Abortifacient – Capable of inducing abortion. (mugwort, pennyroyal, rue)
Actinic Keratosis – A rough, scaly patch on your skin that develops from years of exposure to the sun. It's most commonly found on your face, lips, ears, back of your hands, forearms, scalp or neck. (mugwort)
Acute – A health condition present or experienced to a severe or intense degree.
Adaptogen – (In herbal medicine) a natural substance considered to help the body adapt to stress and to exert a normalizing effect upon bodily processes. (holy basil)
Adrenal Cortex – The outer portion of the adrenal gland located on top of each kidney. The adrenal cortex produces steroid hormones which regulate carbohydrate and fat metabolism and mineralocorticoid hormones which regulate salt and water balance in the body.
Aggregant – That promotes or causes aggregation; aggregating.
Alterative – Essential oils that gradually cleanse the blood, tone and regulate the eliminative organs. (violet leaf)
Amenorrhea – An abnormal absence of menstruation. (clary sage, hyssop, parsley)
Analgesic – Pain relieving – usually applied locally. (bergamot, chamomile, eucalyptus, geranium, lavender, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary)
Anaphrodisiac – Diminishes sexual desire. (marjoram)
Anemia – A condition marked by a deficiency of red blood cells or of hemoglobin in the blood, resulting in pallor and weariness. (lemon)
Anesthetic – Pain relieving by loss of sensation. (allspice, helichrysum, catnip, peppermint)
Anodyne – Substance used to relieve pain when applied externally, also called analgesic. (chamomile, marigold, mullein, mustard, peppermint)
Anorexia – An emotional disorder characterized by an obsessive desire to lose weight by refusing to eat. (palmarosa, tarragon, thyme, carrot seed)
Antacid – Substance used to neutralize acid in the stomach and intestinal tract. (caraway, catnip, clove, fennel, parsley, peppermint) (Learn more about natural treatments for acid reflux, GERD and heartburn)
Anti-Allergen – Reduces symptoms of allergies. (ravensara, vitex, german chamomile, blue tansy, helichrysum, others)
Antialzheimeran – Acts against Alzheimer's Disease.
Anti-Anemic – Relating to factors or substances that prevent or correct anemic conditions. (lemon)
Anti-Anxiety – Tending to prevent or relieve anxiety. (swamp paperbark)
Anti-Arthritic – An agent which helps to combat arthritis. (wintergreen, parsley, pennyroyal)
Anti-Asthmatic – Substances that treat or prevent asthma attacks. (saro, benzoin, basil, blue cypress, cajeput, calamus, camphor, others)
Anti-Emetic – Reduces the severity or incidence of vomiting. (cassia, ginger)
Anti-Infectious – Protects against infection. (cardamom, roman chamomile, cinnamon, cistus, clove, eucalyptus, galbanum, ledum, lemon, tea tree, others)
Anti-Inflammatory – Reduces inflammation. (basil, german chamomile, frankincense, catnip, cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, cistus, citronella, clove, eucalyptus polybractea, eucalyptus radiata, fleabane, geranium, goldenrod, gurjum balsam, helichrysum, kanuka, lavender, ledum, lemongrass, lemon tea tree, others)
Antibacterial – Fights bacterial growth. (western red cedar, balsam fir, bay laurel, bergamot, bitter orange, cardamom, cassia, chocolate peppermint, cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, cistus, citronella, cypress, tea tree, peppermint, others)
Antibilious – Substance used to eliminate an excess of bile or to improve a jaundiced condition. (chamomile, rosemary, sage, yarrow)
Antibiotic – Fights infection in the body by preventing the growth or destroying bacteria. (may chang, tagetes, bay laurel, german chamomile, roman chamomile)
Anticarcinogenic – A substance that inhibits cancer or cancerous growths. (peppermint, vanilla, white fir, balsam fir, douglas fir)
Anticatarrhal – Effective against excessive discharge or buildup of mucus in the nose or throat, associated with inflammation of the mucous membrane. (eucalyptus citriodora, eucalyptus radiata, ginger, hyssop, myrrh, naouli, pine, rosemary, spearmint, tagetes, tansy, tea tree, thyme, violet leaf)
Anticholera – Preventing or counteracting cholera. (fleabane)
Anticoagulant – Prevents the clotting of blood. (angelica, helichrysum)
Anticonvulsant – Helps stop or control convulsions. (valerian, vitex, lavender, vanilla, clary sage, lavender)
Antidepressant – Uplifting to the mind and spirit, alleviates depression. (basil, bergamot, geranium, jasmine, lavender, patchouli, rose, ylang ylang)
Antidermatitis – A substance that counteracts dermatitis. (borage, blue tansy, carrot seed, german chamomile, clove, coriander, geranium, gurjum balsam, helichrysum, hyssop, juniper, lavender, palmarosa, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, spruce, thyme, violet leaf)
Antidiabetic – Effective against diabetes. (cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, holy basil, clary sage, pine)
Antidiarrheal/Antidiarrheic – Prevents or relieves diarrhea. (cassia, clove, coriander, fleabane, ginger, mountain savory, myrrh, myrtle, neroli, others)
Antidontalgic – Relieves toothache. (black pepper, cajeput, clove, german chamomile, peppermint)
Antifermentation – A substance or agent having the property of preventing or counteracting fermentation. (tarragon)
Antifungal – Prevents the growth of fungi. (cinnamon bark, celery seed, cinnamon leaf, citronella, davana, douglas fir, eucalyptus citriodora, eucalyptus globulus, geranium, holy basil, kanuka, lavandin, others)
Antigalactagogue – Impedes or lessens the flow of milk. (peppermint)
Antihelmintic – A vermifuge, destroying or expelling intestinal worms. (davana, mugwort, tansy, thuja, wormwood)
Antihemorrhagic – A substance preventing or combating bleeding.
Antihepatoxic – Hepatoprotection or antihepatotoxicity is the ability to prevent damage to the liver. This damage is known as hepatotoxicity. (ledum, fennel, sweet almond, coriander, caraway, rosemary)
Antihistamine – Counteracts allergic reaction. (vitex, swamp paperbark, blue tansy, tansy, caraway)
Antihydropic – Substance used to eliminate excess body fluids. (fennel, juniper)
Antihyperthyroid – Effective against hyperthyroid. (myrrh)
Antihysteric – Any substance that counters hysterics. (pennyroyal, rue)
Antilithic – Substance used to prevent the formation of calculi or gravel in the urinary passages.
