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Glossary for herbs and Ingredients:
Angelica, Latin name: Angelica
archangelica, A atropurpurea
Astragalus, Latin name: Astragalus membranaceus
Bugleweed, Latin name: Lycopus
Burdock Root, Latin name: Arctium lappa
C. Monogyna, used as treatment
for the heart and any heart conditions
Chinese Ginseng, Latin name: Panax Ginseng
Chinese Yam, Latin name: Dioscorea spp., D. opposita,
Codonopsis, Latin name: Codonopsis tangshen, C.
Dan shen, Red Root Sage, Latin
name: Salvia miltiorrhiza
Dang Qui, Tangkuei, Dong
Latin name: Angelica sinesis
Devil's Club, Latin name: Oplopanax horridum
Fu ling, (Hoelen Fungus), Latin
Fenugreek, Latin name: Trigonella foenum-graecum
Gan jiang, Ginger, Latin name: Zingiberis
Garlic, Latin name: Allium
Ginkgo, Latin name: Ginkgo biloba
Gui pi, Cinnamon (Chinese
cinnamon not Ceylon), Latin name: Cinnamonium cassia
Gymnema, Gumar ( "sugar destroyer" in
Hindi), Sharduku, Latin name: Gymnema sylvestri
Hawthorn, Latin name: Crataegus oxycanthoides,
Jambol Seed, Latin name: Eugenia jambolana or
Maitake and Ganoderma (Reishi):
Medicinal mushrooms have also shown some activity against diabetes.
Motherwort, Latin name: Leonurus cardiaca for
palpitations associated with anxiety, stress or female reproductive
issues like menopause
Tree Peony, Latin name: Paeonia suffruticosa
Prickly Ash, Latin name: Xanthoxylum
americanum or X. clava-herculis
Reishi mushrooms, Latin name: Ganoderma lucidum
Rue, Latin name: Ruta graveolens
Sweet Melilot, Yellow or White
Sweet Clover, Latin name: Melilotus
officinalis, M. alba
Glossary for medical terms
Adaptogenic : Helping the human organism adapt to stressful conditions.
Aerophagy : An excess of air in the alimentary canal that is relieved
through burping or flatulence.
Ague : An intermittent fever, sometimes with chills, as in malaria.
Alkaloid : A large, varied group of complex nitrogen-containing
compounds, usually alkaline, that react with acids to form soluble
salts, many of which have physiological effects on humans. Includes
nicotine, cocaine, caffeine, etc.
Alterative : A medicinal substance that gradually restores health
and the nutritional state of the body.
Amenorrhea : Absence or suppression of menstruation.
Anaesthetic : Numbs the nerves and causes loss of sensation.
Analgesic : A medicine which relieves or reduces pain.
Anaphrodisiac : Reduces sexual desire.
Anhydrotic : Stops sweating.
Anodyne : A pain-relieving medicine, milder than analgesic.
Antacid : Neutralizes the acid produced by the stomach. Do the
self-test to see if excessive acid is the cause of indigestion.
Anthelmintic : An agent that kills, destroys and expels worms from
the intestines. Same as vermifuge.
Anti-aphrodisiac : Suppressing sexual desire.
Antibacterial : Destroys or stops the growth of bacteria.
Antibilious : An herb that combats biliousness. The term biliousness
refers to a group of symptoms consisting of nausea,
abdominal discomfort, headache, constipation, and gas that is caused
by an excessive secretion of bile.
Antibiotic : An agent that inhibits the growth or multiplication
of, or kills, a living organism; usually used in reference to bacteria
or other microorganisms.
Anti-convulsant : Reducing or relieving convulsions or cramps.
Antidepressant : Reduces or prevents depression.
Antidiarrhoeic : Relieves diarrhea.
Antidote : Counteracts a poison.
Anti-emetic : Prevents, counteracts or alleviates nausea and vomiting.
Anti-epileptic : An agent that combats the convulsions or seizures
Antifungal : An agent that inhibits the growth or multiplication
of fungi, or kills them outright.
