All you need to know about Aama

Aama
Toxic morbid metabolic waste material formed due to improper digestion for many variable reasons

Qualities – sticky slimy stuck to the walls of amashaya, heaviness

Signs and Symptoms due to presence of Aama –
After aama has formed and become stagnant in the amashaya, then doshas take it to places in the body.
Because of excess Prithvi (earth element) and Aap (water element) show up in the aahara rasa (See next post Detailed Digestion in Ayurveda and digestive additions) and that stickiness and heaviness is due to these two mahabhuta (elements).
Like increases like, so don’t want to eat additional things high in in prithvi and aap.

Bitter/Tikta – things high in Akash and Vayu – bitter things are Aama Pachak.
Tej also good for digesting Aama.

Langhana/fasting – because of this we are activating the agni, when agni is strong it has potential to digest that aama. That is the reason why we immediately go on langhana when we have first signs of aama. Aama is not something horrifying or scary, we can certainly digest it and remove it from the body by digesting it. Langhan digests aama and increases agni.

If you see all the functions of the body, all the dhatus (tissues) function, dosha (humours) function due to agni. The moment agni is disturbed, everything gets disturbed. Doshas easily increase in the body when the agni is low. Like a hot burning fire, not even ash remains on the wood. Conversely when the fire is low, ash on the wood. Aam forms when fire is low – agni mandya (low agni) condition. In this situation, a little amount of Pitta, Vayu, Kapha can all increase depending on quantity and quality of food we intake. If aama is present and we have heavy meal and body can’t digest it, more aama is formed. If we have something heavy, we create a disturbance in both agni and aama. First priority of agni is always to digest aama, but then adding more food adds to it. If you add spicy curry on top of aama, that will aggravate Pitta. When Pitta increases and aama is there, symptoms will increase. SamaPitta conditions. If eating excess Kapha with aama and low agni, Sama Kapha.

How about the idea of feeling this stuff in your system? Most people in Western society eat and eat and eat heavy meals over heavy meals and the have a heavy dessert on top and have a ton of aama and don’t feel a thing? Look at peoples tongues, that thick white or yellowish coating…. that is aama.

Disease formation due to vitiated doshas and weakened srotas. So for the disease to present, the doshas only increase because something is wrong in the body – agni mandya and aama formation are the reasons those doshas increase. In that manner, doshas keep increasing, and pathogenesis can take place.

Aama is something that disturbs main functions of body. The presence of Prithvi and Aap gets reflected in every symptom. Heaviness and Stickiness are both those symptoms.

Aama Vata (rheumatoid arthritis)– at specific site of joints. Applying oil will overload agni at that joint and overload for skin and joint which immediately reacts by swelling and increasing pain. Application of oil then immediately increases aama in the joint.
When aama is present in the body, it will certainly show some symptoms. It is our job to know these symptoms so we can immediately respond to it. When aama is present it allows doshas to increase quickly. Sometimes the initial aama will get digested but the doshas are still high which is then continuing to create disease. So then aama is not present, but doshas are increased and disease is still present.

If aama is digested you will feel better, appetite returns but still may be symptoms. In panchakarma either vamana or virechana, must first oil body from inside. You only can do that if aama is fully digested and agni is strong in order to digest the oil. It will otherwise complicate the Amma and create disease.
This is the very scary part of all of the “ayurvedic practitioners” here in the West that are telling everyone to do oil massage.
So before panchakarma, do pachana treatment to digest aama. But it won’t reduce doshas completely, or otherwise why bother with panchakarma. Instead, pachana, digest aama, then oleate, then panchakarma.

Rock salt specifically channelizes Vayu. Ginger helps with the movement too. So Ginger and Rock Salt before you eat is good to help digest aama in body.
Vayu gets obstructed when mixed with Aama, but doesn’t mix with Aama itself. Pitta and Kapha have physicality so they can actually mix with the Aama.
Because of the presence of aama in the body, it generates diseases. The treatment is usually to take care of doshas as well as agni and aama simultaneously.

