Glossary of Ayurvedic Terms - S

commonest meanings defined in simplest way.

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Located in the heart and responsible for intelligence, knowledge, memory, enthusiasm and consciousness by maintaining rhythmic contraction sadhaka is one of the five-pitta subdoshas.


It is the stage of self realization where harmony, calmness, concentration, awareness and mastery over mind, desires and body is achieved.


normal digestive activity. It is normal digestion in which all the doshas are balanced. The food is digested properly and no above symptoms are seen.

Samana vayu

It means equalized movement of air. Located in the stomach and the duodenum this type of vata subtypes has the function of digestion of food materials, separation of waste products, regulation of composition of body fluids, body temperature and the movement of pitta and kapha.

Sambhakta aushadha;

Medicine taken mixed with food The medicine is mixed with the food and taken. It is usually given in this form to children/infants and to the individuals who hate taking medicines.

Samudga aushadha;

intake of medicine before and after the meals Ayurveda describes various methods of intake of medicine depending upon the dosha imbalanced. Samudga aushadha means taking the medicine at the beginning and the end of the meal. It is mostly given in the form of avaleha(paste ) or churna(powder).


This word means both "discriminative knowledge" and "enumeration". It is one of the schools of Hindu philosophy founded by Kapila that gives a systematic account of cosmic evolution according to twenty-five categories, namely:
Purusha or cosmic spirit
Prakruti or cosmic substance
Mahat or cosmic intelligence
Ahamkara or individuating principle
Manas or cosmic mind
Indriyas or ten abstract sense powers of cognition and action
Tanmatras or five subtle elements
Mahat bhutas or the five great elements


The impression left in ones mind followed by any experience, imprints or some incident of the past consciously or unconsciously leaves samskara. It represents the root impressions derived from past experiences maybe of recent past or distant past.


It means to join. There are natural herbs that helps the body in healing of broken bones and torn ligaments and in uniting fractured and divided body parts.


It means existence, reality, pure consciousness, the spirit, brahman, a being, bliss and delight.


It means purity. First of the three gunas, it is the purest aspect and the sentient principle characterized by purity, luminosity, lightness, harmony and the production of pleasure.


It refers to the qualities that are pure, realistic and have the clarity of perception , which is responsible for goodness and happiness.


It is a Sanskrit word meaning extremity.


In Sanskrit it means head.


Located in the body joints of the body, it is the fifth subtype of kapha, is viscous and oily and has the function to protect the bony joints by keeping them firm and united. It also helps in keeping the bones' function smooth.


It refers to the cleansing methods. There are basically five cleansing methods, namely: Vaman or therapeutic vomiting or emesis
Virechan or purgation
Basti or enema
Nasya or elimination of toxins through the nose
Raktamoksha or detoxification of the blood


It is the last of the seven dhatus, the semen or the male reproductive tissue and has the major functions of producing sensation of ejaculation, fondness and strengthens the body.


It is a Sanskrit word meaning a heap, pile or aggregate. They are important tools for understanding the Buddhist doctrine of no self as they include with them all transitory, impermanent phenomena. The Five Skandhas as they are found in the body are as follows:
Body form Feelings of enjoyment and pleasure. Cognition of how to get what you want? How to actually indulge in pleasure? Formations Consciousness


Memory; that part of mental function that utilises retained information.


Literally means the source. It is a canal for nutrition in the body. All the dhatus have their own minute channels or srotas made up of extremely fine pores, originating from the heart cavity, and spreading throughout the body; they transport the nutrient fluid to all parts of the body for nourishment and growth.


It is a Sanskrit word meaning happiness. Vata persons' experience of sukha is boring as in vata, sukha is superficial, physical, and shaky. Pitta sukha involves solving problems, understanding, and solving puzzles whereas Kapha sukha is passive, involving napping, eating or sitting.


It means the sun.

Sushumna Nadi

Nadi is the subtle energy field or channel by which the movements and configurations of sentient beings are controlled. Sushumna nadi starts from the first chakra and extends up to the crown chakra.


Sound, tone, voice.




Six types.

Sadhaka (Pitta)

Energizing, effective, accomplishing, one of the five types of pitta.

Salakya tantra

Science using probes or cylindrical sticks for investigation and treatments, branch dealing with eyes, ears, nose and throat.

Salya tantra

Splinter (extraction) science, surgery.


A result (disease) caused my many factors (two or all three dosas).


Methodically arranged collection of verses, texts.


Pathogenesis, the complete route of manifestation of disease. Read More>>>>

Samsarjana karma

Diets and activities practiced after a treatment to get back to normal routine and food.


Accurate, proper, correct.


Combination, connection, conjunction.


Accumulation, collection, gathering.


Dense, thick, solid, compact.


An herb used as a tonic for nervous system: Latin Name: Convolvulus pluricaulis.


Purified, sanctified, the language used in Vedic age.


nourishing therapy It is the therapy that accelerates the normal functions of the doshas and dhatus in the body. It gives strength to weak and emaciated.


ghee or butter fat Same as ghrit.

Sarshapa taila;

mustard oil This oils extracted from the seeds of mustard. It is used for cooking and massage. It is easily digestible and hot in potency.




The seven constitutional elements or tissues of the body.


Liquid, fluid, moving, wandering.


Body, physical body.


Snake, serpent.


Name of an herb used for lowering high blood pressure- Latin name: Rouwolfia serpentina.


A yoga posture.

Satvavjya chikitsa;

Psychotherapy It is one of the methods of treatment as described in Ayurveda. It is mainly used for manas-roga (psychological diseases) by controlling mind. For example by controlling anger, fear, greed, hatred and by meditation.


According to original texts (Sastra), confirmable to sacred precepts.


Dead body posture of Yoga.


A black sticky mineral that leaks out of some mountains, black bitumen.


Any tubular vessel in the body - a vein, nerve or artery.


The head, skull.


Pouring oil or any other liquid on forehead from a special pot.


Head stand posture of Yoga.


Cold, chilly, frigid.


Smooth, polished, soft, tender, gentle.


Attaching, connecting.


Lubricating, anointing, rubbing with oil, unction.


Sticky, viscid, unctuous, smooth, adhesive.


Cleaning, purifying, refining.


Touching, sense of touch.




The act of hearing, acquiring knowledge by hearing, transportation, carrying.

Sthana samsraya

Location in a place, relocation of dosas.


Firm, hard, solid, compact, strong, immovable, fixed.


Large, thick, big, gross, massive, stout.


Wine It is included in madya varga(group of wines). It is hard to digest. It mitigates vata and increases kapha and fat in the body.


Juice The herbs to be used for medicinal purposes are taken and their juice is expressed either manually or by machines. The expressed juice is called svarasa.


Sudation therapy This therapy is given after snehana and before Panchkarma. It is useful for disease caused due to vitiation vata and kapha either alone or together.


healthy code of conduct The code of conduct or regimen to be followed for a happy and healthy life is called swasthvritta. It is foundation for arogyaawastha(healthy condition). Dincharya(daily regimen) and rtucharya(seasonal regimen) are to be followed for personal hygiene whereas sadavritta(right code of conduct) is to be followed for mental hygiene.