Antigalactagogue : Prevents or decreases the production of milk
secretion of nursing mothers.
Antihistaminic : Neutralizing the effect or inhibiting production
Anti-inflammatory : Reducing or neutralizing inflammation.
Anti-lithic : Aids in preventing the formation of stones or
calculus in the kidneys and bladder.
Antimicrobial : An agent that inhibits the growth or multiplication
of microorganisms, or kills them.
Antineuralgic : Stops nerve pain.
Anti-oxidant : Preventing oxidation; a preservative.
Antiparasitical : Destructive to parasites.
Anti-periodic : Prevents the periodic recurrence of attacks of
a disease; as in malaria.
Antiphlogistic : An agent that counteracts, reduces or prevents
Antipruritic : Relieves or prevents itching.
Antiputrid : Stops putrefaction.
Antipyretic : Reduces fever. Same as febrifuge or refrigerant.
Anti-rheumatic : An agent that relieves or cures rheumatism.
Antisclerotic : Removes deposits from circulatory vessels.
Antiscorbutic : An agent effective in preventing scurvy.
Antiseptic : Preventing sepsis, decay, putrefaction; also, an agent
that inhibits the growth of, and kills, germs, bacteria & microbes.
Antispasmodic : Relieves or prevents spasms, cramps, and convulsions.
Antisudorific : Reduces perspiration.
Anti-syphilitic : Herbs that improve or cure syphilis. Also called
Antitoxic : Counteracts poisons.
Antitumor : Preventing or effective against tumors or cancers.
Antitussive : Preventing or relieving cough.
Antivenomous : Acts against poisonous matter from animals and snakes.
Antiviral : An agent that inhibits growth or multiplication of
viruses, or kills them.
Antizymotic : Herbs that can destroy disease-producing organisms.
Aperient : A gentle purgative of the bowels.
Aperitif : Appetite stimulant.
Aphasia : Inability to express oneself properly through speech
or loss of verbal comprehension; sensory and motor areas may be involved.
Aphrodisiac : Increasing or exciting sexual desire.
Apoplexy : The result of a stroke (cerbrovascular accident (CVA)).
Aromatic : Agents which emit a fragrant smell and produce a pungent
taste. Used chiefly to make other medicines more palatable.
Ascaris : Roundworm (also called maw-worm and eelworm) found in
the small intestine causing colicky pains and diarrhea, especially
Ascites : Excessive accumulation of serous fluid in the peritoneal
Asthenia : Lack or loss of strength, usually involving muscular
Astringent : An agent that causes tissue to contract.
Bactericidal : An agent that kills bacteria.
Balsam : The resin of a tree that is healing and soothing, e.g.
Balsamic : Softens phlegm.
Bitter tonic : Bitter-tasting properties which stimulate the flow
of saliva and gastric juice. Used to increase the appetite
and aid in the process of digestion.
Bolus : A suppository injected into the rectum or vagina.
Bronchodilator : Expands the spastic bronchial tube.
Calmative : An agent with mild sedative, tranquilising or calming
Cardiac : Stimulates or affects the heart.
Cardioactive : Affecting the heart.
Cardiotonic : Tones the heart muscle.
Carminative : An agent that relieves and removes gas from the digestive
Cataplasm : Another name for poultice.
Catarrh : An inflammation of the mucous membranes with a free discharge.
This has special reference to the air passages of the
head and throat, e.g. hayfever, rhinitis, influenza, bronchitis,
Cathartic : A powerful purgative or laxative, causing severe evacuation,
with or without pain.
Cephalic : Referring to diseases affecting the head and upper part
of the body.
Cholagogue : An agent that increases bile flow to the intestines.
Choleretic : Stimulates the production of bile.
Chorea : Nervous disorder marked by muscular twitching of arms,
legs and face.
Cicatrisant : Helps the formation of scar tissue; healing.
CNS : Central nervous system.
