Glossary Of Medical Properties AND EFFECTS Of Plants| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Abortifacient: Induces the premature abortion of the fetus. Example: pennyroyal, aloe, sandalwood.
Abortive: Same as Abortifacient
Absorbent: An herb or substance that promotes absorption, soaks up liquid, or acts as a sponge. (Ab- sorbefacient)
Absorbefacient: Same as Absorbent
Abstergent: An herb or substance that acts as a cleanser or purifier. (Syn: Anti-septic, Blood Purifier, Depurant, Depurative, Detergent, Disinfectant, Saponaceous)
Acidic: An herb or substance that reacts with an alka- loid to produce a salt.
Acidifier: An herb or substance that increases or imparts acidity, or lessens alkalinity, to the body fluids, especially the blood or the urine. (Ant: Alkalinizer, Antacid)
Acrid: An herb or substance that has a hot biting taste, or causes heat and irritation when applied to the skin. (Syn: Caustic Cauterant, Corrosive, Escharotic)
Adaptogens: An herb or substance that helps the body to maintain health by adapting to environmental and internal stress, usually by strengthening the immune system, nervous system, and/or glandular system. A general tonic for all systems. Examples are ginseng root, nettle leaf, sarsaparilla, licorice root, and ashwagandha.
Adaptogenic: Same as Adaptogens
Adaptogenic: An herb or substance that helps the body to maintain health by adapting to environmental and internal stress, usually by strengthening the immune system, nervous system, and/or glandular system. A general tonic for all systems.
Adjuvant: An herb or substance that is added to a formula or mixture of other herbs to aid in the dis- tribution of the medicine to the proper loca- tion in the body or to enhance the effect of the other principle ingredients. (Syn: Carrier)
Adulterant: An impure ingredient or a substitute product introduced into a preparation
Alexipharmic: An herb or substance that acts as an antidote or remedy for poisoning
Alexiteric: An herb or substance that acts as an antidote, remedy, or protection against infectious diseases.
Alkalinizer: An herb or substance that increases or imparts alkalinity, or lessens acidity, to the body fluids, especially the blood or the urine. (Ant: Acidifier, Syn: Antacid)
Alkaloidal: An herb or substance that is usually derived from plants, and is typically nitrogen bear- ing, intensely bitter, and potentially toxic. It reacts with an acid to produce a salt. (e.g. caffeine, morphine, berberine) (Ant: Acidic)
Alterative:(Sanskrit: Parivartakas or Rakta Shodhana Karma ) These herbs alter or change a long-standing condition by aiding the elimination of metabolic toxins. Gradually facilitates a beneficial change in the body. Also known as "blood cleansers' in the past, these herbs improve lymphatic circulation, boost immunity, and help clear chronic conditions of the skin. These herbs also heal sores, boils, tumors, cancers; reduces fevers; detoxifies the liver, kills parasites and worms; helps in the treatment of infectious, contagious diseases and epidemics, flu, acne herpes, and venereal disease. Examples are: ginseng, aloe, sandalwood, red clover, burdock, bayberry, black pepper, cinnamon, myrrh, and safflower.
Amoebicidal: For amoebic dysentery.
Amphoteric: An herb or substance which works on human physiology in such a way that it promotes "balance" or homeostasis.. (normalcy) within the body. It is special because its effects achieve balance either from a "deficiency" condition or one of "excess".
Analgesic or anodynes: (Sanskrit- Vedana shamana) These herbs reduce or eliminate pain (e.g., digestive, circulatory, respiratory, nervous system, nerve, muscle, tooth pain, nervous digestion, headaches). Some herbs are strong pain relievers, often working best against pains of specific causes. Examples: Camphor, chamomile, cinnamon, cloves, echinacea, lavender flower, feverfew herb, cabbage leaves, wintergreen leaf , passionflower herb and flower.
Anaphrodisiac: Herbs that decrease or allay sexual feelings or desires.
Anesthetics: For surgical anesthesia. An herb or substance that temporarily reduces, deadens, or abolishes physical sensations. Thus it tends eliminate pain and the sense of touch. The effect may be local or general. (Syn: Analgesic, Anodyne, Narcotic, Sedative) Examples are: ashok, calamus, gudmar, and jatamanshi.
Anhydrotic: An herb or substance that reduces, suppresses, or prevents excessive perspiration and sweating. (Anti-hydrotic)
Anthelmintic: (Sanskrit: Krumighana karma or krimighna) Herbs that destroys and dispels worms, parasites, fungus, yeast See also: vermicide, vermifuge. Examples are: Pau d'arco, goldenseal, wormseed, wormwood, ajwan, cayenne, peppers, and pumpkin seeds.
Anodyne: (Sanskrit- Sula-orasa-mana) Herbs that relieve pain and reduces the sensitivity of the nerves. (See analgesic) Examples: Ashok, barberry, cedar, and ginger.
Anoretic: An herb or substance that causes a decrease in appetite.
Antacid: Neutralizes the acid produced by the stomach. Helps the stomach lining recuperate to accommodate the healthy gastric acid needed for good digestion. Examples are: marshmallow root and leaf, meadowsweet herb, hops flower, and sweet flag.
Antagonist: An herb or substance that opposes the action of some other agent or medicine, especially the toxic effects of alkaline poisons.
