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Showing posts with label Ancient. Show all posts

Ayurvedic Ingredients

Dictionary of Common and Uncommon Ayurvedic  Ingredients

Aduki- Also known as adzuki or feijao, this small dark red bean is native to Japan and China. Rich in nutrients, it is considered, like mung, to be a tridoshic bean. 

Agar agar- A buff-colored, translucent seaweed available in 12-inch bars or in flakes. Indigenous to India, agar-agar has been used since Vedic times as a food thickener and to make gels. Use warm water or other liquid to dissolve. Available in most health food stores and in Indian and Oriental grocery stores. May be used by all types. 

Ajwan (ajwain)- Also known as bishopweed, this tiny spice seed is related to caraway and cumin. Its delicate flavor resembles the combined tastes of lemon, pepper and thyme. Available in Indian and Oriental grocery stores and occasionally in health food stores. Good for Kapha and Vata types. 

Aloe vera- Called kumari in Sanskrit, aloe vera is bitter, astringent, sweet and cooling in nature. It is used in pancha karma therapy as a tonic, blood cleanser, mild laxative, and for douching. Excellent for Pitta, it may be used by all types. 

Aragvadha (purging cassia)- A family of the senna plant, the fruit, bark and pods are used in Ayurvedic purgative therapy. Pungent and bitter in taste and cooling in energy, the fruits, bark and pods are used primarily by Pitta and Kapha types. 

Arka (sadapushpi)- The root, leaves and flowers are known for their extensive use in Ayurvedic purgative and emesis therapy. The "milk" of the plant is known for its sharp potency, and a few drops of it is used to alkalize purgative decoctions. Arka is bitter and pungent in nature and is heating in energy. Good for Kapha, Pitta and Vata disorders. 

Ashwagandha- Bitter, astringent and heating in nature, this herb may be used primarily by Vata and Kapha types as a tonic, nervine, aphrodisiac and a rejuvenative. 

Atibala- This herb, like bala, is sweet and cooling and may be used by all three doshas, although it is most suitable for Pitta and Kapha types. Atibala is used as a mild laxative as well as a tonic and calming agent. 

Ayurvedic formulated oils- Amavathahara, anu taila, bilva, brahmi, chakra, dashamula, dhanvantari, kaseesadi, ksheerabala, masha, Narayana, nirgundi, pinda, padmaka, shatavari, sidda, yasti madhu. 

Ayurvedic formulated pills- Avipattkar, icchabhedhi, drakshadi, jalodharari, kutajaghana.

Ayurvedic medicated ghee- Tikta ghrita, maha tikta ghrita, brahmi ghrita, mati- kalyana ghrita, guggulu tikta ghrita. 

Bala- Sweet and cooling in nature, this herb may be used for all three doshas as a rejuvenative tonic and nervine. 

Besan- Chickpea flour. Good for Pitta and Kapha types and maybe used occasionally by Vata types. 

Bhringaraja- Bitter, sweet and cooling in nature, this herb may be used for all three doshas as a nervine, blood cleanser and tonic. 

Black cumin- Called kala jeera in Sanskrit, the black cumin is a relative of both the cumin and caraway plants. Used extensively in Vedic cooking, black cumin, like cumin, is considered good for all three doshas. It is pungent and bitter in taste and is used as a stimulant, blood cleanser and carminative. Available at Indian grocery stores. 

Brahma dandi (Mexican poppy)- Pungent, astringent and sweet in taste with heating energy, the root, seeds and flowers are used in pancha karma to soothe Vata disorders, and sometimes Pitta disorders. 

Brahmi (Indian pennyworth or thyme-leaved gratiola)- Also called gotu kola, the whole plant is used Ayurvedically. Bitter, pungent, sweet and cooling in nature, brahmi is used to promote memory, sleep, and longevity. It is used as a blood cleanser, to reduce internal bleeding and to alleviate heart disease and diabetes. Good for all doshas but excellent for Pitta disorders. 

Burdock root- This dark brown root of the burdock plant is long, thin and wiry and has medicinal properties. Bitter, pungent, sweet and astringent in taste with heating energy, this root is good for Pitta and Kapha types. Available in health food stores. 

Cardamom- Known as ela or elachi in Sanskrit, the cardamom pods and seeds are used extensively in both Vedic cooking and Ayurvedic medicine. Cardamom is sweet, pungent and heating in nature and may be used primarily by Vata and Kapha types as a carminative and stimulant, as well as to relieve mucus. It may also be used occasionally by Pitta types. 

Chana dhal- A variety of small chick pea, which is husked and split, this buff-yellow dhal is very popular in Indian cuisine. Best for Pitta and Kapha types. 

Chitraka- Pungent and hot in nature, this herb is used by Vata and Kapha types to promote digestion, regulate menstrual flow, and as a tonic for liver, spleen and intestine. 

Coconut- The whole coconut fruit is used extensively in India to make many wholesome products. Sweet in taste, the fresh and dried coconut as well as the coconut oil are used in Ayurveda as a neutralizing tonic and diuretic by Pitta and Vata types. Available at Indian and Oriental grocery stores. 

Dadima (pomegranate fruit)- Sweet, bitter and astringent in nature, the pomegranate fruit is used extensively in pancha karma therapy as a tonic and blood cleanser. It is also used to destroy bacteria, parasites, fungus and yeast in the body. Good for Pitta and Kapha types. 

Dashamula- A combination of ten Ayurvedic herbs, namely: ashwagandha, shatavari, yastimadhu, punarnava, arjuna, bala, bilva, gokshura, vidari and kumari, generally used in pancha karma therapy for Vata disorders. 

