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NATURAL FRIDAYS: Agni and Ama

by Sarah on February 4th, 2011

In Ayurveda, digestion refers to more than just digesting our food. It also looks at our ability to digest change; something which is an important thing for all pregnant women and new moms to think about. Everything in life needs to be processed. Information we gather, changing jobs, recovering from an illness, having babies and the food we eat. Our body maintains its balance by protecting itself from change, but disease (however great or small) arrives when we are unable to fully process change.  If we are able to digest everything fully, we are able to heal ourselves fully.

Our ability to digest is known as “Agni” – which means fire. Anything which blocks the digestive process is is known as “Ama”. Signs like gas, bloating or tiredness after meals, show that there is an imbalance.

A healthy, balanced body digests food fully, making it a part of the body. Ayurevedic medicine uses the qualities in food for balance. Examples of qualities in food are that chillies are hot and cucumbers are cool. Bread is heavy and salads are light. In Ayurveda it is also important to balance the six tastes of food: bitter, sweet, sour, salty, astringent and pungent.

I have realised that I definitely do not have a balanced digestive system. I often feel tired, bloated and my weight yo-yo’s up and down. There are other areas in my life where I can see that I am out of balance too, where I am resisting change. I often feel frustrated because I’m not able to do all the things I want to do, when I want to do them. I imagine this is the case with almost every mom (especially first-timers). I hope to use these Ayurvedic principles of Agni and Ama to balance my system, and to process the changes that I am experiencing. I’m sure it’s going to help me, and I hope it will help you too.

Next week I’m going to talk specifically about a healthy Ayurvedic diet for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Have a wonderful weekend!