Antimicrobial – A substance reducing or resisting microbes. (mullein, myrrh, oregano, pine, tea tree, thyme, cajeput, cassia, clove, cypress, davana, others)
Antinausea – Any substance that prevents or counteracts nausea. (ledum, ginger, allspice, basil, black pepper, cardamom, cassia, clove, coriander, fennel, lavender, melissa, nutmeg, peppermint, rose, rosewood, spearmint, others)
Antineuralgia – Reduces nerve pain. (bay, cajeput, roman chamomile, clove, pine)
Antioxidant – A substance to prevent or delay oxidation. (allspice, balsam fir, calamus, cedarwood, celery seed, cinnamon, clove, mountain savory, mullein, ravensara, tsuga, others)
Antiparasitic – Acts against parasites. (citronella, mountain savory, mugwort, myrrh, neroli, nutmeg, oregano, peppermint, rosemary, others)
Antiperspirant – A substance that is applied to the skin, especially under the arms, to prevent or reduce perspiration. (ravensara)
Antiphlogistic – Counteracts inflammation. (sandalwood, german chamomile, roman chamomile, myrrh, patchouli, peppermint, rose, sandalwood)
Antiplatelet – Anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs are a type of medication that is used to eliminate or reduce the risk of blood clots. They are often called “blood thinners”, but these medicines don’t really thin the blood. Instead, these medications help prevent or break up clots in your blood vessels or heart. (angelica, borage, helichrysum)
Antipruritic – Relieves or prevents sensation of itching.
Antiputrefactive – Substance which counteracts internal decomposition. (cedarwood)
Antipyretic – Reduces fever. (lemongrass, spikenard, vanilla)
Antirheumatic – An agent which helps to combat rheumatism. (western red cedar, wintergreen, calamus, celery seed, cinnamon, fleabane, hyssop, lavender, lemon, pennyroyal, others)
Antisclerotic – Helps to prevent hardening of arteries. (lemon)
Antiseborrheic – Prevents or relieves excess sebum production. (virginia cedarwood, ylang ylang, cedarwood)
Antiseptic – Helps prevent the growth of bacteria. (All essential oils are antiseptic to a certain degree, with probably the most effective being bergamot, eucalyptus, juniper.)
Antisialagogue – An agent that diminishes or arrests the flow of saliva.
Antispasmodic – Calms down muscle spasms. (basil, bergamot, black pepper, chamomile, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rose, rosemary)
Antisudorific – A substance to help lessen sweating.
Anthelminthics: A very powerful class of herbs that help clear the body of intestinal worms. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) and the Ayurvedic herb vidanga (Embelia ribes) are examples.
Antithrombotic – An antithrombotic agent is a drug that reduces the formation of blood clots (thrombi). Antithrombotics can be used therapeutically for prevention (primary prevention, secondary prevention) or treatment of a dangerous blood clot (acute thrombus). (borage)
Antitoxic – Works against poisoning. (black pepper, juniper, lavender)
Antitubercular – Used against tuberculosis.
Antitumor – Acts against tumors. (balsam fir, douglas fir, frankincense, geranium, lavender, ledum, tansy, white fir)
Antitussive – Relieves coughing. (douglas fir, wintergreen)
Antivenomous – Used against venom such as from a snake or spider bite. (basil)
Antiviral – Counteracts the effects of viruses. (cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus citriodora, lavender, tea tree, spruce, tansy, swamp paperbark, thuja, thyme, tsuga, vitex, blue cypress, cassia, cistus, cumin, davana, eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus polybractea, eucalyptus radiata, holy basil, kanuka, ledum, lemon, lime, others)
Antizymotic – Substance used to destroy or arrest the action of ferments or enzymes. (tea tree, thyme)
Aperient – Mild laxative. (violet leaf)
Apertif – Stimulates appetite. (also known as aperitive) (bay laurel, caraway, celery seed, fennel, grapefruit, lime, tarragon)
Aphonia – Loss of voice.
Aphrodisiac – Stimulates sexual desire. (black pepper, jasmine, juniper, patchouli, rose, ylang ylang)
Apoplexy – Sudden loss of consciousness, a stroke or sudden hemorrhage.
Appetizer – Stimulates the appetite. (mustard)
Aromatic – A substance or plant emitting a pleasant and distinctive smell.
Arrhythmia – A condition in which the heart beats with an irregular or abnormal rhythm. (neroli, rose, ylang ylang, goldenrod, helichrysum)
Arteriosclerosis – Hardening of the arteries. (rosemary, cedarwood, helichrysum)
Aspergillus – A common mold (a type of fungus) that lives indoors and outdoors. Most people breathe in Aspergillus spores every day without getting sick. (oregano)
Asthma – A respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. It usually results from an allergic reaction or other forms of hypersensitivity. (lavender, lemon, lime, marjoram, may chang, melissa, mullein, myrrh, myrtle, naouli, oakmoss, oregano, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, ravensara, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, saro, spearmint, spruce, tea tree, thyme, tsuga, white fir, basil, benzoin, blue cypress, cajeput, calamus, camphor, caraway, clary sage, frankincense, galbanum, goldenrod, helichrysum, hyssop)
Astringent – Causes skin tissue to contract, so good for toning skin. (frankincense, geranium, juniper, peppermint, rose, rosemary)
Atonia – Lack of normal tone or tension, as in muscles; abnormal relaxation of a muscle. (palmarosa, sage)
Attar – Attars are essential oils that have been distilled using a unique process into a base of sandalwood oil. The sandalwood acts as a fixative and enhances the floral notes.
Autonomic Nervous System – The part of the nervous system responsible for control of the bodily functions not consciously directed, such as breathing, the heartbeat, and digestive processes.
Bactericidal – Helps destroy bacteria. (thyme, citronella, clary sage, clove, ginger, lemon, marjoram, others)
Balsamic – Soothing medicine or application having the qualities of balsam. Balsam: Water soluble, semi-solid or viscous resinous exudate similar to that of gum. (myrrh, pine, tsuga, vanilla, valerian, birch, cistus, frankincense, others)
Bechic – Anything referring to coughing, or an agent relieving cough. (thyme, lime, melissa, mountain savory, myrrh, myrtle, naouli, oakmoss, pennyroyal, peppermint, peru balsam, pine, ravensara, rose, rosemary, rosewood, sandalwood, saro, tea tree, tagetes, tsuga, thuja, violet leaf, virginia cedarwood, angelica, anise, basil, benzoin, others)
Benign Prostatic Hyperplasia – A common, noncancerous enlargement of the prostate gland. The enlarged prostate may compress the urinary tube (urethra), which courses through the center of the prostate, impeding the flow of urine from the bladder through the urethra to the outside. Abbreviated BPH. (may chang, fennel)
Bilious – A condition caused by an excessive secretion of bile.
Bitters – Substance with a bitter taste and serves as a stimulant to the gastrointestinal membranes. (black pepper, ginger, yarrow)
Blepharitis – Inflammation of the eyelids.
