In this post, we’ll explain all you need to know about Ojas, Agni and Ama, defining exactly what they are, their unique functions, how they impact the body and more.
Ojas, Agni & Ama
In Ayurveda, food is considered the foundation for optimal functioning of the mind and body.
The way food is processed is dependant entirely on digestion. In fact, Ayurveda assigns so much importance to digestion that it states it is better to have a bad diet but good digestion than to have a good diet but bad digestion.
The 3 primary factors that influence digestion are: Ojas, Agni and Ama. When food is metabolised, the optimal end product of digestion is Ojas.
Ojas translates literally from Sanskrit to energy and is responsible for immunity and vitality.
When food is properly digested, Ojas is generated which creates health and ease in the body. The prerequisite for Ojas to be generated is Agni.
Agni translates literally from Sanskrit to fire and is responsible for digestion and metabolism.
When Agni is strong, food can be properly digested which generates Ojas. When Agni is weak, food cannot be properly digested which generates Ama.
Ama translates literally from Sanskrit to undigested and is responsible for sickness and disease.
Ama refers to the toxins which are the by-product of weak digestion. When these toxins accumulate in the body, they gradually impair Praṇa (life-force energy), Ojas (the immune system) and Tejas (cell metabolism).
When Ama is present in the body, the tongue becomes coated, the breath becomes foul and body odor becomes strong.
According to Ayurveda, Ama, together with unbalanced Doshas, are the root cause of all disease.
Agni Versus Ama
The qualities of Agni are the direct opposite to the qualities of Ama. Below is a table summary distinguishing the differences.
The Key To Health & Longevity
Ojas, Agni and Ama all directly impact each other.
Ojas strengthens agni. Ama weakens Agni. Strong Agni generates Ojas. Weak Agni generates Ama. As Ama increases, Ojas decreases. As Ojas increases, Ama decreases.
Based on this knowledge, nutrition is about increasing Ojas, strengthening Agni and decreasing Ama. One way to achieve this is by following the Ayurvedic guidelines for food combining.
Ojas refers to energy and is responsible for immunity and vitality. Agni refers to fire and is responsible for digestion and metabolism. Ama refers to energy and is responsible for sickness and disease.
The trinity of Ojas, Agni and Ama all directly impact each other. Consequently, the key to optimal health and longevity is increasing Ojas, strengthening Agni and decreasing Ama.