When jatharagni (digestive function) becomes disturbed or impaired as a result of dosha imbalance its ability to properly break down nutrients results in the formation of a substance known in ayurveda as ama.

Ama is described as being a sticky, dense, morbid substance that is unable to build or repair bodily tissues, or form waste products leading to obstruction in the channels of the body. Depending on the specific dosha’s involved determines the specific presentation of ama and its location within the digestive system.

For example due to kapha being aggravated and its main location being situated in the upper region of the stomach, chest and oral cavity, ama may present as congestion and obstruct the healthy function of the respiratory system.

If pitta is involved it may present in the pitta region of the digestive system where most of the bodies chemical activities occur such as small intestine, liver, pancreas and spleen. This may present as inflammation associated with poor absorption and impaired enzyme and bile activity.

If ama is produced as a result of vata disturbance there may be impaired function associated with the main site of vata being the large intestine. This may lead to impaired elimination due to congestion or irregular motility.

Ama, if not properly addressed, will cross the digestive cell membranes and begin its journey into the channels of circulation creating further health complications by compromising tissue health and metabolism.

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