Bronchitis – Inflammation of the mucous membrane in the bronchial tubes. It typically causes bronchospasm and coughing. (lavender, ledum, lemon, lime, marjoram, may chang, melissa, mugwort, mullein, myrrh, myrtle, naouli, oregano, pennyroyal, peppermint, peru balsam, ravensara, rose, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, saro, spearmint, spruce, tea tree, thyme, tsuga, violet leaf, anise, basil, benzoin, bergamot, cajeput, calamus, camphor, caraway, carrot seed, cedarwood, clary sage, clove, cypress, elemi, fir needle, frankincense, galbanum, helichrysum, hyssop)
Calcefacient – Substance used as a diffusive stimulant. Causes increased capillary circulation and gives an external sense of warmth. (black pepper, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, sage)
Calmative – Has a soothing and calming effect. A sedative. (bergamot, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, patchouli, rose, ylang ylang, yuzu, spikenard, may chang)
Camphorous – Being or having the properties of camphor (a camphoraceous odor). (mugwort, naouli, swamp paperbark, thuja, western red cedar, camphor)
Candida – A yeastlike, parasitic fungus that can sometimes cause thrush. (kanuka, myrrh, oregano, palmarosa, peppermint, rosewood, saro, spearmint, spikenard, tea tree, thyme, bergamot, eucalyptus globulus, goldenrod, holy basil)
Candidiasis – Infection with candida, a yeastlike, parasitic fungus that can sometimes cause thrush. (spruce, kanuka, myrrh, oregano, palmarosa, peppermint, rosewood, saro, spearmint, spikenard, tea tree, thyme, bergamot, eucalyptus globulus, goldenrod, holy basil)
Candidicide/Candidicidal – Destructive to candida species.
Carbuncles – A severe abscess or multiple boil in the skin, typically infected with staphylococcus bacteria. (frankincense, ginger)
Carcinogenic – A substance that promotes cancer or cancerous growths. (Possibly carcinogenic oils: basil, camphor, fennel)
Cardiac Fibrillation – Ventricular fibrillation is a heart rhythm problem that occurs when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. (cornmint)
Cardiotonic – Substance used to increase and give greater power to the heart. (geranium, camphor, palmarosa, peppermint, tea tree, thyme)
Carminative – Helps ease griping pains and gets rid of gas from the digestive tract. (basil, benzoin, bergamot, black pepper, clary sage, fennel, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rosemary)
Carrier Oil – An oil which is used to dilute essential oils for the purpose of massage or skin application.
Catarrh – Excessive discharge or buildup of mucus in the nose or throat, associated with inflammation of the mucous membrane. (eucalyptus citriodora, eucalyptus radiata, ginger, hyssop, myrrh, naouli, pine, rosemary, spearmint, tagetes, tansy, ravensara, tea tree, thyme, violet leaf)
Cell Proliferant – Substance that promotes rapid healing and restoration. (lavender)
Cellulite – Persistent subcutaneous fat causing dimpling of the skin, especially on women’s hips and thighs. Not in technical use. (juniper, lemon, lime, mandarin, parsley, patchouli, rosemary, tangerine, thyme, yarrow, cypress, douglas fir, fir needle, grapefruit)
Cellulitis – Inflammation of subcutaneous connective tissue. (parsley)
Central Nervous System – The complex of nerve tissues that controls the activities of the body. In vertebrates it comprises the brain and spinal cord.
Cephalic – A substance stimulating and clearing the mind. (ginger, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, rosewood, spearmint, basil, calamus, cardamom)
Chemotypes – The same botanical species occurring in other forms due to different growth conditions.
Cholagogue – Stimulating the secretion of bile into the duodenum. (helichrysum, peppermint, lavender, pine, rosemary, sweet orange, bay laurel, celery seed, roman chamomile, german chamomile)
Cholecystokenetic – Agent that stimulates the contraction of the gall bladder.
Cholera – An infectious and often fatal bacterial disease of the small intestine, typically contracted from infected water supplies and causing severe vomiting and diarrhea.
Choleretic – Helps the liver to excrete bile, leading to greater bile flow. (mugwort, rose, wormwood, bitter orange, cornmint)
Chronic – (Of an illness) persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.
Cicatrisant – Promotes healing of sore or wound. (rose geranium)
Cicatrisation – Formation of scar tissue.
Cirrhosis – A chronic disease of the liver marked by degeneration of cells, inflammation, and fibrous thickening of tissue. It is typically a result of alcoholism or hepatitis. (ledum, lemon verbena)
Cohobation – Is a process in the extraction method of especially rose essential oil, to ensure a “complete” oil.
Cold Pressed – Refers to a method of extraction where no external heat is applied during the process.
Colic – Severe, often fluctuating pain in the abdomen caused by intestinal gas or obstruction in the intestines and suffered especially by babies. (lavender, mountain savory, parsley, peppermint, star anise, yarrow, angelica, cajeput, calamus, caraway, cardamom, cassia, catnip, cumin, dill, ginger, hyssop)
Colitis – Inflammation of the lining of the colon. (lemongrass, neroli, rosemary, star anise, tarragon, thyme, clove, gurjum)
Contraindication – In medicine, a contraindication is a condition or factor that serves as a reason to withhold a certain medical treatment due to the harm that it would cause the patient. Contraindication is the opposite of indication, which is a reason to use a certain treatment.
Convulsion – A sudden, violent, irregular movement of a limb or of the body, caused by involuntary contraction of muscles and associated especially with brain disorders such as epilepsy, the presence of certain toxins or other agents in the blood, or fever in children. (lavender, tansy, wormwood)
Cordial – This is a heart tonic. (benzoin, lavender, melissa, neroli, peppermint, rose, rosemary)
Cystitis – Inflammation of the urinary bladder. It is often caused by infection and is usually accompanied by frequent, painful urination. (juniper, myrtle, naouli, parsley, pine, ravensara, sandalwood, spearmint, tea tree, thyme, wintergreen, yarrow, yuzu, benzoin, birch, cajeput, german chamomile, clove, eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus polybractea, fennel)
Cytophylactic – Action of increasing the leukocyte activity to defend the body against infection. (carrot seed, frankincense, geranium, helichrysum, lavender, neroli, palmarosa, patchouli, rose geranium, tangerine)
Cytotoxic – Toxic to all cells.
Debility – Physical weakness, especially as a result of illness. (nutmeg, cardamom)
Decoction – Decoction is a method of extraction by boiling of dissolved chemicals from herbal or plant material, which may include stems, roots, bark and rhizomes. Decoction involves first mashing and then boiling in water to extract oils, volatile organic compounds and other chemical substances.
Decongestant – Relieves congestion – especially from mucous. (black pepper, eucalyptus globulus, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree, thyme, saro, tsuga, white fir, yarrow, balsam fir, cajeput, davana, fir needle, hyssop, lavender, ledum, myrtle, patchouli, pennyroyal)
Demulcent – An agent protecting mucus membranes and helps stop irritation. These herbs soothe raw, inflamed tissue inside the body and out. They frequently are mucilaginous – they have a slimy quality to them that coats and heals tissue. Cornsilk (Zea mays) often is used for its demulcent action on the urinary tract, whereas plantain's (Plantago spp.) gooeyness is soothing to external cuts and scrapes. (oakmoss)
Deodorant – Works against and masks body odor. (benzoin, bergamot, lavender, patchouli)
Depurative – Helps to detoxify and to combat impurities in the blood and body. (parsley, pennyroyal, rose, tangerine, celery seed, carrot seed, coriander, fennel, juniper, lemon)
Dermatitis – A condition of the skin in which it becomes red, swollen, and sore, sometimes with small blisters, resulting from direct irritation of the skin by an external agent or an allergic reaction to it. (geranium, gurjum balsam, helichrysum, hyssop, juniper, lavender, palmarosa, patchouli, peppermint, rosemary, sage, spearmint, spruce, star anise, tagetes, thyme, violet leaf, blue tansy, carrot seed, clove, coriander, fleabane)
Detoxifier – Assists in the removal of toxic substances or qualities. (rose geranium, carrot seed, cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, grapefruit, juniper)
Diaphoretic – A substance which helps to promote perspiration. (violet leaf, yarrow, basil, black pepper, catnip, citronella, lemon, lemon tea tree, marjoram, melissa, mugwort, mustard, naouli)
Digestive – Substance which aids in the digestion of food. (basil, bay, bergamot, black pepper, fennel, frankincense, peppermint, rosemary)
Disinfectant – A chemical liquid that destroys bacteria. (caraway, clove, davana, dill, all citrus oils, tea tree, may chang, rue, spruce, swamp paperbark, western red cedar)
Distillation – A method of extraction used in the manufacture of essential oils.
