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Ayurvedic Glossary P

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Pachak Pitta:

The metabolic function occurring in the small intestine.


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

Pachaka It is the combination of bile and pancreatic juices located in an area between the stomach and the duodenum. It is one of the five subtypes of pitta and when malfunctions it causes burning sensation, increases appetite, thirst, Insomnia and Jaundice,
Pachaniya These are the natural substances that help in proper digestion.

Pakwashaya Gata

Basti administered through the rectum.  The main type of basti used in Panchakarma.

Pakya It is a Sanskrit word meaning decoction, boiling, and fermentation.


According to ayurveda this refers to the five cleansing therapies i.e. vaman, virechan, basti, nasya and rakta moksha. In literal terms these internal purification refer to vomiting, purgation, decoction enema, oily enema, and nasal medications. The five major purificatory procedures and adjunct therapies for purifying and rejuvenating the body.


The theory of the five elements.

Vardhan Oil:

Oil used in nasya to nourish sensory functioning.

Panir A type of fresh cheese made by curdling milk.

Param Atma:

The universal intelligence of nature.

Para-ojas High quality or superior vital fluid located in the heart.
Pariksa Examination, inspection or investigation.


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


Food that no longer contains vital force or prana

Pasava Animal type, belonging to cattle or animal family.
Pascata karma Post action, therapies induced after the main action (therapy).


The post-procedures of Panchakarma therapy.


Rice soup.  The second meal eaten after the main procedures of Panchakarma have been administered. Rice gruel or any drink mixed with a small quantity of boiled rice.

Pichila Slimy, lubricous, slippery, smeary.

Pinda Svedana:

A fomentation procedure performed with a bolus of rice and a hot milk decoction to tonifies the muscles and improve the circulation

Pippali Long pepper, Latin name: Piper longum.


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


It is one of the three doshas i.e. the bile humor, entire hormones, enzymes, coenzymes and agencies responsible for the physiochemical processes of the body. The dosha or functional intelligence within the body governing all metabolic processes. Fire, bile, one of the three main biological energy in the body.

Prabhava Effect, prominent, peculiar or special action of an herb.

Pragya aparadha:

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

Prajnaparadha Not using intellect, offending the wisdom.
Prajna Wisdom, intelligence, knowledge.


Vitiation, aggravation. The second stage of disease manifestation characterized by provocation or aggravation of ama at its site of origin (in the G-1 tract).


The inherent balance of doshas that is most beneficial to one's life.  The constitution we are born with. According to the Samkhya definition this means unconscious, inherent relationship between self and matter. In other words it means one's life consumption.


Life force or vital force. Literally meaning outgoing moving air, this is first of the five-vayu subdoshas and is responsible for respiratory functions and regulating inhalation.

Prana Vayu:

The sub-dosha of Vata which governs sensory functions and the intake of prana, water and food.


An alternate nostril breathing exercise which increases the intake of prana.  One of the three exercises of vyayama. It is a breathing exercise for purifying the blood and vitalizing the inner organs. The three aspects of this exercise are inhalation, retention and exhalation with the aim of increasing the span of each aspect and more controlled.

Prapaka Metabolism:

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

Prapti Obtaining, attaining.


The third stage of disease manifestation characterized by the migration of ama from its site of origin (in the G-1 tract).

Pratyahara It is the fifth stage of yoga and means withdrawal and liberation of mind from the sense sand the objects.
Prayatna It is a Sanskrit word meaning effort. Effort of vata is light, rapid whereas pitta's effort is sharp, penetrating and skillful and kapha's effort is heavy, dull and sleepy.

Prati Marsha Nasya:

Repeated application of medicated oil to the nostrils with the tip of the little finger to soothe dry mucous membranes and to protect against airborne allergens.


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

Purgative These are the herbs, natural substances that stimulate the bowel movement by eliminating the impurity from the lower part of the body.
Puraka It is the inhalation aspect of pranayama i.e. the in breathing process.


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


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