The Ayurvedic texts use the Sanskrit word “visha,” or “poison” to describe toxins.
The ancient doctors have described different types of toxins that our bodies accumulate.
Anything that is not useful material, the body can respond to as a toxin. SV Ayurveda describes toxins as “poisons” that are not useful for bodily functions and their accumulation leads to disease and accelerated aging. The four types of body toxins are:
- Undigested food residue (“ama” in Sanskrit). It results from heavy diet or poor digestion. At this stage, toxins are non-reactive, but can nevertheless create blockages and impair circulation. Some signs of this initial stage of mild toxicity include: white coating on the tongue, bad breath, mucus in the throat or sinuses, fatigue, lack of taste perception, heavy head.
- Reactive undigested food residue (“ama-visha” in Sanskrit): If the ama sits too long in the physiology, it ferments and creates acidic environment for free radials to thrive. These are endogenous toxins (made within the body), and depending on where they are seated, they can cause different inflammatory reactions and diseases.
- Environmental toxins (“gara-visha” in Sanskrit): These are external toxins we accumulate from the environment around us: air and water pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol, medications, chemicals in processed foods, pesticides, inhaled aerosols and cleaning agents, dental materials; animal and insect bites, and many more. In small amounts these chemicals are considered safe, but when accumulated in the body over time, they can become harmful. Environmental toxins are acidic in nature and have to be removed slowly and carefully.
- Electromagnetic Frequency (EMF) and Electromagnetic Radiation (EMR) (“indra-vajra-avijanya-visha” in Sanskrit): This is toxicity from microwaves, cell phones, computers, wireless internet, TV screens, electric shock, lightning, leaking of nuclear plants, and more. EMF is like synthetic prana—it looks and functions like living energy, but it disrupts our energy meridians and nervous system. High doses of radiation (EMR) are extremely toxic and life-threatening.