Diuretic – Helps to produce urine and remove water from the body. (wintergreen, anise, benzoin, black pepper, caraway, cardamom, cumin, cypress, fennel, others)
Dysentery – Infection of the intestines resulting in severe diarrhea with the presence of blood and mucus in the feces. (black pepper, cajeput, clove, elemi, fleabane, melissa, mugwort, myrrh, myrtle, saro)
Dysmenorrhea – Painful menstruation, typically involving abdominal cramps. (clary sage, valerian)
Dyspepsia – Indigestion. (allspice, angelica, bergamot, black pepper, cardamom, cassia, cumin, galbanum, lavender, lemongrass, others) (Learn more about natural treatments for acid reflux, GERD and heartburn)
Dysuria – Pain or difficulty in urinating.
E. Coli – A bacterium commonly found in the intestines of humans and other animals, where it usually causes no harm. Some strains can cause severe food poisoning, especially in old people and children. (oregano)
Eczema – A medical condition in which patches of skin become rough and inflamed, with blisters that cause itching and bleeding, sometimes resulting from a reaction to irritation (eczematous dermatitis) but more typically having no obvious external cause. (geranium, gurjum balsam, helichrysum, jasmine, juniper)
Edema – Water retention. (cypress, fleabane, geranium, ledum, lemongrass, parsley, thyme, wintergreen, birch, carrot seed)
Embolism – Obstruction of an artery, typically by a clot of blood or an air bubble. (helichrysum)
Emetic – Induces vomiting.
Emmenagogue – Increases the flow of blood and assists menstruation. (basil, clary sage, fennel, hyssop, juniper, lavender, marjoram, myrrh, peppermint, rose, rosemary)
Emollient – Softening and soothing to the skin. (lemon verbena, may chang, neroli, sandalwood, violet leaf)
Emulsifier – An emulsifier is a compound or substance at acts as a stabilizer for emulsions preventing the liquids from separating. (Also known as an emulsifying agent)
Endocarditis – Inflammation of the endocardium (the thin, smooth membrane that lines the inside of the chambers of the heart and forms the surface of the valves). (saro)
Endocrine – Pertaining to the ductless glands. (black pepper)
Endometriosis – A condition resulting from the appearance of endometrial tissue outside the uterus and causing pelvic pain. (star anise, eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus radiata, fennel)
Enfleurage – The extraction of essential oils and perfumes from flowers using odorless animal or vegetable fats.
Enteritis – Inflammation of the mucus membranes of the intestine. (cajeput, ledum, lemongrass)
Enuresis – Involuntary urinating.
Epilepsy – A neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. (camphor, mugwort)
Epistaxis – Bleeding from the nose. (fleabane)
Erethism – Abnormal state of irritation or excitement.
Estrogenic – Having the properties of, or properties similar to, an estrogen. (hops)
Euphoric – Induces feeling of well-being or elation. (clary sage, holy basil, ylang ylang)
Exanthematous – Substance that is healing to skin eruptions or to skin diseases of an eruptive nature. (sage, tea tree)
Excretion – In living organisms and cells) the process of eliminating or expelling waste matter.
Excretory – Of, relating to, or concerned with excretion (in living organisms and cells) the process of eliminating or expelling waste matter).
Exocrine – Pertaining to a gland with a duct, secreting directly onto outside surface of organism.
Expectorant – Helps get rid of catarrh, phlegm and mucous. (basil, bergamot, eucalyptus citriodora, eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus polybractea, eucalyptus radiata, anise, balsam fir, benzoin, cajeput, caraway, cardamom, cedarwood, cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, cistus, davana, douglas fir, elemi, peppermint, others)
Exudates – Natural material secreted by plants – can be spontaneous or after damage to plant.
Febrifuge – Cools and reduces fever. (black pepper, ginger, hyssop, lemon, lemongrass, lemon verbena, lime, melissa, mullein, palmarosa, parsley, patchouli, sage, tansy, vanilla, violet leaf, wormwood, peppermint)
Fibrillation – Rapid twitching of muscle fiber.
Fibrosis – The thickening and scarring of connective tissue, usually as a result of injury. (violet leaf, sage)
Fibrositis – Inflammation of fibrous connective tissue, typically affecting the back and causing stiffness and pain. (sage)
Fixative – A fixative is a plant or animal substance of low volatility that serves to draw together and hold the fragrances of other materials. It may be in the form of a liquid, such as an essential oil or fragrance that will slow the evaporation process and preserve the aromatic sensation of the blend, or it may be in the form of a botanical that will absorb and hold the various aromas. Using a fixative will create a more distinct and longer lasting product. Orris, amyris, calamus, angelica, and vetiver are a few commonly used fixatives.
Flatulence – The accumulation of gas in the alimentary canal (the whole passage along which food passes through the body from mouth to anus. It includes the esophagus, stomach, and intestines). (allspice, anise, basil, bay laurel, caraway, cardamom, cassia, coriander, cumin, dill, hyssop, lavender, ledum, marjoram, melissa, myrrh, nutmeg, parsley, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, tangerine, tarragon, yarrow)
Fluid dram: A unit of liquid measure that is equivalent to 1⁄8 of an ounce.
Fluid extract: During the time of the Eclectics, this meant a concentrated tincture prepared by percolation. Modern herbalists may use the term to refer to any liquid herbal extract, such as a tincture, infusion or decoction.
Frigidity – Failure of a female to respond to sexual stimulus; aversion on the part of a woman to sexual intercourse; failure of a female to achieve an orgasm (anorgasmia) during sexual intercourse. (nutmeg, parsley, rosewood, sandalwood, vanilla, ylang ylang, jasmine)
Fungicidal/Fungicide – Kills or inhibits fungi. (coriander, eucalyptus citriodora, lemongrass, lemon tea tree, marjoram, myrrh, patchouli, tea tree, virginia cedarwood, cedarwood)
G6PD Deficiency – G6PD Deficiency is a hereditary abnormality in the activity of an erythrocyte (red blood cell) enzyme. This enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G-6-PD), is essential for assuring a normal life span for red blood cells, and for oxidizing processes. (cornmint)
Galactagogue – Helps to increase milk secretion. (cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark, dill, fennel, jasmine, lemongrass, may chang, star anise, wintergreen, caraway)
Galactophygas – Substance that diminishes the secretion of milk. (geranium, sage)
Gastroenteritis – Inflammation of the stomach and intestines, typically resulting from bacterial toxins or viral infection and causing vomiting and diarrhea.
