Vyavayi – Pervasiveness: Definition, Examples

By Dr. Regina Antony
‘Vyavayi’ means fast pervading or diffusing. It is the quality of certain substances that have the capacity to quickly spread in the body and bring about its desired effect even before undergoing the process of digestion.


That which pervades the entire body (akhila deha) without undergoing digestion (paka) is called Vyavaayi.
Vyavayi means that which spreads throughout the body without undergoing any transformation / digestion.
The drug is called as Vyavayi, when it first gets diffusely spread across the whole of the body, and then gets subjected to the process of digestion. Examples – Bhanga (Cannabis indica), Ahiphena (Papaver somniferum).
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Examples of substances which have Vyavayee quality
1. Visha – poisons – When consumed, poisons have the ability to pervade the entire body even before getting digested. For example, within a few minutes of being bitten by a snake, symptoms like sweating, breathlessness, nausea etc appear. This is because of quick spreading nature of poisons.
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2. Salts – Salts possess fast pervading quality. When medicated fats like ghee or oils are administered, physicians usually advise the patient to add a small quantity of salt to it before consumption. Addition of salt increases the pervading nature of these fats. For example, in Sadyo snehana, where immediate oleation is desired, salt is added to the medicated ghee for oral administration. This speeds up the absorption and spread of medicated ghee in the body.
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3. Taila – Oil has penetrating quality. It is quickly absorbed into the tissues when applied externally or internally.
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4. Anupana – The liquid that is advised along with the medicine or advised following the intake of medicine is called Anupana. One of the main functions of Anupana is to promote the action of medications. Anupana has fast pervading quality which helps to carry essence of medicines to the required part of the body quickly.
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5. Alcohol (Madya) – Alcohol is fast pervading in nature.

6. Medicines used for eliminative procedures – Medicines used for conducting eliminative procedures like emesis or purgation possess Vyavaayi quality. Due to this quality, these drugs spread throughout the body very quickly through the big and minute channels and removes obstructions in them.

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