Coagulant : Clots the blood.
Condiment : Enhances the flavour of food.
Cordial : A stimulating medicine or drink.
Counterirritant : An agent that produces inflammation or irritation
when applied locally to affect another, usually irritated
surface to stimulate circulation, e.g. a mustard plaster or liniment.
Cystitis : Inflammation of the urinary bladder.
Cytophylactic : Protects the cells of the organism.
Cytotoxic : An agent that is toxic to certain organs, tissues,
Decoction : A preparation made by boiling a plant part in water.
Compare with Infusion.
Decongestant : Relieves congestion.
Demulcent : An agent that soothes and softens irritated tissue,
particularly mucous membranes.
Demulcent febrifuge : Reduces heat while building bodily fluids.
Deobstruent : Removes obstructions by opening natural passages
or pores of the body.
Depurative : Tends to purify and cleanse the blood and internal
organs. Same as blood purifier.
Dermatomycoses : Skin infection caused by fungi.
Detergent : An agent that cleanses boils, sores, wounds etc.
Detersive : Detergent. Cleanses wounds and sores, and promotes
the formation of scar tissue.
Detoxicant : Removes toxins.
Diaphoretic : An agent that induces sweating or perspiration.
Digestant : Contains substances (i.e. ferments, acids) which aid
Digestive : An agent that promotes digestion.
Discutient : An agent that dissolves or causes something, such
as a tumor, to disappear. Also called discussive.
Disinfectant : Kills infections and disease producing microorganisms.
Diuretic : An agent that increases the secretion and elimination
Drastic : A violent purgative.
Dropsy : Generalized edema (swelling).
Dyskinesia : Defect in voluntary movement.
Dyspepsia : Indigestion.
Dyspnea : Sense of difficulty in breathing, often associated with
lung or heart disease.
Ecbolic : See abortifacient.
Emetic : An agent that induces vomiting.
Emmenagogue : A substance that promotes or assists the flow of
Emollient : An agent that softens the skin, and soothes inflamed
and irritated tissues, when applied locally.
Enteritis : Inflammation of the small intestine.
Enterorrhagia : Hemorrhage from the intestine.
Enuresis : Involuntary urination.
Ephidrosis : Abnormal amount of sweating.
Epigastric : Upper middle region of the abdomen.
Eructation : Belching.
Erysipelis : An acute disease of skin and subcutaneous tissue with
spreading inflammation and swelling.
Esculent : Edible or fit for eating.
Estrogenic : A substance, similar to estrogen, that induces female
Euphoriant : Brings on an exaggerated sense of physical and emotional
Exanthematous : Refers to any eruptive disease or fever. An herbal
remedy for skin eruptions such as measles, scarlet
Exophthalmic : Protrusion of the eyeball.
Expectorant : An agent that induces the discharge of mucous secretions
from the lungs and bronchial tubes.
Farinaceous : Of the nature of flour or meal. Starchy or containing
Febrifuge : That which reduces or prevents fever. Same as antipyretic
Fistula : Abnormal tube like passage from a normal cavity or tube
to a free surface or to another cavity.
Flux : Excessive flow or discharge. For example, in dysentery or
Fungicidal : An agent that kills fungi.
Galactagogue : Promotes or increases the secretion of milk in nursing
Gastralgia : Pain in the stomach.
Gastroenteritis : Inflammation of the stomach and intestinal tract.
Gastroptosis : Condition in which the stomach occupies an abnormally
low position in the abdomen.
Germicide : Kills germs.
Gleet : A urethral discharge, either of mucus or pus; commonly
seen in the chronic form of gonorrheal urethritis.
Hallucinogen : Induces hallucinations - an imagined or false sense
Hemiplegia : Paralysis of one half of the body.
Hemostatic : An agent that stops bleeding.
Hepatic : An herb that promotes the well-being of the liver and
increases the secretion of bile.
Herpatic : A remedy for skin eruptions, ringworm etc.
