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Ayurveda > Ayurvedic Treatment > Ashtang-Ayurved: Ama
By Dr. Satish Kulkarni

According to Ayurveda, every disease is a result of the accumulation of toxins (ama) in the body. Ama is the basic internal cause which initiates disease, helps in establishing it and hampers body mechanism if not tackled in time.

The balance of the three basic constituents vaat-pitta-kafa is the natural order in the state of health (prakruti). When this balance is disturbed, it creates a state of ill health (vikruti).

Our health depends on the body fire (agni). If the body fire is in a properly maintained condition, if it is at an optimum level, then vaat-pitta-kafa are in balanced state, body tissues (dhatus) are in order and waste products are eliminated properly.

Wrong or contradictory diet, habits that are ‘injurious to health’, faulty life style, seasonal changes above human limits, mental and/or physical stress and strain beyond personal capacity all act as trigger factors for creating an imbalance in the three body constituents. This further leads to derangement in body tissues (dhatus), which produces toxins (ama) by affecting the body fire (agni).

Ama is circulated through out the body and accumulates in body tissues (dhatus). It also chokes body channels (strotasa). This leads to the irritable body syndrome, which is a prerequisite of disease. When ama establishes itself in the body, it starts affecting the body and mind structurally and functionally and ultimately results in disease.

Nature tries to eliminate ama from the body by natural ways and means. However, if it is beyond the capacity of nature then the body succumbs to disease and ultimately to death.

Ayurvedic scholars suggest that if we take due care like proper diet suitable to aggrieved dosha, if we shift to an appropriate life style (for example start exercising), if we change our social and personal hazardous habits, then we can definitely restore good health again. If disease has crossed the above limits then we should use the ayurvedic body+mind treatments like soothing (shaman) or thorough cleansing (shodhan).

Shaman is used when ama accumulation has not reached the stage of disease and is still in the acute stage. Shodhan is used when the body has reached the diseased condition and has started showing signs and symptoms of disease. Shaman is a milder procedure than shodhan. Shaman can be started anytime when needed where as shodhan needs body preparation (purvakarma).

Purvakarma includes medicinal oil massage (snehan) and artificially induced medicated sweating (swedan). These procedures help in liquefying the ama that is accumulated. These prepare the body for the removal of ama. This is essential for effective shodhan.

Shodhan includes procedures like induced vomiting (vaman), bowel cleaning with oral medicines (virechan), monitored rectal enema (basti), approaching disease through the nose (nasya) and an attempt to remove ‘bad’ blood (raktamoksha).
To summarize, the body tries to maintain a state of health under normal circumstances. If circumstantial changes go beyond the body’s capacity, accumulation of ama starts. The body then tries to reestablish a state of health on its own but if it fails to do so due to any reason, ayurvedic procedures like shaman and shodhan can help in achieving the goal of heath again.


Ayurvedic Milestones
Ayurvedic Thought
 Vaat, Pitta, Kafa, Dosh
 Dhatu, Mala, Fire
Pathology - Ama
 Ashtang Ayurved
 Agad Tantra
 Kaumar Bhrutya Tantra
 Shalya Tantra
 Shalakya tantra

Actual Case Notes
 Asthmatic Bronchitis
 Bleeding per anum
 Hair Loss
 Pregnancy Care
 Senile Debility
 Solution To Baldness
 Vaat Related Fever

Academic References
Ayurvedic Herbs


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