Ama-Ayurvedic Medicine and Energy
By Todd Caldecott • February 19th, 2009 • 10000 Views
In my last article, I talked about a concept in Ayurveda called ojas, representative of the body's “vital” energy, specifically relating to that aspect which provides for strength of body and physical endurance, as well as mental fortitude and generosity of spirit. In Ayurvedic medicine, ojas most closely corresponds to kapha dosha, one of the three humors recognized by Ayurveda, each of which is responsible for a particular subset of physiological balance called ‘homeostasis'.
Both kapha and ojas share similar qualities: both have heavy, moistening and stabilizing properties, and in essence are simply octaves of each other, one representing balance (ojas) and the other some metabolic disturbance (kapha). There is an importance difference however: kapha is generally associated with a cooling influence, an effect of decreased heat and physiological stasis in the body, causing the general congestion indicated by the translation of the term ‘kapha', which literally means ‘phlegm'. In contrast, ojas contains within it not only the subtle refinement of the tissues, or dhatus, but also the subtle refinement of agni itself, the digestive fire, and thus has a mildly warming, gently stimulating effect, leading to the proper growth, development and nourishment of the body.
Ama forms as the result of a weak agni allowing for the improper digestion of food. See earlier article for the concept of ama. Like kapha and also ojas, ama is similarly heavy, wet and solid in nature, and has a self-structuring activity that in advanced conditions begins to form a second body, within the body. Cancer is an excellent example of ama, which when allowed to develop over years, begins to derange the activities of certain tissues, particularly those that are weak or already damaged, modifying the DNA and essentially taking over the machinery of the body to serve its own agenda.
Interestingly enough, a virus also functions in this way, taking over the machinery of the body to produce copies of itself. Although viruses aren't exactly classified as ama, they certainly thrive when ama is present, and can function in cooperation with ama to usurp the body's metabolic machinery. This is why, just prior to the seasons when many viruses tend to become active, for example during the cold and flu season of fall and spring time, an Ayurvedic cleansing program is undertaken to remove ama from the body, decreasing the likelihood viral infections....