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ayurveda Glossary

Glossary of Ayurvedic Terms
An ayurvedic oil massage in which massage is done so that warm oil reach into the tissues of the entire body. This helps to facilitate the removal of accumulated ama (toxins) and the doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) from the body.

Good conduct, an established rule of behavior.

Agada tantra
, a branch of Ayurveda that deals with poisons and their treatment.

Conception of one's individuality, egoism, pride.

Activities that enhances and leads to good health.

Indigestion, poor digestion.

Ether, sky or the atmosphere.


Physical appearance or external structure or shape.

A container that made with dried gourd.

Alocaka (Pitta)
A type of Pitta governing vision.

Amala (Amalaki)
A well known
Ayurvedic herb which is also known as Emblica officinalis (Emblica myrobalan)

A disease caused by ama (toxins) and vata, similar to the arthritis in modern medicine.

Sour or bitter taste.

Also called Kajala it is a black pigment applied in eyes and eyelashes to enhance their beauty.

Anna-vaha srotas
The channels that transports food in the body, the digestive system.

A fluid that transports medicine or a drink taken with or after medicine.

A secondary or subordinate flavor, like a little sweetness in sour fruit.

Anuvasana (Basti)
Enema given with an oily stuff.

The water element or water.

One of the five types of vata, that moves downward and is accountable for expulsion of faces, flatus, urine, menstrual blood etc.

Offence, sin, wrong or punitive action or guilt.

One of the two types of vital fluid (ojas) present in the body that is considered inferior or less important.

A kind of migraine that affects and causes pain to half of the head or skull.

Saintly, religious, virtuous and sacred.

Posture, position or small sitting mat.

Asatmendriyartha samyoga
Improper contact of senses with their objects.

Unwholesome or improper.

Astanga Hrdya
An ancient Ayurvedic text written by well known ancient scholar Vagabhatta.

A branch of herbs that improve body's adaptability to stress, including infection, mental stresses and fatigue. It supports the adrenal glands and the pituitary glands and improves the resistance power of the body.

Agni is the synonym of fire and heat. In Ayurveda it is considered the basis of the digestive system and the process of release of energy. The term includes the body heat, body temperature, sight, the digestive fire; its function include transformation, absorption, elimination and discrimination.

Ahara rasa
A nutrient substance produced in the digestive tract by the enzymes known as the bile juice.

It is one of the five varieties of pitta that helps in grabbing an image of external objects.

The toxins that enter the blood stream and are circulated in the entire body. These are produced in the body by the raw, undigested food products that become fetid.Almost every disease is a result of toxicity ormits crisis. Toxins are vital for prana (vital life energy), ojas (immunity), and tejas (cell metabolic energy). The state of retention of toxins in the blood results in toxemia.

Herbs that reduce the sensitivity of the nerves and act as that of the analgesics.

Herbs that reduce sweating.

Herb that destroys or wipe out the parasitic worms from the digestive system.

Herbs that resist the coagulation in the affected area and helps in massage also.

It restrains inflammation and neutralizes its effects.

The medicines that absorb or attach themselves to the oxygen free radicals that are highly receptive to compounds that attack the cell membranes, enzymes etc.

The medicines that helps preventing and relieving spasm or contraction.

It acts as a stimulant and heightens senses and stimulates sexual drive when consumes.

Herbs or medicines that stimulate and increase appetite.

It relates to meaning, or the essence of every thought.

It is one of the seven components and the bone tissues that supports the body and provide it protection, shape, nourishment and endurance.

A medicine that has a binding effect as it checks hemorrhages and secretions.

Atman means the true self, the cause of consciousness and all functions of the mind.

Atreya, the author of Charaka Samhita.

Also said as OM, the god's name has in itself the sounds for all omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence. The letters A, U, M, represent the outer, the inner, and the super conscious stages of consciousness, waking, dream, and the state of extreme sleep.

It is located in the heart and the sacrum and has the essential function of nourishing, lubricating and protecting the heart and support the sacrum.

It refers to indistinct, not evident or expressed and inarticulate.

Formed with a combination of two words, Ayur means life and Veda means knowledge, Ayurveda refers to the knowledge of life. The roots of Ayurveda rest in the ancient Indian culture. Ayurveda includes or describes the secrets of association of man with nature and why we need to cooperate with Nature completely in order to insure our well being.

Acne: An inflammatory eruption occurring usually on the face and neck.

Agni: digestive fire, synonymous with properly balanced cell metabolism in Western medicine.

Ajna chakra: Centre of command,the" third eye".
Akasha: Ether or space.
Alambusha nadi: Yogic nadi, channel.
Alochaka pitta: Form of pitta governing vision.
Ama: residual impurities deposited in the cells as the result of improper digestion. Also mental ama, impure or negative thoughts and moods.
Anaemia: A below-normal level in the number of red blood cells.
Analgesic: A substance that relieves pain.
Annamaya kosha: Physical or gross body.
Apana vayu: Downward moving vayu.
Arishta: Symptom suggestive of death.
Aromatic: Taste which stimulates the gastrointestinal tract.
Artava: Menstrual Blood.
Artavaha srotas : Menstrual channels.
Arthritis: An inflammatory condition of the joints.
Asana: Posture, third stage of yoga.
Ascites: An excessive accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.
Ashvini mudra: Yogic practise of contracting anal sphinctor muscles.
Asthi: Bone.
Asthidhara kala: Special membrane for bone.
Asthma: A respiratory disorder in which there is breathlessness wheezing and cough (dry or with mucus expectoration).
Atrophy: A wasting or diminution of size or physiological activity of a part of the body.
Attributes: The inherent qualities or properties of a substance.
Avalambaka Kapha: Form of Kapha in chest.
Avasthapaka: Primary phase of digestion.