Srotorodhabalabhranshagauravanilmudhatah
Srotorodha = Srotas+obstruction(rodha) – first sign is obstruction of passage/clogging of the srotas. Whatever is normally coming through the srotas is blocked. Ex. If have Pitta increasing food, pitta increases, mixes with aama, and then tries to pass through srotas. If it gets stopped somewhere, it gets blocked or obstructed. Because of its size or quality it gets stuck somewhere. When it gets blocked, anything that passes through that srotas gets obstructed. That is srotorodha. Srotorodha can be present in almost all the diseases. Ex. Fever – always caused by aama which is circulated all over the body in the rasa dhatu. That is jwara. Aama has traveled all over rasavaha srotas. Agni tries to go to the rasavaha srotas to digest aama, and then gets blocked. The srotas get blocked and that is why sweating is often not present – that is why the temperature increases. This is a pathological condition. Agni gets trapped and body temperature raises and sweat can’t come out because of the srotorodha. The main focus of treatment is digestion of aama, and then sweat will come out. Can be in any of the srotas from small to large.

Tumor – aama could be triggering Kapha or Prithvi mahabhuta to increase and gets stagnant in particular srotas -> true of either malignant or benign tumors.

Balabhransha = bala/strength + bhransha/loss of – loss of strength – for the strength, mostly mamsa dhatu is necessary. Specifically because of aama, the proper functioning of mamsa is not able to take place. Contraction isn’t happening properly, even if person seems strong. Weakness develops. For example during fever, you will notice muscular weakness. In other conditions the overall energy level and strength of the body gets depleted. For a sportsmen or weightlifter, with a chronic lingering problem, performance gets hindered. Improve health, improve performance.

Gaurav – adjective of guru – heaviness. Given by vitiated form of prithvi and aap mahabhuta. Because aama itself is heavy it will increase heaviness. The person feels heavy, not necessarily that the weight has literally increased, but especially after eating, the person feels heavy. Some amount of food is in process of digestion. When digested fully, the body feels light. But in undigested form will feel heavy because food is there and in process. When aama is present, still in process of digestion, the body expects and deserves digestion, but doesn’t get it. Can be in stomach or all over the body. Specifically in obesity, people feel heavy. The first symptom from langhana is the feeling of lightness. Whatever stagnant doshas get reduced.
In such situations, aama can potentiate disturbance of tamas guna in mind. When vayu increases due to blockages, rajas can also increase. That is why we feel heavy, tired, always like sleeping. I’m not feeling well, I better take a nap – that heaviness is increasing tamas. Matt, this is you.

Anilmudhata = Anil/Vayu + Mudhata/Silliness ☺ – Distorted Movement of Vayu. Which means all the signs and symptoms are related to each other. Because of blockages, flow gets obstructed, so Vayu travels in all directions. Anilmudhata is also considered as Vayu Prakop. Prakopavastha. Vayu increased. Vata gets in prakop in two ways: one due to obstruction that goes in all directions. 2 when all srotas get empty and vayu has too much space to roam around. When dhatu gets depleted say because you don’t eat for several days at a time. Depletion happens, space is created, vayu moves in. Excessive indulgence in sex, shukra dhatu depleted, agni of shukra dhatu tries to take from majja dhatu, then asthi, then meda, then mamsa, then rakta, then rasa. What remains is absolutely nothing. No strength or immunity left to the structure. Then any bacteria can attack. The weakest srotas in the body is pranavaha srotas, so it settles in the lungs and is called TB. The problem is not the lungs, but rather the whole body depletion. Western medicine focuses on the bacteria and the lungs but don’t figure out how to rebuild the whole system. If someone is under anti-tuberculine treatment, improve agni of every dhatu. When apana vayu gets disturbed can cause coughing and breathlessness as it goes back up the wrong way. Swarna Bhasma and mercury and other treatments are needed that increase agni of every dhatu AND nourishes every dhatu. Guduchi is too mild in this case – rasa kalpa/mineral treatments are what is needed in this case. Guduchi will work but would take a long time.

Aalasyapaktinishtheevamalasangrarachiklamah||
Alasya – Laziness. Can also be related to mind. Procrastination. Specific work related alasya can be there too. Heaviness related to aama is not allowing manas to related well, functions are getting lost, so no desire to have proper work or action.