Germicidal – Substance that destroys pathogenic microorganisms. (cinnamon leaf, cinnamon bark)
Gingivitis – Inflammation of the gums. (geranium, mountain savory, myrrh, sage, tea tree)
Glycerite: A tincture that uses glycerin (a syrupy, sweet liquid obtained from oils and fats) instead of alcohol to extract the medicinal constituents of a plant. In most cases, glycerin is not as effective at extracting these constituents as ethanol, but glycerite preparations can be valuable for children or for those abstaining from alcohol.
Gout – Gout is a disease that results when crystals of uric acid form in tissues of the body. Gout is characterized by an overload of uric acid in the body and recurring attacks of joint inflammation (arthritis). (basil, birch, carrot seed, cornmint, coriander, davana, fennel, juniper, mugwort, nutmeg, pine, rosemary, tansy, thyme, wintergreen, yarrow)
gtt(s): An abbreviation for the French word gouttes, which means drops. Used to give dosage information, i.e., Take 20 gtts at bedtime.
Halitosis – Technical term for bad breath. (lavender, nutmeg, peppermint, bergamot, cardamom, clove)
Hematemesis – Vomiting blood. (fleabane)
Hematuria – Presence of blood in the urine.
Hemoptysis – Spitting up blood or blood-tinged sputum from the respiratory tract.
Hemorrhoids – A swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus. (mullein, myrrh, myrtle, naouli, patchouli, peppermint, rue, yarrow, cypress, fleabane, geranium)
Hemostatic – Helps stop bleeding from wounds. (geranium, rose)
Hepatic – A tonic for the liver. (german chamomile, roman chamomile, peppermint, rose, rosemary, vanilla, carrot seed, celery seed, cypress, goldenrod)
Hepatitis – A disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. (myrrh, ravensara, rosemary, clove, geranium, goldenrod, ledum)
Hepatoxic – An agent having a toxic or harmful effect on the liver.
Herbaceous – Of, denoting, or relating to herbs (in the botanical sense).
Herpatic – Substance that heals skin eruptions and scaling diseases. (lavender, myrrh, sandalwood)
Hydrodiffusion – Is a distillation method of essential oil extraction where the steam is produced above the botanical material and then percolates down.
Hydrosol – True hydrosols are produced by water or steam distillation of the flower or herb, and contain most of the hydrophilic (water soluble) molecules from the plant or flower material that did not distill into the essential oil. Also known as hydrolat, hydrolate, distillate water or floral water.
Hyperglycemic – Raises sugar in the blood (Hyperglycemia is an excess of sugar in the blood).
Hyperpigmentation – Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes the skin to darken. It can occur in small patches or cover large areas of the body. It can also affect the entire body. Hyperpigmentation is usually not harmful. (lemon, carrot seed, tea tree, sandalwood, frankincense, rose, geranium, bergamot)
Hypertensor – Raises blood pressure (Hypertension is abnormally high blood pressure). (birch, clove, goldenrod, helichrysum, hyssop, lemon myrtle, melissa, rosemary, spearmint, wintergreen, yarrow, ylang ylang)
Hyperthyroid – Hyperthyroidism is the overproduction of thyroid hormones by an overactive thyroid. (ledum, myrrh, spikenard, spruce)
Hypnotics: Named after Hypnos, the Greek god of sleep, these are herbs, such as hops (Humulus lupulus) and valerian (Valeriana officinalis), that are used to induce healthy sleep.
Hypocholesterolemia – Lowering of the cholesterol content of the blood.
Hypoglycemic – Helps to lower blood sugar (Hypoglycemia is abnormally low blood sugar). (cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, eucalyptus globulus)
Hypotensive – Lowers blood pressure (Hypotension is abnormally low blood pressure). (clary sage, lavender, melissa, ylang ylang)
Hypothyroid – Hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid) is a condition in which your thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough of certain important hormones. (ledum, myrtle)
Hypoxia – A shortage of oxygen.
Hysteria – A psychological disorder (not now regarded as a single definite condition) whose symptoms include conversion of psychological stress into physical symptoms (somatization), selective amnesia, shallow volatile emotions, and overdramatic or attention-seeking behavior. The term has a controversial history as it was formerly regarded as a disease specific to women. (melissa, mugwort, neroli, peppermint, vetiver, camphor, cedarwood)
Immunomodulatory – A chemical agent (as methotrexate or azathioprine) that modifies the immune response or the functioning of the immune system (as by the stimulation of antibody formation or the inhibition of white blood cell activity). (vitex)
Immunostimulant – Stimulates the immune system. (cinnamon bark, frankincense, holy basil, ledum, mountain savory, tea tree, cinnamon leaf)
Impotence – Chronic inability to attain or sustain an erection for the performance of a sexual act. Sterility, especially in the male. (ylang ylang, cardamom, jasmine, nutmeg, rose, rosewood, sandalwood)
Infectious – (Of a disease or disease-causing organism) likely to be transmitted to people, organisms, etc., through the environment.
Infused Oil – An oil produced by steeping the macerated botanical material in oil until the oil has taken on some of the material’s properties.
Infusion – Herbal remedy made by steeping the plant material in water.
Insecticidal – Kills insects. (rosewood, rue, spearmint, tagetes, tansy, tea tree, thyme, vitex, anise, basil, cajeput, calamus, camphor, cedarwood, others)
Insomnia – Habitual sleeplessness; inability to sleep. (ylang ylang, bergamot, catnip, german chamomile, roman chamomile, cistus, clary sage, cypress, geranium, holy basil, lavender, ledum, linden blossom, mandarin, marjoram, may chang, melissa, myrtle, neroli, petitgrain, ravensara, spikenard, swamp paperbark, tangerine, thyme, valerian)
Irritant – A substance that causes slight inflammation or other discomfort to the body.
Jaundice – A medical condition with yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, arising from excess of the pigment bilirubin and typically caused by obstruction of the bile duct, by liver disease, or by excessive breakdown of red blood cells. (carrot seed, rose geranium, rosemary)
Laryngitis – Inflammation of the larynx, typically resulting in huskiness or loss of the voice, harsh breathing, and a painful cough. (cypress, eucalyptus citriodora, frankincense, jasmine, lavender, ledum, lemongrass, mullein, pine, thyme, cajeput, caraway)
Laxative – Mildly promotes evacuation of the bowels. (black pepper, fennel, rose)
Lethargy – A lack of energy and enthusiasm. A pathological state of sleepiness or deep unresponsiveness and inactivity. (jasmine, may chang, patchouli, saro)
Leucocytosis – Raises number of white blood cells in the blood.
Leucorrhea – Whitish vaginal discharge. (spearmint, thyme, benzoin, hyssop)
Leukocyte – A colorless cell that circulates in the blood and body fluids and is involved in counteracting foreign substances and disease; a white (blood) cell. There are several types, all amoeboid cells with a nucleus, including lymphocytes, granulocytes, monocytes, and macrophages.
Libidogenic – Beneficial for the libido.