Bahya Snehana
External oleation used during Purvakarma that dissolves and dislodges ama (toxins) from the dhatus.|

A Sanskrit word which means strength or power.

An energizer that provides strength to the body.

Bashpa Svedana
Steam bath. A therapy practiced as the preparatory procedures of Panchakarma specifically used to widen the srotas or channels of the body to facilitate the removal of ama (toxins).

The enema therapy of Panchakarma that therapeutically purifies and rejuvenates the colon. Basti is the most effective treatment for vata disorders. Basti is useful in constipation, distention, chronic fever, cold, sexual disorders, kidney stones, heart pain, backache, sciatica and other joint pains like arthritis, rheumatism, gout, muscle spasm and headaches.

The sixth stage of disease symptoms characterized by complications. Also refers to division, variety and distinction.

The substances that break down fecal matter and help wipe them out of the body thus cleans the colon.

Bhrajak Pitta
A type of Pitta that gives color or luster to the skin and the metabolic function of the skin.

It means devotion for the almighty, showing faithfulness, worship and loyalty towards the god or creator.

The fire (enzyme) that digests elements (bhuta).

The five basic elements.

Demonology, the science that deals with micro-organisms and evil spirits.

Located at the root of the tongue and the pharynx it is one of the five subtypes of kapha that helps us to sense the taste of food.

The first god in the Hindu God trinity known as the creator of all mankind. It is considered that he has the universe as his body that manifests the energy of creation.

Early morning time preceding sunrise.

A state of continence followed during student life, routine followed while studying Vedas.

Bruhan Nasya
Administrating medicated oil into the nostrils to nourish both the senses and the brain.

The herbs or the natural substances that promote growth.

Refers to the intellect of the living beings, the faculty of wisdom, intelligence and discrimination.

Basti : enema
Betel leaf: A leaf eaten after a meal to assist digestion
Bhajani: A mixture of roasted cereals
Bhajiyas: Fried items of onion and other vegetables
Bharta: A mashed preparation (of aubergines)
Bhasma: Residue after incineration
Bhutagni : digestive fire governing element.
Bile: A bitter fluid secreted by the liver which flows into the small intestine, which is stored in the gallbladder. It helps to metabolize fat


Also spell as Chaksu it means Eye.

The Ayurvedic herbs that relieve intestinal gas, pain and distention and promote peristalsis.

Natural Ayurvedic herbs that are considered good for eyes and increase the tone of the ciliary muscles.

The energy centers in the body that are related to the nerve plexus center and governs the body functions.

Charaka the most renowned scholar of Ayurveda who wrote the bible of Ayurveda known as Charaka Samhita. He is also considered to be the father of Ayurveda. Charaka's encounter with nature and its beings for many years led to the writing of the great text relating to Ayurveda, naturotherapy and use of natural substances for curing and preventing diseases when mankind was unaware of the medicinal values of these substances and the various measures quoted by him.

Charaka Samhita
Written by the father of Ayurveda Charaka it is the first and most authoritative text on Ayurveda.

A Sanskrit word that means powder.

Treatment, a therapy or a practice or science of medicine.

An Ayurvedic herb that is also known as Plumbago zeylanica.

Citraka- mula
The root of the herb citrak (Plumbago zeylanica) useful to increase the strength of the digestive power.

Citrakadi vati
A compound Ayurvedic medicine made with using citrak as the main ingredient.

It refers to the state of being aware to the sensations, emotions, thoughts and with oneself.
The literal meaning of the word is to heal.

Chandan: Sandalwood (Santalum album)
Chapati: A type of Indian bread
Charak: Great Ayurvedic profounder who has written one of the classic Ayurvedic text Charak Samhita.
Charaka samhita: One of the oldest Ayurvedic text
Cholesterol: A fatty substance in crystalized form found in all animal fats, oils, milk, egg yolks, bile, blood, brain tissue, liver, kidney and adrenal glands.
Churna: Powder of medicine
Chyavanprash: A formualtion based on honey, amla and other 45 ingredients.
Colitis: A chronic disease characterized by the inflamation of colon
Compress: A pad of folded linen applied so as to create pressure upon exterior parts of the body
Conjunctivitis: A painful and infectious illness in the eyes which makes them red and makes the eyelids swollen and sticky
Cosmic energy: The all-pervading energy in the universe


Dermatitis: An inflammatory condition of the skin. characterized by redness. pain and itching
Dhatu: one of the body's seven basic constituents
Diabetes: A clinical condition characterized by the excessive secretion of urine and increased blood-sugar level
Dinacharya: daily routine
Diuretic: A substance that increases the secretion of urine
Dosha: three basic metabolic principles connecting the mind and body and biological humour.
Dosha vaishmya: pathological condition of dosha
Drava: type of attribute liquid


It is any substance that eliminates removes the impurity from the upper part of the body.

The study of the causes of all diseases. According to Ayurveda the root cause of most of the diseases is overuse, misuse or no use of the five senses.

Eczema: Acute or chronic skin inflammation
Emetic: Medicine that produces vomiting
Expectorant: A substance that promotes the ejection of mucus.


Flora: Healthful bacteria which are present in various parts of the body, list of plants of a particular place
Fomentation: Treatment by warm and moist application to skin


Clarified butter made by heating unsalted butter.

A Sanskrit word means ghee.

One of the most popular name of the Hindu God, Lord Krishna known as the rescuer of the earth.

All material entities including the mind these are the composites of the three gunas, namely the sattva, rajjas and tamas.

Celestial musicians or Heavenly singers who entertain devas and gods.

A herbal plant known as Puncture vine or Tribulus terrestris(Latin name).