Dhanyaka (coriander leaves and seeds)- Used extensively in Vedic cooking as well as in Ayurveda, coriander is bitter, pungent and cooling in nature. It is good for all three doshas. 

Draksha- Sweet and cooling in nature, the grape powder, juice or medicinal wine is generally used in pancha karma therapies. Good for Vata and Pitta types, although Kapha types may use occasionally. 

Echinacea- A relative of the camel's thistle (utkataka), this herb is bitter, pungent and cooling in nature. Used for its antibiotic quality, echinacea also helps to induce sweating. Good for Pitta and Kapha types. 

Eranda (castor root and oil)- Pungent, sweet and heating in nature, castor root and oil are used in purgation therapy as a strong laxative causing rapid evacuation. Castor root and oil also calm the tissues and relieve pain. Good for Vata types. Fruits used in pancha karma (fresh fruit, fruit juice and dried fruit powder)- pilu, draksha, palasha, bilva, badri kanchanara (red and white variety), dadima, amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki.  

Ghee- Best made fresh , this clarified butter is also available in health food stores and Indian grocery stores. Ghee is excellent for Vata and Pitta uses. 

Gokshura- Sweet, bitter and cooling in nature, this herb may be used mostly by Pitta and Kapha types as a diuretic, tonic and aphrodisiac. 

Gotu kola- See Brahmi. 

Gourds used in pancha karma- Dokshi, koshataki (torai), koshaphala (bidali), katukumbi (bottle gourd), mahajali (kadwi torai). Generally the seeds, which are pungent and bitter, and fruits, which are cooling, are used in emesis therapy to relieve excess Kapha. Fresh gourds are available at Indian grocery stores. 

Gum arabic- Sweet and cooling in nature, gum Arabic is used as an emollient to the tissues as well as a tonic to calm the internal membranes. Good for Pitta and Vata types. 

Japa (shoe flower, or hibiscus)- The leaves, roots, flowers and buds are used in pancha karma therapy. Sweet, astringent and heating in nature, hibiscus is used as a blood cleanser, to relieve thirst and stop internal bleeding. Good for Pitta and Kapha types. 

Honey (madhu)- In Ayurveda, honey is known as yogavaha, since it enhances the therapeutic effects of the medicines which are added to it. Its unique qualities of sweet and astringent tastes, yet heating energy, make honey an excellent vehicle for carrying medicines deeply into bodily tissues, allowing penetration through the subtle tissues and pores. Adding to its uniqueness is the effectiveness of naturally aged honey in reducing obesity and diabetes. For obesity, honey is mixed in hot water. This is the only circumstance in which honey is combined with heat, since when heated or used in hot substances, honey becomes highly toxic in the body. Honey is excellent for Vata and Kapha disorders. Even though sweet, it reduces Kapha due to its dry, rough and heavy attributes. Although heating in nature, it may be used discriminately by Pitta types, especially as a medicinal carrier. Honey is used to alleviate conditions such as ulcers, bronchitis, asthma, hiccoughs, nausea, excessive thirst, bleeding, diabetes, eye diseases (when applied topically) and sore throat. Honey also promotes intelligence, strength and determination. 

Hot chili pepper- Native to tropical and semi-tropical climates, chili peppers come in an infinite variety of hotness. Those recommended in this book are the mediumhot variety, such as the one-inch long red or green chilies found in Indian, Oriental, and Latin American grocery stores. You can reduce the heat of a pepper by deseeding it. Cut off the stem and slice the pepper in two lengthwise. Use a dinner knife to scrape the seeds off. Alternatively, remove the stem by cutting around it and twisting or pulling it out of the pepper; most of the seeds should come out with the stem intact. Good for Kapha types although it may be used occasionally by Vata types. 

Unrefined brown sugar (jaggery and gur)- For millennia, jaggery and gur, both unrefined sugars, have been culled and preserved in India's villages. Jaggery is made from the juice crushed from the sugar cane, while gur is made from the sap drained from the coconut, date and palmyra palm trees. Much in demand in India, gur is made into several types of confections and offered at religious ceremonies. The season's first batch of gur is a sought- after delicacy. Jaggery and gur, available through Indian grocers, may be used interchangeably in the formulas and recipes in this book, along with unrefined brown sugar and Sucanat, available through health food stores. When used in milk preparations, unrefined sugars should be added towards the end of the cooking process. Jaggery, gur and Sucanat share smooth, heavy, oily, sweet and cooling qualities and are used primarily to reduce excess Vata and Pitta conditions. Kapha types should use these sugars sparingly since all sugars increase body fat. 

Jatamansi (Indian spikenard)- The root of this plant is used to relieve Pitta and sometimes Kapha conditions. Sweet, bitter and astringent in taste, jatamansi is cooling in nature. Karanja (Indian beech)- The leaves, seeds, bark and root are used extensively in pancha karma as an emetic, to relieve nervous tension, skin diseases and ulcers, and remove parasites from the body. Karanja is pungent and bitter with a heating energy, and is good for Kapha, Pitta and Vata disorders. 

Katuki (gentian plant and root)- Bitter, pungent and cooling in nature, gentian is used as a bitter tonic, blood cleanser, and to reduce bodily heat. Good for Pitta and Kapha disorders. 

Kudzu- The root of the kudzu plant is best known for its medicinal starch, which may also be used as a food thickener. Kudzu starch is similar to guduchi starch used in Ayurveda. Good for Pitta and Vata types, although it may be used occasionally by Kapha types. 