Anthelmintic: an agent that destroys and expels worms from the intestines. Same as vermifuge.
Anthilitic: An herb or substance that reduces or suppresses urinary calculi (stones) and acts to dissolve those which are already present. (Anti-lithic, Syn: Deobstruent, Lithontriptic)
Anti-alopecic: An herb or substance that reduces or retards baldness, or which stimulates hair growth. (Ant: Depilitory)
Anti-arthritic: An herb or substance that reduces arthritic pain and inflammation in the joints. (Syn: Antirheumatic)
Anti-bacterial: An herb or substance that destroys bacteria, germs, or other micro-organisms. (Syn: Fungi- cide, Anti-bacterial, Germicide, Disinfectant)
Antibilious: Herb that combats nausea, abdominal discomfort, headache, constipation, and gas that is caused by an excessive secretion of bile. (These symptoms are called biliousness.)
Antibiotic: Inhibits the growth of germs, bacteria, and harmful microbes. Examples: Turmeric and echinacea.
Anti-cardialgic: An herb or substance that relieves heartburn.
Anti-cephalgic: An herb or substance that relieves headaches.
Anti-coagulant: An herb or substance that prevents or alleviates clotting or coagulation in a liquid, especially the blood.
Antidiabetic:An herb or substance that helps counteract the effects of diabetes by stabilizing blood sugar levels directly or by stimulating or mimicing the production of insulin. Examples of herbs: Amalaki, blackberry, fenugreek, gudmar, senna, and shilajit.
Antidiarrhea: An alterative. An herb or substance that counteract diarrhoea. Examples are: Blackberry, comfrey, gentian, red raspberry, and yellow dock, black pepper, and ginger.
Antidote: An herb or substance that counteracts a poison by, [a] chemically destroying the poison, [b] mechanically preventing absorption, or [c] physiologically opposing the effects of the poison in the body after absorption.
Anti-dysenteric: An herb or substance that counteract dysentery.
Antiemetic: (Sanskrit: Chherdinashana) Prevents or alleviates nausea and vomiting. Examples are: Cloves, coriander, ginger, and raspberry.
Antiepileptic: Herb that combats the convulsions or seizures of epilepsy.
Anti-febrile: An herb or substance that reduces or prevents fevers. (Syn: Anti-pyretic, Febrifuge)
Anti-fertilitic: An herb or substance that inhibits the forma- tion of ova or sperm, or interfers with the process of fertilization. Syn: Contraceptive
Anti-flatulent: An herb or substance that relieves gas and/or digestive stress.
Anti-galactagogue: An herb or substance that decreases the secre- tion of milk. (Ant: Galactagogue)
Anti-hemorrhagic: An herb or substance that arrests or controls profuse bleeding (hemorrhage). (Syn: Coagu- lant, Hemostatic, Styptic)
Anti-hemorrhoidic: An herb or substance that soothes, reduces, or relieves hemorrhoids and hemorrhoid bleeding.
Anti-herpetic: An herb or substance that works against or counteracts or the herpes virus.
Anti-hydrotic: An herb which reduces, suppresses, or prevents excessive perspiration and sweating. (Anhy- drotic)
Anti-inflammatory: An herb or substance that reduces or counter- acts feverish inflamations and infections. (Syn: Anti-phlogistic)
Antilithic: Aids in preventing the formation of stones in the kidneys and bladder.
Anti-malarial: An herb or substance that acts as a remedy for malaria. (Syn: Anti-periodic)
Anti-microbic: An herb or substance that prevents or stops the growth of microbes (bacteria).
Antiperiodic:( S- Visham Jvara har ) Prevents the periodic recurrence of attacks of a disease; as in malaria. Examples: Barberry, chirayata, guduchi, kutaj, and vacha.
Anti-phagocytic: An herb or substances that opposes or counter- acts the action of phagocytes (blood cells that attack foreign matter).
Antiphlogistic: Herb that counteracts inflammation.
Antipyretic: (Sanskrit- Jwarahara) reduces fever by reducing production of heat at its centers; destroying fever toxins; sweating to increase the loss of heat; drawing out the heat (e.g., cold baths). Same as febrifuge or refrigerant. Examples: Amalaki, black pepper, brihati, nirgundi, safflower, sandalwood.
Antirheumatic: Herb that relieves or cures rheumatism.
Antiscorbutic:Effective in the prevention or treatment of scurvy.
Anti-scrofulous: An herb or substance that is used to counteract scrofula (tuberculosis of the lymph glands, which causes swelling, inflammation, and de- generation).
Antiseptic: (Sanskrit- Shodhaniya) prevents decay or putrefaction. A substance that inhibits the growth and development of microorganisms without necessarily destroying them. Also see bitter. Examples are: Aloe, Chitrak, gokshura, gudmar, sandalwood, and turmeric.
Anti-sialagogue: An herb or substance that prevents or diminish- es the flow of saliva. (Anti-sialic, Ant: Sialagogue)
Anti-sialic: Same as Anti-sialagogue
Antispasmodic:(Sanskrit- Vikashi) Relieves or prevents involuntary muscle spasm or cramps (also see nervines) by strengthening nerves and the nervous system. Examples: Camomile, ashwagandha, basil, calamus, guggul, licorice, myrrh, sage, gotu kola, jatamanshi, peppermint, sandalwood, and spearmint.
