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These concepts are useful for the practice of Ayurveda and in the training which we give in Ayurveda. You will see, as you read them, that they cover both the internal and external dynamics involved in Ayurveda treatment and in yoga.

As you discover and learn this vocabulary, you will be in the company of the texts of the Sages and tradition and you will be able to understand and apply these efficient concepts which represent a synthesis of their knowledge and practice.
This list will also constitute a practical, specialized dictionary which will enable you to read the writings of the Sages with the advantage of a solid grounding in the subject.

We have omitted all the concepts which are described at length on this site, such as Ayurveda, yoga, dosha, etc.


A: prefix which signifies the absence of the adjacent word
Abbaya: lack, absence of fear
Abhyantara : interior
Abhyanga: Ayurvedic massage
Abhyasa: constant practice
Agni: fire. Transforms eaten foods (this function is called “annagni”) and characterizes particularly “pitta.”
Ahamkara: the self, egoism
Ahaska: ether, space
Ahimsa: non-violence, love for others
Akruti: traits of the pulse
Alpam: small
Ama vata: “Vata” trait which carries “ama” in the joints: Rheumatoid arthritis.
Ambuvaha srota: “ambu” is water. “Ambuvaha srota” is the canal which governs the elimination or retention of water in the body.
Anabhighata: without conflict.
Ananda: happiness or joy: divine love: soul and the aspect of the divine presence in a person.
Ananta: form of migraine and name of the serpent on whom Vishnu is sitting. Migraine.
Anga: body
Anishta: failure
Anjana: remedy
Anna: food
Annavaha srota: the canal which carries food particularly in the stomach. When some arrives in the intestine, it is called “annakitta”
Anta or antar: interior, in reference to areas of the body: e.g. an internal fire is called “antar agni” and a feeling of burning in the vaginal zone is called “anthat mukti”
Antaranga: intimately
Anitya: instability
Antardhana: disappearance
Anumana: imagination
Apas: flux
Apura: excess
Arishta: tonic herbs
Artavaha srota: the menstrual cycle
Artha: cause
Asana: position, posture
Asava: tonic herbs
Asmari: urinary stones
Ashta: eight
Ashtanga ayurveda: 8 branches of Ayurveda
Ashtanga parikshana: 8 methods of diagnostic examination (tongue, eyes, pulse, skin, nails, etc.)
Ashuddhi: impurities
Atiprasanga: deep attachment
Atita: past
Atman: the true self, the spirit, the soul
Atyagni: intestinal burning
Aushadhi: remedy
Avalambaka: subdivision of “kapha” which protects the function of respiration
Avarana: veil
Aveshah: penetrate
Aviplaya: tranquility


Babuna : camomille
Bahiranga: external body
Bahya: exterior
Bala: strength or intensity of the pulse
Bandha: muscular contraction
Bhayana: think
Bheda: penetrate
Bhedana: laxative
Bhoga: happiness
Bhrajaka: subdivision of “pitta” which acts in the skin and relates to touching, pressing, pain, temperature
Bhuta: world, elements
Bodhaka: subdivision of “kapha” which acts in the mouth (taste and oral protection)
Brahmacarya: life in breath
Brahmi or Bacopa Monnieri: excellent powder for nervous or mental disorders and for treatment of hair
Brimhana chikitsa: stage of strengthening the organism during treatment
Buddhi: intelligence


Cakshu: vision
Chakras: energy centers which are situated vertically in the body
Chaksu: eyes
Chala: mobile
Chikitsa: treatment
Chitta: or “chit”, consciousness, awake
Choorna: powders


Daha-prashamana: herbs which cool the body
Dahasjamaka: herbs which alleviate feelings of burning
Daurma nasya: anxiety
Dha: to place
Dhamini: arteries
Dharana: concentration
Dharma: the laws that govern our nature
Dharmi: way
Darshana: vision
Dhatu: the 7 concentric forms of body tissue (“rasa, rakta, mamsa, asthi, majja, shukra”).
Dhyana: meditation
Divya: divine
Drava: a liquid
Drishya: see, contemplate
Duhkha: sadness


Ejayatva: agitation
Ekasamaye: simultaneously
Ela: cardamom
Eteha: by means of


Flatus: intestinal gasses


Garbhada: herbs which stimulate fertility
Gati: movements of the pulse
Gunatma: deep cause


Hana: loss
Haram: tranquilizer
Heya: avoid
Hetu: keep in mind
Hrdya: heart
Hridaya: herbs which are good for the heart


Ida: respiration through the left nostril
Ikshu: cane sugar
Indriya: meaning
Iti: end, stop


Janma: birth, creation
Japa: repeated inner chant
Jatharagni: intestinal burning
Jati: birth
Jatti: jasmine
Jaya: victory
Jayanta: create
Jihya: tongue
Jnana: wisdom or knowledge
Jnana yoga: knowledge through yoga
Jiraka: cumin
Jyati: light
Jyotishmati: inner light