Lemon grass- Pungent, bitter and cooling in nature, lemon grass is good for all three doshas. Generally used to cool the system, or as a diuretic and sweat inducer. 

Lotus root- Known as kamala in Sanskrit, the lotus plant is native to ponds and lakes of Kashmir, China and Japan. Every part of the lotus plant is used medicinally in Ayurveda. The roots may be used fresh or dried for cooking, whereas the root powder may be used medicinally as a nutritive tonic and nervine for Pitta and Vata conditions. 

Madana (emetic nut)- Known for its extensive use in Ayurvedic emesis therapy, both the kidney-shaped fruit and seeds are used. Madana fruits and seeds are sweet, bitter and astringent in taste and cooling in energy, and may be used by both Pitta and Kapha types. 

Masoor dhal- Commonly called French lentil, this small bean when split resembles the red lentil. Traditional to North Indian cooking, this legume is best for Pitta and Kapha types, although seasoned appropriately, Vata types may use occasionally. 

Matar dhal- Common split peas, yellow and green. Best for Pitta and Kapha types. 

Mung dhal- Also known as mudga or green gram, this legume used since Vedic times is considered queen of the legumes because of its alkalizing and healing properties. May be used by all types, although Vata types need to spice appropriately. 

Musta- Bitter, astringent, pungent and cooling in nature, this herb is used to alleviate fever, thirst, diarrhea, as well as disorders and burning sensation of the skin. A natural blood cleanser, musta is good for Pitta and Kapha disorder uses, and may be used occasionally by Vata types. 

Neem- Also called nimba in Sanskrit, the neem tree grows predominantly in and regions of Punjab and Rajasthan. The entire tree is used medicinally in Ayurveda. Neem leaves are also used in Vedic cooking. Bitter in taste, neem is used primarily by Pitta and Kapha types to reduce conditions such as fevers and blood disorders, and as a bitter tonic. Fresh neem leaves, commonly called curry leaves, are available at Indian grocery stores. 

Nilini (indigo plant, root or dye)- Bitter, pungent and cooling, indigo is used in pancha karma therapy as an antibiotic and mild laxative. Good for Pitta and Kapha disorders. 

Padmaka (wild cherry bark)- this bark is used extensively in Ayurveda to relieve cough, bronchial spasm, palpitations, and skin and eye problems. Bitter, astringent and sweet in taste with cooling energy, padmaka is good for all types, but in particular for Pitta and Kapha. 

Pippali- A hot and pungent red pepper, two to three inches long, and one of the three ingredients in the Ayurvedic formula known as trikatu. It is excellent for Kapha types, and occasionally for Vata types, to provide heat to the body and to stimulate digestion. 

Plantain- Known as green banana in the United States and kacha kela in India, plantain is actually considered a vegetable. Used in the cuisines of South India and South and Central America, it is available in most Indian and Latin American grocery stores. Astringent, pungent and bitter in taste, plantain is a natural diuretic and may be used by Pitta and Kapha types. 

Pudina- The Sanskrit term for mint, pudina is mentioned as a vital tridoshic herb in ancient Ayurvedic texts. Especially pleasing to Pitta types, it is available fresh or dried in health food stores and farmers' markets. 

Punarnava- Bitter and cooling in nature, this herb may be used mostly by Pitta and Kapha as a diuretic, laxative and a rejuvenate. 

Rock Salt- Primarily mined in crystalline form from the seabeds of the Sindh mountain region in Pakistan, where it is known as senda namak; this salt has been used since ancient times in Ayurvedic foods and medicines. It may be used by all the types and substituted for sea salt in any of the recipes in this book. Its sister salt, known as kala namak, is a deep purple, highly pungent rock crystal that has a volatile taste and a smell resembling hard boiled eggs. It may be used occasionally (in small quantity) by Vata and Kapha types. 

Saffron- Known as kesar in Sanskrit, saffron threads are handpicked from the saffron crocus cultivated in India, China, the Mediterranean and Asia Minor. Carmine red in color with an exquisitely delicate taste, saffron is used in Ayurvedic medicine to tone the colon, cleanse the blood, regulate menstrual flow and as a rejuvenative. Saffron is also used extensively in India for making sweet drinks and desserts. It may be used by all three doshas. Available at Indian and Middle Eastern grocery stores, as well as through health food stores. 

Shatavari- Sweet, bitter and cooling in nature, this herb is used as a nutritive and calming agent, to regulate menstrual flow and to boost the hormonal system. Good for Pitta and Vata disorders. 

Soybean- Native to India, China and Japan, the soybean is a medium-sized bean, either black or white in color. This bean is highly nutritive, as well as cooling, making it an excellent choice for Pitta types. Seasoned appropriately, both Kapha and Vata types may use occasionally. The derivatives of the soybean, tofu and soy milk, may also be used accordingly. 

Sucanat- Trademark for a natural sugar made from sugar cane juice. Excellent for Vata and Pitta use. Kapha types may use sparingly. 

Tamal patra (Indian cassia)- A family of the cinnamon plant, the dried leaves and bark are used extensively in Ayurveda as a stimulant, blood cleanser and to promote perspiration through the skin. Pungent, astringent and sweet in taste with heating energy, the carnal patra is good for Vata and Kapha types, although Pitta types may also use occasionally. 