Anti-sudorific: An herb or substance that prevents or excessive perspiration and sweating.
Antisyphilitic: Herbs that improve or cure syphilis. Also called antiluetic. Examples: Black pepper, cedar, guduchi, guggul.
Anti-tetanic: An herb or substance that is effective against or prevents tetanus.
Anti-thermic: An herb or substance that reduces body tempera- ture. (Syn: Refrigerant, Febrifuge)
Anti-toxic: An herb or substance that counteracts or neu- tralizes poisons or toxins.
Antitussive: An herb or substance that relieves or prevents coughing. (Syn: Pectoral, Expectorant)
Antivenomous: Acts against poisonous matter from animals.
Antizymotic: Herbs that destroy disease-producing organisms. An herb or substance that prevents or arrests the process of fermentation.
Aperient:(Sanskrit- Bhedaniya) A mild or gentle laxative. Also called aperitive. Example: Rhubarb.
Aphrodisiac: (Sanskrit- Vajikarana) Restores or increases sexual power and desire. Two types: Tonics: Develop tissue substance. Stimulants: increase the functioning of the reproductive organs. Examples: Angelica, ahwagandha, asparagus, fenugreek, fo-ti, ginseng, gokshura, hibiscus, kapikachu seeds, pippali, rose, saffron, and shatavari. The nutritive tonics such as aghwagandha, bala, fo-ti, ghee, licorice, marshmallow, sesame seeds, and Shatavari increase semen and breast milk.
Appetizer: For stimulating the appetite. Examples: Cardamom, coriander.
Aromatic: (Sanskrit- Sugandhi-tadravya) Herb with a pleasant, fragrant scent and a pungent taste. Examples: Cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, peppermint, and turmeric.
Astringent:(Sanskrit- Sankeshanlya or Stambhana karma ) Causes a local contraction of the skin, blood vessels, and other tissues, thereby arresting the discharge of blood, mucus, etc. Usually used locally as a topical application. Examples: Amalaki, arjuna, ashok, cinnamon, jasmine, sandalwood, and yarrow.
Attenuant: An herb or substance that thins the blood.
Balsam: The resin of a tree that is healing and soothing. For example: myrrh.
Balsamic: a healing or soothing agent, a resinous substance that is obtained from the secretions of various trees and plants, com- posed of aromatic oils and acids, which tend to be mildly stimulating, expectorant, sooth- ing, calming, and healing. (e.g. Pine Pitch, Balsam of Peru, Yerba Santa) (Syn: Balm, Bal- sam, Calmative)
Bitter: a solution of bitter, often aromatic, plant products used as a mild tonic. An herb or substance with a characteristic bit- ter taste that acts on the gastric mucous mem- branes of the mouth and stomach increasing their tone and activity and thereby improving the appetite and promoting digestion. (Syn: Bitter Tonic) These herbs reduce toxins, toxins in blood and weight, destroy infection, high fever, heat, fever in blood, internal fever, heated liver, much thirst, sweating, inflammation, and infection. Examples: aloe, barberry, chirayata, gentian, and golden seal.
Bitter Tonic: An herb or substance, or combined formula, that acts on the gastric mucous membranes of the mouth and stomach increasing their tone and activity and thereby improving the appetite and promoting digestion. (Syn: Bitter)
Blood Purifier: An herb or substance which speeds up the pro- cess of detoxification and excretion of waste products in the blood by stimulating intestin- al, liver, or bile functions, or creating lax- ative effects. (Syn: Depurative, Depurant, Detergent)
Bronchial: An herb or substance which relaxes constricting spasms and opens the bronchi or upper part of the lungs, thus improving respiration.
Calmative : Herbs that are soothing, sedating-see also nervines.
Carcinostatic: An herb or substance that arrests or inhibits the development or continued growth of cancer, carcinomas, or malignant tumors.
Cardiac: An herb or substance that stimulates, tones, or restores the heart. (Syn: Cardiac Tonic, Cardiant, Cordial)
Cardiac Stimulant: Herbs that promote circulation when there is a weak heart.
Cardiac Tonic: An herb, substance, or combined formula that strengthens and stimulates the heart metabol- ism. (Syn: Cardiac, Cardiant, Cardiotonic, Cordial)
Cardialgic: An herb or substance that causes heartburn.
Cardiant: An herb or substance that acts on the heart either as a stimulant or depressant. (Syn: Cardiac Tonic, Cardiant, Cordial)
Cardiotonic: An herb, substance, or combined formula that strengthens and stimulates the heart metabol- ism. (Syn: Cardiac, Cardiac Tonic, Cardiant, Cordial)
Carminative:(Sanskrit- Vata-anuloman or Dipaniya) Herb that helps to prevent gas from forming in the intestines, and also assists in expelling it. Also increases absorption of nutrients, dispels water, mucus, promotes normal peristalsis; relieves spasms and pain; improves weak digestion from anxiety, nervousness, or depression. Examples: Chamomile, chrysanthemum, coriander, fennel, lime, peppermint, and spearmint, ajwan, basil, calamus, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric.
