Madhuka, aka: Madhukā, Mādhūka; 7 Definition(s)

Introduction

Madhuka means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Buddhism, Pali. If you want to know the exact meaning, history, etymology or English translation of this term then check out the descriptions on this page. Add your comment or reference to a book if you want to contribute to this summary article.

In Hinduism

Ayurveda (science of life)

1) Madhūka (मधूक):—A Sanskrit word referring to Madhuca indica, a species of tropical tree from the Sapotaceae family of flowering plants. It can also be spelled as Madhuka. In English, this plant is known as the “butter tree”. It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. It is a deciduous tree with odorous lightly yellow flowers. It bears greenish fruits which are cultivated. The distilled spirit of the flowers are known among adivasis (Santals in particular).

This plant (Madhūka) is also mentioned as a medicine used for the treatment of all major fevers (jvara), as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) which forms the first chapter of the Sanskrit work called Mādhavacikitsā.

2) Madhuka (मधुक):—A Sanskrit word referring to “liquorice”, a perennial herb from the Fabaceae (pea/bean) family of flowering plants. It is used throughout Āyurvedic literature such as the Caraka-saṃhitā. It is also known as Madhūka (मधूक), Madhukā (मधुका) or Yaṣṭimadhuka (यष्टिमधुक). Its official botanical name is Glycyrrhiza glabra and is commonly referred to in english as liquorice or ‘sweet root’. It grows best in deep valleys with lots of sun. The sweet flavour is extracted from the root of the plant.

This plant (Madhuka) is also mentioned as a medicine used for the treatment of all major fevers, as described in the Jvaracikitsā (or “the treatment of fever”) which forms the first chapter of the Sanskrit work called Mādhavacikitsā. In this work, the plant is also known by the name Yaṣṭimadhu.

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Madhuka (मधुक) is the name of a tree (Mahuā) that is associated with the Nakṣatra (celestial star) named Revatī, according to the second chapter (dharaṇyādi-varga) of the 13th-century Raj Nighantu or Rājanighaṇṭu (an Ayurvedic encyclopedia). Accordingly, “these [trees] are propounded in Śāstras, the secret scriptures (śāstrāgama). These pious trees [viz, Madhuka], if grown and protected, promote long life”. These twenty-seven trees related to the twenty-seven Nakṣatras are supposed to be Deva-vṛkṣas or Nakṣatra-vṛkṣas.

Source: Wisdom Library: Raj Nighantu
Ayurveda book cover
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Āyurveda (आयुर्वेद, ayurveda) is a branch of Indian science dealing with medicine, herbalism, taxology, anatomy, surgery, alchemy and related topics. Traditional practice of Āyurveda in ancient India dates back to at least the first millenium BC. Literature is commonly written in Sanskrit using various poetic metres.

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Dharmashastra (religious law)

Madhuka (मधुक) is a Sanskrit word, possibly identified with Bassia latifolia (mahua) by various scholars in their translation of the Śukranīti. This tree is mentioned as having thorns, and should therefore be considered as wild. The King shoud place such trees in forests (not in or near villages). He should nourish them by stoole of goats, sheep and cows, water as well as meat. Note that Bassia latifolia is a synonym of Madhuca longifolia.

The following is an ancient Indian horticultural recipe for the nourishment of such trees:

According to Śukranīti 4.4.110-112: “The powder of the dungs of goats and sheep, the powder of Yava (barley), Tila (seeds), beef as well as water should be kept together (undisturbed) for seven nights. The application of this water leads very much to the growth in flowers and fruits of all trees (such as madhuka).”

Source: Wisdom Library: Dharma-śāstra
Dharmashastra book cover
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Dharmashastra (धर्मशास्त्र, dharmaśāstra) contains the instructions (shastra) regarding religious conduct of livelihood (dharma), ceremonies, jurisprudence (study of law) and more. It is categorized as smriti, an important and authoritative selection of books dealing with the Hindu lifestyle.

