Agni and Ama
The term Agni is used in Ayurveda to signify digestive capability. A strong Agni is required throughout the body to effectively metabolise anything that enters the body be it mental (information, stress, grief) or physical (food, medicines…) and excrete that which is not required. When Agni is weak, toxins or Ama are formed? But what exactly is a toxin in the body?
Simply put, toxins are something in the body that shouldn’t be there. This may be congestion or mucous in the lungs, acne or psoriasis on the skin, gall or kidney stones, fibroids, cysts, excess water, even negative thought patterns. Contrary to popular belief, toxins are not simply sugary/fatty food, alcohol or nicotine.
When high levels of Ama are present in the body, in whatever form, we may feel sluggish, tired, depressed, have generalised aches and pain and digestive disorders such as constipation, bloating and gas. Over time these symptoms can develop into longer-term problems such as high cholesterol, diabetes, IBS, arterial sclerosis, tumours and mental illness.
During the consultation, the presence of Ama will have been assessed from your answers to the questions asked and, crucially, through tongue diagnosis.
If any Ama is present, in the first instance you may be recommended to follow a detoxifying programme to address this so that subsequent treatment will be more effective. The purpose of this detoxifying programme is to kick-start the body’s own cleansing and healing mechanism. Although very simple and gentle, it is highly effective in improving the body’s digestive capacity and stimulating the effective elimination of toxins. It is achieved through a combination of warming and nourishing foods, cleansing herbs, gentle exercise and massage.