Carrier: An herb or substance which is added to a form- ula or mixture of other herbs to aid in the distribution of the medicine to the proper location in the body or to enhance the effect of the other principle ingredients. (Syn: Adjuvant)
Cataplasm: A medicated poultice or soft external applica- tion. (Syn: Fomentation, Poultice)
Cathartic: (Sanskrit- Bhedana) Causes evacuation of the bowels. A cathartic may be either mild (laxative) or vigorous (purgative). Examples are: figs, prunes, olive oil (laxatives), senna, castor oil, and aloe vera.
Caustic: An herb or substance that contains acidic ma- terial that has an escharotic or corrosive action capable of burning or eating away living tissues. (Syn: Acrid, Corrosive, Cauterant, Escharotic)
Cauterant: An herb or substance that has corrosive de- structive action on living tissue. (Syn: Acrid, Corrosive, Caustic, Escharotic?)
Cephalic: Refers to diseases affecting the head and upper part of the body.
Cholagogue: Herb that stimulates the flow of bile from the liver into the intestines. Examples: Arka, guduchi, licorice, safflower, senna, and sesame.
Choleretic: An herb or substance that prevents or decreases the flow of bile into the intestines.
Cholinergic: An herb or substance that... ? Michael Moore
Cicatrizant: An herb or substance that is used to help form a cicatrix or new scar tissue over a burn or an open wound.
Coagulant: An herb or substance that induces clotting in a liquid, especially the blood. (Syn: Hemo- static, Styptic)
Condiment: Enhances the flavor of food.
Conserve: A medication consisting of a powdered herb or other drug substance made into a paste with syrup or honey. (Syn: Electuary)
Contraceptive: An herb or substance that inhibits the forma- tion of ova or sperm, or interfers with the process of fertilization. Syn: Anti-fertilitic
Coolant: An herb or substance that reduces body tempera- ture.
Cordial: An herb or substance that stimulates or invig- orates the heart. (Syn: Cardiac, Cardiac Tonic Cardiant)
Correctant: Same as Corrective
Corrective: An herb or substance that favorably modifies the action of powerful or harsh drugs. (Syn: Correctant, Corrigent)
Corrigent: Same as Corrective
Corroborant: An herb or substance that is tonic or invigor- ating.
Corrosive: An herb or substance that has a corrosive or acidic substance capable of harming, burning, or eating away tissues. (Syn: Acrid, Caustic, Cauterant, Escharotic)
Counter-Irritant: An herb or substance that: [a] produces irri- tation or hyperaemia (redness) in one part of the body in order to relieve or counteract an irritation or inflammation in another part of the body, or [b] is directly soothing to an irritation or inflammation. (Syn: Acrid, Caustic, Corrosive, Demulcent, Emollient, Hyperaemic, Irritant, Revulsive, Rubefacient)
Cycloplegic: An herb or substance that paralyses the ciliary muscle of the eye resulting in the relaxation of ocular accommodation which is the ability to focus on objects at different distances.
Decoction: A liquid preparation obtained by boiling medi- cinal plant parts in water and then extracting the solid parts by straining the preparation. (See also: Infusion)
Decongestant: For relieving congestion-see expectorant.
Deliriant: Same as Delirifacient
Delirifacient: An herb or substance that produces disturbances of consciousness, violent emotion or mental excitement, delirium, fevers, or hallucina- tions. (Syn: Hallucinogen, Hallucinogenic)
Demulcent: (Sanskrit- Mridukara or Kasa-Svasahara) Soothes, protects, and relieves the irritation of inflamed mucous membranes and other surfaces. (i.e., protects stomach and urinary bladder lining). Examples: Barley, licorice; linseed, olive, and almond oils.
Dentifrice: For cleaning teeth and gums.
Deobstruent: Removes obstructions by opening the natural passages or pores of the body, especially those lodged in organs such as stones. (Syn: Anthilitic, Antilithic, Lithontriptic).
Deodorant: An herb or substance that either removes, des- troys, masks, or suppresses odors
Depilatory: An herb or substance that removes or destroys hair and causes baldness. (Ant: Anti-alopecic)
Depressant: An herb or substance that lessens or depresses nervous sensation, lowers a functional activ- ity or reduces vital energy by causing the relaxation of muscles, nerves, or tissues. (Ant: Stimulant, Syn: Depresso-motor, Motor- depressant)
Depresso-motor: An herb or substance that depresses or dimin- ishes motor activity. (Ant: Stimulant, Syn: Depressant)
Depurative: An herb or substance that acts to cleanse or purify the body, especially the blood, by helping to remove wastes and expel impurities. (Syn: Blood Purifier, Depurant, Detergent)
Detergent: An herb or substance that helps cleanse and purify boils, ulcers, wounds, and sores by removing the dead or diseased matter. (Syn: AntiSeptic, Blood Purifier, Depurant, Depur- ative, Detersive, Disinfectant, Saponaceous)
Detersive: A cleaning agent. (Syn: Detergent)
Diaphoretic: (Sanskrit- Svedana Karma or Svedaniya) Promotes perspiration, especially profuse perspiration. Promotes circulation; dispels fever and chills; eliminates surface toxins; relieves muscle tension, aching joints, and inflammatory skin conditions; relieves diarrhea, dysentery, kidneys, liver, urinary, and gall bladder disorders; dispels stones of kidney and both bladders. Also useful for genitourinary disease (herpes), edema; painful, difficult or burning urination or infections. See sudorific. Examples: basil, ajwan, cardamom, parsley, cinnamon, eucalyptus, ginger, juniper berries, asparagus, barley, burdock, chamomile, chrysanthemum, coriander, dandelion, fennel, marshmallow, spearmint.
