Svedana: 17 definitions



Svedana means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit, Marathi. 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

Rasashastra (chemistry and alchemy)

Source: Wisdom Library: Rasa-śāstra

1) Svedana (स्वेदन):—First of the eighteen Saṃskāra (special purification process). They are used to purify rasa (mercury) as per Rasaśāstra literature (Medicinal Alchemy), and are mentioned in texts such as the Rasaprakāśasudhākara. In Āyurveda, Saṃskāra refers to the “detoxification” process of metals and herbs. The Svedana-saṃskāra is commonly used for Dravya-karma and Rasāyana-karma, but also to remove various types of rasa-doṣa (mercury impurities). In other words: the first eight saṃskāras are sequentially used to purify and detoxify mercury in preparation for internal use. Svedana refers to the process of ‘sweating’, or fomentation of mercury in a water bath together with plant and mineral substances.

2) Svedana (स्वेदन) refers to the process of “heating” a certain material or substance. It can also refer to “fomentation”. It is used throughout Rasaśāstra literature, such as the Rasaprakāśasudhākara.

Source: Google Books: The Alchemical Body

Svedana is the “sweating,” “steaming,” or “fomentation” of mercury in a water bath together with plant and mineral substances This is the first saṃskāra, i.e., the first step in the chemical transformation of unrefined mercury into an agent of transmutation. As such, it differs from śodhana, in which the mercury ore is first cleansed physically or mechanically, rather than purified chemically.

Source: History of Indian Science Technology (rasashastra)

Svedana (स्वेदन, “steaming”) refers to “steaming or heating using water bath” and represents to the first of eighteen alchemical purification processes of mercury (mahārasa, rasendra or pārada). A religio-philosophic base was given to mercury-based alchemy in India. Mercury was looked upon as the essence of God Śiva, and sulphur as that of Goddess Pārvatī.

Mercury had to undergo 18 processes (e.g., svedana) before it could be used for transforming either metals or the human body. A combination of male and female principles (i.e. mercury and sulphur) forming cinnabar or mercuric sulphide or even of mercury and mica, was supposed to be highly potent and was therefore consumed as a Rasāyana or medicine for increasing body fluids or vitality. The earliest mention of Rasāyana was found in Āyurveda which was probably composed by 8th or 9th century BC, since it was a part of Atharvaveda, the last of the four Vedas.

Source: Ayurveda and Pharmaceutics (rasashastra)

Svedana (fomentation).—One of the eight Aṣṭasamskāra, or, processes that render mercury fit for internal use. These Aṣṭasamskāra of pārada (eight detoxification techniques for mercury) are mandatory before mercury is used in the pharmaceutical preparations. Dolayantra is used for Svedana. In this process, raw mercury is mixed with some herbs like pepper, long pepper, zinger etc. and exposed to steam of kāñjika (fermented rice water) in swing apparatus for three days.

Source: CCRAS: Ayurvedic pharmacopoeia of India, Appendix I

Svedana (स्वेदन):—The first of the eight purification steps of Pārada (mercury), also known as the Aṣṭasaṃskāra.—Take the ingredients numbered [ii] to [ix] in to wet grinder and grind with sufficient quantity of water to prepare kalka (homogeneous blend). Take leaf of Bhūrja [Betula utilis] or Kadalī [Musa paradisiaca], place it over four folded cloth, smear with the prepared kalka , and gently place Pārada over it. Place the remaining part of kalka if any, over the Parada. Suspend the poṭṭalī in a Dolā-yantra containing Kāñji. Boil for three days. Remove Pārada and kalka, wash carefully with warm water and collect Pārada. (see the Rasahṛdayatantra 2.3: a 10th-century Sanskrit alchemical treatise by Govinda Bhagavatpāda).


  1. Pārada [Mercury] (1 part),
  2. Āsurī [Rājikā] (1/16th part of the Seeds),
  3. Paṭu [Saindhava-lavaṇa] (1/16th part),
  4. Śuṇṭhī (1/16th part of the Rhizome)
  5. Marica (1/16th part of the Fruit),
  6. Pippalī (1/16th part of the Fruit),
  7. Citraka (1/16th part of the Root),
  8. Ārdraka (1/16th part of the Rhizome),
  9. Mūlaka (1/16th part of the Root tuber),
  10. Kāñjika (Quantum satis).
Source: Indian National Science Academy: Annual Report 2015-16 (rasashastra)

Svedana (स्वेदन, “sudation”) refers to one of the five Pañcakarma for Rasaśāstra as introduced (as a new set) in the Āyurvedaprakāśa: an exclusive text on Rasaśāstra the pharmaceutical wing of Ayurveda that concentrates on preparation of herbo-mineral medicaments, written in 17th Century AD by Mādhava Upādhyaya.