Tamarind- The pulp of the tamarind pod, used since ancient times in India. The tamarind tree is considered auspicious in Indian mythology, and its fruit is known as imli. Fresh tamarind is available in the tropics. Dried tamarind is packed in the shape of small bricks or slabs that can be prepared as a pulp. Dried tamarind, tamarind pulp (or paste), and a gel-like tamarind concentrate are all available in Indian grocery stores. Sour and sweet in taste, Tamarind is a natural stimulant and may be used by Vata and Kapha types, although Pitta types may also use occasionally. 

Trikatu- A combination of the three pungent herbs, ginger, pippali and black pepper, trikatu may be used primarily by Vata and Pitta types to boost digestion and to stimulate the system. 

Triphala- A combination of three ancient Ayurvedic fruits, amalaki, haritaki and bibhitaki, triphala is an excellent tonic for all three doshas. It is used to detoxify the system, as well as a mild laxative and sleeping aid. 

Turmeric- Also known as haridra in Sanskrit, turmeric comes from the underground rhizome of a perennial plant native to the humid regions of South India and Southeast Asia. Used extensively in both Vedic cooking and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is bitter, pungent and heating, but may be used for all three doshas as a blood cleanser, stimulant, and antibacterial agent. Available at Indian grocery stores and health food stores. 

Urad dhal- Also known as masha, or black gram, this small, black legume has been used since ancient times. When husked and split, the bean is white. Traditionally used in many South Indian vegetable dishes, urad is considered a tridoshic bean. 

Uva ursi- Astringent, bitter, pungent, and cooling in nature, this herb may be used by Pitta and Kapha types for its antiseptic and diuretic properties. 

Vacha (calamus, or sweet flag root)- Pungent, bitter and heating in nature, vacha may be used mainly by Vata and Kapha types as a stimulant, rejuvenative and decongestant. 

Valerian- Pungent and heating in nature, the herb valerian is used primarily as a sedative, nervine, and to tone the colon. Good for Vata and Kapha disorders. 

Vamsha rochana (bamboo)- Sweet, astringent and cooling in nature, this herb is excellent for Pitta and Vata disorders. It relieves mucus and acts as a tonic and calming agent to the tissues. 

Vidanga (embelia)- Pungent, astringent and heating in nature, the berries are used in Ayurveda to reduce appetite and fat and to destroy parasites, bacteria and fungus. Good for Kapha disorders. Wood powders used in pancha karma- Sandalwood, agaru and khadira. 

Yastimadhu (madhuka)- Sweet, bitter, and cooling in nature, licorice root and root extract are generally used in both emesis and purgation therapies. Good for Pitta and Vata disorders. 

You may also want to read more about Ayurveda and Holistic Healing here.

Dictionary of Sanskrit Terms used in Ayurveda

The detailed vocabulary that follows will help you understand the many key Sanskrit terminology used in Ayurveda.

abhyanga - anointing body with oil or ghee

accha peya - pure cow's ghee

agni - bodily fire, particularly digestive fire

ahamkara - ego; the "I" notion; cosmic memory recorder of all lives

ahara rasa - ingested nutrients, before they are digested

aja - goat; one who transcends the cycle of births

ajna - limitless power; name of sixth chakra

akasha - space; principle of vacuity

akshitarpana - herbal decoction used to revive eyes

alambusha - one of fourteen nadis; starts at anus and ends in mouth

alepanam - application of astringent plaster

alochaka - fire of eyes; one of five fires of Pitta

ama - undigested, foul-odored remnants of food in bodily channels

anahata- fearless, unafflicted; nature of the black antelope, symbol and name of fourth chakra

anna lepa sveda - fomentation therapy where poultice is applied to whole body

annam - literally, "that which grows on the earth"; food

annavaha srotas - digestive system or channels

antahkarana - inner or psychic instrument, referring to the mind (manas), intellect (buddhi) and ego memory (ahamkara)

anuvasana - decoction generally used in enema therapy

apana - one of five bodily airs; air controlling ejection of bodily wastes

artava - menstrual fluid

artava dhatu - ovum

artavavaha srotas - menstrual system or female reproductive channels

ashmaghna sveda - sudation on a hot stone slab

ashtapana - another term used for decoction enema therapy

Astanga Hridaya - Ayurvedic text written by Vagbhatta

asthi dhatu - bone and cartilage tissue

Atharva Veda - one of four principle Vedas

Atman - indwelling spirit; soul within body; Conscious Self

avagahana sveda - sudation in a hot tub

avalambaka - water dosha of heart; one of the five waters of Kapha

avapeda nasya - introduction of soft paste into the nasal passages

Ayurveda - knowledge of life; Vedic science of health

bala - strength

bandhana sveda - fomentation therapy where poultice is applied to a localized area of the body

baspa sveda - fomentation occurring in a traditionally designed wooden box, whereby the head of the person remains outside of the box

Bharata Bhumi - ancient name of India, land of Bharata; land of dharma

bhasma - literally, "ash"; incinerated metal or mineral used as potent, powdered remedy

bhrajaka - heat of the skin; one of the five fires of Pitta

bhu sveda - sudation on heated surface of the earth

bija - seed mantra

bodhaka - water of the tongue; one of the five waters of Kapha

brahmacarini - student of the Vedas; observing a monastic life

Brahma Randhra - most sacred aperture of the body, situated at the center of the cranium

brahmin - spiritual caste; one of the four castes delineated in the Hindu scriptures

brhmana - tonification or strengthening therapy

buddhi - faculty of personal wisdom; resolve of the mind; the intellect;