Liniment: From the Latin word linere, to smear, any medicinal liquid – usually containing a volatile oil – that is rubbed on externally. Liniments are liquid at room temperature, whereas ointments are semisolid.
Lipid – Any of a class of organic compounds that are fatty acids or their derivatives and are insoluble in water but soluble in organic solvents. They include many natural oils, waxes, and steroids.
Lipolytic – Causing lipolysis which is the chemical disintegration of fats. (coriander)
Listeria – A type of bacterium that infects humans and other warm-blooded animals through contaminated food. (oregano)
Litholytic – An agent that dissolves calculi.
Lumbago – Pain in the muscles and joints of the lower back. (lavender) (also see analgesic, anti-inflammatory oils)
Lymphatic System – The network of vessels through which lymph drains from the tissues into the blood.
Macerate – To soak until soft.
Malaria – An intermittent and remittent fever caused by a protozoan parasite that invades the red blood cells. The parasite is transmitted by mosquitoes in many tropical and subtropical regions. (cananga, eucalyptus globulus, lemon)
Marc: The plant material left over after squeezing out all the menstruum to make a tincture.
Maturating – Substance that helps to bring tumors, boils, and ulcers to a head. (bergamot, cajeput, eucalyptus, lemon)
Menopause – The normal cessation of menstruation. (davana, fennel, geranium, lavender, sage, star anise, yarrow, angelica, german chamomile, cinnamon bark, clary sage, cypress) (Learn more about natural treatments for menopause)
Menorrhagia – Excessive blood loss during menstruation. (fleabane)
Menstruum: The liquid solvent used to extract the medicinal constituents from a plant. In tincture making, the most widely used menstruum is a mixture of water and ethanol, although substances as varied as wine, vinegar and glycerin may be used. When making medicinal tea, water is the menstruum.
Metastasis – The development of secondary malignant growths at a distance from a primary site of cancer.
Metrorrhagia – Uterine bleeding outside the normal menstrual cycle. (fleabane)
Microbes – Minute living organisms such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses. (mountain savory, ravensara)
Microcirculation – Circulation of the blood in the smallest blood vessels. (lemon)
mL (ml): Abbreviation for milliliter, a common measurement for tinctures; 5 mL equals 1 teaspoon, 15 mL is equivalent to 1 tablespoon and 30 mL equals 1 ounce.
Mononucleosis – An abnormally high proportion of monocytes in the blood. (ravensara)
MRSA – Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is a bacterium that causes infections in different parts of the body. It’s tougher to treat than most strains of staphylococcus aureus — or staph — because it’s resistant to some commonly used antibiotics. (oregano, thyme, clove, cinnamon, tea tree)
Mucilage – Substance containing demulcent gelatinous constituents. (violet leaf)
Mucolytic – Breaking down mucus. (white fir, balsam fir, davana, goldenrod, helichrysum, holy basil, hyssop, peppermint, sage, spearmint, swamp paperbark, tansy, tsuga)
Myelin – Fatty material enveloping the majority of nerve cells.
Narcotic – Substance inducing sleep. (wormwood, anise, fennel, tuberose)
Nephritis – Inflammation of the kidneys. (ledum)
Nervine – Acts on the nervous system – often as a tonic, so good for nervous disorders. (basil, clary sage, juniper, lavender, peppermint, rosemary)
Neuralgia – Stabbing pain along a nerve pathway. (marjoram, neroli, peppermint, pine, rosemary, tansy, yarrow, yuzu, allspice, bay laurel, black pepper, citronella, coriander, geranium)
Neurasthenia – Nervous exhaustion. (palmarosa, petitgrain, pine, rosemary, sandalwood, spruce, allspice, cumin, elemi, fir needle, lemongrass)
Neuromuscular – Of or relating to nerves and muscles.
Neuroprotective – Neuroprotection is an effect that may result in salvage, recovery or regeneration of the nervous system, its cells, structure and function. It is thought there are many neurochemical modulators of nervous system damage.
Neurotoxin – A substance having a toxic or harmful effect on the nervous system. (wormwood, camphor, mugwort)
Noncomedeogenic – (Especially of a cosmetic or skin-care product) not causing clogged pores or blackheads.
Nootropic – Used to enhance memory or other cognitive functions. (calamus, lemon, rosemary, thyme)
Ointment: A medicated preparation made of fats or waxes; for external use only. An ointment is semisolid at cold or room temperature and liquefies at body temperature.
Olfaction – Sense of smell.
Oliguria – Low volume of urine.
Ophthalmia – Inflammation of the eye.
Ostitis – Inflammation of the eye.
Oxidation – Related to the addition of oxygen to an organic molecule, or the removal of electrons or hydrogen from the molecule.
Palpitations – Undue awareness of heartbeat, or rapid heartbeat or abnormal rhythm of the heart. (lavender, lemon verbena, melissa, neroli, rose, rosemary, tansy, ylang ylang, clary sage)
Paraciticide – Destroys parasites. (thuja, cinnamon bark)
Parasympathetic Nervous System – The part of the autonomic nervous system that contains chiefly cholinergic fibers, that tends to induce secretion, to increase the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, and to slow heart rate, and that consists of a cranial and a sacral part.
Parturient – Assisting and helping childbirth. (nutmeg, jasmine)
Pathogenic – Pathogenic is a medical term that describes viruses, bacteria, and other types of germs that can cause some kind of disease. The flu, various parasites, and athlete’s foot fungus are all considered to be pathogenic.
Pectoral – Substance that heals complaints of the lungs. (cedarwood, marjoram, peppermint, yarrow)
Peptic – Pertaining to gastric secretions as well as areas affected by them.
Pericarditis – Inflammation of the pericardium (the membrane enclosing the heart, consisting of an outer fibrous layer and an inner double layer of serous membrane). (saro)
Peridontitis – Inflammation of the tissue around the teeth, often causing shrinkage of the gums and loosening of the teeth. (myrrh)
Peristaltic – Substance that stimulates and increases muscular contraction of the stomach and intestine. (black pepper, fennel, patchouli)
Perc/Percolation: An uncommon method of making a tincture whereby the ground-up plant material sits in a funnel-shaped percolator (wider at the top, narrower toward the bottom) and the menstruum is poured over it. The menstruum then percolates through the plant matter in much the same way as water does through a drip coffeemaker. This method is said to produce stronger tinctures of certain plants, as more of the plant matter is exposed to more of the menstruum for greater extraction. Percolating takes significantly less time than macerating.
Pheromone – Chemical messenger used between people.
Phlebitis – Inflammation of the walls of a vein. (tea tree, bitter orange, helichrysum, lavender)
Phlebotonic – Having a toning action on the veins. (goldenrod)
Phlegm – The thick viscous substance secreted by the mucous membranes of the respiratory passages, especially when produced in excessive or abnormal quantities, e.g., when someone is suffering from a cold.
Photosensitivity – Photosensitivity is an abnormally high sensitivity to sunlight. Most people are at risk of developing sunburn during long exposure to sunlight. Exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun can also lead to skin damage and skin cancer.
Phototoxic – A toxic response that is elicited after the initial exposure of skin to certain chemicals and subsequent exposure to light, or that is induced by skin irradiation after systemic administration (oral, intravenous) of a chemical substance.