Apakti – Indigestion/not digesting – because of aama, the main priority of agni is to digest aama, so if aama is present, not digesting the rest. So some kind of indigestion is always present. Indigestion is always pathological.

Nishthiva – when we say aama is present, agni is low, that allows doshas to increase. Nishtheeva refers to the increase of doshas – excessive salivation that we need to spit out. Drooling on the pillow for example. Excessive salivation with a root cause of doshas increasing due to agni not being active.

Malasanga – Sanga=stagnation (not Sangha meaning union) specifically related to malas – all kinds of stagnation. Jwara (fever): stagnation of sweda in this case is malasanga. All kinds of malas can stagnate depending on which kinds of diseases are showing up.

Aruchi – Lack of taste/tastelessness – Inability to perceive taste specifically due to Aama, NOT due to endriyas being weak or not working. Specific indriyas lose functionality for certain periods of taste and aama also prevents from being tasted.

Klama – fatigue. Actually nothing but next stage of balabransha/loss of strength. And inability to recover from it.

These are all mainly the signs of aama.

Excessive knowledge which causes excessive problems – refers to digestion

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28 thoughts on “All you need to know about Aama

  1. I am a student studying computer science at a college.Sure,I will stop asking personal questions if you so desire.I hope I would be allowed to ask questions clarifying about the qualities of different foodstuffs?May I ask,what is the purpose you hope to accomplish by your blog?Its quite clear that Ayurveda is very individualistic and a very detailed subject.One needs to learn under a qualified teacher,not just from a blog.And it will take years to learn.So what is your purpose?

  2. About buttermilk being good for aama,I picked it up from your blog.Here-
    Astaguna

    The eight qualities attributed to takra are :

    1. Improves appetite.

    2. Useful in netra rogas (eye diseases)

    3. Pranadayaka

    4. Rakta mamsakara

    5. Relieves aama

    6· Cause relief in trauma

    7. Kapha

    8. Vata reliever (12)

    From personal experience,it is probably one of the easiest foods to digest I have ever eaten.Do more easily digest foods exist in ayurveda?

      • In this context,which is better for aama?Milk in fridge and then everyday make fresh yoghurt or make yoghurt,put in the fridge and use little everyday for aama?Getting fresh good milk is tough so can only buy once a week.

      • List a few things better than those two options please.For someone suffering from emaciation,constipation and lack of appetite in hot humid summer.

      • Instead of constantly using this blog and me, why not actually think about giving back?
        Your at the end of your rope Ankit.
        If you want to do sessions with me that is fine, great. Otherwise stop asking for personal health questions to be answered.
        What do you do for a profession?

  3. I know that every thing depends on the individual and the seasons.Still asking as not every person with aama is going to get a qualified ayurvedic doctor.Better to understand the symptoms and take some home remedies right?(Not talking about chronic diseases here)
    Also,buttermilk’s quality is that it helps in srota blockage.So it should be good for aama?
    Another thing,coconut is heavy to digest but I find that coconut water(dab) is easy to digest.Can you explain ayurvedically?

    • Is it ever better to have half knowledge or to do what is kinda okay? or that could be wrong but it may be right?
      This is the very reason why Ayurveda in America has been made into the superficial thing that it is which has then benefited the people who are in ayurveda there and behind its growth but what has also destroyed the possibilities for real treatments of ayurveda or a real ayurveda hospital for example to ever be able to manifest in america. Think about this for a moment because this is very important and has much to do with ones ethics and morals.
      or as you probably see before you, that western yoga is coming back to India but as this western exercise based workout thing that has no possibilities of giving the results of what actual yoga does.
      Hmmmmmm.
      In a general way, well, nothing is general. ignorance is general.
      What is the path? Learn it as deep as you can. It takes years.

      Why would takra be good for aama if it is okay in shrotorodha?
      are they all the same?

      coconut water is also heavy. it has the same qualities as coconut
      cold heavy

      drink alot of it. watch it put out your agni.