Rasashastra book cover
context information

Rasashastra (रसशास्त्र, rasaśāstra) is an important branch of Ayurveda, specialising in chemical interactions with herbs, metals and minerals. Some texts combine yogic and tantric practices with various alchemical operations. The ultimate goal of Rasashastra is not only to preserve and prolong life, but also to bestow wealth upon humankind.

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Ayurveda (science of life)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Svedana (स्वेदन, “sudation”).—One of the six Upakramas, or ‘therapeutic measures’.—It is a Sanskrit technical term used through Ayurvedic (Indian medicine) literature such as the Carakasaṃhitā. The six Upakramas represent basic Ayurvedic therapies. The Svedana treatment refers to a “sweating treatment” and aims at opening the channels of elimination by applying external heat (thus induce sweating).

Source: Vagbhata’s Ashtanga Hridaya Samhita (first 5 chapters)

Svedana (स्वेदन) refers to “sweating”, mentioned in verse 4.5-7 of the Aṣṭāṅgahṛdayasaṃhitā (Sūtrasthāna) by Vāgbhaṭa.—Accordingly, “[...] racking in the limbs, gravel, and pain in the bladder, the penis, and the groins (arise) from the stoppage of urine, and normally the above diseases (as well). The remedies for these (are) suppositories, inunction, bathing, sweating [svedana], administration of enemas, [...]”.

Note: Avagāha (“bathing”) has been expressed by lus spyiṅ (“dipping the body”) and svedana (“sweating”) by dugs (“making (it) warm”).—For spyiṅ CD read bciṅ, which is obviously a mistake.

Ayurveda book cover
context information

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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Languages of India and abroad

Marathi-English dictionary

Source: DDSA: The Molesworth Marathi and English Dictionary

svēdana (स्वेदन).—n S Causing to perspire: also perspiring. 2 Anything effecting perspiration, a diaphoretic or sudorific.

context information

Marathi is an Indo-European language having over 70 million native speakers people in (predominantly) Maharashtra India. Marathi, like many other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from early forms of Prakrit, which itself is a subset of Sanskrit, one of the most ancient languages of the world.

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Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Svedana (स्वेदन).—[svid-ṇic-lyuṭ]

1) Perspiration, sweat.

2) Causing to sweat.

3) A diaphoretic.

4) A kind of process to which quicksilver is subjected.

5) Mucus.

Derivable forms: svedanam (स्वेदनम्).

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Edgerton Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Dictionary

Svedana (स्वेदन).—see snedana.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Shabda-Sagara Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Svedana (स्वेदन).—n.

(-naṃ) 1. Perspiration, sweat. 2. Sweating, causing to perspire. 3. A diaphoretic, a sudorific. E. ṣvid to be unctuous or sweaty lyuṭ aff.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Benfey Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Svedana (स्वेदन).—i. e. svid + ana, I. n. 1. Perspiration. 2. Causing to perspire, warming, [Hitopadeśa] ii. [distich] 130. 3. A sudorific. Ii. f. , An iron plate used for cooking and frying.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Cappeller Sanskrit-English Dictionary

Svedana (स्वेदन).—[adjective] & [neuter] sweating or causing sweat.

Source: Cologne Digital Sanskrit Dictionaries: Monier-Williams Sanskrit-English Dictionary

1) Svedana (स्वेदन):—[from svid] mfn. perspiring, inclined to perspire, [Suśruta]

2) [v.s. ...] causing to perspire, [ib.]

3) [from svid] n. the act of sweating or perspiring, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

4) [v.s. ...] any instrument or remedy for causing perspiration, a diaphoretic, sudorific, [Suśruta]

5) [v.s. ...] softening, fomenting, [Hitopadeśa]

6) [v.s. ...] a [particular] process to which quicksilver is subjected, [Sarvadarśana-saṃgraha]

7) [v.s. ...] mucus, [Demetrius Galanos’s Lexiko: sanskritikes, anglikes, hellenikes]

context information

Sanskrit, also spelled संस्कृतम् (saṃskṛtam), is an ancient language of India commonly seen as the grandmother of the Indo-European language family (even English!). 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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