ama. For specifics, discover yoga poses for detoxification and cleansing.

Sweating

Sweat loosens the congestion of ama from your tissues, and when ama is loose, it can be moved into the digestive tract, making it easier to eliminate. You can induce a sweat through a conscious sauna or steam or an intense exercise. However, if you experience more pitta type ama, this type of intensity, heat, and sweat may aggravate you more.

Ama Cleansing Therapies

If you are experiencing chronically stored ama, a more profound cleanse may be more appropriate. In ayurveda, a traditional panchakarma aids in deep ayurveda ama cleansing. This classic cleanse works through a 3-part system to loosen excess doshas and ama from deep tissues and move them into the digestive tract to eliminate. Traditionally, panchakarma starts with a preparation phase to acclimate and prepare your body for what is to come. The heart of the cleanse comes from the active cleanse, where you utilize a mono-diet of kitchari, lifestyle practices, and body therapies to rid built-up toxins and ama from your system. The last phase is the rejuvenation phase, which is often the most important. An extended period of rejuvenation concludes a deep cleanse such as panchakarma. This time helps support the body and bring it back to equilibrium. In addition, a cleanse may induce a feeling of depletion so it is crucial to nourish your body, mind, and spirit through ojas-increasing practices such as abhyanga, rest, reflection, and a clean diet. It's also recommended that one take rasayanas, like chyawanprash. Chyawanprash is particularly helpful because it nourishes all tissues in the body, building ojas and helping you regain vitality. Clare Michalik, Ayurvedic Practitioner @clareminded
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