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Ayurveda Glossary (A- H)

ALPHABET A

 

Abhyanga
An ayurvedic oil massage practiced by two medics who massage to let go the warm oil into the tissues of the entire body. This helps loosen and facilitate the removal of accumulated ama (toxins) and the doshas (vata, pitta and kapha) from the body.
 
Acara
Good conduct, an established rule of conduct.

 

Agada tantra
Toxicology, a branch of Ayurveda dealing with poisons.

 

Agantuka
External or a stranger.

 

Ahamkara
Conception of one's individuality, egoism, pride or haughtiness.

 

Ajasrika
Activities that promote positive health.

 

Ajirna
Indigestion, weak digestion.

 

Akasa
Free open space, ether, sky or atmosphere.

 

Akriti
Physical appearance or external shape.

 

Alabu

A vessel made of dried gourd.

 

Alocaka (Pitta)
A type of Pitta governing vision, causing to see.

 

Amala (Amalaki)
An Ayurvedic herb, Emblica officinalis (Emblica myrobalan)

 

Amavata
A disease caused by ama and vata, comparable to arthritis in modern medicine.

 

Amla
Sour taste.

Anjana
Black pigment applied in eyes and eyelashes.

 

Anna-vaha srotas
The channels transporting grains or food, the digestive system, alimentary canal.

 

Anupana
A fluid vehicle for medicine; drink taken with or after medicine, drink after eating.

 

Anurasa
A secondary flavor (as a little sweetness in sour fruit), a subordinate feeling.

 

Anuvasana (Basti)
Enema given with an oily substance.

 

Apa
The element water or water.

 

Apana
One of the five types of vata, which goes downward and is responsible for expulsion of faces, flatus, urine, menstrual blood etc.

 

Aparadha
Offence, sin, wrong action or misuse.

 

Apara-ojas
One of the less important of two types of vital fluid (ojas) present in the body, inferior, lower.

 

Ardhavabhedaka
A kind of migraine affecting half of the head or skull.

 

Arsha
Saintly, pious, and sacred.

 

Asana
Posture, seat or position.

 

Asatmendriyartha samyoga
Improper contact of senses with their objects.

 

Asatmya
Unwholesome, bad, improper.

 

Astanga Hrdya
An ancient Ayurvedic text written by Vagabhatta.

Adaptogens
Herbs that improve body's ability to adapt to stress, including infection, mental stresses and fatigue. It supports the adrenal glands and the pituitary glands and changes the threshold of resistance to damage.

 

Agni
Agni is the form of fire and heat that is 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 is transformation, absorption, elimination and discrimination is agni.

 

Ahara rasa
It is the nutrient substance that is acted upon in the digestive tract by the enzymes or the bile juice.

 

Akasha
It is the free space or void; also related to the property of sound and is one of the aggregate elemental processes.

 

Alternatives
Alternatives alter existing nutritive and excretory processes gradually restore normal health; cleanses and purifies the blood. Alternatives improve the tissue ability to metabolize and eliminate waste to restore the proper function of the body. Most of the alternative herbs that have their initial action on the liver or kidneys can be considered.

 

Alochaka
It is one of the five varieties of pitta and helps in catching the image of external objects.

 

Ama
It is the toxins that enter the blood stream and are circulated in the whole body. Toxins or ama are produced in the body by the raw, undigested food products that become fetid. Retention of toxins in the blood results in toxemia. 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).

 

Anodynes
They are the herbs that reduce the sensitivity of the nerves and reduce. They have a similar reaction as that of the analgesics.

 

Antihydrotics
It is the herbs that decrease sweating.

 

Anthelminthics
This herb destroys or expels the parasitic worms from the digestive system.

 

Anticoagulant
They are herbs that resist the coagulation in the affected area and helps in massage also.

 

Anti-inflammatory
It restrains inflammation and counteracts to its effects.

.

Antispasmodic
These medicines help preventing and relieving spasm.

