Glossary of Ayurvedic Terms - A

commonest meanings defined in simplest way.

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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.

Aadaan kala: the first half of the year
According to Ayurveda, a year is divided into two periods or kalas : adaan and visarga. Aaadan kala is also called utarayana (northern solstice). During this period the sun and wind become strong and take away the cooling properties of the earth. It starts from mid January to mid July. Ritus (seasons) included are Sisra (cold and dewy season); Vasanta (spring season) and Grisma ritu (summer season).

Aadharniya vega;

non suppression of natural urges It means the natural urges which should not be suppressed by force as a habit.


Type of Eye salves It is a type of eye treatment in which drops of herbal liquids are put into the eyes. This therapy prevents excess lacrimation, burning sensation and redness of eyes.

Abhakta aushadha;

empty stomach medication intake Ayurveda describes various methods of intake of medicine depending upon the dosha imbalanced. Empty stomach medicine intake is one of the methods The medicine is given early in the morning empty stomach. It is mostly recommended to patients who are strong enough to take medicine empty stomach and in aggravation of kapha.


Intake of medicine after meals The medicine is given immediately after the meals. It is recommended in imbalance of vyaan vayu.

Agada tantra

Toxicology, a branch of Ayurveda dealing with poisons.


External or a stranger.


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


Indigestion, weak digestion.


Free open space, ether, sky or atmosphere.


Physical appearance or external shape.


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) Read More>>>>


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


Sour taste.


Black pigment applied in eyes and eyelashes.

Anna-vaha srotas

The channels transporting grains or food, the digestive system, alimentary canal.


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


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

Anuvasana (Basti)

Enema given with an oily substance.


The element water or water.


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


Offence, sin, wrong action or misuse.


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


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


Saintly, pious, and sacred.

Asana - Yogasana

Posture, seat or position.

Asatmendriyartha samyoga

Improper contact of senses with their objects.


Unwholesome, bad, improper.

Ashtanga Ayurveda:

The eight branches of Ayurveda

Astanga Hrdya

An ancient Ayurvedic text written by Vagabhatta.


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. Read More>>>>

Ahara rasa

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


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

Alochaka [pitta]

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


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).Read More>>>>

Apana [vata]

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


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.


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


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


Atreya is the author of Charaka Samhita.


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.


Medicine ,Aushadha means medicine to be given for cure of the disease. Charaka states aushada as one of the constituent of Chiktisa Chatushpada(Four essential constituents of treatment). Based on action, aushadha mainly of two types: Shodhana (Purifactory therapy) and Shamana (Palliative therapy). Depending upon its origin aushadha is of two types: Sthavar (plant origin) and Jangam (animal origin).

Avagaha sveda;

Sitz bath. The herbs to be used are boiled in water. The patient is asked to dip the affected part in it. It's most commonly used in arsh (piles).

Avalambaka [kapha]

It is a type of kapha. 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.


It refers to indistinct, not evident and inarticulate.


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.