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Dr. Vikram Chauhan - MD (Ayurveda)

Thursday, September 14, 2023

Concept Of Aama (Toxins) In Ayurveda - Prevention & Management


The Concept of Aama is often not clear amongst our minds. What is the role of Aama? How does it affect our body? Aama plays a crucial role in our digestive system. To understand Aama it is important to know about Agni-The Digestive Fire as well. Our Acharyas have talked about Aama in the texts under Ayurveda and Diseases and Treatment related to Aama. Let's understand in detail about Aama, how it affects our body and its prevention and treatment.

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Aama is the result of incomplete digestion and poor metabolism. Digestion is defined as the process of conversion of food into useful components and nutrients absorbed by the body for proper functioning and healthy living. If the process of digestion or metabolism of the body is poor or slow naturally, or affected due to some other associated disease then Aama can be produced. The undigested juice present in the body is Aama. Now the Question is How? We consume food and after digestion our body obtains the nutrition from the food which nourishes the cells of the body, we all are aware about it but due to pathological reasons or some etiological factors Aama is formed instead, and this aama enters up to subcellular level in the body instead of nutrition and leads to various Auto-Immune Diseases. As one consumes food depending on the digestion either nutrition reaches the subcellular level for healthy functioning of the body or due to Manda-Agni (low digestive fire) or Aajirna(indigestion) Aama is produced which after reaching the subcellular level interferes with normal functioning of the body leading to Auto-Immune Diseases. On the basis of absence and presence of aama it is described as Sa-aama awastha (associated with aama) and Nir-aama awastha (not associated with aama).In other words, Aama can be referred to as the Endo-toxins present in the body. It develops as 'Apakwa'(undigested) rasa in the body. Let's learn a bit about Agni (Digestive Fire) as well. Every being has a different kind of Digestive Fire. Acharya Charak has classified Agni's as- Manda Agni- Kafa Dominant (Low Digestive Fire), Tikshna Agni - Pitta Dominant (High Digestive Fire) and Sama Agni- Samya Dosha (Normal Digestive Fire). Our capacity of food intake and digestion depends on the kind of Agni one holds, which varies person to person.


Due to the following reasons the digestive fire is not able to work properly and leads to indigestion which ultimately develops Ama Dosha in the body.


  • Fasting
  • Intake of Toxic food Combinations (Viruddha-Ahara) Eg. Fish+Milk, Watermelon+Milk etc. These kinds of food combinations are not advised together.
  • More food intake on Indigestion
  • Overeating
  • Excess intake of heavy and cold food products
  • Lack of nutritious or balanced diet

Due to a bad eating routine the body will not get the proper amount of nutrition required and one will become more prone to diseases which eventually affects the immunity of the body.


  • Holding the natural urges (Vegavdharan)
  • Laziness
  • Change of environment and food (While travelling)


It is important to consume food with good mental health and if a person is consuming food with some kind of stress in mind, anger, fear, grief or any other mental issues then it can become one of the reasons for development of aama.


Aama can be one of the reasons for the development of Gastrointestinal Diseases, Diarrhoea, Udara Rog (Diseases of Abdomen), Alaska (Sluggish Bowels) etc.


Aama can be one of the reasons for the development of Gastrointestinal Diseases, Diarrhoea, Udara Rog (Diseases of Abdomen), Alaska (Sluggish Bowels) etc.


The Concept of Viruddh aahar is mentioned by our acharyas and is defined as intake of food with opposite properties together. Let's make it clear in our minds with the help of examples.


  • Intake of seafood with milk, jaggery, sesame seeds, Lotus Stalk etc.
  • Milk Intake with foods like Radish, Garlic etc,

Everybody loves consuming Food like Pizzas, Burgers but we never think about how it is made, what kind of ingredients are combined together. With this thought, let's talk about Sanyong and Sanskar Viruddha.


The word sanyog implies combination and sanskar implies cooked together. If a person is consuming Sattu (roasted gram flour powder mixed in water) right after having dairy products (Eg. Kheer) then it is considered sanyog viruddha. Let's take a more common eg, if we are consuming a pizza that means we are having dairy product (cream) combined with sauces (citrus) and this kind of combination is mentioned as a viruddha aahar in Ayurvedic texts as these combinations does not combine well and lead to aama dosha. It is contraindicated to consume Jaggery and corn together. Citrus fruits like Mango, Lemon, blackberry (Jamun) etc should not be consumed with milk. So next time be choosy while having shakes and pancakes.


