Ayurvedic concept – Aama

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Aama – Toxin

In common language Aama means immature unripe uncooked and undigested. In the medical context however the term Aama refers to events factors and resultants which follow, arise and results respectively as a consequence of kaya agni not functioning properly.
Aama is an essential factor in the development of pathology. The synonym of disease i.e Amaya is said to be a condition produced by Aama. The term Aama possesses a unique significance in the context of pathology in Ayurveda and constitutes the most important causative factor of a great number of diseases as described in the classical texts.
According to Acharya Vagbhata due to the diminution of agni the first dhatu namely rasa is not formed properly and the anna rasa(Food essence) undergoes fermentation and or putrefaction being retained in the amashya(Stomach) – this state of rasa is Aama. So the improperly digested rasa is Aama.
Also the impaired vata, pitta and kapha dosha when mixed with one another lead to the formation of Aama dosha. Due to the inhibition of jathragni if the ingested food is not properly digested and the products which arise out of such an impaired digestion are being retained in the Aamashaya, they undergo changes and yield toxic substances i.e Aama. This may very well be compared with toxaemia of different types.

Effects of Aama:
According to Acharya Vagbhata the Aama produces srotosang(Obstruction of channels) balakshaya(Loss of strength) gauravta(Heaviness) anila mudhta(Imepedementto the flow of vayu) klama(Lethargy) ajeerna(Indigestion) atyapraseka(Excessive salivation) vegavrodha(Obstruction of urge like stools urine flatus etc.) mandagni(Anorexia) and Angsada(Malaise).

The formation of Aama is the first stage of dosha vitiation. It can settle in different parts of the body. Dietetic indiscretions and emotional stresses contribute to the formation of Aama.
Dietetic indiscretions and emotional stresses which contribute to the formation of Aama:
Food containing incompatible articles.
Heavy or indigestible food articles.
Over eating.
Ingestion of disgusting food.
Food which produces distension of the abdomen.
Consumption of raw and uncooked food.
Consuming very cold foods.
Foods which are irritating and capable of causing inflammation of the stomach and intestines.
Consumption of the stomach and intestines.
Consumption of unclean and contaminated/infected food.
Eating dry fried or dehydrated food stuffs.
Food soaked in too much water.
Intense emotional stresses such as grief anger worry fear complex etc.
Hunger and irregular eating habits.

Sama and nirama dosha
Sama– In which dosha dhatu and mala become permeated with ama.

Nirama– In which dosha dhatu and mala are without ama abnormalities.

Sama Vata – signs and symptoms
Obstruction of channels.
Lack of appetite.
Pricking sensation.
Pain in joint and all the body parts.

Treatment plan- Purification therapy by basti (Medicated enemas)

Nirama vata – signs and symptoms
Clearing and cleaning of channels
Mild pain

Treatment plan- Oleation

Sama pitta signs and symptoms
Foul odour
Acid eructations
Burning sesation in the throat and the region of the heart.
Green colouration

Treatment plan- Shodhana(Purification therapy) – Virechana(Purgation)

Nirama pitta – signs and symptoms
Without bad odour
Pungent taste
Improvement in the digestive power

Treatment plan- Removal of vitiated qualities of pitta.

Sama Kapha – signs and symptoms
Obstructed channels
Appetite is nearly lost
Prevents normal bleaching

Treatment plan- Shodhana Chikitsa(Purification therapy) vaman(Therapeutic emesis) langhana(Fasting etc.)

Nirama Kapha – signs and symptoms
Regaining of homogenous consistency
Relieving from foul smell
Relieving from stickisness

Treatment plan- Removal of vitiated qualities of kapha.

When ama comes in intimate contact with the dhatu they beome abnormal structually and fuctionally. This is smadhatu.
Signs and symptoms of sama dhatu are specific to the respectibe dhatu and are observed independently. Nirama dhatu are normal structurually and functionally.

Sama purisha(Faeces) – signs and symptoms

Profuse in quality
Very foul smelling.
Sticks to the pot.
Sinks in water

Nirama purisha – signs and symptoms
Normal in quantity
Well formed
Normal fecal smell
Non sticky
Floats in water

Sama mutra(Urine) – signs and symptoms
Specific qravity and density is more than normal
Foul smell

Nirama mutra – signs and symptoms
Normal colour of urine
Specific gravity and desity is normal
Uriniferous smell.

The first foremost fundamental treatment for ama is langhana- (Fasting) till the normal agni is maintained. This normal agni reduces the obstructions in the channels and digests the ama and all signs and thus symptoms produced by ama are reduced.

Dry sudation therapy is the second line of treatment which is given baluka bags(Boluses made by a variety of sand). This therapy relieves the obstructions in the channels pain and swelling. (Oleation therapy is containdicated because application of this therapy increases the signs and symptoms of ama)

Then the indicated therapies are emesis and puration herbs which helps to comat ama are- Shunthi/Ginger (Zingiber officinale) eranda/castor (Riscus communis) Guduchi(Tinospora cordifolia) bhallataka(Semicarpus anacardium) Kuchala Kuchala(Strychnus nexvomica) etc.

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