HERBAL MEDICINE TERMINOLOGY

commonly used medical herbalist terms | herbalist study guide | common herbal & apothecary terms | medical terminology for herbalists | herbal properties & actions | herbal healing qualities

GLOSSARY OF HERBAL ACTIONS

(Commonly Used)

abortifacient:  causing abortion or miscarriage

adaptogen:  increases the body’s resistance to stress

agonist:  prolongs the action of other medicines or substances made by the body

alterative:  gradually restores proper function, overall health and vitality to the body

anabolic:  promotes tissue growth

analgesic/anodyne:  reduces pain

analog (analogue):  a substitute; having a similar chemical compound structure

anaphrodisiac:  reduces libido

anesthetic:  reduces or removes sensation

antagonist:  opposes the action of other medicines

anti-angiogenic:  prevents abnormal, excessive blood vessel growth such as is found in diseases such as cancer and age-related blindness

anti-arthritic:  protects joints and relieves pain and inflammation associated with arthritis

anthelmintic:  destroys or expels parasitic worms

antibiotic:  inhibits growth, or kills microorganisms

anticatarrhal:  helps the body remove excess mucus in sinuses or other parts of the body

anticoagulant:  prevents blood clotting

anti-fungalprevents the growth of fungi

antihistamine:  blocks effects of histamine

anti-inflammatory:  reduces inflammation

antimicrobial:  strengthen the body’s ability to destroy pathogenic microorganisms

antioxidant:  prevents free radical, or oxidative damage

antipyretic:  reduces fever

antiseptic:  prevents and destroys microbes

antispasmodic: reduces muscle spasm

anti-tussive:  soothe and relieves coughing

aperient:  mild laxative

aphrodisiac:  increases libido

aseptic:  free from contamination by harmful bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms

astringent: tightens mucus membranes and skin, reducing secretions and bleeding from abrasions

bitter:  stimulates the secretion of saliva and digestive juices, increasing appetite

cardiotonic:  improves heart function

carminative:  relieves digestive gas and indigestion

cathartic:  an extreme and drastic purgative, or laxative

circulatory stimulant:  increases blood flow, usually to a given area

counterirritant:  superficial irritant used to relieve deep-seated pain or discomfort

demulcent:  coats, soothes and protects body surfaces (ie: the gastric mucous membranes)

depurative:  detoxifying agent

diaphoretic:  increases sweating

diuretic: stimulates urine flow

emetic:  causes vomiting

emmenagogue:  stimulates menstrual flow

emollient: softens or soothes the skin

estrogenic:  having a similar action to estrogen, supporting and maintaining the female reproductive organs.

expectorant:  stimulates coughing and helps clear phlegm from the throat and chest

febrifuge:  reduces fever

hallucinogenic:  causes visions or hallucinations

hemostatic:  stops or reduces bleeding

hepatoprotective:  protects the liver

hypnotic:  induces sleep

hypoglycemic:  lowers blood glucose levels

immune stimulant:  Stimulates the body’s immune defenses

laxative:  promotes evacuation of the bowels

narcotic:  Causes drowsiness or stupor and relieves pain

nervine:  Restores the nerves; relaxes the nervous system

oxytocic:  Induces contractions of the uterus

parasiticide:  kills parasites

purgative:  a very strong laxative

rubefacient:  stimulates blood flow to the skin, causing reddening and warming

sedative:  reduces activity and nervous excitement

spasmolytic:  relaxes muscles

stimulant:  increases rate of activity and nervous excitement

stomachic:  eases stomach pain or increases stomach activity

styptic:  stops bleeding when applied topically

tonic:  exerts a restorative or nourishing action on the body

vasoconstrictor:  Contracts and narrows blood vessels

vermifuge:  expels intestinal worms

vulnerary:  heals wounds

GLOSSARY OF MEDICAL TERMS

Extensive List

A

abortifacient:

abscess:

absolute:

aceylcholine:

achlorhydria:

acid:

acidosis:

acrid:

ACTH: (Adrenocorticotropic Hormone)

acupressure:

acupuncture:

acute:

acute abdomen:

adaptogen:

adenoma:

Addison’s disease:

adenitis:

adenocarcinoma:

ADH:

adhesion:

adipose:

adjuvant:

adjuvant chemotherapy:

administration:

adrenaline:

adrenergic:

adrenocoricotropic hormone (ACTH):

adverse drug reaction (ADR):

aerophagay:

aflatoxin:

agar:

agglutinin:

agonist:

agranulocytosis:

ague:

AIDS:

AIDS-related complex arc:

albumin:

albuminuria:

aldosterone:

alga:

alkaline phosphatase:

alkaline:

alkaloids:

alkalosis:

allelochemicals:

allelopathy:

allergen:

allergy:

alliaceous:

allogenic transplant:

alopecia:

alternative:

Alzheimer’s disease:

amebiasis:

amebic dysentery:

amenorrhea:

amino acid:

amoebicidal:

amphoteric:

amylase:

anabolic:  Promotes tissue growth

anobolism:

anagesic:

analog (analogue):

anaphrodisiac:

anaphylaxis:

androgen:

anemia:

aneshetic:

aneurysm:

angina:

angina pectoris:

angiosperm:

angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE):

annual:

anodyne:

anodynia:

anorexia:

anorexia nervosa:

anoxia:

anorexiant:

antacid:

antagonism:

antagonist:

anthelmintic:

anther:

anthocyanidin:

anthraquinone:

antianemic:

antiarthritic:

antibacterial:

antibiotic:

antibody:

anticatarrhal:

anticoagulant:

anticonvulsant:

antidepressant:

antidiarrheal:

antidiuretic hormone:

antidote:

antiemetic:

antifungal:

antigen:

antihemorrhagic:

antihepatoxic:

antihistamine:

antihypertensive:

anti-inflammatory:

 

 

 

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Herbal Properties & Actions

Active constituents including properties, functions & biological activities of medicinal herbs.

Abortifacient

Some herbs have a stimulating, or irritating action on the uterus. When used in large amounts (especially long term) they can induce miscarriage, or potentially harm the fetus and mother.

adaptogen:  increases body’s resistance to stress

anabolic:  promotes tissue growth

analgesic:  reduces pain

analog (analogue):  a substitute; having a similar chemical compound structure

anaphrodisiac:  reduces libido

anesthetic:  reduces or removes sensation

anorexia:  loss of appetite

anthelmintic:  destroys or expels parasitic worms

anthraquinone:  promotes bowel movement via irritation of the intestinal walls

antibiotic:  inhibits growth, or kills microorganisms

anticoagulant:  prevents blood clotting

antifungal:  prevents growth of fungi

antihistamine:  blocks effects of histamine

anti-inflammatory:  reduces inflammation

 antimicrobial:  strengthen body’s ability to destroy pathogenic microorganisms

antioxidant:  prevents free radical, or oxidative damage

antipyretic:  reduces fever

antiseptic:  prevents and destroys microbes

antispasmodic: reduces muscle spasm

 

 

 

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“I am still learning.”

~ Michelangelo at age 87

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