Buddhi - Mercury, son of Shiva; deity who rules Wednesday

chai - Indian tea mixed with milk

chakra - wheel; seven energy centers of consciousness in the body

Charaka - ancient Ayurvedic scholar

Charaka Samhita - Charaka's treatise on Ayurveda

churna - powder

collyrium - Ayurvedic salves for eyes

darbha - type of grass used in Ayurvedic medicine

deva (devata) - generic name for the gods in the Hindu scriptures

devadatta - one of the five subsidiary airs

Devanagari - means of communication between the gods; later, translated as

Samskritam (Sanskrit); one of several scripts in which Sanskrit may be written

dhanamjaya - one of five subsidiary airs

dhani - audible or imperfect sound

dhara chatti - see dhara patra

dhara patra - treatment pot made from metal or clay used to drop oil on head

dharane - to sustain

dharma - right action according to the laws of nature

dhatu - tissue element of the body

dhmapana - introduction of medicated powders into the nasal passages via a straw or tube

dhoma nasya - inhalation of medicated vapors

dhoti - cloth to wrap the lower body

dosha - literally, "that which can go out of balance"; bodily humor

droni - traditional massage table made from woods such as sandalwood, bilva, khadira, and arjuna

Gaja - Lord of herbivorous animals and keeper of earth's memory of plants  and herbs; the elephant that represents the fifth chakra

gandhari - one of fourteen nadis; begins below the left eye and ends at the big toe of the left foot

gandusa - retention of fluid in the mouth

Ganesha - Ganapati; elephant-headed Lord, son of Shiva; one who blesses all beginnings and renders them auspicious; remover of obstacles

garbha-pinda - fluid state of embryo; cosmic womb

ghara - earthen pot

go - cow; sacred scripture

Gopala - protector of the scriptures and of cows; another name for Lord Krishna

grisma - Sanskrit term for summer, one of the six seasons in Ayurveda

guna - attribute or respect, as in the three gunas of Maya

guru - quality of heaviness; spiritual teacher; Guru - Jupiter; deity who rules Thursday

gurukula - traditional school for disseminating knowledge of Vedas

hastajihva - one of fourteen nadis; begins below the right eye and ends at the big toe of the left foot

hemanta - Sanskrit term for early winter, one of the six seasons in Ayurveda

holaka sveda - sudation on a daubed surface of the earth

ida - one of two main nadis; begins in the left genital and ends at the left nostril; breath which flows through the left nostril; lunar nadi

indriyas - five senses

Isvara - Vedic name for the omniscient Lord, when used in association with creation

japa - repetition of mantras

jentaka sveda - sudation in a specially designed sweat lodge

jiva - individual soul

jivana - invigoration; life

kala- nutritional membrane for tissues; "body crystal"

kalari- ancient form of martial arts originating in south India

kala vasti - series of sixteen enemas

kambalika - soup made with yoghurt, urad bean and sesame oil

kapha - biological water humor

karma - bondage to action; cause of rebirth

karma vasti - series of thirty enemas

karna purana - dripping fluids into the ears

karshu sveda - sudation in an earth pit

kavalagraha - holding liquid in the mouth for a comfortable period of time

khada - spicy vegetable or herbal soup generally made with buttermilk

kichadi - mixture of rice and mung bean

kitta - waste

kledaka - water of digestion; one of the five waters of Kapha

krekara - one of the five subsidiary airs

Krishna - Gopala, protector of the scriptures and teacher of self-knowledge in the Bhagavad Gita

krushara- thick grain gruel

kuhu - one of fourteen nadis; begins in the throat and ends in the genitals

kumbhika sveda - sudation from a pitcher of warm decoction

kundalini - primal energy of manifestation symbolized by a coiled serpent at the coccyx of the spine

kupa sveda - sudation on a daubed surface of the earth

kurma - one of the five subsidiary airs

kuti sveda - sudation in a specially designed sweat lodge

langhana - depletion or reducing therapy

lassi - traditional Indian beverage made from yoghurt, milk, and fragrant herbs, generally taken after meals to aid digestion

lepa - plastering body with medicated substances

majja dhatu - bone marrow and nerve tissue

makara - crocodile; symbol of sensual movement and trickery

mala - garland; rosary of beads

malas - bodily wastes

mamsa dhatu - muscle tissue

manas - mind

manda - cooked rice at the bottom of the pot

Mangala - Mars; deity who rules Tuesday

manovaha - channels that carry mental energy

mantha - thin gruel made from rice and ghee

mantra - sacred sounds; group of sounds cosmically designed to stimulate certain physical and physic centers of body

mardana - mild pressure massage

marma - anatomical reflex points of the body; vital seats of pranic energy

marsha nasya - introduction of medicated oils into the nasal passages

masala - combination of spices ground together; spicy mixture

masthiskya - medicinal paste applied to the head

maya - cosmic, creative power; manifestation; relative reality

medas - fat

medas dhatu - fat tissue

moksha - a "state" in which the potential material and vibrations for future rebirths on all planes of existence are completely resolved; liberation from the cycle of birth and death

mutravaha srotas - urinary system

nadi - subtle channel within the nervous system made of fine threads of fluid; refers to the gross form in terms of nerves, veins, and so on; pathways of breath; Ayurvedic name for pulse

nadi sveda - steam application through a hose

naga - one of the five subsidiary airs

nasya - nasal insufflation

navana nasya - insufflation of unctuous substances or powders to clear nasal passages

niruha - oils generally used in Ayurvedic enema therapy

odana- thick porridge

ojas - perfected essence of dhatus when bodily system is in excellent order; glow of health