Homeopathic : Relating to homeopathy, a system of medicine founded
in the late 1700's by Samuel Hahnemann. The system is
based on the principle that "like cures like". Practitioners believe that
a substance that produces a set of symptoms in a well person will,
in minute, "potentised" doses, cure those same symptoms
in a diseased individual.
Homeostasis : Equilibrium of internal environment.
Hydrogogue : Promotes watery evacuation of bowels.
Hydrophobia : Rabies.
Hyperchlorhydria : Excess of hydrochloric acid in gastric secretion.
Hypertensive : Causing or marking a rise in blood pressure.
Hypertensor : Raises the blood pressure.
Hypnotic : Induces sleep.
Hypoglycemic : Causing a deficiency of blood sugar.
Hypotensive : Causing or marking a lowering of blood pressure.
Hypotensor : Lowers the blood pressure.
Immunostimulant : Stimulating various functions or activities of
the immune system.
Infusion : A preparation made by soaking a plant part in hot water
(or cold water, for a cold infusion); in essence, a "tea".
Insecticide : Kills insects.
Intercostal : Between the ribs.
Larvicide : Kills the larvae of insects.
Laxative : A mild purgative. An herb that acts to promote evacuation
of the bowels.
Leukorrhea : A whitish, viscid discharge from the vagina.
Lithotriptic : Causing the dissolution or destruction of stones
in the bladder or kidneys.
Lung fever : A severe lung infection, as pneumonia.
Maturating : An agent that promotes the maturing or bringing to
a head of boils, carbuncles etc.
Menorrhagia : Excessive bleeding during menstruation.
Mitogenic : An agent that affects cell division.
Monoplegia : Paralysis of a single limb or a single group of muscles.
Mortification : Gangrene.
Moxa : A dried herb substance burned on or above the skin to stimulate
an acupuncture point or serve as a counterirritant.
A famous technique of traditional Chinese medicine, using dried,
pressed leaves of Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris).
Mucilaginous : Pertaining to or resembling or containing mucilage:
slimy. Herbs that have a soothing effect on inflamed
Mydriatic : Dilates the pupil.
Narcotic : An addicting substance that reduces pain and produces
Nauseant : An herb that causes nausea and vomiting. Somewhat similar
to an emetic.
Nervine : An agent that affects, strengthens, or calms & soothes
Neurasthenia : Severe nerve weakness; nervous exhaustion.
Neurodermatitis : Inflammation of skin with itching that is associated
with emotional disturbance.
Nutrient or Nutritive : Nourishing, increases weight and density.
Ophthalmic : Healing for disorders and diseases of the eye.
Ophthalmicum : A remedy for diseases of the eye.
Osteomyelitis : Inflammation of the bone, especially the marrow.
Oxyuris : Genus of nematode intestinal worms which includes pinworms
(also called threadworm and seatworm).
Panacea : An agent good for what ails you, or what doesn't ail
you. A "cure-all".
Parasiticide : Kills parasites.
Parturient : A substance that induces and promotes labour.
Pectoral : Relieves disorders of the chest and lungs, as an expectorant.
Phagocytosis : Ingestion and digestion of bacteria and particles
Plethora : Overfullness of blood vessels or of the total quantity
of any fluid in the body.
Portal : Concerning entrance to an organ, especially that through
which blood is carried to liver.
Poultice : A moist, usually warm or hot mass of plant material
applied to the skin, or with cloth between the skin and plant material,
to effect a medicinal action.
Prophylactic : Agent which wards off disease.
Pruritis : Severe itching.
Pterygium : Opaque triangular thickening of tissue extending from
inner canthus to border or cornea with apex toward
the pupil of the eye.
Puerperal : Period following childbirth.
Pungent : Irritating or shapely painful. Producing a sharp sensation
of taste or smell.
Purgative : An agent that causes cleansing or watery evacuation
of the bowels, usually with griping (painful cramps).
Pyelitis : Inflammation of the pelvis of the kidney and its calices.