      • Just by having some knowledge,I am in no way going to claim to be a teacher.Not everyone can/want to study a particular subject in depth but everyone wants to be disease free.It is the idea that some people have,that have some knowledge,market it,using to get money..this greed is destroying the reputation of Ayurveda or any other genuine science for that matter.
        For example,I have no interest in being an expert in ayurveda.If I gain a little tiny bit of knowledge in this subject,it doesn’t mean that I am going to start teaching or diagnosing.But I am interested in being disease free for the rest of my life.

      • Understood. Good.
        But I would then ask that would you not, if you had some knowledge of ayurveda, if you were to see someone around you suffering of something, then want to help them?
        I state this only because it is the root of what i said about what is going on with ayurveda as well as what i see out there at this time in the masses. With the invent of the social media it is now more dangerous as well as the cursed certification of little knowledge and putting people out into the world to ‘help’ others. Other use it in the normal western ways of needing to make money to live so they sell their own programs and market themselves as something they are not. Not saying you are going to do this or even want to, just stating the urge to use what little knowledge we have on others.
        the other side of this is the wisdom to know what is helpful and what is harmful. This speaks more to what your asking and also to what I said in the last comment.
        There is never a time when generalized ideas and little knowledge is okay. generalized is harmful.
        So no, you need to understand stuff from its foundation to then use it.
        ayurveda is based in understanding variables of nature and time and mainly the elements. This alone is complex but there is more. That is the place to learn things that will benefit you in a longer healthy life.

      • Agreed.I would definitely try to help.And that would,in both short and long term,lead to problems.But can’t you use something without knowing it fully?Like observing some symptoms and taking some home remedies,slight change in diet etc?
        Otherwise there are only two ways:
        1)Know it fully(Most people don’t have the time/meet the right teacher)
        2)Get treated by the right person.(again probably will get cheated.)

        On a side note,my mother say your comment on coconut water being heavy,she says,why does she bother to cook,better take 2 glasses of coconut water and save all the effort 🙂 (Ofc provided digestion is good and time and seasons considered and all that disclaimer 🙂 )

  4. My grandma used to say,then feeling heavy,lazy etc..better to take some rest and fast,taking only lemon water with rock salt and water boiled with ginger for a week or two and you will recover.Does this have any basis in ayurveda?

    • Since your in India, yes, I would say it probably has root there.
      There is a saying. What is in Charaka Samhita can be found everywhere. What is not in Charaka samhita isn’t found anywhere. All ayurveda is, is a very detailed understanding of the universe and nature. Same with the other sciences. Thats all. simple. But complex.

      Is it correct would be a better question.

      • Nope. Because it depends upon the diagnosis.
        Yes, in general masses information it is better.
        No it is not good at different times of year as well.
        The one think i would like anyone that ever reads anything on this blog and also for people to think about before commenting on anything is to understand that everything is in variables and nothing is black and white. There is no “this is good for everyone”. Nothing is superficial like that. Everything needs to be seen for the individual, and alot more.
        Say someone has all of that and hyperacidity as well, you just made the disease state worse.

  5. Who’s going to follow it? Me, lol. I’m dedicated to my health and want to finally achieve it instead of going in circles. And damn, I’m SURE it has something to do with diet, with my catarrh returning after breaking a fast and digestion being bad. Digestion is about what? Diet. I mean stress plays a role too, but come on, if it’s not digesting properly then I’m probably eating wrong. I asked about chapatis because we have, or rather had (as in historic food) something like that in Poland (it’s called differently, obviously). Come to think of it… When I started doing lunchboxes I wasn’t putting too much veggies there so they wouldn’t go rancid. Clueless, I just filled it with buckwheat, very mild spices, oil and some tomatoes. But it was mostly buckwheat, not salad or lots of cooked veggies or anything like that. And I felt great after eating it. Kept going and going and going and going, walked long distances whole day. Felt full, even though I ate less than usual (I usualy eat big plate, but lunchbox is small, heh). I probably should eat slightly more, like second identical lunchbox or half. But other than that it was great.

    Don’t even get me started on western nutrition… When I hear smoothies I want to scream. They digest tragically for me.