A herb known as Tinospora cordifolia (Latin name).

A gum from the herb called Indian Bedellium.

Gati : quality of the pulse
Gonorrhoea: A common venereal disease most often affecting the genitourinary tract
Gout: Metabolic disease marked by acute arthritis and inflammation of the joints
Grahani : Chronic diarrhoea, malabsorption syndrome in the small intestine
Gulma : Any tumor, lump or diverticulosis
Guna: fundamental natural quality (e.g., dry, moist, hot, cold, etc.). Also applied to sattva, rajas, and tamas, the "three gunas"
Guru: type of attribute, heavy, spiritual teacher, Grishma, Summer, Teacher


Chebulic myrofalan, Latin name: Terminalia chebula.

Delightful, pleasant.

Hina yoga
Insufficient, deficien
Halasana : Plough posture
Hath Yoga : Yoga of physical postures
Hemant: Early winter
Hemoptysis: Coughing up of blood from the respiratory tract
Hemostatic: A substance that checks the flow of blood
Hima : Type of attribute, cold
Hing: Asafoetida
Hrid roga : Heart disease
Hives: Eruptions of very itchy skin caused by an allergic substance

Faculty of sense, organ of sense.

An herb commonly used as laxative. Latin Name: Plantago ovata.

It is a Sanskrit word meaning "the will".

The five senses. One of the four components of Ayu.

Means the God or the Lord who is exists forever, free and where the Lordship reaches extremity God exists.


Dried, unprocessed sugarcane juice.

Water, fluid, liquid or the water element one of the universal principle of liquidity and cohesion.


A Sanskrit word refers to stomach, belly or abdomen.

Jathara Agni
The digestive fire, located in the gastrointestinal tract.


The empirical self, individual soul or the living being.

Jiva Atma
The individual soul. One of the four components of Ayu.

Jala neti : Yogic cleansing of nasal passages by water

Japa : Repetation of mantras
Jatharagni : Digestive fire, responsible for the digestion and transformation of food material
Jaundice : A condition characterized by yellowness of the skin and elevated level of bilirubin

Kal Basti
A basti that is used at a specific time for maximum effect.

A specific time period, season.

It refers to the healthy and spiritual use of senses. It also refers to the sexual desire apart from the other two i.e. the dharma and artha which are mostly desired by men and are the three things from which a yogi, the saint must keep himself away from besides greed, fear, sleep and wrath.

Desirable, amiable, action performed for desiring an object.

It is the natural substances that recovers the hoarseness of voice and are good for throat, speech and voice.

One of the tridosha that governes cohesion, liquidity and growth of the body. It is the water humor, the intracellular fluid and the extra cellular fluid that plays significant role in the nutrition and existence of body cells and tissues.

An herb that improves the function of shukra dhatu.

A herbal plant known as Indian beech or Pongamia pinnata (Latin name).

Doing, making, effecting, causing, reason.

Herb known as Indian oleander or Nerium indicum (Latin name).

The term refers to the religious act or rite but now has the literal meaning of action, work, deeds in life for one's present, past and future. It also refers to the procedure of Panchakarma therapy.

Karma Basti
A month-long basti treatment that is used to cure vata-related disorders.

An organ of action, the working sense.

A Sanskrit word used for the act of oiling the ears.

Astringent taste.

The branch of Ayurveda that deals with child- care. Similar to the modern medicine - pediatrics.

Hard, firm, stiff, harsh, inflexible, cruel, tuff, rigid.

Katti Basti
A treatment for region of the back in which medicated oil is externally and locally applied to the curable part.

Pungent or hot, spicy taste or flavor.

An herb that is also known as Picrorhiza kurroa (Latin name).

A Sanskrit word that means body, habitation.

Kaya Kalpa
An ancient rejuvenation therapy or procedure.

Treatment of body diseases by giving internal Medicine.

Kedari kulya
Irrigation canal analogy, a theory of Ayurveda that describes the formation of tissues.

Natural herbs and substances that strengthen hair and the hair root.

Khale kapota
The grain pigeon analogy, a theory that explains the formation of tissues.

A breathing technique in which the breath is retained in a state of suspense when the mind is relaxed. This exercise revitalizes the nervous system.

A meal prepared with basmati rice and split mungdal. Sometimes few other legumes and vegetables are also used.

Wet, moist or phlegm in stomach.

Kledaka kapha
One of the five subtypes of kapha that performs the vital function of moistening the food and liquefying the digested contents in the stomach.

It refers to the subtle bodies, the sheaths. Human body has five sheaths in all, namely the sheath of knowledge, the sheath of bliss, the sheath of prana, the sheath of mind and the sheath of food.

Ksheer Basti
A medicated milk decoction administered through the rectum which nourishes all the dhatus of the body.

A popular name of Lord Krishna, the ninth incarnation of Vishnu and is the embodiment of love and divine joy that destroys all pains and sufferings.

Action, act, deed, applying a remedy.

The time taken to complete a certain action or the duration of an action.

The Hindu God of riches and treasure.

The spiritual life force, Shakti kundalini is the residue that remains after material consciousness is dissolved.

Cottage or hut usually made of mud and other natural substances.

An Ayurvedic term refers to the entering or living in a cottage for the purpose of rejuvenation.


Little, small, minute.

Lekhana Basti
An Ayurvedic procedure, a strong, penetrating, cleansing basti, that is used specifically to reduce kapha dosha and meda dhatu.

These are the natural substances that remove fat from the body by scraping the nonessential adipose tissue and are also good for cellulite reduction.

According to the Hindu mythology Laksmi is considered to be the goddess of fortune and beauty. The consort of Lord Vishnu, she is considered the divine mother of all universe, the cosmic power of physical abundance, fortune and wealth.

