herbal terms.txt

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herbal
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177038
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herbal terms.txt
Updated:
2012-10-11 14:28:05
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Herbal terms
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Definitions and terms used in herbal medicine
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  1. Abortifacient
    A preparation used to induce abortion.
  2. Active Principle
    Is the particular constituent of a herb which has been judged to be the most prominent pharmacological.
  3. Adaptogen
    Is a herb which literally improves adaptability. These herbs serve to enhance the innate healing capacity of the body and hence to encourage healing and recovery.
  4. Alterative
    Is a herb which alters the processes of metabolism.
  5. Analgesic
    Pain relieving.
  6. Anodyne
    Reduces pain and irritation, similar to an analgesic.
  7. Anthelmintic
    A herb which eliminates parasites from the intestinal system.
  8. Anti-emetic
    A herb which stops vomiting and allays nausea.
  9. Anti-infective
    A herb which assists the body to withstand infection. These herbs assist the body’s own defences to control infection rather than direct killing of an infecting organism.
  10. Anti-inflammatory
    A herb which reduces inflammation. Some herbs do this by means of a direct action, similar to that found with pharmacological preparations. Others achieve the effect by assisting with the clearing of the area and elimination of wastes.
  11. Antipyretic
    A herb which reduces fever.
  12. Antiseptic
    Herbs which have a direct killing action against bacteria and other micro-organisms.
  13. Antispasmodic
    Reduces spasm or tension.
  14. Antitussive
    A herb which soothes and relieves coughing.
  15. Aperient
    A laxative which works by promoting the natural movement of the bowels. This is in contrast to a purgative which is an irritant and forcibly expels the contents of the bowels.
  16. Astringent
    A herb which has binding properties on the mucous membranes. Most commonly used in conditions such as diarrhoea.
  17. Carminative
    A herb which eases griping pains and expels flatulence.
  18. Cardioactive
    Herbs having a notable effect on the heart.
  19. Cardiotonic
    Herbs having an action on the heart, but much gentler than cardioactive herbs.
  20. Cathartic
    A herb producing an active expulsion from the bowels.
  21. Cholagogue
    A herb which stimulates the flow of bile from the liver.
  22. Choleretic
    A herb which prevents excess bile.
  23. Demulcent
    Herbs which have a soothing effect on the membranes to which they are applied.
  24. Depurative
    A herb which has purifying or detoxifying abilities.
  25. Diaphoretic
    A herb which promotes sweating.
  26. Digestive
    A herb which aids digestion.
  27. Diuretic
    Promotions the production of urine.
  28. Elimination
    A herb which promotes the process of elimination by the body. Eliminative processes include urination, defecation, sweating and breathing.
  29. Emetic
    A herb which induces vomiting.
  30. Emmenagogue
    A herb which produces menstruation.
  31. Expectorant
    A herb which encourages the lungs to expel any mucous or other matter, usually by coughing.
  32. Febrifuge
    A herb which reduces fever.
  33. Galactagogue
    A herb which promotes the flow of breast milk.
  34. Haemostatic
    A herb which acts to control or stop the flow of blood.
  35. Hallucinogen
    A herb which produces visions or hallucinations.
  36. Irritant
    Causes irritation.
  37. Laxative
    Promote bowel function. Some actively promote the movement while others will also help remove bowel contents.
  38. Nervine
    A herb which restores the nerves and relaxes the nervous system.
  39. Purgative
    This is a herb with a very drastic laxative action. These remedies are not used in general modern naturopathic practice.
  40. Relaxant
    Relaxant herbs serve to relax the body. This may be as a whole, or may serve separate organs or systems.
  41. Rubefacient
    This term describes an agent which causes a local vasodilation when applied to the skin.
  42. Sedative
    This is a herb which calms the nervous system. Its action is to sedate the body.
  43. Stimulant
    This is a herb which stimulates some form of body function or a system of the body.
  44. Sudorific
    This is a herb which promotes sweating and is an alternative term for diaphoretic.
  45. Tonic
    A strengthening and nourishing herb which gives the feeling of wellbeing.
  46. Vermifuge
    A herb which expels intestinal worms from the body.
  47. Vesicant
    A herb which will produce blistering when applied to the skin. Techniques such as blistering are now not used in naturopathic practice.
  48. Vulnerary
    A herb which is used for healing broken skin and other wounds.

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