Glossary

     

Abhyanga: Daily oil massage to increase circulation, decrease dryness and reduce vata aggravation.

Abhyantar Snehana: Internal oleation. Part of Purvakarma it is specifically designed to liquify and dislodge ama from the dhatus.

Agni: The element and universal organizing principle of conversion, light and heat.

Agni Swedana: A procedure used to promote sweating and dilation of channels through heating the body.

Ahara: The Ayurvedic knowledge of proper diet. One of the three pillars of Ayurveda.

Akash: The element and universal organizing principle of space.

Alochak Pitta: The metabolic function associated with the eye.

Ama: The toxic residue of undigested food that is the source of illness in the body.

Anuloman: The aspect of gastrointestinal vitality concerned with proper elimination.

Apana Vayu: The sub-dosha of vata which governs the elimination of waste.

Asanas: Hatha yoga postures designed to refine physiological functioning.

Asatmya-Indriyartha-Samyog: The improper uses of the senses.

Asthi: The dhatu or bodily tissue of bone.

Atma: The universal intelligence of nature. Also known as param atma.

Aushadhi: The Ayurvedic management of disease. One of the three pillars of Ayurveda.

Ayurveda: The science of life, the oldest health-care science known to man.

Bahya Snehana: External oleation used during Purvakarma designed to liquefy and dislodge ama from the dhatus.

Bashpa Swedana: Steam bath. Part of the preparatory procedures of Panchakarma specifically used to dilate the shrotas or channels of the body to facilitate the removal of ama.

Bheda: The sixth stage of disease manifestation characterized by complications.

Bhrajak Pitta: The metabolic function associated with the skin.

Bhutas: The five elements.

Chandan Bala Oil: Medicated oil used in bahya snehana to pacify pitta dosha.

Charaka: The original commentator on Ayurveda, considered to be the father of Ayurveda.

Charaka Samhita: The first and most authoritative commentary on Ayurveda.

Deepan: The aspect of gastrointestinal vitality concerned with promoting strong digestive fire.

Dharma: Life' purpose.

Dhatu Agni: The metabolic function associated with each of the seven dhatus.

Dhatus: The seven retainable substances of structures of the body. Bodily tissues.

Dhi: Intellect. The aspect of sattva that imparts the ability to conceive and imagine.

Dhruti: The positive aspect of rajas that imparts the ability to implement creative thought.

Dinacharya: Daily behavioral guidelines for maintaining ideal health.

Dosha: The functional intelligence within the human body responsible for all physiological and psychological processes.

Dosha Gati: The twice daily movement that each dosha follows from the hollow structures of the gastrointestinal tract to the thicker structures of the dhatus and back again. Also the movement of the doshas from their seats in the G-I tract to their nearest orifice.

Dwandaj: A condition where two doshas have an equally dominant influence in a person's prakruti or constitutional make-up.

Gati: Mobility.

Ghee: Clarified butter.

Gunas: The three phases of activity in creation as well as the three qualities of the mind.

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

Jala: The element and universal organizing principle of liquidity and cohesion. Also known as the water element.

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

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

Kapha: The dosha or functional intelligence within the body governing cohesion, liquidity and growth.

Katti Basti: An external, localized application of medicated oil used in the region of the back.

Kitchari: A mixture of basmati rice and split yellow mung dal used to cleanse and balance the doshas during Panchakarma therapy.

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

Mahanarayana Oil: A medicated oil used in bahya snehana specifically to pacify kapha dosha.

Majja: The dhatu or bodily tissue of bone marrow. Also, the term used to describe the bone marrow fat used on occasion in abyantar snehana (internal oleation).

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

Mamsa: The dhatu or bodily tissue of muscle.

Manas: The mind. One  of the four components of Ayu.

Marma: Sensitive  points which represent a greater concentration of the body's vital force in that area.

Meda: The dhatu or bodily tissue of fat (adipose tissue).

Nadis: Very fine shrotas or channels of the body.

Nadi Swedana: Localized, penetrating steam administered specifically to the joints and spinal area during Purvakarma.

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

Ojakshaya: Depletion of ojas.

Ojas: The most refined product of dhatu metabolism which controls the body's immune function.

Pachak Pitta: The metabolic function occurring in the small intestine.

Pachan: The aspect of gastrointestinal vitality concerned with improving digestion and metabolism.

Panchakarma: The five major purificatory procedures and adjunct therapies for purifying and rejuvenating the body.

Panchamahabhuta: The theory of the five elements.

Param Atma: The universal intelligence of nature.

Parinam: The  negative effects of the seasons on the body. The third major cause of disease after pragya aparadha and astmya-indriyartha-samyog.

Pinda Swedana: A fomentation procedure performed with a bolus of rice and a hot milk decoction to tonify the muscles and improve the circulation.