A popular drink made by mixing water in yogurt and churning it.

Salty taste or flavor.

An Ayurvedic powder commonly used to enhance digestion.

Lichen planus syndrome
A skin disease.

Lord Shiva
In the trinity of Hindu gods Shiva is the destroyer or transformer. In literal terms, Shiva means good or auspicious. Also known as Rudra and many other names Shiva has eight qualities in all, namely, purity, knowledge, independence, omniscience, omnipotence, freedom from mala, benevolence and the bliss.

Langhana: fasting, reducing therapy

Leucoderma: Localized loss of skin pigment
Leucorrhea: A condition that causes a whitish, viscid discharge from the vagina and uterine cavity
Lohita: second layer of skin
Lymphadenitis: Inflammatory condition of the lymph nodes

A popular term used for mother. In Hindu mythology ma means the goddess of wealth, Lakshmi. Ayurveda believes that ma is the giver of heart i.e. the heart comes form the mother and thus the way of one's thinking, his way of life, feelings, memory that is circulated throughout his body is the gift form ma.

Substances that causes intoxication.

Also known as Emetic nut or Randia spinosa in Latin.

Sweet, Sweet taste or flavor, pleasant, delightful.

The Sanskrit meaning of this word is trunk of the body. According to the Ayurveda terminology it refers to the sound rising form the heart that can be felt by the ears and not heard.

Any drink or substance that intoxicates.

Big elements, gross elements.

The universal organizing principles which structure and govern all physical phenomena.

Mahad tattva
Intellect, great principle.

Mahanarayana Oil
A medicated oil used in the external oleation procedures specifically used to pacify kapha dosha.

The bone marrow. It is one of the seven dhatus has the main function of filling up the asthi and nourishing the shukra. The term is also used to describe the bone marrow fat used on occasion in abyantar snehana (internal oleation).

Majja-vaha srotas
Channels transporting through the bone marrow.

The natural metabolic by-products which are always eliminated from the body.

It means the waste products that are excreted out of the body by some or the other phenomenon. It primarily includes urine, feces and sweat.

The act making impure, staining.

The dhatu or bodily tissue of muscle.

Mamsa-vaha srotas
Channels transporting through tissues of the muscles.

The mind, brain.

Slow or slow action.

Rice water. The first meal eaten after Panchakarma.

Weakened state of digestive fire.

The sacred words or phrases that have a spiritual significance and power.

Sensitive points which represent a greater concentration of the body’s vital force in that area. Marmas are the 365 vital energy points in the body of which 108 are of great importance in Ayurveda. They are also known as door receptors.

Marsha Nasya
Repeated administration of medicated oil into the nostrils to clean, lubricate and strengthen the mucous membranes.

Matra Basti
A small self-administered oil basti that can be used at any time of the day. It is most commonly used to decrease the vata-aggravating effects of travel, exercise and stress.

Sanskrit word for Fish.

The literal meaning of the term is illusion whereas in spiritual terms it refers to god's creative energy, cosmic illusion.

The dhatu or bodily tissue of fat (adipose tissue). The main function of this one of the seven bodily tissues is to support the human body and lubricate it. Excess of Meda's can cause obesity and physical weakness.

Mental power, intelligence, aptitude, wisdom, and prudence.

Medo-vaha srotas
The channels that transports fatty tissues.


Substance that enhances wisdom, mental power and intelligence.

Wrong use or application.

Liberation, a complete freedom in every aspect and every way of life.

Moong ki daal
A variety of green dry beans used for cooking or making sprouts.

Soft, delicate, tender, supple.

A sign or position commonly practiced in Yoga or religious worship.


Mutra-vaha srotas
Channels that transports the urine.

Macrocosm: The universe itself; a system regarded as an entity containing subsystems
Madhyama marga: Middle pathway, (deep tissue)
Mahabhuta: Basic five elements (space, air, fire, water and earth)
Mahamarma: One of the three major marma
Majja: Nerve tissue and bone marrow
Mala: Metabolic end-products
Malabsorption syndrome: A condition in which there is no proper digestion, absorption and assimilation of food in the gastro intestinal tract
Mamsadhatu: Muscle tissue
Manda: Type of attribute, slow pachaka pitta, form of pitt chakra
Mandagni: Diminished digestive capacity
Manomaya kosha: Mental sheath
Mantra: Sacred sounds
Manusmriti: Compendia, Marga -pathway or tract
Marga: Path or tract
Marma: A junction point between consciousness and matter or weak Vital points.
Matsyendrasana: Yoga posture with spinal twist
Mayurasana: Yoga posture like peacock
Meda: Fat tissue
Microcosm: A diminutive representative world; a system more or less analogous to a much larger system
Moong: A type of pulse
Mridu: Type of attribute, soft
Muladhara chakra: First chakra
Mutra: Urine
Mutravaha srotas: Urinary system

Pulse and any tube shaped organ such as vein or artery.

Very fine channels of the body.

Nadi Svedana
Localized, acute steam administered specifically to the joints and spinal area during Purvakarma procedure.

A cause that helps to achieve a specific result.

A result (disease) caused by single factor (dosa).

The therapeutic cleansing of the head and neck region. Herbal medication of nasal in which the excess bodily humors that accumulate in the sinus, throat, nose or head is eliminated by the means of the nearest possible opening, the nose.

A well known herb commonly known as Margosa tree or Azadirachta indica in Latin.

Netra Basti
An external, localized application of medicated ghee around the eyes to nourish the eyes, reduce eye strain and improve vision.


Finding the cause of disease.


Innate, one's own, internal, natural, inherent.

Nirooha Basti
A large, herbal decoction administered into the colon to remove toxins and wastes from the body.

