Imagine leaving a container full of food in the kitchen for several weeks. I know, it sounds disgusting doesn’t it? Of course in a week or so, it would go green mouldy and fester. Well this is exactly what happens inside your body with undigested food. You’d seriously be amazed at what kind of illnesses this can cause. Evidence has shown, that undigested food also has an impact on our bones and subsequently a connection with Arthritic & Rhumatic disorders.
According to Ayurveda, the residue of undigested or partially digested food is called Ama usually caused by a poor digestive fire (jatharagni). This residue can build up, stagnate & ferment and if left untreated can cause serious problems. In fact Ama is the earliest form of disease manifestation in the body, which is why controlling it’s production is critical to maintaining good health. In today’s times, most of us lead busy lives. We don’t eat well or regularly and because we don’t know the damage its causing, we let it continue and this causes a build up of Ama to occur. Even though Ama may not immediately manifest itself in the form of a serious disease, it does start giving subtle signs through little illnesses. Here are some of the basic symptoms to indicate you have Ama build up.
- Laziness, drowsiness or weakness
- Depression and irritability
- Slight fever, general pain in the body or the legs
- Loss of appetite
- Heaviness in the stomach after eating
- Formation of gas or wind
- A coating on the tongue
- Bad breath
- Excessive perspiration with a strong odor
- Dull skin and eyes
- Presence of mucus in the stool
Controlling Ama with Ayurveda
Here I’m not talking about a miracle cure or trying to make shed loads of money from the remedy of the century. Unfortunately it’s not possible to completely remove Ama from the internal systems of the body because there are no channels for its natural elimination. Traditional Indian Ayurvedic massage therapy however is a fantastic way of helping the body break down these potentially deadly toxins so the body flushes things through quicker.
Of course right diet and lifestyle are vital for good bodily function and should always be applied whether you’re going to look at Ayurveda or not.
You should Include more of fresh, organic vegetables; sweet, juicy fruits; whole grains such as couscous, barley (jau), amaranth (chauli), millet (bajra) and rice; and easily digested proteins such as lentil soup in your diet.
Increase intake of boiled or steamed vegetables, bitter foods, vegetable soup, vegetable and fruit juices and buttermilk. To reduce the buildup of Ama you should at all costs avoid fried foods, heavy foods such as cheese, meat, rich desserts and all other items that are difficult to digest. Avoid eating or drinking anything cold.
Drinking warm water throughout the day is a good way to flush out Ama from the body.
Don’t snack between meals unless you are actually hungry, and wait until your previous meal is digested.
Use spices such as turmeric (haldi), cumin (jeera), asafetida (hing) and coriander (dhania) as they assist the process of digestion.
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