I was working on a translation today and confronted with the ever unsatisfactory rendering of dwangs ma into english. Generally, I translate it as "extract" because dwangs ma has the sense of something being refined, as opposed to snyigs ma, which means waste product or residue which is left over after processeing. Of course in Ayurveda they have a similar problem, having to translate rasa in similar ways. For example, some have translated it as "plasma", others as "chyle", still others as "chyme", and yet others as "nutriment"-- none of which hit the mark, IMO, and of the first three, chyme is the best. But this post is not about rasa/dwangs ma.
So what's it about? Well it's about "khu ba" and "ku ya". The first word means juice, broth, or semen, depending on context. The second word refers to the sediment observed in urine during its lukewarm phase. At first glance, the first word, khu ba, seems perfectly content as a native Tibetan word....but is it? The second word is most definitely a loan word since only appears in that context, and according to an oral communication by Gen Yang Ga, most likely comes from Greek -- but he was not sure of which greek word it might be from.
I don't have much proof of my following speculations, but I feel compelled to belabor my faithful readers with them anyway. While reviewing possible choices for the ever pesky "dwangs ma" this morning, I noticed something I had not noticed before - chyle and chyme respectively come from the Greek khūlos and khūmos meaning respectively raw juice, and juice produced by digestion. These two words come from the Proto Indo-European root gheu-, which means to pour out, of which the word "ghee" is also a derivative. We seem to have a serendipitous correlation with the Tibetan word khu ba, the substance which in Tibetan medicine is the product of final stage of digestion, sukra or semen. In terms of pure phonetic resemblance, I think ku ya cannot help but be derived from Greek as well.
Well, this is all highly speculative, but food, or rather juice, for thought...