Niruha (Basti)
An enema that is not of an oily kind.

Literally means regulation. Restrain, to fix upon, control, chec

Nadi pariksha: Pulse examination
Nadi vigyana: Pulse diagnosis
Nag: Type of vata in yoga
Nasya: Nasal administration of therapy
Nauli: Action like pitching of boat in stormy sea
Nauli chalana: A process in which the abdominal muscles are made to move vertically and laterally in surging motion
Nidana: Etiological factor or diagnosis of disease
Nidana panchaka: Five ways to diagnose a disease
Nirama: Without ama or toxic substance
Ojas: The purest expression of metabolism; the final end product of correct digestion and assimilation of food
Om : Seed mantra

Depletion or exhaustion of ojas.

Pachak Pitta
The metabolic function that occurrs in the small intestine.

The aspect of gastrointestinal vitality which is related with improving digestion and metabolism.

It is the combination of bile and pancreatic juices produced in an area between the stomach and the duodenum.

The natural substances that help in proper digestion of food.

Pakwashaya Gata Basti
One of the main type of Basti, administered through the rectum.

A Sanskrit word means decoction, boiling, and fermentation.

One of the most popular Ayurveda procedure that includes five cleansing therapies i.e. vaman, virechan, basti, nasya and rakta moksha. The five major purificatory procedures and adjunct therapies used in this procedure, purifies and rejuvenates the body.

The theory of the five elements namely; fire, ether, water, earth, and air.

Panchendriya Vardhan Oil
Oil used in nasya treatment to nourish sensory functioning.

A type of fresh cheese made by curdling milk.

Param Atma
The universal intelligence of nature.

A superior vital fluid located in the heart.

Term used for examination, inspection or investigation.

The literal meaning is result but in Ayurveda it refers to the negative effects of the seasons on the body.

Food that lacks vital force or prana.

Animal type, belonging to cattle or animal family.

Pascata karma
Post action or the therapies persuade after the main therapy or action.

The post-procedures of Panchakarma therapy.

Rice soup. Rice gruel or any drink mixed with a small quantity of boiled rice.

Slimy, lubricous, slippery.

Pinda Svedana
A sedating treatment that helps to relieve pain and muscle tension. It is performed with a bolus of rice and a hot milk decoction.

Long pepper or Piper longum (Latin name).

A vigorous herbal massage in which a bolus of rice and a large amount of oil is used to improve the mobility of muscles and ligaments.

It is one of the three doshas.

Effect, peculiar or special action of an herb.

Pragya aparadha
The mistake of the intellect. According to the Ayurveda it is the foremost cause of disease.

Not using intellect, offensive or wrong use of the wisdom.

Wisdom, intelligence, knowledge, insight.

Vitiation or aggravation.

The inherent balance of doshas that is most beneficial to one's life. The constitution we are born with.

Life force or vital force that is responsible for respiratory functions and regulating inhalation.

Prana Vayu
The sub-dosha of Vata which governs sensory functions and the intake of prana, water and food.

Combination of several breathing techniques that purifies the blood and vitalizes the inner organs.

Prapaka Metabolism
The three transient phases of digestion that take place in the gastrointestinal tract.

Obtaining, attaining or acquiring.

The third stage of disease demonstration that is characterized by the migration of ama from its site of origin.

Withdrawal and liberation of mind from the sense and the objects.

A Sanskrit word means effort. Effort of vata is light, rapid whereas pitta's effort is sharp, penetrating and skillful and kapha's effort is heavy, dull and sleepy.

Prati Marsha Nasya
Repeated application of medicated oil to the nostrils with the tip of the little finger that soothes dry mucous membranes and to protect against airborne allergies.

One of the basic element known as the earth element. It is the element and universal organizing principle of form and structure.

These are the herbs, natural substances that stimulate the bowel movement and eliminates the impurity from the lower part of the body.

It is the inhalation aspect of pranayama.

The set of different procedures that are used to prepare a person for the main purificatory procedures of Panchakarma.

Palpation: The act of feeling with the hand; the application of the fingers with light pressure to the surface of the body for the purpose of determining the consistancy of the parts beneath
Panchakrama: The five cleansing (purification) methods to get rid of excess Doshas.
Paneer: Cheese
Papad: Made from dried lentils; eaten fried or roasted
Parkinsonism: A neurologic disorder characterized by tremors, muscle rigidity and slow movements
Parpati: medicinal preperation of sulphur and mercury
Paschimotanasana: head to knee yoga posture
Pavanamuktasana: knee to chest yoga posture
Percussion: The act of striking a bodily part with short, sharp blows as a diagnostic aid that reveals the condition of that area of the body
Peristalsis: Rhythmic contraction of smooth muscle that forces food through the digestive tract
Pharyngitis: Inflammation of the throat
Physiognomy: The study of facial features
Pichila: type of attribute, slimy
Pingala: carries solar energy, right nostril
Pippali: herb / Piper longum
Pitta: the dosha responsible for metabolism (closely identified with agni, the body's vital heat)
Poorvakarma: Procedures done prior
Poultice: A soft moist substance applied hot to the surface of the body for the purpose of supplying heat and moisture
Pradhana: main, prominent
Pragya aparadh: the "mistake of the intellect" (i.e., identifying with the part and losing the whole)
Prajny aparadh: volitional transgression
Prakriti: primal nature, natural state, constitution
Prakriti-nature: referring either to one's individual nature (body type) or to Nature as a whole
Prana: It is vital energy (life-energy) which activates the body and mind. Prana is responsible for the higher cerebral functions, the motor and sensory activities. The prana located in the head is the vital prana, while prana which is present in the cosmic air is nutrient prana. There is a constant exchange of energy between vital prana and nutrient prana through respiration. During inspiration, the nutrient prana enters the system and nourishes the vital prana. During expiration, subtle waste products are expelled.
Pranavaha srotas: respiratory system
Pranayama : respiratory exercise, also called "balanced breathing"
Prapaka: primary stage of digestion
Prashama: alliviation of dosha
Prithvi: element earth
Psoriasis: A disease in which areas of skin turn red and are covered with small dry pieces of skin
Psychosomatic: Pertaining to the mind-body relationship: an illness caused by anxiety and worry
Ptosis: An abnormal condition of one or both upper eyelids in which the eyelid droops.
Purisha: stool, faeces
Purvarupa: predormal symptoms
Rajas: the intermediate principle of energy among the three qualities of nature