Phytohormone – Plant substances mimicking the actions of human hormones.
Phytotherapy – Treatment of disease with plant material, including herbal medicine.
Pineal Gland – A pea-sized conical mass of tissue behind the third ventricle of the brain, secreting a hormone-like substance in some mammals.
Pituitary Gland – The major endocrine gland. A pea-sized body attached to the base of the brain, the pituitary is important in controlling growth and development and the functioning of the other endocrine glands.
Pleurisy – Inflammation of the pleurae, which impairs their lubricating function and causes pain when breathing. It is caused by pneumonia and other diseases of the chest or abdomen. (thyme)
Pneumonia – Lung inflammation caused by bacterial or viral infection, in which the air sacs fill with pus and may become solid. Inflammation may affect both lungs (double pneumonia), one lung (single pneumonia), or only certain lobes (lobar pneumonia). (oregano, peppermint, ravensara, saro)
Polypus – Non-malignant type of growth.
Pomade – Perfumed fat obtained during the enfleurage extraction method.
Poultice: Plant matter – usually moistened, mashed or chewed – applied to the skin at the site of a trauma, bruise or wound. Often secured with gauze.
Prophylactic – Preventative of disease or infection.
Prostatitis – Inflammation of the prostate gland. (ledum, spruce, yarrow)
Protective – Substance that serves as a protective covering to an inflamed surface when applied locally. (chamomile, lavender, sandalwood)
Pruritis – Severe itching of the skin, as a symptom of various ailments. (spearmint)
Pseudomona – A bacterium of a genus that occurs in soil and detritus, including a number that are pathogens of plants or animals.
Psoriasis – A chronic skin disease characterized by red patches and silver scaling. (benzoin, bergamot, cajeput, carrot seed, coriander, cedarwood, geranium, helichrysum, juniper, lavender, mugwort, myrtle, peppermint, spruce, thyme)
Pulmonary – Pertaining to the lungs.
Purgative – Strongly laxative in effect. (douglas fir)
Pyelitis – Inflammation of the kidneys.
Pyorrhea – Periodontitis, also known as pyorrhea, is a set of inflammatory diseases affecting the periodontium, i.e., the tissues that surround and support the teeth. Periodontitis involves progressive loss of the alveolar bone around the teeth, and if left untreated, can lead to the loosening and subsequent loss of teeth. (tea tree, lemon, cinnamon, mustard)
Pyrosis – Pyrosis and heartburn are interchangeable. (peppermint, cardamom)
Quinsy – Inflammation of the throat, especially an abscess in the region of the tonsils. (black pepper)
Rectification – Process of re-distilling essential oils to rid them of certain constituents.
Reflexaromatherapy – The art of combining reflexology and aromatherapy to increase the efficacy of both healing modalities. (Learn more about ReflexAromatherapy)
Refrigerant – Substance with cooling properties. It lowers body temperatures and relieves thirst. (bergamot, black pepper, eucalyptus)
Regenerative – Tending to or characterized by regeneration.
Regulating – Balances the body’s systems. (geranium, lavender, ylang ylang)
Relaxant – Used to promote relaxation or reduce tension. (davana, marjoram, mullein, allspice)
Renal Calculi – A common cause of blood in the urine and pain in the abdomen, flank, or groin. Occurs in 1 in 20 people at some time in their life. Development of the stones is related to decreased urine volume or increased excretion of stone-forming components such as calcium, oxalate, urate, cystine, xanthine, and phosphate. (ledum)
Renoprotective – Exerts a protective effect on the kidneys. (black seed)
Resin – Natural or prepared product – natural resins are exudations from trees, prepared resins are oleoresins from which the essential oil has been removed.
Resinoid – Perfumed material extracted from natural resinous material by solvent extraction.
Resolvent – Substance that helps to decrease any growth of tissue mass, which persists and grows independently of its surrounding structures and has no physiological use. (chamomile, patchouli)
Restorative – Having the ability to restore health, strength, or a feeling of well-being. (lime, oakmoss, pine, spearmint)
Rheumatism – Any disease marked by inflammation and pain in the joints, muscles, or fibrous tissue, especially rheumatoid arthritis. (allspice, basil, benzoin, bergamot, birch, blue tansy, cajeput, camphor, carrot seed, cassia, cedarwood, cinnamon leaf, clove, coriander, cypress, eucalyptus globulus, fir needle, frankincense, galbanum, ginger, helichrysum, hyssop, juniper, lavender, lemon, lime, marjoram, naouli, nutmeg, oregano, parsley, peppermint, pine, rosemary, sage, spruce, star anise, tansy, thyme, vetiver, violet leaf, virginia cedarwood, wintergreen, yarrow)
Rheumatoid Arthritis – A chronic progressive disease causing inflammation in the joints and resulting in painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. (black pepper, cistus, pine)
Rhinopharyngitis – Inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose and pharynx. (ravensara)
Rhinoscleroma – Rhinoscleroma, or simply Scleroma, is a chronic granulomatous bacterial disease of the nose that can sometimes infect the upper respiratory tract. It most commonly affects the nasal cavity—the nose is involved in 95-100 per cent of cases—however, it can also affect the nasopharynx, larynx, trachea, and bronchi. (saro)
Rhizome – Underground stem that lasts for more than one season.
Ringworm – Ringworm is a fungal infection of the skin previously thought to be due to a parasite (worm). The medical term for ringworm is tinea. The skin infections are sometimes characterized by round lesions in the upper layers of the skin. Fungi that cause ringworm are known as dermatophytes. (swamp paperbark, bitter orange, geranium, kanuka, marjoram, myrrh, peru balsam)
Rosacea – A common skin condition that causes redness in your face and often produces small, red, pus-filled bumps. Although rosacea can occur in anyone, it most commonly affects middle-aged women who have fair skin. (geranium, tea tree, jojoba, rose hip, german chamomile, lavender, neroli, rosewood)
Rubefacient – Stimulates circulation locally and so causes redness of the skin. (black pepper, juniper, rosemary)
Salmonella – A bacterium that occurs mainly in the intestine, especially a serotype causing food poisoning. (celery seed, oregano)
Scabies – Scabies is an itchy skin condition caused by a tiny burrowing mite called Sarcoptes scabiei. The presence of the mite leads to intense itching in the area of its burrows. (cornmint)
Sciatica – Pain down the back of the legs in the area serviced by the sciatic nerve. (spruce, tansy, tarragon, thyme, blue tansy, cardamom, helichrysum)
Sclerosant – Used to treat vascular issues like spider veins, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Sclerosis – Hardening of tissue due to inflammation.
Scrofula – Tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands.