Kaivalya: absolute unity
Kalka: application of a herb
Kama: pleasure
Karana: action of elimination
Karam: worsening
Karma: action, the logic of cause and effect, includes past actions and former lives
Karna purana: putting drops in one’s ears
Kashaya: brews
Kathamta: significance
Kathina: hard
Kaya: body
Khara: hard, rough, unequal
Kledaka: subdivision of “kapha” which protects against stomach burning
Klesha: pain
Klishta: pain
Krama: sequence, progressive
Kramuka: betel nuts
Kriya: purification technique
Krodha: anger
Kshana: instant
Kumari: aloe
Kundalini : potential spiritual energy for development
Kushtagna: herb for treatment of skin ailments
Kwatha: brew


Ladhu: honey
Laghu: light
Lakshana: tendency
Lashuna: garlic
Lavana: salt
Lavanya: sweetness
Lekhana: herbs which reduce obesity
Lingum: penis


Madakaraka: herbs which induce sleep
Mahan: breathing problem
Malas: the three different types of excrement: urine, feces, perspiration
Mamsa: muscle
Manas: the mind
Manda: slow
Marica: black pepper
Marma: sensitive points of the body where the different systems are present: there are 108 points in the body and these are used in treatment.
Medas: fat
Medhya: herbs which stimulate brain function
Medra: penis
Mehndi: henna
Merundanda: spine
Mrudu: soft
Mudita: happiness
Mudra: position of fingers in meditation
Mula: root
Mutra: urine
Mutra-jnana: herbs which stimulate urinary function
Mutravaha srota: the entire urinary canal


Nadi: diagnosis of the pulse. This can be taken on the wrist, temple, carotid of the neck, on the neck, feet, etc. The pulse has many other names: “dividala kalini, spanda, kusula,” etc. Nadi also refers to the traits of the pulse, often on the basis of the “nakha” root.
Nadis: canals
Nadiviknanam: the science of the pulse and name of an ancient treatise on the subject
Nairantarya: without interruption
Nasa: nose
Nashta: destruction
Nasya: Ayurvedic treatment through nose drops
Neem: the powder made from neem leaves has numerous curative and antiseptic benefits which have been recognized by stringent medical studies.
Netra basti: application of oil on the ocular zone
Nidanam: diagnosis
Nidra: sleep
Nidrajnana: sleep-inducing, hypnotic
Nidrakara: herbs which induce sleep
Nimitta: instrument
Nirodha: stop
Nitya: stable, constant
Nyama: inner control


Ojas: energy of the immune system


Padmasana: lotus
Paka: five
Pakvashaya shula: the five organs of the senses
Pancha karma: Ayurvedic detoxification technique: see tivida karma : also called “Shodhana” (expulse, reduce).
Pancha karmendyani: the five elements: ether, air, fire, water, earth.
Pancha kasayas: digestion
Paninama: result
Panthab: way
Para: supreme
Paramanu: all powerful energy
Paramatman: the highest possible level of union between the self and the supreme being
Parinama: result, fruit
Paripluta: vaginal pain
Paryavasanan: end, result
Pashya: understand, see
Paurusha granthi: prostate
Phala: fruit
Phanta: hot infusion
Pizzichilli: anal oil drip
Pracchardana: expiratory breathing
Pradara: vaginal discharge and menstrual ailments
Pradarahara: treatment of pradara with herbs
Pragbhara: continue
Prajna: intelligence, wisdom, state of divine consciousness
Prakriti: nature
Prakruti: ideal balance of the three doshas which characterize a person
Pramehaghna: re-balancing excess sugar in the blood through herbs
Prana: multiple meanings (breathing, vital energy, force of life, subdivision of “vata”)
Prana vaha srota: respiratory system
Pranayama: breathing practices in yoga.
Pranidhana: constant practice
Pranta: unlimited
Prasada: relief
Prasava: manifestation
Prashanta: true path
Prashvasa: expiratory breathing
Prasupta: deep sleep
Pratibha: light of each moment
Pratipatti: constant mastery
Pratyahara: renunciation
Pratyaya: every moment
Prema: love
Puja: meditation on the divine
Purusha: a person’s highest potential. God.
Purva karma: purification treatment with oil, steam, etc.