paca kizhi sveda - sudation with green leaf poultice

pachaka - one of the five fires of Pitta; fire of digestion in the stomach

padabhyanga - Ayurvedic foot massage

padaghata - anointing feet with oil

pancha karma - five cleansing therapies of Ayurveda: emesis, enema (two forms), purgation, and nasal medications

parisheka - fomentation with an affusion of Ayurvedic herbs

Patanjali - founder-renovator of the classical Yoga system

payasam - sweet fluid porridge

payasvini - one of fourteen nadis; located in the right ear lobe and connecting with the cranial nerves

peya - decoction made from rice and ghee

phala - fruit

phanita - sticky candy made from sugar cane juice

pichu - process of placing an oil soaked cloth on the forehead

pinda sveda - fomentation therapy with use of a poultice wrapped in a bolus

pingala - one of two main nadis; begins in the right eye and ends in the right genital; solar power; breath of right nostril

pitta - biological fire humor

prabhava - specific action without regard to the general rule of the three stages of taste; exception to the rule; special action of herbs

pradeha - non-absorbent plaster

prakriti - first creation; individual constitution

pralepa - thin, cold layer of plaster

prana - life breath; first of the five airs of the body; vital force; air of the heart

pranavaha - channels that carry prana; force of prana, or breath

pranayama - yogic breathing exercises

prasthara - fomentation on a bed of poultice

prinana - joy infused from nature

puja - religious ceremony

purana - fullness

purishavaha srotas - excretory system

pusha - one of fourteen nadis; begins at the right ear and ends at the big toe of the left foot

rajas (rajasic) - activity or aggressive force of creation; one of the three gunas rakta dhatu - blood tissue

rakta moksha (mokshana) - therapeutic blood letting

raktavaha srotas - circulatory system (hemoglobin portion)

ranjaka - heat of the blood, operating in liver; one of the five fires of Pitta

rasa - initial taste in the three stages of taste; literally, "external beauty," or "maturity"

rasa dhatu - plasma tissue

rasayana - rejuvenation therapy

Rawal - religious head of the Hindus

rtusandhi - junction between two seasons or two phases within a season

rukshana - dehydration therapy

rupa - form

sadhaka - the third fire found in the heart, central to the activity of Pitta; also the one who performs sadhana (the wholesome activities which bring us into harmony with nature)

sadhana - wholesome activity practiced with presence of mind in harmony with nature; helps to revive and awaken cognitive memory

sadhu - simple person

sahasrara - literally, "a thousand petals"; seventh chakra; spatially boundless dwelling

saindhava (sendha namak) - Ayurvedic rock salt

sama - three doshas in a state of sameness

samadhi - silent breath

samana - air of the stomach; one of the five airs of Vata

samhita - text

samskaras - karmic impressions from past lives carried in the subtle body

samvahana - shampooing the body with a warm decoction

sankara sveda - generic name for fomentation therapy where poultice is used

sarada - Sanskrit term for autumn, one of the six seasons in Ayurveda

Saraswati - goddess of knowledge; one of fourteen nadis; begins at the base of the tongue and ends in the vocal chords; sonority of vocal prowess

sattva (sattvic) - central aspect of the three gunas; cosmic force of balance and contentment

shakti - cosmic feminine force; power, energy, power of consciousness

shamana - therapy which nurtures and adds strength to the body; palliative measure

Shani - Saturn; deity who rules Saturday

shankhini - one of fourteen nadis, begins in the throat and ends on the left side of the anus

shikha - crest of the head

shiro abhyanga (shirobhyanga) - anointing the head with oil; head massage

shirodhara - dripping medicated decoction on the forehead

shiro tarpana - application of oil to the head

shirovasti - applying oil to the shaven head

Shiva - pure being or pure consciousness

shodhana - therapy which consists of elimination procedures; purification measure

shukra - collective refined essence belonging to shukra dhatu; refined emotion of love; semen, reproductive fluid; the ovum of the female; 

Shukra - Sanskrit name for Venus; deity who rules Friday; giver of happiness or fame

shukra dhatu - sperm

shukravaha srotas - male reproductive system or channels

sisira - Sanskrit term for late winter, one of the six seasons in Ayurveda

sirovirechana - snuff inhalation therapy

slesaka - water of the joints; one of the five waters of Kapha

sleshma - another name for Kapha or phlegm

sneha - extravagant love; lubrication; name of the enema treatment in which only half cup of oil is used

snehana - external oelation of the body; lubrication therapy

snehapana - internal lubrication of the body

snehika dhoomapana - herbs mixed with oil or fat for therapeutic smoking

soma - potent nectar taken by the devas to give eternal strength; pleasure principle at work behind mind and senses

srotas - channels, as in the thirteen channels of circulation

sthambana - retention therapy

suksma - subtle

Surya - Sun; deity who rules Sunday

Sushruta - ancient Ayurvedic scholar

sushumna - central and main nadi, within spinal column, which accommodates all nadis

svedana - sudation or fomentation of body; sweat inducing therapy

swami - renunciate; one who knows Brahman and the Self to be One

taila - oil

Taittiriya - literally, "three birds"; one of the Upanishads which deals with Self-knowledge

takra dhara - medicated buttermilk

tamas (tamasic) - inert aspect of creation; one of the three gunas

tanmatra (tanmatric) - quantum energy aspect of the subtle elements that pervade both subtle and gross bodies

