The two languages once spoken in the oases in the North of the Tarim basin, Tocharian A and B, have preserved many Iranian loanwords. These belong to different chronological layers and are of different dialectal origins. Whereas the oldest layers are now most likely seen as belonging to an unattested Old Iranian dialect, more recent layers have not yet been studied in detail. In this respect, the vocabulary of medical texts represents an important field of enquiry. Most terms come from Middle Indian, but a significant number are of Middle Iranian origin. This component, mostly ingredients and technical vocabulary, seems to be largely of Khotanese origin. The article introduces the material and examines possible scenarios for historical transmission and contact between the North and the South of the Tarim Basin.