“Ama is a toxin that is created within the digestive system in response to poor digestion. Ama means, “unripe or undigested.” Ama overflows from the digestive system, coats the cells of the body and mixes with the doshas. Together ama and the doshas enter the dhatus and srotamsi (channels) of the body and interfere with the normal functions of the affected tissue. Ama complicates disease. Diseases are classified as occurring with ama (sama) or without ama (nirama).
Ama is caused by poor digestion. Poor digestion occurs when agni (digestive fire) is disturbed. Agni may be disturbed by any dosha.
Ama is most easily identified by its signs and symptoms. When ama is present in the body, the tongue usually becomes coated, the breath is foul and the body odor is strong. As ama occurs when the digestive agni is weak, the patient will usually present with digestive symptoms as well. As ama interferes with tissue function, patients with ama often appear fatigued.” ~ Excerpt from “Principles of Ayurvedic Medicine,” by Dr. Marc Halpern, Founder of the California College of Ayurveda