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How Ayurveda helps Alleviate Toxins formed in the Body

Author : Gurnam Saini   LinkedIn Facebook



What is Toxin/Ama?


According to Ayurveda, Ama/Toxin is the un-metabolised waste that is not utilised by the body. It can be formed from foods that are absorbed but then not used, or that are undigested and create fermentation and imbalance all three Doshas.

It causes blockage of the channels, mucus congestion, loss of strength, lack of movement and reverse flow of Vata, accumulation of wastes, oedema, low digestive fire, bloating, constipation, itchy anus, thick tongue coating, sluggish and slippery pulse, lack of enthusiasm and stagnation in the tissues.

How we accumulate ama/toxins in the body?

Our bodies are in a constant state of repair and renewal. During this process we naturally produce metabolic waste which must be eliminated effectively in order to stay healthy. We are also exposed to all sorts of bacteria, viruses and other pathogens on a daily basis.
As long as our immune and digestive system is strong, healthy and balanced it is usually easily able to cope with this onslaught without any adverse reactions or illnesses.

Cause of toxins formation in the body Ayurveda Perspective:

1. Eating a large, heavy meal in the evening.

This is the single, largest and most common mistake that most people make. This behaviour is especially problematical after 40 as the metabolism and digestion become slower. If you are overweight and over 40 it will be harder to reverse a weight problem without cutting back large evening meals.
2. Eating leftovers that have been in the refrigerator

Food that has been cooked and then refrigerated can be high in toxins creating qualities. Our diet should be fresh food freshly prepared for good health.

3. Eating processed, refined foods made by man and not by nature

The more a food has been processed and fractions of it isolated by chemical processes the more likely it is high in toxins creating quality. In Ayurvedic terms processing destroys the inner intelligence and prana (life force) of the food. Processed foods should be avoided as much as possible include canned, packaged and frozen foods.

4. Ingesting cold foods and drinks

Cold depresses the digestive fire and increases the likelihood that toxins will be created from food.

So if we constantly eat devitalised, refined and processed food; breathe polluted air; drink impure liquids; take pharmaceutical drugs; entertain negative thoughts; fail to exercise; work too hard; suffer from stress; sleep excessively; go to bed late; wake late; eat at the wrong time of day and eat foods inappropriate for our body-type, toxins can build up to levels that the body is unable to cope with adequately. We then become tired and depressed and eventually begin to suffer from ill health.
Effects of toxins on the body

A per ayurveda, as the toxins (ama) build up they begin to solidify and crystallise and interfere with the functioning of the tissues.
Eventually they cause hardening of the joints, muscles and bones, blocking of the arteries and impairment of the digestive process. Chronic constipation, indigestion, bloating, bad breath, excess weight, water retention, fatty deposits, cysts, cellulite, anxiety, heaviness, tiredness, pain in the lower back and joints, persistent headaches, varicose veins and other more serious complaints also begin to manifest.

The white coating on the tongue each morning gives a good indication of the amount of mental stress and physical toxicity in our tissues. If our digestion is strong and the body is healthy this toxic residue (ama) doesn’t appear.
Ama/ toxin is essentially undigested food and the coating on the tongue becomes especially thick and profuse if the colon is functioning poorly. It usually becomes even more noticeable after eating and/or drinking late in the evening.
At this time of day the body is unable to digest large quantities of food and undigested residues are left permeating the bodily tissues.  Ayurveda describes this as one of the main reasons muscles can feel stiff, sore, tired and heavy in the morning; the muscle fibres are literally tangled or ‘glued’ together by thick, sticky mucus or toxin (the same as the coating on the tongue) and they can no longer glide smoothly and freely over each other.
Some of the Modern signs of ama/toxins in the body
High triglycerides, atherosclerosis, late-onset diabetes, high blood sugar levels, some forms of depression, rheumatoid factor, the presence of  helicopylori bacteria, leukocytosis or leukocytopaenia (deficient and excess white blood cells), excess antibodies, Candida albicans in the gut and uterus, blood urea, gout, excess platelet count, high IgE levels from allergic reactions, excess red blood cells, gall stones as a sign of excess bile, kidney stones as a sign of unmetabolised calcium and oxalates, high liver enzymes (serum alanine aminotransferase [ALT], serum aspartate aminotransferase [AST]), intraocular pressure (glaucoma), bacterial infection, high temperature, tumours.
Symptoms of ama/toxins accumulation