Rajah: menstruation
Rajoni vriti: menopause
Rakta : blood
Rakta shodaka : herbs for purifying the blood
Raktasthivi saniat: pneumonia
Ranjaka: subdivision of “pitta” which acts in the liver and blood
Rasa: taste
Rasa shastra: treatment with metals
Rasayana: rejuvenation of the body through purification and tonification
Retas: sperm
Ruksha: dry
Ruta: real
Rutu: the seasons


Sada: always
Sadhaka: subdivision of “pitta” which acts in the brain of “pitta.” Also means to seek or aspire after.
Sadhyasadhyata: prognosis
Sakara: urinary stones
Sakti: force, energy, strength
Sam: beautiful
Samana: subdivision of “vata” which acts in the small intestine. Balancing the vital force.
Samadhi: high level of consciousness
Samahita chitta: equilibrium between all the levels of a person
Samapatti: end
Sambodha: profound knowledge
Samhatya: accumulation
Samkalpa: determination, resolution
Samprayoga: union
Samskara: impressions from the past
Samtosha: satisfaction
Samvid: profound knowledge
Samya: harmony
Samyama: unite
Samyogaq: union
Sandra: dense
Sangya sthapana: herbs which stimulate consciousness
Sankirna: reduce
Sannipatika: when the three doshas interact
Sarira: structure of the body
Sarira jnana: knowledge of the body
Sarva: everything, general
Sarvangasana: the whole body with all its organs and components. Also the name of a yoga position.
Sattva: purity, harmony: one of the three “gunas”
Savah: impulse
Shamana Chikitsa: gentle treatment for fragile subjects, which targets symptoms and the root of a problem
Shaithilya: calm, to calm.
Shakti: active feminine energy principle, up to divine levels
Shanka: purity
Shanti: peace
Sharbata: syrup
Shasanam: to control
Shatapusha: fennel
Shuddha: purity, purify
Shiro: head
Shirodana: treatment consisting of pouring hot oil over a patient’s forehead
Shita: cold
Shodhana Chikitsa: preventive treatment for wellbeing, using three methods (trivida karma) of purification: “purva karma, pradhana karma, panshakarma”
Shrotra: hearing
Shuddhi: pure.
Shukrala or shudravridhikara: herb which strengthens sperm
Shula: pain
Shvasa: inhalation (breathing)
Siddhi: success
Sira: head, vein.
Sita: cold
Slashaka: subdivision of “kapha” which acts in the joints
Slakshna: sticky
Smriti: memory
Snehana: oil treatment; love
Snehana karma: oil treatment
Snigdha: oily
Soma: divine nectar, happiness
Sparsha: to touch
Sramahara: stimulating
Srotamsi: system of numerous canals in the body (“Ambhuvaha, Annavaha, mamsavaha, medavaha,” etc).
Sthairya: deep control
Sthira: static, calm
Sthula: crude, raw
Sukshma: subtle
Sura meha: beauty
Sva: one’s own, oneself
Svabuddhi: divine knowledge
Svasa: asthma, breathing difficulty
Svedena chikitsa: treatment with heat
Swarasa: fruit juice
Swarya: treatment of vocal problems with herbs


Taila: oil
Tailaparni: eucalyptus
Takara: to be liberated
Tala: pulse beats in diagnoses
Tamaka: bronchitis, asthma
Tanmatras: the potential of the senses
Tapa: pain
Tapamana: temperature of the pulse
Tarpaka: subdivision of the “dosha kapha” which acts from the head
Tatra: there
Tattva: essence
Thailya: therapeutic oils, medicinal oils
Tikshna: sharp
Tim: sesame
Trivida karma or pancha karma: includes “purva karma, pradhana karma, paschath karma.” See these terms
Tvak: cinnamon
Twak: skin


Udaka: water
Udana vayu: subdivision of “vata” which mobilizes energy for action and acts from the neck and chest
Unmada: mental illness
Upadravya: complications
Upashta: genital organs
Usna: anger, heat, cleaning
Uttama: best


Vacate gana: herbs belonging to the ginger-turmeric group
Vaidya: Ayurvedic therapist
Vajikarana: aphrodisiac
Vak: speech
Vasana: desire, aspiration
Vasyata: control
Vastu: matter
Vata vyadhi : illness of the nervous system
Vataskadi: herbs which calm the three doshas such as black pepper, calamus, kutki; also good for stomach cramps, hemorrhoids, fever, colds and abdominal problems.
Vati: pills
Vayasthapana: herbs which increase longevity
Vayu: air, movement, vital force, vital breath
Veda: knowledge, teaching
Vidharana: inhalation (breathing)
Vidhva: pulse, universe
Vidya: knowledge, science
Vikirana: reaction
Viksipta: confusion of the mind
Vinadanda: spine
Viniyoga: put into practice
Vipaka: bad balancing of a person’s doshas. Maturation
Virodha: obstruction
Virya: purge
Vishada: clear
Vishaya: object
Vitarka: uncertainty, doubt
Viveka: wisdom
Vrishya: aphrodisiac herbs
Vritti: action
Vyaasthambhana: analgesic herbs for reducing pain
Vyadhikshamatva: immunity
Vyana: subdivision of “vata” which promotes expansion, circulation of the blood, energy, thought, movements. Acts from the heart. Sub-dosha of “vata.”
Vyuha: arrangement
Vyutthana: awakening
Vyavis: rapid action herbs


Yakrit (or Yakrut): liver
Yakrut roga: liver impairment
Yaksma: syndrome
Yogi, Yogini: yoga practitioner
Yoni: vagina
Yoni vyaapat: vaginal problems

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