Rajasic: having the nature of Rajas (Kings)
Raktadhatu: blood
Raktamokshana: blood-letting (type of panchakarma)
Raktavaha srotas: circulatory system
Ranjaka pitta: form of pitta colouring the blood
Rasa: plasma, taste
Rasayana: Traditional Ayurvedic herbal or mineral preparation for longivity and rejuvenation
Rheumatism: Any of a large number of inflammatory conditions of the joints, ligaments or muscles, characterised by pain or limitation of movement
Rhinitis: Inflammation of the mucus membrane of the nose
Rigveda: type of veda
Ritucharya: seasonal behaviour
Roga: disease
Roopa: symptom
Ruksha: type of attribute, dry

Sadhaka is one of the five-pitta subdoshas that located in the heart and responsible for intelligence, knowledge, memory, enthusiasm and consciousness.

It is the stage of self realization where a person achieve harmony, calmness, concentration, awareness and mastery over mind, desires and body.

Samana vayu
It means equalized movement of air. It is a subdosha of vata that has the function of digestion of food, separation of waste products, regulation of composition of body fluids, body temperature and the movement of pitta and kapha.

This word can be explained as "discriminative knowledge" and "enumeration". It is one of the schools of Hindu philosophy founded by sage Kapila. This school provides a systematic account of cosmic evolution according to twenty-five categories.

The impression imprint in ones mind followed by any experience, or some incident of the past consciously or unconsciously leaves samskara.

The literal meaning of this word isto join. It is used for the herbs that helps the body in healing of broken bones and torn ligaments and in uniting fractured and divided body parts.

Hindu goddess of knowledge and learning. In Hindu mythology she is represented as the wife of Brahma.

The term used for supreme god. It means existence, reality, pure consciousness, the spirit, brahman, a being, bliss and delight.

It means purity. It is first among the three gunas, and present the purest aspect and the conscious principle characterized by purity, lightness, harmony and the creation of pleasure and joy.

One who pertain the qualities of sattva.

It is a Sanskrit word meaning extremity.

In Sanskrit language this word means head or skull.


It is a subdosha of Kapha that locates in the joints of the body. It is viscous and oily and has the function to protect the bony joints by keeping them firm and united. It also ensures the smooth functioning of bones.

One of the cleansing methods used for body purification and rejuvenation.

It is the last of the seven dhatus, the semen or the male reproductive tissue that perform the major functions of producing sensation of ejaculation, fondness and strengthens the body.

In Sanskrit it means a heap, pile or aggregate. They are important tools for understanding the Buddhist doctrine of no self as they include with them all transitory, impermanent phenomena.

A Sanskrit word that means the memory or the ability to recall.

The literal meaning of the term is source. In Ayurveda it is used for a canal that transport nutritients in the body. All the dhatus have their own minute channels or srotas made up of extremely fine pores, originating from the heart cavity, and spreading throughout the body; they transport the nutrient fluid to all parts of the body for nourishment and growth.

In Sanskrit it means happiness or pleasure or delight. Ayurveda assumes that Vata persons' experience of sukha is boring as in vata, sukha is superficial, physical, and shaky. Pitta sukha involves solving problems, understanding, and solving puzzles whereas Kapha sukha is passive, involving napping, eating or sitting.

The sun.

Sushumna Nadi
Nadi is the subtle energy field which controls the movements and configurations of conscious beings. Sushumna nadi starts from the first chakra and extends up to the crown chakra.

Sound, tone, voice, words.


Six types.

Relating to birds or having the nature or characteristics of a bird.

Salakya tantra
Science using probes or cylindrical sticks for investigation and treatments, or a branch that deals with eyes, ears, nose and throat.

Salya tantra
A Sanskrit term used refers to Science of surgery.

Collection of verses, texts that are methodically arranged.

Pathogenesis, the complete route of manifestation of disease.

Samsarjana (karma)
Diets and activities practiced after a treatment to get back to normal routine and food.

Accurate, precise, correct, truthful.

Combination, connection, conjunction, amalgamation.

To Accumulate, to collect, to gather.

Dense, thick, solid.

An herb used as a tonic for nervous system. Known for improving memory. The Latin name of the herb is Convolvulus pluricaulis.


Purified, sanctified, the language used in Vedic age, also known as language of god.


The seven dhatus or constitutional elements or tissues of the body.

Liquid, fluid, moving.

Body, physical body.

A Sanskrit word means Snake or serpent.

An herb highly useful for lowering high blood pressure. The Latin name of the herb is Rouwolfia serpentina.

A yoga posture.

Dead body posture or posture for complete rest or relaxation.

A black sticky mineral that leaks out of some mountains.

Any tubular vessel in the body - a vein, nerve or artery.

A popular Ayurveda procedure that helps to calm the mind and pacify vata in the central nervous system. In this process special herbal oils or any other medicated liquids are poured on forehead from a special pot.

A yoga posture known as Head stand posture.

A Sanskrit word means Cold, chilly, frigid.