Digestives: (Sanskrit- Dipana-Pachana Karma) Assists the stomach and intestines in normal digestion. Examples: Coriander, cumin, rock salt, and turmeric.
Diluent: An herb or substance that dilutes the fluids of the body and renders the excretions less irritant. (Syn: Dilutant)
Dilutant: Same as Diluent
Discutient: Herb that dissolves or causes something, such as a tumor, to disappear. Also called discussive.
Disinfectant: (Sanskrit- Aguntaka-roganashaka) Destroys disease germs and noxious properties of fermentation; These herbs destroy pathogenic microbes (that cause communicable diseases). Examples: Apamarga, arka, gudachi, katuka, sandalwood.
Diuretic: (Sanskrit- Mutrala Karma or Mutra-virehana ) Promotes the production and secretion of urine. Examples: Parsley., apamarga, ashwagandha, barberry, cardamom, cinnamon, ginger, gotu kola, gokshura, gudachi, licorice, and sandalwood.
Drastic: A violent purgative. An herb or substance that is a harsh purgative that usually causes pain, tormina (griping cramps), tenesmus (urgent feeling of the need to defecate without the ability to do so), diarrhea, and/or repeated evacuations of the bowels. (Syn: Purge, Purgative, Laxative, Eliminant)
Electuary: A medication consisting of a powdered herb or other drug substance made into a paste with syrup or honey. (Syn: Conserve)
Eliminant: An herb or substance that causes evacuations, especially when soluble compounds are formed of insoluble substances thus facili their removal by eretion. (Eliminator, Syn: Laxative, Drastic, Purgative, Cathartic)
Eliminator: Same as Eliminant
Embrocation: An application of liquid medication to the surface of the body; any liquid medication for external use.
Emetic: (Sanskrit- Vamakartya ) Causes vomiting. There are three types of emetics- central, local and general. Central emetics (e.g., chamomile) act through the vomiting center of the brain. Local emetics irritate the nerves of the gastric mucus membrane (e.g., mustard). General emetics act through the blood on the vomiting center . Examples of herbs with emetic action include pippali, rock salt, vacha, ipecac, lobelia, apamarga, arka, chakramarda, chitrak and licorice.
Emmenagogue: (Sanskrit- Rajastha-paniya or Rakta- bhisarana ) Herb that brings on menstruation. Herbalists also believe that these herbs clear blood congestion, blood clot; build the blood; moisten female reproductive organs; counteract aging and poor nutrition. Examples are: camomile, aloe, angelica, hibiscus, jasmine, peony, rose, and saffron. Emollient: (Sanskrit- Snehopaga) A substance that is usually used externally to soften and soothe the skin. Examples: oils, honey, bread or bran poultice, carrots, turnips.
Endocrinic: An herb or substance that strengthens the endo- crine glands and immune system. (e.g. Echin- acea)
Epispastic: (Sanskrit- Dosha-ghnatepa) Substances locally applied to the skin, exciting action in the skin; blistering. (e.g., mustard).
Errhine: An herb or substance that excites, produces or promotes sneezing, or nasal discharge and secretion. (Sanskrit- Shiro-virechana) Herbs applied to the mucus membranes of the nose to increase nasal secretion. Examples: black pepper, ginger, amalaki, apamarga, arka. (Syn: Sternutatory)
Escharotic: An herb or substance that is caustic or corro- sive and capable of producing an eschar or slough. (Syn: Caustic, Cauterant, Corrosive)
Esculent: Edible or fit for eating.
Eupeptic: An herb or substance that promotes or aides the digestion of food. (Syn: Peptic, Digestive)
Euphoriant: An herb or substance that produces an abnormal sense of euphoria, vigor, and buoyancy. (Syn: Hallucinogen, Hallucinogenic, Delirifacient, Euphorigen)
Euphorigen: Same as Euphoriant
Evacuant: An herb or substance that has a laxative effect that causes or hastens an evacuation of the bowels. (Syn: Aperient, Cathartic, Laxative, Purgative, Purge, etc.)
Exanthematous: Refers to any eruptive disease or fever. An herbal remedy for skin eruptions such as measles, scarlet fever, etc. Excitant: An herb or substance that excites or stimulates the vital functions of a particular body sys- tem, especially the nervous, muscular, and circulatory systems. (Syn: Stimulant, Excito- motor, Ant: Depressant)
Excito-motor: An herb or substance that excites, stimulates, & increases muscular activity. (Syn: Excitant)
Exhilarant: Herbs that enliven and cheer the mind. Expectorant:(Sanskrit- Kasa-Svasahara) Promotes the thinning and ejection of mucus or exudate from the lungs, bronchi, and trachea; sometimes the meaning is extended to all remedies that quiet a cough. Examples: ginger, licorice, calamus, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, sage, eucalyptus, thyme, wild cherry. Extract: A preparation obtained from soaking an herb, plant part, or substance in an appropriate solvent, usually alcohol, water, or glycerine, then removing the solid parts by straining, evaporating some or all of the solvent, and adjusting the result to prescribed standards of concentration.
