The Ayurvedic Glossary

The Ayurvedic Glossary

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Aakash is the ether or space element among the Pancha Mahabhootas. It provides the space for movement and transformation, both physically and mentally. Aakash is associated with qualities of expansiveness and communication, playing a role in sound, hearing, and the subtle spaces within the body.



The third of five elements recognized in Ayurveda are the fire element, the principle of transformation, the digestive fire, which is responsible for digestion, absorption, and assimilation, and that which transforms food into tissues, energy, and consciousness.



Undigested or unmetabolized food particles and toxins that can accumulate in the body, causing imbalances and leading to various health issues. Ama is a critical concept in Ayurveda, and detoxification practices are recommended to eliminate it.



Asthi represents the bone tissue, providing structure and support to the body. Maintaining strong and healthy bones is essential for overall well-being.




A therapeutic procedure involving puncturing or lancing is used in the context of Ayurvedic treatments.




A powdered herbal formulation used in Ayurveda, typically a combination of various herbs, spices, and minerals. Churnas are often used for therapeutic purposes or as dietary supplements.




According to Ayurveda, there are seven basic tissues in the human body. These include Rasa (plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscle), Meda (fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (marrow), and Shukra (reproductive fluid).



One of the three biological energies or principles—Vata, Pitta, and Kapha—governs the body's various physiological and psychological functions. Each individual has a unique combination of these doshas.



Energetic Principles

Ayurveda recognizes three fundamental energies—Prana (life force), Tejas (energy of transformation), and Ojas (vitality or immunity)—that play crucial roles in maintaining health and well-being.




A therapeutic practice in Ayurveda known as Upavasa involves controlled abstention from food or specific foods to purify the digestive system, eliminate toxins, and balance doshas.




The three fundamental qualities—Sattva (purity), Rajas (activity), and Tamas (inertia)—characterize all aspects of existence, including foods, emotions, and thoughts, according to Ayurveda.




Herbs and substances that are beneficial for the heart, both physically and emotionally. These are believed to strengthen and nourish the heart, promoting cardiovascular health.




The sensory and motor organs, including the five senses (hearing, touch, sight, taste, and smell) and the five motor organs (vocal cords, hands, feet, genitals, and anus), play a crucial role in perception and action.




One of the Pancha Mahabhootas, Jala, represents the water element. It governs fluid balance in the body, including blood, lymph, and cellular fluids. A balanced Jala is crucial for maintaining hydration, supporting digestion, and promoting overall well-being.



The digestive fire in the stomach is responsible for the digestion of ingested food. Proper functioning of Jatharagni is essential for overall health and well-being.




One of the three doshas in Ayurveda represents the elements of water and earth. Kapha governs stability, structure, and lubrication in the body and mind.


Kapha Dosha

Composed of water and earth elements, Kapha governs stability, structure, and lubrication. An imbalance in Kapha can lead to congestion, lethargy, and weight gain.


Karna Purana

An Ayurvedic practice of instilling warm oil into the ears. Karna Purana is thought to promote ear health, improve hearing, and balance Vata in the head region.


Khatilya (Hair fall)

Khatilya refers to hair fall or hair loss. Various factors, including imbalances in doshas, poor nutrition, and stress, can contribute to Khatilya. Ayurvedic approaches to address hair fall include diet, lifestyle modifications, and herbal treatments.




The salty taste is one of the six tastes (Rasa) recognized in Ayurveda. Lavana is associated with the elements of water and fire and is found in salty foods.




Meda is the adipose tissue or fat that plays a role in insulation, energy storage, and protection. Balancing Meda is essential for maintaining a healthy body weight.



Majja is the marrow tissue found in the bones and nervous system. It plays a role in supporting the nervous and immune systems.



Waste products or excretory substances are produced in the body, including urine, feces, and sweat. Proper elimination of Malas is vital for maintaining internal cleanliness and preventing the accumulation of toxins.



The mind includes its various aspects, such as thoughts, emotions, and consciousness. Ayurveda emphasizes the connection between mental and physical health.



Mansa is the muscle tissue responsible for movement and strength. Balancing Mansa is crucial for maintaining muscle health and functionality.