Seborrhea – Increased secretion of sebum. (spruce)
Shingles – An acute, painful inflammation of the nerve ganglia, with a skin eruption often forming a girdle around the middle of the body. It is caused by the same virus as chickenpox. (lemon, marjoram, geranium, ravensara, eucalyptus citriodora, eucalyptus globulus) (Learn more about natural treatments for shingles)
Sialogogue – Substance that promotes secretion and flow of saliva. (basil, marjoram)
Sinusitis – Inflammation of the lining membrane in any of the hollow areas (sinuses) of the skull around the nose. Sinusitis may be caused by anything that interferes with air flow into the sinuses and the drainage of mucous out of the sinuses. (basil, cajeput, clove, eucalyptus citriodora, eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus radiata, fir needle, ginger, kanuka, lime, marjoram, mullein, naouli, pine, ravensara, spearmint, tea tree, thyme) (Learn more about natural treatments for sinusitis)
Solid extract: The result of evaporating the liquid from a fluid extract to produce a thick molasses-like substance that is highly concentrated.
Soporific – A substance which helps to induce sleep.
Spermatorrhea – Involuntary emission of sperm without orgasm. (benzoin)
Splenetic – A tonic for the spleen. (black pepper, fennel, lavender, rose)
Splenic – Pertaining to the spleen.
Stimulant – Has a invigorating action on the body and circulation. (black pepper, peppermint, rosemary, tea tree)
Stomachic – A tonic of the stomach – helps digestion and improves appetite. (basil, black pepper, fennel, juniper, peppermint, rose, rosemary)
Stomatitis – Inflammation of the mucus membranes of the mouth.
Styptic – An agent that stops external bleeding. (fleabane, geranium, rose geranium, cypress)
Succus: Latin for juice, a liquid pressed from fresh plant matter and preserved with just enough alcohol to keep it from spoiling.
Sudorific – Causes or increases perspiration. (basil, ginger, hyssop, juniper, lavender, melissa, peppermint, rosemary)
Sympathetic Nervous System – The part of the autonomic nervous system that contains chiefly adrenergic fibers and tends to depress secretion, decrease the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, and increase heart rate.
Synergy – Agents working together and in harmony to produce an effect greater than the sum of the two separate agents.
Syrup: Infusions or decoctions thickened or preserved with sugar. Often used for children to make a remedy more palatable, e.g., wild cherry (Prunus serotina) cough syrup.
Tachycardia – Tachycardia, also called tachyarrhythmia, is a heart rate that exceeds the normal resting rate. In general, a resting heart rate over 100 beats per minute is accepted as tachycardia in adults. (goldenrod, neroli, spikenard, ylang ylang)
Tannin – An astringent substance that helps seal tissues.
Tea: An aqueous herbal extract, an infusion (Europeans call it a tisane). Mix 1 ounce of dried herb with 2 cups of boiling water and let steep.
Terpeneless – Essential oil from which monoterpene hydrocarbons have been removed.
Thrombosis – The formation or presence of a blood clot in a blood vessel. The vessel may be any vein or artery as, for example, in a deep vein thrombosis or a coronary (artery) thrombosis. The clot itself is termed a thrombus. (helichrysum, yarrow)
Thrush – A fungal infection in the mouth or vaginal area. (bergamot, myrrh, tea tree)
Tincture – Referring to either a herbal or perfume material prepared in an alcohol base.
Tonic – Tones the body generally, or in one area. Can be mildly stimulating and has a restorative effect. (black pepper, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, juniper, lavender, patchouli, peppermint, rose, rosemary, tea tree)
Tonsillitis – Tonsillitis is inflammation of the tonsils, two oval-shaped pads of tissue at the back of the throat — one tonsil on each side. Signs and symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen tonsils, sore throat, difficulty swallowing and tender lymph nodes on the sides of the neck. (frankincense, hyssop, geranium, mullein, tea tree, thyme, violet leaf, bergamot)
Torticollis – Cervical dystonia, also called spasmodic torticollis, is a painful condition in which your neck muscles contract involuntarily, causing your head to twist or turn to one side. Cervical dystonia can also cause your head to uncontrollably tilt forward or backward. (sage)
Tracheitis – Inflammation of the windpipe. (mullein)
Tranquilizer – A substance or medicine taken to reduce tension or anxiety. (bitter orange, calamus, vanilla)
Tuberculosis – Tuberculosis, commonly known as TB, is a contagious and an often severe airborne disease caused by a bacterial infection. TB typically affects the lungs, but it also may affect any other organ of the body. (tea tree, thyme, cedarwood, clove, cypress, eucalyptus globulus, mullein, myrtle, oregano, peppermint)
Typhoid – Also called typhoid fever. an infectious, often fatal, febrile disease, usually of the summer months, characterized by intestinal inflammation and ulceration, caused by the typhoid bacillus, which is usually introduced with food or drink. (frankincense, ravensara)
Ulceration – Breaks in skin or mucous membranes that are often accompanied by loss of tissue on the surface. Ulcerations are the process of tissue becoming ulcerated. (holy basil)
Unguent – A soothing or healing salve or balm.
Urethritis – Urethritis is inflammation of the urethra. That’s the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside the body. Pain with urination is the main symptom of urethritis. Urethritis is commonly due to infection by bacteria. (kanuka, thyme)
Uricolytic – Breaks down uric acid in the body.
Urticaria – Weal on the skin. (lavender)
Uterine – A tonic of the uterus. (clary sage, frankincense, jasmine, rose)
Vaginitis – Vaginitis is an inflammation of the vagina that can result in discharge, itching and pain. The cause is usually a change in the normal balance of vaginal bacteria or an infection. Vaginitis can also result from reduced estrogen levels after menopause. (rosewood, spearmint, yarrow, eucalyptus globulus, eucalyptus radiata)
Varicose Veins – A vein that has enlarged and twisted, often appearing as a bulging, blue blood vessel that is clearly visible through the skin. (yarrow, cypress, helichrysum, lemon, lemongrass, lime, peppermint, rosemary, rue)
Vasoconstrictor – When applied locally causes constriction of the blood vessels. (peppermint, german chamomile, cypress, fir needle)
Vasodilator – An agent causing the dilation of blood vessel walls. (violet leaf, marjoram)
Vermifuge – An agent expelling intestinal worms. (mugwort, naouli, peppermint, rose geranium, tansy, tarragon, thuja, thyme, vanilla, vitex, wormwood, cajeput, camphor, caraway, carrot seed, german chamomile, roman chamomile, fennel, fleabane, geranium, hyssop, lemon)
Vertigo – A sensation of whirling and loss of balance, associated particularly with looking down from a great height, or caused by disease affecting the inner ear or the vestibular nerve; giddiness. (black pepper, melissa, neroli, peppermint)
Viscous – Having a thick, sticky consistency between solid and liquid; having a high viscosity.
Vitiligo – A condition in which the pigment is lost from areas of the skin, causing whitish patches, often with no clear cause. (geranium)
Volatile – Substance that is unstable and evaporates easily, like an essential oil.
Vulnerary – When applied externally heals cuts, sores and open wounds. (benzoin, bergamot, frankincense, geranium, juniper, lavender, rosemary, tea tree)
Whooping Cough – Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. In many people, it’s marked by a severe hacking cough followed by a high-pitched intake of breath that sounds like “whoop.” (camphor, clary sage, cypress, kanuka, lavender, mullein, naouli, oregano, rosemary, tea tree, thyme, violet leaf)The Healing Art of Aromatherapy AND The Healing Art of Reflexology mini-courses – at absolutely no cost!