Fomentation: An herb or substance administered by warm moist applications. (Syn: Poultice, Cataplasm)
Fumigatoric: An herb or substance that is burned so that the smoke can be used to kill or inhibit insects or vermin. (Syn: Insecticide, Larvicide)
Fungicide: An herb or substance that kills or inhibits fungus infections. (Syn: Anti-bacterial, Germicide)
Galactagenic: Same as Galactagogue
Galactogogue: (Sanskrit- Stanya-janana) Increases breast milk secretion. Examples: Cumin, fennel, musta, pippali. (Syn: Galactagenic, Lactagenic, Lactagogue, Ant: Galactafuge, Galactaphyge, Lactafuge, Lactaphyge)
Galactaphyge: Same as Galactofuge
Gastro-Intestinal: An herb or substance that affects the stomach and intestines.
Genito-Urinary: An herb or substance that affects the genitals and urinary organs or their functions. (Syn: Urogenital, Urinogenital)
Germicide : An herb or substance that destroys germs, bac- teria, or other micro-organisms. (Syn: Anti- bacterial, Disinfectant, Fungicide) Germifuge :Expels germs. (see germicide.)
Haematinic: A blood purifier. (Syn: Hematic)
Haemostatic: An herb or substance that regulates, slows, or stops the flow of blood. (Syn: Coagulant, Hemostatic, Styptic)
Hallucinogenic: An herb or substance that produces disturbances of consciousness, violent emotion or mental excitement, euphoria, delusions, delirium, fevers, or hallucinations. (Syn: Hallucinogen Delirifacient)
Hallucinogen: Same as Hallucinogenic
Hematic: An herb or substance that cleanses or improves the quality of the blood. (Syn: Blood Puri- fier, Haematic, Haematinic, Hematinic)
Hematinic: Same as Hematic
Hemostatic: (Sanskrit- Shonitasthapana) Astringent, alterative, stops bleeding, purifies blood. Examples: durba, goldenseal, red raspberry, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger.
Hepatic: Promotes the well-being of the liver and increases the secretion of bile. Example: golden seal.
Herpetic: An herb or substance that affects or acts as a remedy for skin diseases, acne, eruptions, or ringworm. (Syn: Exanthematous)
Hydragogue: An herb or substance that causes abundant and cathartic watery discharges, especially urina- tion, perspiration, and diarrhea. A water purgative. (Syn: Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Sudorific, Purgative)
Hygroscopic: An herb or substance that induces the body to attract and retain moisture.
Hyperaemic: An herb or substance that draws an excessive amount of blood to on part of the body causing redness and swelling (hyperaemia). (Syn: Counter-irritant, Revulsive, Rubefacient)
Hyperglycemic: An herb or substance that helps to stabilize high blood sugar levels. (Ant: Hypoglycemic)
Hypertensive: An herb or substance that raises blood pressure (Ant: Hypotensive)
Hypnotic: An herb or substance that promotes or produces sleep. (Some pain relievers are also hypnotic but true hypnotics only cause sleep.) (Syn: Somnifacient, Nervine)
Hypodermic: An herb, substance, or preparation that affects the tissue beneath the surface of the skin. (Syn: Subculoydic)
Hypoglycemic: An herb or substance that helps to stabilize low blood sugar levels. (Ant: Hyperglycemic)
Hypotensive: An herb or substance that lowers blood pressure (Ant: Hypertensive)
Infusion: A liquid preparation obtained by steeping medicinal plant parts in water and then extracting the solid parts by straining the preparation. (See also: Decoction)
Insecticidal: Same as Insecticide
Insecticide: An herb or substance that kills insects. (Syn: Fumigatoric, Insecticidal, Larvicide)
Irritant: An herb or substance that when applied locally causes inflammation, hyperaemia or excess blood, and rashes or abnormal sensitivity in living tissue. (Syn: Rubefacient, Counter- irritant)
Isotonic (solution) A type of solution used in herbal medicine, which consists of a mixture of pure or distilled water and pure salt (sea salt without any anti-caking agents is best). The ratio to create the solution is 1 cup of purified water combined with 1/4 th teaspoon salt. This solution is used to create
Lactagenic: Same as Lactagogue
Lactagogue: An herb or substance that stimulates, promotes, or increases the secretion and flow of milk. (Syn: Galactagenic, Galactagogue, Lactagenic, Ant: Galactaphyge, Galactafuge, Lactafuge, Lactaphyge)
Lactaphyge: Same as Lactafuge
Lactifuge: Same as Lactafuge
Lactigenic: Same as Lactagogue
Lactigogue: Same as Lactagogue
Lactiphyge: Same as Lactafuge
Larvicide: An herb or substance that kills the larvae of insects. (Syn: Fumigatoric, Insecticidal, Insecticide)
Laxative: (Sanskrit- S- Svalpabhedana or Virechanlya) Herb that acts to promote evacuation of the bowels; a gentle cathartic. Examples: castor oil, flax seed, psyllium, rhubarb, senna. Lenitive: An herb or substance that has a soothing demul- cent action on the internal membranes. (Syn: Demulcent)
Liniment: An herb or a substance applied to the skin by gentle friction or by brisk rubbing which is used to relieve superficial pain.