Different countries have different eating patterns according to the weather and lifestyle. Ayurvedic texts state that one should develop or adapt eating habits according to weather. For eg. People living in coastal areas should not consume cold and snigdha (brings oil, softness in the body) food. During Winters it is always advised to consume til(sesame), Gudh(Jaggery), hot and heavy products and foods like sattu (Roasted Gram Flour),Light and Fibrous diet is recommended in summers. If a person is not following it then it will cause health problems.


There are some food items which can be consumed in a particular way. We can not heat honey and consume it as it is considered a poison. It is contraindicated to drink hot water after consuming honey or adding honey in equal amounts of ghee all this is contraindicated. Honey is a sweetener and is not supposed to be consumed in these ways.


Every person has different digestive power and if a person with low digestive power will consume a heavy diet and a person with good digestive power will consume less diet then required, it will ultimately lead to poor health.

It is very important to know what we are consuming, whether it is healthy or not. The concept of Virudh aahar prevents us from numerous diseases and Aama as well. Nowadays people are experimenting and trying to cook different recipes but are those recipes healthy, the food combinations used are correct or poisonous. Ayurveda explains it all.


After Aama Formation Patient experiences the following sign and symptoms-

  • Stasis of Faecal matter
  • Nausea or Vomiting
  • Stiffness (Could be Abdominal)
  • Headaches
  • Indigestion
  • Anorexia (not willing to eat)
  • Thirst
  • Fever
  • Laziness, Lethargy and Yawning frequently
  • Vertigo or Fainting


Under Ayurvedic Texts Treatment of aama is considered as Prtyakhyaya i.e. Difficult to cure. The reason given by acharyas behind this context is, as aama is considered as a toxic agent or a kind of poison formed in the body so keeping that in mind the suitable treatment against poison is 'Sheeta Chikitsa' which includes Rukshana, Stambhana etc but this treatment works against Aama and if we keep the causes of aama in mind then the treatment should be 'Ushana Chikitsa' which includes swedana therapy etc. So, to rule out one there is a risk of an increase of another so that is why our acharyas have considered it under Asadhya Rogas particularly Pratyakhyaya which means symptomatic treatment can be given according to the condition of the patient. Keeping in mind what our Acharyas have said the following herbs are useful to cure aama-

  • Deepan (Appetiser), Pachan (Digestion) Aushadhi. For Eg. Shatapushpa (Anethum sowa), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Nimba (Azadirachta indica), Pippali (Piper longum), Shunthi (Zingiber officianalis).
  • Langhan (fasting) is considered a good way to cure aama by resting the stomach and then consuming a light diet when hungry. This will ease the problem.
  • Swedana or Abhyanga (Therapeutic Massage) prevents aama formation.
  • Aptarpana Chikitsa - It includes Langhan, Sweden, Rukshana and is specifically used to cure Aama Awastha.
  • Use of Triphla (Haradh, Bahedha, Amla) along with ghee eases digestion.
  • Medications like-Amalaki Rasayana (One Capsule Twice Daily with warm water), Mahashankh Vati (One Tablet Twice a day 10 minutes before meal with warm water), Aganitundi Vati(1-2 tablets twice a day with lukewarm water.

The above formulations include herbs that work in managing the aama dosha, supports the digestive system and also works on our immunity.


  • Avoid overeating, animal foods like fish, meat etc. and consume a balanced diet.
  • Whole grain food like barley, quinoa, millets etc and sour fruits are helpful to cure Aama.Vitamin-C is a good source to remove toxins from the body.
  • Aloe Vera juice, Fresh lime juice, 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar is beneficial to avoid heartburn, indigestion.
  • Adapt a daily active routine which includes-Yoga, Brisk walking, and exercise daily. Do mindful activities and meditate to overcome stress.
  • Mental problems like stress and anxiety worsen the conditions so avoid these problems by meditation, listening to good music, reading, massage.


It is very important to release the toxins out of the body to lead a healthy life and for that it is essential to understand Aama.The bottom line is that by knowing the concept of Aama which is only mentioned in our Ayurvedic texts, one can be prevented from AutoImmune diseases by taking the precautions and treatment guided above. For more information you can visit

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