Varṇya, Varnya: 6 definitions

Introduction

Introduction:

Varṇya means something in Hinduism, Sanskrit. 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)

Source: Wisdom Library: Āyurveda and botany

Varṇya (वर्ण्य) is the Sanskrit name for a group of medicinal plants, classified as “improving the complexion”, and originally composed by Caraka in his Carakasaṃhitā sūtrasthāna IV. It is a technical term used throughout Āyurveda. The name is derived from the word varṇa, translating to “color”. Examples of plants pertaining to this category include Candana (Pterocarpus santalinus), Tuṅga (Calophyllum inophyllum), Mañjiṣṭhā (Rubia cordifolia) and Śarivā (Hemidesmus indicus). The collection of herbs named Varṇya is one of the fifty Mahākaṣāya.

Source: Ancient Science of Life: Critical review of Ayurvedic Varṇya herbs

Varṇya (वर्ण्य) refers to medicinal herbs that promote “skin whitening” (whatever brings softness and beauty to skin along with enhancement of complexion, radiance or luminescence is termed as varṇya).—In Ayurveda, process of formation of skin in foetus is attributed to pāka of rakta-dhātu. Agni-mahābhūta is said to be at the root of varṇa-utpatti (skin colour formation) and pitta being the main seat of agni is responsible for the same. Prabhā or maintenance of body complexion is one of the functions of pitta and bhrājaka-pitta seated in the skin radiates the glow of one’s natural complexion that is expressed through varṇa. Hence the herbs which alleviate pitta, rakta in general either acting through their rasa, vipāka or prabhāva are considered as varṇya.

Ayurvedic literature describes over 200 herbs and minerals to maintain and enhance the beauty of the skin. A few herbs:—

  1. Śveta Candana (Santalum album),
  2. Madhuyaṣṭi (Glycyrrhiza glabra),
  3. Mañjiṣṭhā (Rubia cordifolia),
  4. Nāgakesara (Mesua ferrea),
  5. Padmaka (Prunus cerasoides),
  6. Śārivā (Hemidesmus indica),
  7. Uṣīra (Vetiveria zizanoides),
  8. Lodhra (Symplocos racemosa),
  9. Kuṣṭha (Saussurea lappa),
  10. Kesar (Crocus sativus),
  11. Haridrā (Curcuma longa),
  12. Dāruharidrā (Berberis aristata),
  13. Mustaka (Cyperus rotundus),
  14. Nimba (Azadirachta indica, commonly called neem),
  15. Khādira (Acacia catechu),
  16. Āmalakī (Phyllanthus emblica),
  17. Harītakī (Terminalia chebula),
  18. Śuṇṭhi (Zingiber officinale),
  19. Padma (Nelumbo nucifera).

Most of the herbs evaluated above for their action upon skin whitening are largely described as varṇya drugs in Ayurveda. A few among them act indirectly as varṇya by alleviating rakta and pitta doṣa. [...] Drugs evaluated here are described with varṇya use in Ayurveda but are being used primarily for ailments rather than as skin applications. We found all the herbs evaluated here to act as varṇya directly or indirectly as per Ayurveda and to inhibit tyrosinase enzyme activity.

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

Sanskrit dictionary

Source: DDSA: The practical Sanskrit-English dictionary

Varṇya (वर्ण्य).—a.

1) To be described; (often used in rhetorical works like prakṛta or prastuta q. v.).

2) Relating to colour.

-rṇyam Saffron.

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

Varṇya (वर्ण्य).—[adjective] to be painted or described.

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

1) Varṇya (वर्ण्य):—[from varṇ] 1. varṇya mfn. to be (or being) delineated or described or pictured, describable, [Sāhitya-darpaṇa]

2) [from varṇ] 2. varṇya mfn. relating to or useful for or giving colour, [Suśruta]

3) [v.s. ...] n. saffron, [cf. Lexicographers, esp. such as amarasiṃha, halāyudha, hemacandra, etc.]

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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