Lithontriptic: Same as Lithotriptic
Lithotriptic: Causing the dissolution or destruction of stones in the bladder or kidneys. Examples, arjuna, arka, amalaki.
Lymphatic: An herb or substance that cleanses, strength- ens, or heals the lymph system.
Masticatory: An herb or substance that is chewed to increase salivation. (Syn: Salivator, Sialagogue)
Maturating: An herb or substance that acts to ripen or bring boils, tumors, or ulcers to a head. (Syn: Discutient, Resolvent, Tumefacient)
Miotic: An herb or substance that causes the pupil of the eye to contract (miosis). (Myotic, Ant: Mydriatic)
Motor-depressant: An herb or substance that depresses, curbs, or restrains motor or muscular activity. (Syn: Depressant)
Motor-excitant: An herb or substance that incites or increases motor or muscular activity. (Syn: Stimulant)
Mucilaginous: An herb or substance that is characterized by a gummy or gelatinous consistency which is soothing and healing to inflamed surfaces and mucous membranes.
Mydriatic: An herb or substance that causes the pupil of the eye to expand or dilate (mydriasis). (Ant: Miotic, Myotic)
Myotic: (Sanskrit- Netra-kashitraroga) Cause the contraction of the pupil and diminution of ocular tension.
Narcotic: An herb or substance that will relieve pain and induce sleep when used in medicinal doses, but which can produce stupor, convulsions, uncon- sciousness, coma, or death if the dosage is too large, and addiction if the dosage is re- peated too often. (Syn: Analgesic, Anesthetic, Anodyne, Sedative, Soporific)
Nauseant: An herb or substance that produces vomiting and nausea. (Syn: Emetic)
Nephritic: An herb or substance that cleanses or strength- ens the kidneys, or is used to treat diseases of the kidneys. (Syn: Renal)
Nervine: An herb or substance that relaxes, soothes, calms, and quiets the nerves, or which acts on the entire nervous system in a beneficial manner to allay nervous excitement. Examples: ashwagandha, bala, gudmar. (Syn: Relaxant, Tranquilizer, Sedative, Narcotic)
Nutriant: Same as Nutrient
Nutrient: An herb or substance that affects the nutritive processes and metabolic changes in the body, supplies material for tissue building, con- tains necessary food values such as vitamins and minerals, or which acts to release these elements from other food which has already been eaten but not assimilated. (= Nutriant, Nutritive)
Nutritive: Same as Nutrient
Orexigenic: An herb or substance that excites or stimulates the appetite.
Oxytocic: An herb or substance that excites and acceler- ates parturition (child birth) by stimulating the contraction of the uterine muscles. (Syn: Ecbolic, Parturient, Parturifacient)
Paralyzant: An herb or substance that causes temporary functional paralysis of some part of the body.
Parasiticide: (Sanskrit- Krimighna) Destroys parasites. (see germicide, antiparasitic.)
Para-sympathetic: An herb or substance that affects the para- sympathetic nervous system. (Syn: Sympathetic)
Parturient: An herb or substance that acts to induce labor at child birth by stimulating the contraction of the uterine muscles. (Syn: Parturifacient, Oxytocic, Ecbolic, Uterine)
Parturifacient: Herbs that induces child-birth or labor. Examples: Barley, pippali.
Partus Praeparator: An herb or substance that strengthens prior to but in preparation for labor and child birth.
Pectoral: An herb or substance that acts as a remedy for the diseases and afflictions of the chest and lungs, which promotes expectoration, or which relieves coughing. (Syn: Anti-tussive, Ex- pectorant)
Peptic: An herb or substance that aides in the diges- tion of food. (Syn: Digestive, Eupeptic )
Peristaltic: An herb or substance that induces or increases peristalsis or the rhythmic wavelike contrac- tions of the smooth muscles surrounding the intestines.
Pertussic: An herb or substance that soothes, relieves or heals coughing.
Physic: An herb or substance that has general medicinal or healing properties.
Placebo: An herb or substance which has no known effect or beneficial properties in regard to a speci- fic condition but which may nevertheless help a person if they believe that it will work. (Syn: Palliative)
Poison: An herb or substance that has harmful or fatal effects if it ingested by an organism, or if it comes in contact with living tissue. Some- thing not suitable to be eaten as food. (Ant: Esculent, Syn: Toxin, Toxic)
Polypharmic: An herb or substance which when combined with other herbs in a formula or mixture tends to increase the synergistic interaction of the other ingredients. (Ant: Simple)
Poultice: A paste made of an herb or drug applied to sore or inflamed body parts to supply moisture, to soothe, or to act as a local stimulant; medi- cated external application. (Syn: Cataplasm, Fomentation)
Protective: An herb or substance that protects a wound or lesion by mechanically covering or coating the surface of the skin.
Protozoicidal: An herb or substance that kills protozoa or amoeba.
Pruritic: An herb or substance that soothes or is effec- tive against itching.
Pulmonary: An herb or substance that strengthens, heals, cleanses, or affects the lungs. (Syn: Expec- torant, Pectoral)
Pungent: Irritating or sharply painful. Producing a sharp sensation of taste or smell.