 

Apana
This medicine acts in the downward direction of the body and regulates exhalation and excretion.

 

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

 

Appetizer
The medicine is a good stimulant and increase appetite by stimulating it.

 

Artha
It relates to meaning, the final essence of every thought, it is an object of pursuit, which is desired and desirable and satisfies the acquisitive tendency in every individual.

 

Asthi
It is one of the seven components and the bone tissues that supports the body by giving it protection, shape, nourishment and longevity.

 

Astringent
This medicine has a binding effect as it checks hemorrhages and secretions.

 

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

 

Atreya
Atreya is the author of Charaka Samhita.

 

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

 

Avalambaka
It is located in the heart and the sacrum and has the vital function of nourishing them both, lubricating and protecting the heart and support the sacrum.

 

Avyakta
It refers to indistinct, not evident and inarticulate.

 

Ayurveda
Constituted of two words, Ayur meaning life and Veda meaning knowledge, ayurveda means the knowledge of life. Another accurate translation of ayurveda is 'the knowledge of longevity. The roots of ayurveda rest in the ancient Indian culture. Ayurveda can be thoroughly understood by getting woven up in the fabric of nature.

Ayurveda encompasses the secrets of why Man needs to cooperate with Nature completely in order to insure his well being

 

 

ALPHABET B

 

Bala
This is a Sanskrit word which means strength.

 

Balya
It is an energizer that gives strength to the body.


 
Bheda
Division, variety and distinction.

Bhrajaka (Pitta)
A type of Pitta that gives color or shining to the skin.

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

Bhuta-vidya
The science dealing with microorganisms and evil spirits, demonology.

Bhakti
It means devotion for the almighty, faithfulness, worshipful service, homage and loyalty towards the creator.

 
Basti
It refers to the enema therapy of panchkarma.
Basti is the most effective treatment of vata disorder. Vata is a predominant site in the colon. In ayurveda basti involves the introduction of herbal solution of sesame in the rectum. Basti relieves 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.

Bhedaniya
These are the substances that break down fecal matter and help remove it out of the body thus cleaning the colon.

 

Bhrajaka
Located in the skin of the whole body it is one of the five sub types of pitta And has the function of giving color to the skin and provide luster.

 

Bodhaka
Located at the root of the tongue and the pharynx it is one of the five subtypes of kapha and enables perception of taste.

 

Brahma
It is the name of the first god in the Hindu God trinity. Considered as the creator of all mankind, all that lives and constitutes the mortal universe he has the universe as his body that manifests the energy of creation.

 

Bruhaniya
These are the herbs / natural substances that promote growth.

 

Buddhi
Refers to the intellect of the living beings, the faculty of wisdom, intelligence and discrimination. There are two types of buddhi namely: pitta buddhi which is sharp and has the capability of discrimination, understanding and appreciation providing a strong remote and recent memory, whereas the other one i.e.: the kapha buddhi is slow, dull and capability to understand little with the capacity to retain it.

 

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

 

Brahma-muhurta
Time period (two hours) preceding sunrise.

 

 

 ALPHABET C

 

Carminative
These are the natural ayurvedic herbs that relieve intestinal gas, pain and distention and promote peristalsis.

Caksu
Eye.

 
Chakhyushya
Natural ayurvedic herbs that are good for eyes and increase the tone of the ciliary muscles.

Chakra
These are the energy centers in the body that are related to the nerve plexus center, which govern the body functions.

 
Charaka
Charaka meaning the wanderer is believed to have spent many years between the wild animals in dense jungles, which enabled him to coin his experiences in the book considered as the bible of ayurveda and called the Charaka Samhita.

 

Churna
It is a Sanskrit word that means powder.

Consciousness
It refers to the state of being hat is characterized by sensations, emotions, thoughts and awareness within oneself.