      • Good point. I do wake up before sunrise but go back to sleep anyway because I’m afraid I didn’t slept enough or something. Isn’t 4 or 5 too early? Then I sleep in and wake up at 8 or 9 second time and that’s too late :/. I have history of insomnia (since I was 6 or so) so I’m afraid I won’t get enough sleep. I go to sleep at 12. Had some days when I went to sleep by 10 and felt great but most the time I can’t do that. And I wake up multiple times during the night so I never know which time should be last.

    • I have a referral to AVT in Coimbatore for the masses. It is completely dependent upon the person, where they live, what is going on with them. A foreigner, I am not going to send to anything but a place that is suited for the modern western world person in need of their own luxuries and bias. For someone more worldly, I have other referrals.

  6. Thank you dear Sir for all the information posted.
    I do however not have a clue what to do with this info.
    I had what I think was aama flush about 4 years ago after being restricted to fruit/vegetables and water for 3 weeks. I think about 3kg of black slimy stuff left me that day and I never felt that good again.
    Can one have such a rinse at will, say every year, or what do I have to eat/not eat to get the accumulated aama loosened/digested?

    • Chantelle,
      I understand. This is why I explain that Ayurveda is not just as easy as what they are writing in the Western books.
      I do not know about your fruit and vegetable cleanse to say that it was aama cleansing. Interestingly enough when you get deep into Ayurveda you realize so many things, like from a cultural context so much is known already here in india. Vegetables are not a huge piece of the diet. Infact, if you were to do a study, or someone was and research all the vegetables that are specifically explained to not have with different diseases you would come up with their qualities and find that those qualities are not good for those specific diseases. In the end what you would see is that vegetables are not as healthy as we think they are. This is why the diet of India used to be mainly grains and seeds and monocots and dicots or the pulses. Lots of flours, lots of breads, lots of spices, ots of dairy but not much vegetables and they are always cooked well. With oil. There is also a subhashita (words of wisdom) that states Hita Bhukta, Mita bhukta, ashaka bhukta in a response to the question of what brings health and happiness. it means basically of following what is the beneficial rules of eating, living or lifestyle and to not eat vegetables. Interesting.
      So what to do with all of this information about Aama? Great question. I do not write so that people can quickly jot down a follow this and don’t do that chart, that is not Ayurveda. Ayurveda is understanding why and how and when for the individual, which is individualized, not a mass program. This is the beauty of Ayurveda. Unfortunately, i find it useless in the modern world where we are to busy with mundane distractions to understand something of such depth. it takes time and dedication to learn. Just as anything that has any value.
      Just for the record, what is feeling good? What diagnosis is used for this? Not doubting you felt good after 3kg of black slimy stuff exited your system but using the raw food diet as an example, it is vata aggravating and the person feels good because of feeling light and having vata imbalanced. What is this though? Disease or health? Get the point? There is much more to it all than feeling.
      Every year, yes. Go to India and do a month or 5 weeks of Panchakarma, at the same time learn more of Ayurveda. This is a real cleansing of the system made to the individual, once again not a mass idea of what cleansing is. o stay healthy, agni is the most important factor. Not doshas. If the agni is imbalanced everything else becomes imbalanced. if the agni is maintained, the doshas are maintained in balance. this is just one more reason why the dosha diet stuff is incorrect.

      • Vegetables are unhealthy?? Wow, comments section is even better than articles… Vegetables are unhealthy??? I mean, I understand raw diet is unhealthy, I did very badly on high raw, never even got to 100% raw. But cooked veggies? Bad too? So what are we supposed to eat?

        By breads you mean something like chapati?

      • yeah, this is a very high level statement though because alot is needed to be understood to even comprehend the why behind all of this. And then who is actually going to follow it in a culture that thinks vegetables are the healthiest things there are? Everything has its qualities and those qualities become you after consuming. They have actions as well which work in the system as well. there is also knowledge that those actions work differently in different parts of the body and a ton of more knowledge that does not even start to be known in the Western world of health and nutrition.
        Vegetable cause their quality on the system. Over time this is not a good thing for the system. This is why vegetables are eaten in limited quantities in indian meals originally. Yes, i mean like chapatis, there are many other breads to. Chapatis are only one.
        Grains and pulses make up most of the diet. And of course the knowledge base in the west is against this right now. Right now. but wait 20 years and once again they will be saying something else completely opposite to what they state now.

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