• You wake up tired even after a good night’s sleep.
• You feel lethargic

• Your tongue is coated especially upon awaking in the morning

• You don't feel real hunger even when you haven't eaten for hours

• You have generalized aches and pains. They often are noticed the day after eating certain heavy foods, like meat, cheeses, desserts and fried foods
• You lack mental clarity and energy

• You have a sense of heaviness in the abdomen, legs or body as a whole

• You feel weary and unenthusiastic

• You experience frequent indigestion like gas bloating and or heartburn

• You feel blocked anywhere in the body, including constipation, sinus congestion and difficulty breathing.
All the above symptoms are aggravated by the cold, the wet and at night, the symptoms are also aggravated by eating foods with a similar quality to ama; heavy, wet, unctuous, sticky and sweet, cold.

Symptoms of an ama-free ayurveda physiology

• You feel fresh, rested and even blissful upon awakening in the morning

• Your skin has a healthy glow

• Your tongue is pink and clear

• Your body feels light, regardless of your weight

• Aches and pains are disappearing

• You do not feel bloated or heavy in the abdomen

• You feel energetic during the day

• You feel enthusiastic

• Your mind is clear
Ayurveda Treatment of ama/toxins
As soon as we become aware of dis-harmony in the body, whether it be tiredness, stress, negativity, anger, anxiousness, depression or physical symptoms such as nausea, skin rashes, pain or stiffness, we should quickly try and redress the balance by reducing the amount of toxins entering the body whilst also reducing the toxins stored in the body.
This can be achieved by changing our diet and lifestyle, increasing our digestive capacity, cleansing our colon and detoxifying our bodily tissues. In the cae of major ama invasion in the body, just changing our diet or taking a few herbal remedies may only show limitng limited affect, unless we also cleanse the body at the same time.

Once the digestive system has been purified, balanced and strengthened, the ingestion of pure, unrefined foods and the taking of herbal teas and remedies will start to have the desired effect on the areas of the body we specifically wish to improve.
Our ultimate goal should be to create constant energy, vitality, lightness, love, compassion and joy which are our inherent birthright and allow us to act efficiently, effectively and appropriately at all times; they are also the true measure of a healthy mind and body.

On the other hand, if we constantly ingest toxic material over a prolonged period of time the body finally reaches a point where it is no longer able to process and eliminate them properly and they begin to damage our tissues and organs.
Our health suffers and we become prone to diseases of the mind and body. The longer we ignore the signs and symptoms and refuse to change our ways, the greater the likelihood of a serious chronic problem developing and the harder it becomes to regain control over the problem.

Ayurveda suggests that even a health person should undergo a twice yearly courses of panchakarma detox therapy treatments for ten to fourteen days duration, as this helpd to maintian the vitality and rejunivates our body. For instance we need the once a year maintaince of our car or favourite electronic gadgets for its smooth running, so imagine how important it must be to service our body!
However, once a chronic ailment has become established Panchakarma detox therapy program may be considered as the vital ayurveda treatment pathway to cleanse the body first, before the actual treamtent is commenced.




Author Bio:

Gurnam Saini has over 15 years’ experience in Ayurvedic naturopathy treatments in Melbourne, Australia. He has completed his bachelor degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery from Baba Farid University of Health Sciences, India. He has done MD in Alternative Medicine and certificate courses in Panchakarma Detox, Pulse diagnosis and skin care. He is also a member of the Australasian Association of Ayurveda (AAA). He has won awards for ground-breaking work in Ayurveda globally.Read More


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