Nasya Therapy (Nasal Therapy)

A therapeutic procedure involves administering herbal oils or powders through the nasal passages. Nasya therapy benefits the head, sinuses, and overall respiratory health.




The subtle essence of the body represents vitality, immunity, and overall well-being. Ojas is influenced by diet, lifestyle, and mental well-being.



Pancha Mahabhoota

According to Ayurveda, five fundamental elements constitute the physical universe and the human body. They are Prithvi (earth), Aap (water), Tej (fire), Vayu (air), and Akash (ether). Understanding the balance and interaction of these elements is essential in Ayurveda for assessing individual constitutions and designing appropriate therapeutic interventions.


Pitta Dosha

Pitta governs digestion, metabolism, and transformation by representing the elements of fire and water. Imbalances in Pitta may manifest as inflammation, acidity, and skin disorders.



The dominant dosha or combination of doshas at conception determines one's constitution. Understanding one's Prakriti helps customize diet and lifestyle for optimal health.



The earth element among the Pancha Mahabhootas, Prithvi, represents stability, structure, and solidity. It is associated with the physical body, bones, muscles, and all solid structures. Balancing Prithvi is essential for maintaining strength, nourishment, and groundedness.



Quality (Guna)

In Ayurveda, the qualities of substances are classified into twenty pairs of opposites, such as heavy/light, cold/hot, etc. Balancing these qualities is crucial for maintaining harmony in the body and mind.




Rakta is the blood tissue responsible for oxygenating and nourishing all parts of the body. Maintaining the purity and balance of Rakta is crucial for overall health.



The first Saptadhatu, Rasa, represents the plasma or nutrient fluid. It nourishes and hydrates the body, forming the basis for developing subsequent Dhatus.



Therapeutic and rejuvenating practices, including dietary and lifestyle measures, are aimed at promoting longevity, vitality, and overall well-being.




According to Ayurveda, there are seven fundamental tissues in the human body. They are Rasa (plasma), Rakta (blood), Mamsa (muscle), Meda (fat), Asthi (bone), Majja (marrow), and Shukra (reproductive fluid). Balancing these Dhatus is crucial for overall health.



Purification or detoxification practices in Ayurveda, including Panchakarma therapies, eliminate excess doshas and toxins from the body.



Shukra is the reproductive tissue responsible for fertility and the functioning of the reproductive system. A balanced Shukra contributes to overall vitality.


Sphatika Bhasm

A preparation in Ayurveda involves purified alum that is used for various therapeutic purposes, including promoting digestive health and balancing doshas.




Teja is the fire element among the Pancha Mahabhootas. It represents transformation, digestion, and metabolic processes in the body. Balanced Teja is crucial for maintaining proper digestion, regulating body temperature, and supporting the body's energy production.



A popular Ayurvedic herbal formulation consisting of three fruits—Amalaki, Bibhitaki, and Haritaki. Triphala is commonly used to support digestion, detoxification, and overall health.



The three doshas, Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, govern the body's various physiological and psychological functions. Understanding and balancing the doshas are fundamental in Ayurveda for maintaining health and preventing diseases.




The hot or heating quality is one of the gunas associated with the fire element. Ushna is present in hot and spicy foods and can influence digestion and metabolism.




One of the three doshas in Ayurveda represents the elements of air and ether. Vata governs movement, communication, and creativity in the body and mind.


Vata Dosha

Vata governs movement, communication, and creativity by combining air and ether elements. When imbalanced, Vata can lead to issues such as anxiety, insomnia, and digestive problems.



The Vata dosha represents the elements of air and ether. Vayu governs all forms of movement in the body, including circulation, respiration, and nerve impulses. An imbalance in Vayu can lead to various health issues, including anxiety, constipation, and joint pain.



Water Therapy

Water in various forms, such as warm water, is used for therapeutic purposes in Ayurveda. Water therapy is believed to balance doshas and promote digestive health.






An integral part of Ayurveda, Yoga involves physical postures, breath control, and meditation to promote overall health, balance doshas, and enhance spiritual well-being.



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