 

Cure
According to the literal meaning the word cure refers to the any diseased person's state of being remedied from his ailment. In ayurveda it is clearly stated that no physician since the beginning of time has been able to cure even the simplest disease, also that all the therapeutic efforts only expedite the processes of nature. It is believed that all diseases are created and since everything that is created exists for sometime and then is destroyed even the disease has some seeds of destruction in itself since its origin.

 

Cikitsa
Treatment, a therapy to retain balance, practice or science of medicine.

 

Citraka
Name of an herb, Latin Name: Plumbago zeylanica.

 

Citraka- mula
The root of the herb citrak (Plumbago zeylanica). Its root is good for increasing the strength of the digestive power.

 

Citrakadi vati
An Ayurvedic medicine made using citrak as the main ingredient.

 

 

ALPHABET D

 

 Deva

They are considered as the angles, celestial beings without physical body structure.

 

Danti mula

Root of the herb "danti" (Latin Name: Baliospermum montanum).

 

Desa

Region, country, area, and kingdom.

 

Dhanvantari

According to the Hindu mythology during the churning of the ocean, Vishnu, the physician of gods is believed to be produced with a cup of nectar in his ahnd that represents the true healer in all beings.

 

Dharana

This Sanskrit word means absorbing information into the memory and reproducing the same.

 

Dharma

It refers to one's character, one's true self and about being a whole human being by the virtue of righteousness, virtue, attribute, duty, nature of disposition and prescribed code of conduct.

 

Dhatu

It is the basic structural and nutritional body factor that supports or nourishes the seven body tissues. These seven tissues of our body includes the rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, asthi, majja and shukra.

 

Dhi

It is a Sanskrit word that means understanding.

 

Dhrti

It is a Sanskrit word that means holding or retaining.

 

Dipaniya

These are the natural substances that kindle the gastric fire and augment the appetite.

 

Disease

It is a condition in which one or body parts impair the performance of the vital functions and thus bring the absence of ease. Desire is considered to be the root cause of all diseases. It is said that desires pull the individuals form awareness and affection and this creates imbalances.

 

Diuretic

It refers to the natural substances that promote the activities of bladder, kidney and increase urination.

 

Dravya

According to the vaisheshika system of philosophy dravya menas substance or the substratum of properties of the nine eternal substances i.e. the earth, water, fire, air, ether, time, space, self, and mind.

 

Dushti Duhkha

It is a Sanskrit word that means unhappiness. Vata persons tend toward a duhkha of insecurity, anxiety, fear and loneliness whereas with Pitta constitution individuals tend towards a duhkha involving judgment, nothing to do, being judged, criticism, and lack of acknowledgement. The Kapha duhkha relates to too much physical activity and hardships

 

 

ALPHABET E

 

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

 
Etiology
It is the study of the causes of all diseases. In ayurveda the cause of most of the diseases is due to the overuse, misuse or no use of the five senses.

 

 

 ALPHABET G

 

Ghee
It is the clarified butter made by heating unsalted butter. The ghee may be stored without refrigeration and can be used for most of the preparations that need oil or butter as the basic ingredient..

 

Ghrta
It ia a sanskrit word meaning ghee.

 
Govinda
It is one of the most common name of the Hindu God, Lord Krishna, the rescuer of the earth.

 

Guna
All material entities including the mind are the composites of the three gunas, namely the sattva, rajjas and tamas. These are the attributes whose imbalance leads to creation.

 

Gandharva
Celestial musicians, Heavenly singers.

 

Goksuru
Puncture vine, Latin name: Tribulus terrestris.

 

Guduci
Name of an herb: Latin name: Tinospora cordifolia.

 

Guggulu
A gum from the herb called Indian bedellium, Latin name: Commiphora mukul.

 

 

 ALPHABET H

 

Haritaki
Chebulic myrofalan, Latin name: Terminalia chebula.

 
Harsani
Delightful, pleasant.

 

Hina yoga
Insufficient, deficient.

 


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