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Glossary of Definitions

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Abortificant causes induced or spontaneous abortion

Alterative helps to restore normal health, cleanses and purifies the blood, gradually restores normal bodily functions

Analgesic relieves pain

Anaphrodisiac reduces the sexual appetites

Anthelmintic helps kill and get rid of parasites in the body

Antibacterial destroys or stops the growth of bacteria

Antibiotic destroys or stops the growth of microorganisms in the body

Antifungal destroys or stops the growth of fungi, such as athlete’s foot

Anti-inflammatory reduces or counteracts inflammations

Antioxidant inhibits or prevents oxidation

Antispasmodic relieves voluntary and involuntary muscle spasms

Antitussive prevents or eliminates coughing

Antiviral inhibits or eliminates a virus

Aphrodisiac creates or enhances sexual arousal

Aromatherapy relies on the aroma of healing plants to stimulate healing, relaxation, mood alteration, and overall well-being

Asthenia loss of or lack of strength, usually affecting the muscular system

Astringent firms organs and tissues as well as reduces excretions

Bolus an herbal suppository inserted in the vagina or rectum

Calmative soothing action on the body’s systems

Carcinogenic causes cancer

Cardiac about or relating to the heart

Carminative relieves intestinal gas and accompanying annoyances

Catarrh inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose and breathing passages, sometimes chronically

Cathartic strong laxative that acts fast

Cholagogue increases the flow of bile from the gall bladder

Choleretic stimulates the liver to produce more bile

Cirrhosis loss of tissue function of an organ, usually the liver

Cystitis inflammation and irritation of the urinary bladder

Decoction an extract made by putting the parts of a healing plant into water and bringing it to a boil, then cooled and strained for medicinal use

Demulcent protects and soothes internal mucous membranes

Dermatitis inflammation or irritation of the skin

Detoxicant eliminates toxins

Diaphoretic increases perspiration

Diuretic eliminates excess fluids and aids the kidneys and bladder

Emetic induces vomiting

Emollient protects and soothes the skin

Enteritis irritation and inflammation of the small intestine

Essential oil plant oils, usually highly scented, extracted from healing plants for healing applications

Expectorant aids discharge of phlegm and mucous from the lungs and throat

Extract withdrawing the desired constituents from a plant through physical and/or chemical means

Fast to abstain from all or most foods for a specific period

Febrifuge reduces fevers

Fomentation a hot compress made by soaking a cloth in a decoction or infusion, then applying externally

Gastroenteritis inflammation and irritation of the stomach and intestines

Hemostatic stops the flow of blood

Hepatic having to do with the liver

Herbalism the practice of identifying and using plants that have medicinal qualities

Homeopathy a system of medicine that stresses the administration of minute doses that would produce symptoms of the disease in healthy persons;
it is based on the system belief that “like cures like”

Hypertensive raises the blood pressure, or deals with high blood pressure

Hypotensive lowers the blood pressure, or deals with low blood pressure

Hypnotic relaxant and sedative that induces sleep

Infusion medicinal made by pouring boiling water over an herb, or adding an herb to boiling water, similar to a tea

Inhalant a remedy breathed through the nose or mouth

Irritant something that causes irritation or inflammation

Jaundice yellowing of the skin caused by bile pigments in the tissues

Laxative aids in promoting bowel movements

Lesion a wound or inflammation, internal or external

Liniment a liquid or thin paste used externally as a pain reliever or counterirritant

Naturopathy medical treatment based on using natural plants and agents as well as natural healing methods to cause a cure or prevention

Nephritis inflammation and irritation of the kidneys

Nervine strengthens and normalizes the nervous system

Ointment a solid form of medication applied to the skin

Opthalmic soothes and heals the eyes

Photosensitive a heightened sensitivity to light or direct sun

Poultice a plaster applied externally, usually hot

Prophylactic aids in warding off diseases

Purgative induces the evacuation of the intestines

Renal having to do with the kidneys

Salve the same as an ointment

Sclerosis hardening of tissue due to inflammation

Sedative calms by lowering the activity of an organ or body part

Stimulant increases internal body heat, strengthens metabolism and body circulation

Tea a dried herb steeped in hot water for drinking

Thrombosis a blood clot that partially or completely blocks a blood vessel

Tincture a medication derived from the medicinal agents in herbs being dissolved into alcohol

Tinnitus persistent ringing sound in the ear

Tonic stimulates the overall body systems

Toxins poisons

Ulcer a slow-healing wound, either internal or external

Vaginitis irritation, inflammation, or infection of the vagina

Vasodilator relaxes the blood vessels

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