Aama In Ayurveda – An Introduction.

by Vishakha Gujar   

Ever wondered what happens to your sink pipes when you don’t clean them up on a regular basis? 

They clog up and make a mess. 

When the stagnant toxic waste keeps building, it clogs up the pipes from the insides, wrecking the entire system from the core, and ultimately making it dysfunctional.

The same thing happens to your body. 

And this, ‘stagnant toxic waste’ that creates havoc in your system, is called Aama.

Aama – a very critical concept of Ayurveda, is derived from the Sanskrit root words A+ Ma, where Ma stands for toxins. 

According to Ayurveda, Aama is the heavy, stagnant, unripe, and uncooked toxic buildup in the body, which if not removed, is the sole cause for many diseases and sicknesses. 

‘Aamaya’ a Sanskrit word meaning diseases/problems, literally originated from the word Aama. 

What causes Aama to build up in your body? 

Ayurveda considers Agni as the Fire of life, the fire responsible for critical functions at the deepest cellular levels. It is responsible for digestion, absorption, assimilation, and segregation.

In short, Agni is the fire needed for survival.

So when this Agni gets weaker, Amma starts to build up and vice versa. 

This also means, when Aama starts to build up, Agni starts getting weaker.  

Impairment of Agni only occurs if we interfere with the balance of the body, the doshas, and the elements they are made up of. 

And when the Mother Fire is incapable of working optimally, it slows down the digestive functions, ultimately affecting absorption, assimilation, and excretion. 

The stagnant undigested material thus results in the formation of Aama.

Now, when the Agni gets weaker, it affects all the metabolic functions even at the deepest cellular levels. 

This means the accumulation of metabolic waste which should be excreted at regular intervals, also results in the formation of Aama. 

To cover-up, when we constantly abuse our body with heavy, unhealthy meals, when we have irregular sleeping patterns, irregular meal timings, emotional burnouts, lethargic and inactive lifestyle, etc. Everything and more of these causative factors directly affect the functioning of Agni and the formation of Aama. 

Signs to identify Aama build-up and why you should care – 

Aama has all the properties different and opposite of that of Agni, so if optimum Agni makes you feel stronger, healthy, and active. Aama buildup on the other hand will make you feel weaker, unhealthy, and lethargic. 

A thick white coating,  covering the tongue, when you wake up in the morning, is a clear indication of Aama accumulation. 

Other than that, 

  • Disturbed digestion. 
  • Frequent digestive issues.
  • Acid refluxes.
  • Constipation.
  • Feeling of heaviness and weight gain. 
  • Hairfall, Skin issues, and other similar complaints.
  • Excessive laziness and inactiveness. 
  • Lack of motivation.
  • Constant and frequent episodes of anxiety, depression, and bouts of anger.

All these factors collectively and independently suggest the collection and accumulation of Aama in the body.  

Now, here’s why you should care!

Aama primarily gets formed in the digestive system. But when it starts accumulating, it spreads wide and far, to such an extent that it clogs up your strotas (the minute channels of the body) creating obstacles and hindering tissue nutrition, thus causing trouble at deep cellular levels. 

It also messes up with your doshas, corrupting and vitiating them (saamadoshas), causing an overall mind-body imbalance.

A normal person with good Agni, is capable of digesting Aama at the primary stage. 

But as these toxins get deeper, it becomes way more difficult and challenging to flush them out from the body. 

This ultimately makes you weaker, affecting your body’s immune system, making you more susceptible to various illnesses and diseases. 

 What to do?

As said, Aama has all the properties opposite to that of Agni. 

So focusing on improving Agni should be the main priority while treating Aama. 

Hence Fasting, Movement, maintaining a daily routine, etc play a very important role in the treatment of Aama.

Read more about Agni, steps to reignite the lost fire here. 

With that, simple lifestyle alterations (explained below) can go a long way in not only treating Aama but also preventing it from accumulating in the body, 

  • Not eating before the previous meal is digested
  • Eating only when hungry.
  • Avoiding afternoon naps.
  • Having meals after showers and not before. 
  • Working out at half of one’s capacity.
  • Resting and getting sufficient amounts of sleep. 
  • Keeping a positive attitude at things, practicing empathy. 
  • Meditation and mindfulness.

These are some basic yet important steps to avoid Aama build-up in the body!

Herbal Rescue 

There are various herbs available that target Agni improvement and Aama reduction.

Ayurveda gives major importance to herbal supplements along with other factors when it comes to treating a condition from its roots.

Shunthi ( Dried Ginger ), Pimpali ( Long pepper ) and Marich ( Pepper ) are some simple single-use household medicines that can be consumed for supporting Agni. 

On the other hand, various combinations of herbs are advised for different conditions and stages of Aama buildup. 

It is very important that you consult your Ayurvedic physician before self-prescribing. 

Importance of Panchakarma

Panchakarma procedures are proven therapies determined to flush out toxins, bring back balance, and reignite the lost Agni. It checks the issue right from its roots and gives exceptional results.

Procedures like Vamana and Virechana, are focused to pull out toxins and balance out the dosha vitiations.

Please note to undergo panchakarma therapies from only well-trained Vaidyas(Ayurvedic doctors).

In conclusion, any symptoms indicating Aama buildup shouldn’t be ignored and are to be treated at the earliest. 

Hope you enjoyed the article and took home some valuable health information.

Join us in our mission of mindful living for the modern world by subscribing to our blog and hitting us a follow on Instagram and Facebook @sarvedalife. 


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