Pishinchhali: A vigorous herbal  massage using a bolus of rice and a large amount of oil to improve the mobility of muscles and ligaments.

Pitta: The dosha or functional intelligence within the body governing all metabolic processes.

Pragya aparadha: The mistake of the intellect. Considered by Ayurveda to be the foremost cause of disease.

Prakopa: The second stage of disease manifestation characterized by provocation or aggravation of ama at its site of origin (in the G-I tract).

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

Prana: Life-force or vital  force.

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

Pranayama: An alternate nostril breathing exercise which increase the intake of prana. One of the three exercises of vyayama.

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

Prasara: The third stage of disease manifestation characterized by the migration of ama from its site of origin (in the G-I tract).

Prithvi: The element and universal organizing principle of form and structure. Also commonly known as the earth element.

Purvakarma: The set of procedures used to prepare a person for the main  purificatory procedures of Panchakarma.

Rajas: The active phase of the mind. It imparts motivation and initiative to the mind. Also one of the three gunas or phases of activity in creation.

Rajasic: Pertaining to the qualities of rajas.

Rakta: The dhatu or bodily tissue of blood.

Ranjak Pitta: The metabolic function associated with the liver.

Rasa: The dhatu or bodily tissue of plasma or nutrient-fluid. Also refers to the three categories of taste.

Rasayana: One of the branches of Ayurvedic science having to do with rejuvenation.

Rutucharya: The diet and lifestyle regimen prescribed by vihara to take into account the impact of each of the seasons on the body.

Sadhak Pitta: The metabolic function which controls the neuropeptides in the brain as well as mental processes.

Samana Vayu: The sub-dosha of vata which governs the metabolism and distribution of nutrients in the body.

Samsarajana Krama: The graded administration of diet.

Sanchaya: The first stage of disease manifestation characterized by the accumulation of ama in the gastrointestinal tract.

Sattva: The creative phase of the mind. The quality that imparts curiosity, inspiration and creativity to the mind. One of the three gunas or phases of activity in creation.

Sattvic: Pertaining to the qualities of sattva.

Sharira: The human body. One of the four components of Ayu.

Shat Kriya Kal: The six stages of disease manifestation.

Shirodhara: One of the adjunct procedures of Purvakarma designed to calm the mind and pacify vata in the central nervous system.

Shrotas: The gross and subtle channels of the body.

Shukra: The male and female reproductive tissue of the body.

Smriti: Memory. More specifically, the positive aspect of tamas that imparts the ability to remember those things that are beneficial for our lives.

Sthana Samshraya: The fourth stage of disease manifestation characterized by augmentation of the disease process.

Surya Namaskar: Sun salutation in Hatha Yoga asanas.

Sushruta: One of the main commentator of Ayurvedic science after Charaka, whose focus was surgical procedures and purification of the blood.

Sushruta Samhita: Sushruta commentary on Ayurveda.

Swedana: One of the two main Purvakarmas (preparatory procedures of Panchakarma) whose purpose is to dilate the channels of the body so that the doshas can easily transport the dislodged ama back to the G-I tract for elimination.

Taila: Oil.

Tamas: The phase in the mind that brings activity to an end. It imparts dullness and inertia to the mind and causes a loss of knowingness. One of the three gunas or phases of activity in creation.

Tamasic: Pertaining to the quality of tamas.

Tapa Swedana: The application of dry heat to the body to reduce inflammation and congestion in the joints.

Til Oil: Sesame oil.

Udana Vayu: One of the sub-doshas of vata which governs strength, speech and the elimination of carbon dioxide.

Udvartana: A type of therapeutic massage using powder instead of oil to reduce meda dhatu and excess kapha.

Uro Basti: Medicated oils that are retained on the chest and heart area to reduce congestion.

Vagabhata: A major commentator on Ayurvedic science after Charaka and Sushruta.

Vaidya: An Ayurvedic physician.

Vaishamya: The proportionate influence of the doshas that allows us to perceive the predominance of one over the others.

Vata: The dosha or functional intelligence in the body that governs movement, transportation and the drying and separating functions.

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

Vayu: The element and universal organizing principle of movement. Also commonly known as the air or wind element.

Veda: The knowledge of the totality of life.

Vihara: The Ayurvedic knowledge of proper lifestyle. One of the three pillars of Ayurveda.

Vikruti: The imbalance in the doshas that obscures one's prakruti or ideal constitutional balance.

Vipaka: The post-absorptive phase of digestion.

Vyakta: The fifth stage of disease manifestation characterized by the manifestation of a clear set of symptoms.

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

Vyayama: Three exercises prescribed by vihara which give energy rather than expend energy: hatha yoga postures, pranayama and sun salutation.