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Purana

Madhuka in Purana glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

Madhuka (मधुक).—A Bhārgava and Madhyamādhvaryu.*

  • * Brahmāṇḍa-purāṇa II. 33. 16.
Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: The Purana Index
Purana book cover
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The Purana (पुराण, purāṇas) refers to Sanskrit literature preserving ancient India’s vast cultural history, including historical legends, religious ceremonies, various arts and sciences. The eighteen mahapuranas total over 400,000 shlokas (metrical couplets) and date to at least several centuries BCE.

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Languages of India and abroad

Pali-English dictionary

Madhuka in Pali glossary... « previous · [M] · next »

madhuka : (m.) the tree Bassia Latifolia. || madhukā (f.) liquorice.

Source: BuddhaSasana: Concise Pali-English Dictionary

Madhukā, (f.) (fr. madhuka) honey drink, sweet drink, liquor Mhvs 5, 52. (Page 519)

— or —

Madhuka, (adj. n.) (fr. madhu) connected with honey. 1. (n.) the tree Bassia latifolia (lit. honey tree) Vin. I, 246; J. V, 324, 405; VI, 529; Miln. 165.—2. the fruit of that tree J. IV, 434.—3. (adj.) (-°) full of honey J. VI, 529 (madhu° containing honey).—4. connected with an intoxicating drink, given to the drink of (-°) J. IV, 117 (surā-meraya°).

—aṭṭhika the kernel (of the fruit) of Bassia latifolia Vism. 353=KhA 43 (which latter reads madhukaphal’aṭṭhi; in the description of the finger nails). —puppha the flower of Bassia latifolia from which honey is extracted for liquor Vin. I, 246 (°rasa liquorice juice); J. I, 430. (Page 519)

Source: Sutta: The Pali Text Society's Pali-English Dictionary
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Pali is the language of the Tipiṭaka, which is the sacred canon of Theravāda Buddhism and contains much of the Buddha’s speech. Closeley related to Sanskrit, both languages are used interchangeably between religions.

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Sanskrit-English dictionary

Madhuka (मधुक).—a.

1) Sweet.

2) Sweet-speaking, melodious.

3) Of the colour of honey.

-kaḥ 1 Name of a tree (= madhūka q. v.).

2) The Aśoka tree.

3) A kind of bird.

4) The liquorice root.

-kam 1 Tin.

2) Liquorice.

3) The palmliquor.

--- OR ---

Madhūka (मधूक).—1 A bee.

2) Name of a tree; अङ्गैर्मुग्धमधूकपुष्परुचिभिर्लावण्यसारैरयम् (aṅgairmugdhamadhūkapuṣparucibhirlāvaṇyasārairayam) Mv.2.21.

-kam 1 A flower of the Madhūka tree; दूर्वावता पाण्डुमधूकदाम्ना (dūrvāvatā pāṇḍumadhūkadāmnā) Ku.7.14; स्निग्धो मधूकच्छविर्गण्डः (snigdho madhūkacchavirgaṇḍaḥ) Gīt.1; R.6.25.

2) Liquorice.

Derivable forms: madhūkaḥ (मधूकः).

--- OR ---

Mādhūka (माधूक).—a. Sweet-speaking, amiable; मैत्रेयकं तु वैदेहो माधूकं संप्रसूयते (maitreyakaṃ tu vaideho mādhūkaṃ saṃprasūyate) Ms.1.33.

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary
context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family. Closely allied with Prakrit and Pali, Sanskrit is more exhaustive in both grammar and terms and has the most extensive collection of literature in the world, greatly surpassing its sister-languages Greek and Latin.

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Relevant definitions

Search found 23 related definition(s) that might help you understand this better. Below you will find the 15 most relevant articles:

Yashtimadhuka
Yaṣṭimadhukā (यष्टिमधुका) or Yaṣṭīmadhukā (यष्टीमधुका).—liquorice. Yaṣṭimadhukā is a Sanskrit c...
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