tarpaka - water of the sense organs; one of the five waters of Kapha

tarpana - thick gruel of rice, bean, black pepper and ghee

tejas - cool, refined universal fire; subtle, fire of the mind

tikta ghrita - pure ghee combined with bitter herbs

tridosha - three doshas in a state of balance

ubtan - fresh ground legume or grain flour traditionally used to cleanse the skin

udana - air of the throat; one of the five airs of Vata

udvartana - oil or dry massage for Kapha disorder

upadhatu - secondary tissue of the body

upanaha sveda - generic name for fomentation therapy where poultice is used

Upanishad - ancient Vedantic scripture of India

utkarita - pudding made from milk, yoghurt or cream

uttara vasti - douching enema

Vagbhatta - ancient Ayurvedic scholar

vairechanika dhoomapana - therapeutic smoking of dried herbs

vajikarana - aphrodisiac; virilization therapy

vamana - therapeutic vomiting; emesis therapy

varna - pure vibration; unmanifest sound

varsa - Sanskrit term for rainy season, one of the six seasons in Ayurveda

varuni - one of fourteen nadis, which originates between the throat and left ear and ends at the anus

vasanta - Sanskrit term for spring, one of the six seasons in Ayurveda

vasti - Ayurvedic enema therapy

vasti netra - hose used in enema therapy

vasti putaka - enema bag

vata - biological air humor

vayu - air or wind; another name for Vata

veda - knowledge

Vedanta - culmination of Vedas in the philosophy of knowledge of the Self

Vedas - ancient books of knowledge presenting the spiritual science of awareness; first knowledge on earth

Vedic - belonging to the Vedas

vicarana sneha - medicated ghee

vilepika - mixture of four parts water and one part rice

vipaka - post-digestive effect of herbs

virechana - purgation therapy; one of five cleaning actions used in pancha karma

virya - energetic effect of herbs as heating or cooling

vishvabhesaja - healing secret of the universe; universal medicine

vishvodara - one of fourteen nadis; exists in the umbilicus and energizes bodily prana

vyana - air of circulation; one of the five airs of Vata

vyayama - natural forms of exercise

Yama - Lord of death

Yama damstra - period of time between November 22 and December 9 when the earth begins its northward rotation around the sun

yashasvini - one of fourteen nadir; companion nadi to pingala which runs

from the left ear to the big toe of the right foot

yavagu - mixture of six parts water and one part barley yoga - psycho-physical practices aimed at Self-knowledge

yogavaha - that which enhances the effect of what it enjoins

yoga vasti - series of eight enemas

yogin (yogi) - one whose life is devoted to the practice of sadhanas to attain union with God

yusha - bean soup

You may also want to read more about Ayurveda and Holistic Healing here.

What Is Triphala? What Are The Benefits Of Triphala? And How To Prepare And Use Triphala?


Amalaki, bibhitaki, and haritaki are three of the most essential Ayurvedic medicines that make up Triphala ("the three fruits").

  1. Amalaki is good for pitta,
  2. bibhitaki is good for kapha,
  3. haritaki is good for vata.

All three doshas and all seven dhatus are rejuvenated and strengthened by this combination, which also balances ojas, tejas, and prana and is a moderate laxative.

  1. Triphala should be taken in the evening, at least 1 hour after dinner.
  2. To 1 cup boiling water, add 12 to 1 teaspoon triphala powder.
  3. Steep for 10 minutes, or until the water has cooled to a drinkable temperature. Before drinking, drain off the herbs or leave them at the bottom of your cup.

It's possible that you won't enjoy the taste of triphala at first—it may be extremely unpleasant. However, if you use it on a regular basis, your health will undoubtedly improve, and the taste will ultimately become less terrible.


Triphala can also be consumed in the following ways:

1. Sprinkle 12 to 1 teaspoon dry triphala powder on your tongue and drink warm water.

2. Triphala works as a moderate diuretic in some persons and may cause sleep disturbances if taken at night. If you're one of these folks, drink the tea first thing in the morning and it'll start working in about an hour.

3. If you don't like the flavor of triphala, combine it with honey and consume it that way.

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How long should I take an Ayurvedic Remedy?


The usual guideline is that you should employ medicines until your symptoms go away. 

  • Depending on the severity of the sickness or condition, how long you've had it, how driven you are to get better, and other circumstances, this might take anything from a few days to a few months.
  • Please investigate the underlying reasons of your ailment in addition to taking your medicines. It's possible that you'll need to reassess your food, daily routine, and exercise regimen, among other things.
  • Taking herbal medicines alone, without making lifestyle changes, is unlikely to be sufficient to overcome the behavior patterns that led to your sickness in the first place.
  • As a result, utilize your common sense. It's ridiculous to expect something that's been there for years to go away in a week or a month if the disease is chronic.

If, on the other hand, your illness is significant and you've been following your treatment plan and making the necessary lifestyle modifications, but the symptoms linger, you should seek medical advice.

You may also want to read more about Ayurveda and Holistic Healing here.

What is Basti? Or Ayurvedic Enema?

Ayurvedic enema therapy (basti) inserts medicines like sesame oil or herbal decoctions like dashamoola into the rectum in a liquid media. Many vata problems, such as constipation, abdominal distension, sleeplessness, backache, neck pain, arthritis, sciatica, anxiety, and many psychological illnesses, are relieved by medicated enemas. 

There are at least eighty vata-related diseases, and basti is considered to provide a comprehensive therapy for 80% of them. Basti can also be used to treat persistent fever, sexual problems, kidney stones, hyperacidity, and a variety of other ailments. 