Smooth, polished, soft, tender.

Attaching, connecting.

Lubricating, anointing, rubbing with oil.

Sticky, unctuous, smooth, adhesive.

Cleaning, purifying, refining.

Shodhana Basti
A therapeutic administration of medicated decoctions that purifies the colon of toxic substances and waste products.

Shodhana Chikitsa
One of the two primary methods of disease management that primarily focus on the elimination of the source of disease.

Touching, sense of touch.


The act of hearing, acquiring knowledge by hearing.

Sthana samsraya

Location in a place, relocation of dosas.

That can not be moved, firm, hard, solid, strong, immovable, fixed.

Large, thick, big, gross, fat, stout, plump.

Black salt.

Samsarajana krama
The graded administration of diet. One of the post-procedures of Panchakarma that strengthens the incapacitated digestive fire.

Shamana Basti
A therapeutic application of medicated oil or decoction through the rectum in order to reduce irritation in the colon.

Shamana Chikitsa
One of the two primary methods of disease management that only concentrates on palliation of the symptoms of disease.

Shamana Nasya
A therapeutic administration of herbal or medicated oil into the nostrils to soothe the sinus zone.

Shiro Basti
An Ayurvedic treatment in which medicated oils are administered to head to improve prana and sensory functioning.

Surya Namaskar
Sun salutation, a set of different yoga postures.

One of the main scholars of Ayurvedic science, Founder of Sushrita school of Ayurveda philosophy that focus on surgical procedures and purification of the blood.

Sushruta Samhita
One of the main text of Ayurveda written by Sushruta.

Sadhaka pitta: type of pitta governing the brain
Sama: with ama or toxins
Samadhi: A state of equilibrium; supreme joy and bliss
Samana vata: equalising form of five vata types
Sammurchana: amalgamation between viliated dosha and dushya
Samprapti: pathogenes
Samsarga: duel vitiation of dosha.
Sandra: type of attribute, dense
Sattva: the higher principle of harmony of three qualities of nature or trigunas
Scabies: A contagious skin disease characterized by itching and peeling of the skin
Sciatica: Inflammation of the sciatic nerve characterized by lower back pain which radiates down the leg
Shakha: four limbs
Shakha marga: external disease tract
Shishir: winter
Shita: type of attribute, cold
Shlakshna: type of attribute, smooth
Shleshaka: form of kapha
Shleshaka: form of kapha lubricating joints
Shodhana: purification, detoxification
Shukra: reproductive tissue
Shukradhara kala: special membrane for reproductive system
Sira: blood vessel
Snehan: fomentation
Snehana: oleation therapy
Soma: bliss of pleasure, principle at work behind the mind and senses
Spondylosis: A condition of the spine characterized by fixation or stiffness of a vertebral joint
Sthana saushraya: localisation, stage of pathogenesis
Sthira: type of attribute, stable
Sthoola: type of attribute, gross
Sukshma: type of attribute, subtle
Surya Namaskara: the "sun salute,"
Sushruta: author of Sushruta Samhita, ancient Ayurvedic surgeon
Sweda: sweat
Swedavaha srotas: system for sweat
Syphilis: A venereal infection transmitted through sexual contact


Tamaka svasa
A type of asthma.

One of the three gunas or phase of activity in creation that refers to the darkness, inertia, heaviness and the materialistic attitude.

That pertains the quality of tamas.

It is the subtle essence of the five elements in the body i.e. sound, touch, sight, taste and smell.

It is a non vedic form of yoga that leads to divine ecstasy through certain rites emphasizing the erotic and forbidden. It is also known as kundalini-yoga.

Tapa svedana
The procedure of applying dry heat to the body to reduce inflammation and congestion in the joints.

Located in the head it is one of the five subtypes of kapha that nourishes the sensory organs and helps the brain and the five sensory organs to perform their function in the body.

It is the superfine essence of pitta that have the characteristics of light, illumination and brilliance.

Bitter or sour taste or flavor.

Tikta Ghrita
Medicated ghee with a predominantly bitter taste used in internal oleation to remove ama from the dhatus.

Strong digestive fire or increased activity of digestive fire.

Sharp, hot, pungent.

Til Oil
Sesame oil.


The three dosas namely vatta, pitta and kapha. The human body is a combination of these three doshas or essential factors that are responsible for maintaining the integrity of human body and for governing the physical structure and functions of the living beings.

Related to the tridoshas.

The three qualities of Nature.

The term describes the three pungent i.e. the sunthi or dry ginger, pippali or indian long pepper and maricha or black pepper.

A laxative, combination of three fruits of three particular herbs.


Indian jalap a purgative herb. Latin name: Operculina turpethum.

A well known herb, Holy Basil. Latin Name: Ocimum sanctum.

Tamaka shwasa: bronchial asthma
Tamas: the lower principle of inertia of omni substances
Tamasic: having the nature of tamas
Tapas: self discipline
Tarpaka: form of kapha governing brain and nerves
Teja: premordial element, fire
Tejas: mental fire
Tikta: bitter
Tikshna: form of attribute, penetrating
Trataka: steady gazing
Tridosha: The three bodily organizations -Vata (air). pitta (fire) and Kapha (water) -which govern the psychosomatic activity of daily living

Udaka-vaha srotas
Channels that transports water or watery liquids in the body.

Udana Vayu
One of the sub-doshas of vayu that regulates strength, speech and the elimination of carbon dioxide.

A secondary tissue that supports the main tissue.

Upanaha Swedhana
A therapeutic application of warm, medicated poultices to treat arthritis.

The alleviation of disease by suitable remedies, advantageous medicine.

Supporting pillars, sub- pillars.


using method, user manual, and instructions to use or practice a technique.

