EAT TASTE HEAL: An Ayurvedic Cookbook for Modern Living
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Ayurveda 101
ayurveda 101
ayurvedic overview
five elements of nature
three mind-body types
digestive fire
toxic accumulation
optimal digestion
seven bodily tissues
what's my dosha?
the six tastes
ayurveda detox
ayurvedic resources
why buy organic?

The Toxic Byproduct of Poor Digestion- Ama

If water and blood are the sweet nectars of the body, ama is the rotten sludge. Ama is undigested food residue that lodges itself within the organs and channels of the body. With the consistency of a sticky paste, ama is whitish-yellow in color and has a putrid smell.

When our ability to digest food becomes impaired, the body can no longer absorb essential nutrients. Undigested and partially digested food lingers in the body, leading to the formation of ama. Ayurveda views ama as one of the most threatening opponents to good health, linking the majority of health disorders in some way to the presence of this substance. Simply stated, ama is undigested food that begins to eat you!

Ayurveda identifies numerous ways to prevent the accumulation of ama. A balanced diet, lifestyle, and exercise routine are important places to begin. Inward practices such as meditation are also important for staying in touch with the true essence of your inner nature.

Ayurveda also identifies numerous ways to rid the body of excess ama. Sweating through physical exercise, for example, is a highly effective way to release ama from the tissues and channels of the body. After breathing, sweating is the body’s second largest method of detoxification. Special dietary practices, such as drinking cleansing teas or fasting, are also effective. We will discuss these in detail in Chapter 5.

If you would like to get a general idea of your current ama levels, print out the questionnaire below and circle a number for each question. A score between 0-15 indicates a low level of ama; 16-35 indicates a moderate amount of ama; and 36-50 indicates a high level of ama.

Ama Questionnaire    
I often feel a sense of blockage in my body
(such as constipation or congestion).
0 1 2 3 4 5
I often have difficulty digesting food 0 1 2 3 4 5
I feel foggy when I wake up in the morning.
0 1 2 3 4 5
I tend to feel weak for no apparent reason. 0 1 2 3 4 5
I often feel lethargic and unmotivated. 0 1 2 3 4 5
I feel the need to cough regularly. 0 1 2 3 4 5
I become easily exhausted, both mentally and physically. 0 1 2 3 4 5
I frequently feel depressed. 0 1 2 3 4 5
I often have no taste for food 0 1 2 3 4 5
I catch a cold several times a year. 0 1 2 3 4 5
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