NOTE: Anyone suffering from diarrhea, rectum hemorrhage, indigestion, cough, dyspnea, ascites, profuse edema, or aggressive hemorrhoids should avoid medicated enemas. 

Medicated enemas should not be used by anyone with diabetes or anemia, the elderly, or children under the age of seven. 

If you have an acute fever, diarrhea, cold, paralysis, heart trouble, severe gastrointestinal discomfort, or emaciation, you should avoid using oil enemas. 

  • The optimum times to eat basti are early in the morning or late in the evening. Wait at least three hours after eating to ensure that your stomach is empty. 
  • Ensure that the environment is clean, warm, and welcoming: It's preferable to find a spot near the toilet where you can lie down. 
  • An enema bag or syringe, a measuring cup, a hot plate or burner (not in the bathroom! ), the oil and/or herbal item, and towels are all required. 
  • To do basti, first inject 5 ounces of warm (not hot) sesame oil into the rectum and hold it there for 10 minutes. 
  • After that, without expelling the oil, add a mixture of oil and herbal tea and keep it for at least 30 minutes. 
  • Another 5 ounces of sesame oil should be combined with 16 ounces (1 pint) of herbal tea brewed in boiling water, then filtered and chilled to around body temperature. 
  • Dashamoola, which is particularly effective for regulating vata, is the most commonly recommended herbal mix. 
  • To get the fluid into the rectum, start with the enema bag, which should be suspended about 3 feet above your head. 
  • Allow all of the air to escape the tube before closing the hose clip. 
  • Then lie on your left side on the floor, with your left (bottom) leg extended and your right (top) leg exceed at the knee. (Rather of laying on a bare floor, prepare a rug or a couple of towels to sleep on.) 
  • Using oil or ghee, lubricate the syringe's tip. 
  • Make sure the anal region is lubricated and clean. Insert the syringe tip into the rectum slowly and carefully, then remove the clip and let all of the fluid to enter. 
  • Remove the tip when the enema bag is empty. 
  • Hold the oil for 10 minutes again, and then the oil/herbal mixture for another 30 minutes if possible. Assume a hands-and-knees position and lift the buttocks while holding the fluid within; this relaxes the colon. 
  • Lightly massage the colon region with a counterclockwise motion on a regular basis (as seen when you look down toward your navel). Massage up to the rib cage on the left side, then over to the right and down. (This is the reverse of how food passes through the colon, and it helps to force the enema fluid up into the upper sections.) 
  • Sit on the toilet and allow the fluid and fecal matter to pass once the specified time has passed (or if you just can't hold it any longer). 
  • Because there is likely to be some residual oil seepage after basti, you may want to wear a sanitary pad in your underwear for a few hours. 

It's worth noting that for some of the disorders covered, only an oil enema, a dashamoola enema, or even a warm water enema is indicated. Follow the instructions for that particular condition. 

The fluid does not come back out for certain people. That just implies the colon was exceedingly dry and the fluids had been absorbed completely. This is completely normal and causes no concern.

You may also want to read more about Ayurveda and Holistic Healing here.

What is Nasya in Ayurveda?

Nasya is the inhalation of herbal oils, ghee, or ne powders through the nose. 

  • If you were to have nasya at an Ayurvedic clinic as part of a panchakarma therapy, you'd lie face up on a table with your head leaned back and your nostrils "facing the sky." 
  • A tiny quantity of a suitable powder, or 3 to 5 drops of a therapeutic oil or ghee, can be inserted into your nostrils. 
  • Simply dip your little finger (clean and with the nail carefully trimmed) into ghee or whatever herbalized oil is advised and gently massage the inside of your nose with your little finger while doing nasya at home. 
  • Then, with a little sniff, pull the oil upward.

You may also want to read more about Ayurveda and Holistic Healing here.

What is Nauli in Ayurveda?

Nauli is a basic massage technique that targets the colon, intestines, liver, and spleen, among other internal organs. 

  • It also helps to keep the colon clean and maintains abdominal stability. 
  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. 
  • Bend forward and place each hand on its corresponding knee, as illustrated in the diagram. 
  • Inhale deeply for a long time, then slowly exhale. 
  • Hold your breath out after you've completely exhaled. 
  • Form a ropelike structure at the abdominal wall by contracting your abdominal muscles. 
  • The abdominal muscles may then be moved from right to left and left to right by alternating the pressure on your right and left hands. 
  • Rep this process seven times.

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Ayurveda - Foods to avoid for Pitta Dosha


Hеrе аrе ѕоmе оf thе fооdѕ уоu ѕhоuld lіmіt оr аvоіd bаѕеd if you have Pitta dоѕhа:

Prоtеіnѕ: rеd mеаt, seafood, еgg уоlkѕ 

Dаіrу: ѕоur cream, сhееѕе, buttermilk Fruits: ѕоur оr unrіре fruіtѕ, ѕuсh аѕ grареѕ, арrісоtѕ, рарауа, grареfruіt, аnd ѕоur cherries 

Vеgеtаblеѕ: сhіlі рерреrѕ, bееtѕ, tomatoes, оnіоnѕ, еggрlаnt 

Grаіnѕ: brоwn rісе, millet, corn, rуе 

Nuts аnd seeds: almonds, саѕhеwѕ, реаnutѕ, ріnе nuts, ріѕtасhіоѕ, wаlnutѕ, ѕеѕаmе ѕееdѕ 

Hеrbѕ аnd ѕрісеѕ: аnу spices nоt іnсludеd іn thе list аbоvе

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