Quicksilver : An old term for mercury.
Quinsy : Peritonsillar abscess or tonsillitis.
Refrigerant : Relieves fever and thirst. A cooling remedy. Lowers
Regenerator : Promotes new growth or repair of structures or tissues.
Rejuvenator : Assists in promoting a youthful appearance.
Relaxant : Tends to relax and relieve tension, especially muscular
tension and produces relaxation.
Resolvent : Promotes the resolving and removing of swellings & abnormal
growths, such as a tumour.
Restorative : Restores consciousness and/or normal physiological
Rhinitis : Inflammation of nasal mucosa.
Rubefacient : An agent that causes reddening or irritation when
applied to the skin.
Saponin : A glycoside compound in plants, which, when shaken with
water, has a foaming or "soapy" action.
Scald head : Ringworm, or some similar affliction, of the scalp.
May also refer to a disease of the hair follicles with formation
of small yellow crusts and a very offensive odor; usually affects
Scorbutic : Concerning or affected with scurvy.
Scrofula : Tuberculosis involving the lymph nodes of the neck,
usually occurs in early life.
Sedative : Calms the nerves, anxiety, allays excitement, induces
relaxation, promotes drowsiness and is conducive to sleep.
Sialagogue : Promotes the flow of saliva.
Sleeping disease : Sleeping sickness; commonly found in Africa
. Also viral encephalitis in which lethargy is a prominent feature.
Soporific : Herbs that help to produce sleep.
Spasmolytic : Checking spasms or cramps.
Specific : A remedy having a curative effect on a particular disease
Spermatorrhea : Abnormally frequent involuntary loss of semen without
Spondylosis : Abnormal immobility and fixation of vertebral joints.
Stimulant : An agent that causes increased activity of another
agent, cell, tissue, organ, or organism.
Stomachic : Substances which give strength and tone to the stomach.
Also used to stimulate the appetite.
Strangury : A slow and painful passage of the urine due to spasm
of the urethra and urinary bladder.
Styptic : Checking bleeding by contracting blood vessels.
Subcostal : Beneath the ribs.
Sudorific : Herbs that promote or increase perspiration.
Tetters : A once popular name for various eczematous skin diseases.
May also refer to a skin disease of animals communicable
to man with intense itching.
Tincture : A diluted alcohol solution of plant parts.
Tinea capitis : Fungal skin disease of the scalp.
Tisane : A term used frequently in Europe referring to popular
herbal infusions, such as chamomile flowers etc., which are
commonly taken as a beverage or for mildly medicinal effects.
Teratogen : A substance that can cause the deformity of a fetus.
Tonic : An ambiguous term referring to a substance thought to have
an overall positive medicinal effect, typically strengthening
and revitalising the body or specific organs. (see adaptogenic).
Tranquiliser : Calms the nerves.
Tuberculostatic : Arresting the tubercle bacillus (the germ responsible
for causing tuberculosis).
Uterotonic : Having a positive effect on an unspecified nature
of the uterus.
Vasoconstrictor : An agent that causes blood vessels to constrict,
or narrow the calibre.
Vasodepressant : Lowers blood pressure by dilatation of blood vessels;
having a depressing influence on circulation.
Vasodilator : An agent that causes blood vessels to relax and dilate.
Vermicidal : Having worm-killing properties; an agent that kills
worms; a vermifuge. Also Vermicide.
Vermifuge : Having worm-killing properties; an agent that kills
Vesicant : An agent that causes blistering, such as poison ivy.
Vulnerary : An agent or herb used for healing wounds, sores, fresh
cuts etc., usually used as a poultice.
Whites(leukorrhea) : A whitish, viscid discharge from the vagina.
Zymotic : Caused by or pertaining to any infectious or contagious
This page is intended for informational purposes only. The content herein is the product of research. The author is neither a chemist nor an herbalist and has had no medical training whatsoever. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The products mentioned are not intended to accurately diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please always see your licensed health care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.