AMA – Mother of diseases

amla

This blog has focused many times on AMA. What is it? Well, something we would be better off without, right now! While not easy, it’s fortunately possible to get rid of. But I’m getting ahead of myself….

What is AMA and how does it arise?

AMA, in Ayurveda, is known as a toxic mucus. Initially lining the intestinal wall, it later spreads throughout the body where it looks for suitable places to build up and cause disease. It is a fertile medium for the growth of bacteria and fungi and so is responsible for inflammations, as well as the weakening of the digestive system, high cholesterol, asthma, joint pain, cysts, tumours, diarrhea, hair loss and weight problems.

AMA has actually been familiar to Europeans under different guises for at least 1000 years. St. Hildegard of Bingen, the renowned German mystic and healer, wrote of toxic, penetrating substances in which parasites thrive. Her studies of folk medicine as well as her philosophical works are highly regarded today throughout the world.

AMA accumulates in the body because there are no easy channels by which it can be removed. As its removal requires time and effort it is desirable to prevent its accumulation. Where does AMA come from? Undigested food particles accumulate in the intestine and begin to break down, creating AMA.

There are several factors which encourage growth of AMA levels:

  • Consuming large amounts of processed foods or fried foods, foods hard to digest or containing white flour, sugar and preservatives, junk food, meat (which the body cannot easily digest);
  • Nutrition not in accordance with one’s Ayurvedic type;
  • Excessive eating during one meal or eating ‘all the time’;
  • Suppressing the digestive process with icy drinks;
  • Reduced effectiveness of the gastrointestinal tract (lowered metabolism);
  • Eating while stressed.

How can I check if I have AMA?

  • Decreased appetite (or increased appetite for sweets);
  • Heaviness in the stomach after eating, feeling of being full or of distended abdomen, constipation, heartburn;
  • Listlessness during the day, chronic fatigue;
  • Coated tongue (see ‘how to clean’ below);
  • Sticky mucous stool which sinks in the toilet (it should float) or is difficult to flush;
  • Frequent infection, weakened immunity
  • Excessive weight

Cleansing the body – removing AMA

AMA is considered by Ayurveda to be the ‘mother’ of most diseases. So treatment of such, besides the relief of the symptoms of the particular disease, usually focuses on the cleansing of the body of AMA, so as to remove the cause as well as the effect.

Methods for the removal of AMA

  • In the morning clean the tongue and sensory organs (eyes, ears, nose);
  • Drink, on an empty stomach, a glass of warm water;
  • Aloe Vera – 1 tablespoon in the morning balances doshas, ​neutralizes toxins and cleanses and stimulates the liver;
  • Eat fresh, easily digestible, produce which stimulates the digestive system (using spices for cooking);
  • Drink ginger or mint tea (2-3 times daily)
  • Try this anti-AMA remedy: In equal proportions mix ginger, cumin, anise (or cilantro) and mint powder, take one teaspoon mixture after a meal with some water. Store mixture in a sealed container;
  • during and after meals drink hot water;
  • Regular exercise, including breathing exercises (e.g. Jivananda) helps to unlock and remove AMA from body tissue, as oxygen is removed from AMA cells;
  • Self-massage with oil;
  • In the evening, before bedtime, drink some Gold Milk (recipe)
  • In the evening try Ayurvedic herbal Triphala blend (description at the bottom of post), which detaches AMA from the walls of the intestines and facilitates its elimination. It is also helpful for constipation (in Poland this is available at online stores; in Singapore in Little India, and in Indonesia at the Mustafa Indian store);
  • In addition you can perform a digestive process balancing procedure (described below).

After this initial cleansing of the body of AMA, it is advisable to practice an occasional cleansing diet over a few days, or alternatively a weekly fast of water or juice. This helps in the fight against excessive weight, while ridding the body/preventing build up of AMA.

AMA and the mind

A few words about a different form of AMA, which works in relation to the mind. If our nervous system is not able to ‘digest’ stimuli provided to us, because they are ‘too difficult’ or ‘too much’ for us, then a serious mental blockage may result; causing anxiety, neurosis, depression, psychosis or autoimmune diseases.

Cleansing the mind of AMA mind can be achieved using techniques such as ensuring silence, deep breathing, concentration, meditation and proper rest (regular sleep of 6-7 hours). In difficult cases psychotherapy may be indicated.

We can care for our mind by following a consistent path of self-development, by building strong relationships with worthy people, as well as by controlling what we feed our senses: what we hear, see, smell, and think. All these help make the mind stronger and more stable. Try a simple test: devote a day to watching movies full of aggression or fear, listen to aggressive music, get involved in arguments. Then for the next day avoid reading bad news on the Internet, focus on positive thinking, listen to relaxing music and meet with good friends.

You don’t even need to take the test in order to understand what effect our external environment has on us. Failure to control these negative external factors over a long period of time can be extremely harmful. Everyone has a different tolerance level, so finding your own personal threshold, as well as effective methods for combating stress, are essential in developing and sustaining your well being. Good luck!

AMLA / Amalaki (pictured above) is an Indian gooseberry variety. It’s very sour, but also extremely rich in vitamin C. It is often added to shampoos and hair oils (prevents hair loss), as well as cosmetics and medicines. It is the main ingredient of Triphala and Chyawanprash, as well as of Ayurvedic jam. Purifying and revitalizing the body, it is found in most Indian homes (Recommended dosage: 1 teaspoon 1-2 times a day, available in Poland at online stores and on eBay). Hindus also appreciate Triphala, a compound excellent for constipation and used to purify the blood, gastrointestinal tract and the whole body. As a famous Indian saying goes, ‘you don’t have a mother? Do not worry, as long as you have Triphala.’

translated by Mark / (polish version)

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