Uro Basti
An Ayurveda treatment in which medicated oils are retained on the chest and heart area to reduce congestion.

Hot, warm, passionate.

Utkleshana Basti
Therapeutic administration of medicated decoctions through the rectum to promote secretions in the colon. It liquefy and wipe out the accumalated ama (toxins) and waste material.

Uttama anga
The word is a combination of two words, the uttama means noble, great and anga that means part of the body. Thus literally the term means great body.

A type of Yoga posture (asana).

Udakavaha srotas: -system of water metabolism
Udanavata: upward moving type of vata
Udara: abdomen
Upadhatu: offshoots of tissues
Upadrava: complication
Upashama: symptoms getting relieved after treatment
Undhiya: A mixed vegetable preparation favourite among the Gujaratis
Urticaria: A blood reaction of the skin. marked by the transient appearance of smooth. slightly-elevated patches which are redder or paler than the surrounding skin. This condition often is attended by severe itching.
Ushma: Hot

A well known Ayurveda scholar who wrote Astanga Sangraha and Astanga Hrdya. A major commentator on Ayurvedic science after Charaka and Sushruta.

A Sanskrit word used for an Ayurvedic physician, Ayurvedic doctor.

The proportionate influence of the doshas that allows us to perceive the prevalence of one over the others.

Literally the word means excellence or distinction. It is one of the six orthodox schools of the Indian philosophy, founded by kanada.

The science of aphrodisiac, producing virility.

Vajirarana Basti
A basti procedure that promotes vigor and vitality and enhances fertility.

Therapeutic vomiting or emesis. One of the five main purificatory procedures of Panchakarma.

The natural substances that are used for the stimulation of vomiting.

The substances that improve the complexion of the body, its color, skin, hair and eyes also.

A Sanskrit word that means tree, shrub or plant.

Hindu God of waters, sea, rivers.

An oleated substance made up of animal fat and used in abbyantar snehana an internal oleation procedure.

One of the tridosha (three humors), that keeps pitta, kapha, all the seven dhatus and the malas in motion.

Vata Shamak Oil
The medicated oil used in bahya snehana to pacify vata.

The air or wind element and universal organizing principle of movement.

The knowledge of the totality of life.

Vedas are the oldest source of universal knowledge, which are formed by learned rishis and saints in the Indian culture centuries ago. The four Vedas namely, Rig-Veda, Yajur Veda, Athrva Veda and Sam Veda hold answers to most of the questions relating to life and living.

A herbal plant known as Belliric Myrobalan or Terminalia bellirica (Latin name).

Heat, burning, inflammation, acid.

The Ayurvedic knowledge of proper lifestyle.

Modification; imbalance or disease.

The imbalance in the doshas that disturbs one’s prakruti or ideal constitutional balance.

Thick soup of soft cooked rice usually eaten on the second day after Panchakarma.

The post-absorptive phase of digestion.

Potency, power, vigor, semen.

The medicated purgation; one of the basic cleansing processes of pancha karma therapy.

These are the purgatives that assist the elimination of the doshas from the vital organs and helps the system get rid of the ama (toxins).

In Hindu mythology lord Vishnu is all pervading. His divine qualities are for knowledge, strength, lordship, power, virility, splendor and the preservation.

Clear, pure, spotless, shining.

Opposite, different, not similar, important.

Irregular or unstable digestive fire.

To let flow, to let spread.

These are essentials for growth of the body and healthy functioning of all organs. There are many types of Vitamins that are related to different functions of the body:
Vitamin A is a growth promoting vitamin.
Vitamin D is the anti-rickets vitamin.
Vitamin E is anti-sterility.
Vitamin K helps coagulation.
Vitamin P is anti-hemorrhagic.
Vitamin B1 is anti-neuritic..
Vitamin B2 pacifies vata, builds up pitta and kapha.
Vitamin B6 is called pyrodoxine..
Folic Acid. pacifies vata, increases pitta, reduces kapha.
Vitamin C. Vitamin C is ascorbic acid whenever there is cold and congestion, Vitamin C is used.
B12 is cyanocobalamin and is used in sciatica.

Vranagata Basti
An Ayurvedic procedure in which certain medicated liquids are used to irrigate and heal abscesses or wounds.

Manifestation of disease with a clear set of symptoms; Visible, specific.

It is one of the five subtypes of vata that regulates the circulation of blood in the body, the nervous system, muscular functions and the skeletal system in the body.

Vyana Vayu
One of the sub-doshas of Vata which governs the cardiovascular system.

A set of exercises which give energy rather than expend energy: hatha yoga postures, pranayama and sun salutation.

Vamana: medicated emesis
Varsha: monsoon
Vasa: fact of the muscles
Vasant: Spring
Vata: the dosha responsible for all movement in the body, biological air humor
Vata vyadhi: diseases due to aggravation of vatas
Vataj: due to vata
Vayu: another name for vat
Vijnyana: intelligence
Vipaka: metabolised part of drug, the after taste of food in the body
Virechan: Purgation
Vishesh: Special

A visual concentration for each chakra that is used to channel psychic force.

Yoga Nidra
Yoga sleep or conscious sleep.

Rules, instructions or guidelines.

One, who takes initiative, is courageous and possesses leadership qualities.

An herb , English name: Licorice, Latin name: Glycyrrhiza glabra.

Soup usually made from various kinds of pulses.

A progressive method that helps individual to become self-realized and link the soul to super soul. There are several types of yogas.

Yog Basti
An eight-day long oil basti treatment that calms vata and nourishes the colon.

Yakrit : Liver
Yashasvati : Type of nadi in Yoga
Yoga: psycho physical practices aimed at self knowledge


  1. Nice glossary. Do you know about these yoga books?



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