Analytic approach is an approach which investigates organisms by separating them into parts which can be then investigated under controlled conditions. This approach is still dominant in natural science although nowadays there exists also scientists who use a systemic approach – that is, looking at the whole organism and interactions of separate parts with this whole and amongst themselves.

Anecdotal evidence refers to the evidence from personal anecdotes about life experiences. Anecdotal evidence is considered dubious support of a claim; it is accepted by science only if is accompanied with other types of evidence.

Antediluvian means very old, occurring or belonging to the era before the Flood.

Asceticism (from the Greek áskēsis, ‘exercise’ or ‘training’) is a lifestyle characterized by voluntary abstinence from various worldly pleasures with the aim of pursuing religious and spiritual goals. The aim of ascetic practices is release of the soul from the bondage to the body and thus achieving a union with the divine.

Autonomous is an adjective with the meaning: independent; having the power to govern something without being controlled or having any help from anyone else.

Beeswax is one of the substances produced by bees. It is composed mainly from fatty acids (linked together by double-bonded carbon and oxygen atom) and various long-chain alcohols.

Biodynamic farming (agriculture) is a special method inside organic farming. It started in 1924 with the course of lectures on the subject of agriculture given by Rudolf Steiner in the big estate in Koberwitz. The main characteristic of biodynamic, versus the organic approach, is the conscious working with cosmic influences and use of special homeopathic preparations for composting and for application on fields or crops.

Breatharianism (also ‘nourishment from light’ or ‘pranic nourishment’) is a fasting practice described in the book Living on Light – The Source of Nourishment for the New Millennium (by Jasmuheen, 1998) which is promoted as permanent way of life. It first appeared in Australia via the method of channelling and includes the 21-day conversion process of ‘sacred initiation’ into this new way of living on light.

Circadian rhythm (circa, about; diem, a day) is the scientific term for the daily rhythm which includes rhythmical changes evolving over a period of 24 hours. Often they are mentioned as an expression of the inner ‘biological clock’.

Cognition is the process by which you see or hear something, recognize it, and understand it. It is the mental process or faculty by which knowledge is acquired; that which comes to be known through perception, reasoning, or intuition.

Concept is a thought of an object, being, event, activity, etc. Other words which can be used instead are conception, notion and idea.

Consanguinity means blood relationship. Adjective consanguine: of the same lineage or origin; especially, related by blood.

Conventional farming (or industrial agriculture) is the modern method of farming based on the use of artificial fertilisers and synthetic pesticides.

Dementia is a term which includes various types of progressive degeneration and atrophy of the brain that cause gradual impairment of memory, intellect and reasoning. The most common type is Alzheimer's disease.

Dementia praecox (a ‘premature dementia’ or ‘precocious madness’) is a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood.

Enema (plural enemas) is the procedure of introducing liquids into the large intestine via the anus. This procedure causes an induced elimination of the content of the large intestine.

Euphemism is the practice of using nice words to describe something opposite (unpleasant, ugly, or bad); an example is ‘friendly fire’ which means shooting on own soldiers by mistake.

GCSE (General Certificate for Secondary Education) is an academic qualification awarded in a specified subject, generally taken in a number of subjects by students aged 14-16 in secondary education in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Hygiene has two related meanings: it refers to the science of health and the prevention of disease (also called hygienics) and it refers to the practice of maintaining health, especially by cleanliness.

IFOAM is an abbreviation for International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements which is a worldwide umbrella organisation for the organic agriculture movement uniting more than 750 member organizations from 108 countries.

In natura (Latin) means ‘in Nature’, a phrase that describes conditions present in a non-laboratory environment.

Locavore is a person interested in consuming locally grown food. The desired distance for local produce is between 50 to 100 miles.

Mechanicism is the belief that living organisms are like complicated machines or artefacts, composed of parts lacking any intrinsic relationship to each other. Thus, the source of an organism's activities is not the organism itself, but its parts or an external influence on the parts, such as the laws of physics and chemistry.

Nanotechnology is a technology by which the matter is manipulated on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale of existence.

Natural food movement is a network of organisations which promote and support the sustainable way of food production, distribution and consumption.  It includes the organic movement, the slow food movement, different groups of consumers, various institutions, and individuals.

Nutritional therapists are those trained inside diverse schools of nutrition [the British list is available on]. Those who work inside the medical establishment are called clinical nutritionists (physicians with specialised training in nutrition) and dieticians (mainly nurses trained in conventional, state-regulated nutrition).

Organic farming (agriculture) refers to those farming methods which are defined in The IFOAM Basic Standards for Organic Food Production and Processing.

Prana is the Sanskrit word for ‘life force’. According to ancient Indian texts, prana is cosmic energy originating from the sun and it enters the body through the breath and is sent to every cell through the circulation of the blood.

Percept is the object of perception or an impression in the mind of observer of something perceived by the senses.

Placebo is (from a scientific perspective) a simulated or otherwise medically ineffective treatment (e.g. faked surgical intervention, or inert pills, etc.) for a disease or other medical condition intended to deceive the recipient. Often patients given a placebo treatment will have actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the ‘placebo effect’. From a spiritual-scientific perspective it is a proof of soul-spiritual influences upon the state of the physical body itself.

Predicate is the part of a sentence or clause that expresses something about the subject. For example in the simple sentences: "The house is white." and "He sold his car." the words in italic are predicates.

Raison d’être (French) means: reason for being; point or justification for existing.

Reductionism is an approach to understanding of the nature of complex things by reducing them to the interactions of their parts, or to simpler or more fundamental things. Its position is that a complex system is nothing but the sum of its parts, and that an account of it can be reduced to accounts of individual constituents.

Renaissance is the humanistic revival of classical art, literature, and learning that originated in Italy in the late 14th century and later spread throughout Europe. This was a period of revived intellectual and artistic achievements which paved the way out of the medieval dominance of Roman Catholic Church into modern societies based on the freedom of cultural/spiritual life.

Revolutionary fungi is one of the fungi species, called Neurospora (meaning ‘nerve spore’), referring to the characteristic striations on the spores that resemble nerve fibres.

Root cellar is a structure built underground or partially underground and used to store vegetables, fruits, and nuts or other foods.

Slow Food is an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. For more see their website

Traditional farming (agriculture) refers to those farming practices which were practised for thousands of years before the emergence of modern farming based on synthetic fertilisers and other synthethic agricultural chemicals.

Upanishad is a group of various philosophical texts contributing to the theology of Hinduism, elaborating upon earliest sacred texts, called Vedas.