AYURVEDA: The Concept of Ama
The discussion on Agni and Digestion is not complete without mentioning Ama.
AYURVEDA says that deranged Agni not only causes depletion of the body constituents and derangement of their function, but also results in the formation of a contaminating substance called Ama. Ama is like a build-up of toxins. Ama has broadly been defined as the ‘undigested’. It is the result of impaired metabolism at all the three levels of Agni. It has the capacity to block the channels (srotas) and also impair the Doshas.
That is why Ayurveda puts a lot of emphasis on the proper functioning of Agni.
At the level of the first stage of digestion where any of the sub stages may get deranged, the Ama laden food juice produces grosser symptoms like occlusions of channels and aggravation of the Doshas.
But if Ama is produced at the level of the Elements due to deranged Elemental fires, then the symptoms are more sensory, mental and at the level of consciousness.
If the Ama is produced due to deranged Tissue fire then it is more restricted from spreading and produces local symptoms in the respective tissue system.
So you can see that Agni is very important for the nourishment, growth and proper functioning of the body. We should be ever mindful of the status of agni and avoid the causes responsible for its derangement, for a Healthy and Long Life.