Purgative: (Sanskrit- Virechanlya ) A substance that promotes the vigorous evacuation of the bowels. Usually used to relieve severe constipation. Examples: Aloe, Epsom salt, licorice, rhubarb, safflower, senna.
Purge: Same as Purgative
Pustulant: An herb or substance that attacks or irritates isolated areas of the skin, for example the sweat glands, causing pustules, pimples, or blisters.
Refrigerant: (Sanskrit- Dahanashaka) Relieves fever and thirst. A cooling remedy. Lowers body temperature. An herb or substance that imparts a cooling sensation to the mucous membranes, allays thirst, and reduces abnormal body heat and fever. Externally it cools by evaporation. (Syn: Febrifuge, Anti-Pyretic) Examples: Aloe, coriander, ginger, hibiscus, orange, lemon, licorice, sandalwood.
Relaxant: An herb or substance that relaxes, eases, and relieves tension and strain. (Syn: Calmative, Nervine, Sedative, Tranquilizer)
Renal: An herb or substance that strengthens, heals, cleanses, or otherwise affects the kidneys, or is used to treat diseases of the kidneys. (Syn: Diuretic, Nephritic)
Resinoid: A preparation that is a mixture of a resin and another substance or substances, especially alcoholic preparations precipitated with water
Resolvent: An herb or substance that reduces, dissolves, removes, dissipates, or promotes the resolu- tion of swellings, tumors, or other pathologic growths. (Syn: Discutient, Maturating, Tume- facient)
Resorbent: An herb or substance that promotes the removal of waste matter, especially by perspiration.
Restorative: An herb or substance that helps to restore con- sciousness, tone, vigor, function, or health, or which returns the body to normal physiolog- ical activity after it has experienced a shock or trauma. (Syn: Reconstructive)
Revulsive: An herb or substance that produces a localized excess of blood which then reduces other blood engorged areas. (Syn: Counter-Irritant, Rube- facient, Hyperaemic)
Roborant: An herb or substance that supplies needed food or material to tissues, and imparts increased strength. (Syn: Nutritive, Restorative,)
Rubefacient: (Sanskrit- Barlyalepana) An agent that reddens the skin by increasing the circulation when rubbed on the surface. Examples: black pepper, cayenne, ginger, licorice, mustard.
Salivator: An herb or substance that increase the secret- ion or causes an excessive flow of saliva. (Syn: Masticatory, Sialagogue)
Saponaceous: An herb or substance that is soapy, and thus helps cleanse and purify external wounds or sores (Syn: Depurant, Depurative, Detergent)
Sedative: An herb or substance that soothes and reduces nervousness, distress, excitement, or irrita tion. It can also relieve pain and induce sleep, and have a strengthening tonic effect. (Syn: Analgesic, Anesthetic, Anodyne, Calma- tive, Narcotic, Nervine, Relaxant, Soporific, Somnifacient)
Sialagogue: An herb or substance that promotes or increases the secretion of saliva, or causes an exces- sive flow of saliva. (Syn: Masticatory, Sali- vator) Examples: Arka, black pepper, chitrak, ginger, licorice.
Simple: An herb or substance which is used by itself as a complete form of treatment or prevention, as opposed to being used in a formula or in comb- ination with other herbs or substances. (Ant: Polypharmic)
Somnifacient: An herb or substance that induces sleep. (Syn: Calmative, Hypnotic, Anesthetic, Narcotic, Nervine, Relaxant, Soporific)
Soporific: An herb or substance that induces sleep. (Syn: Hypnotic, Narcotic, Nervine, Relaxant, Seda- tive, Anesthetic, Somnifacient)
Spasmolytic: An herb or substance that relieves, reduces, or prevents spasms, cramps, and contractions in either the voluntary or involuntary muscles, and which also alleviates the pain which can accompany them. (Syn: Anti-Spasmodic)
Specific: An herb or substance that has a selective cura- tive action in a specific organ, condition, or disease, or in a particular phase of the dis- ease. (Ant: Systemic)
Spermatogenic: An herb or substance that helps produce semen or spermatozoa.
Sternutatory: An herb or substance that excites or induces sneezing. (e.g. black pepper) (Syn: Errhine)
Stimulant: (Sanskrit- Agni-sthapaniya or Dipana) Herb that increases the activity or efficiency of a system or organ; acts more rapidly than a tonic. An herb or substance that excites, quickens, or increases the activity of the physiological processes and vital functions of a particular body system, especially the nervous, muscular, gastric, respiratory, cardiac/circulatory, hepatic, and urinary systems. (Ant: Depres- sant, Syn: Excitant, Tonic) Examples: cayenne, camphor,ephedra, barberry extract, yellow thistle juice, sandalwood, gotu kola, guggul, myrrh, Angelica, Fennel, Ground Ivy, Hemp, Horehound, Hyssop, Lavender, Liberty Cap, Mistletoe. Stomachic: (Sanskrit- Kshudha-vardhaniya) Herbs that give strength and tone to the stomach, stimulate digestion, improve the appetite, correcting an acid-alkaline imbalance, or stimulating the appetite. (Syn: Digestive) Examples: Amalaki, bilwa, black pepper, cardamom, cedar, chitrak, cumin, ginger, licorice, turmeric, Angelica, Balm, Dandelion, Fennel, Fumitory, Hyssop, Lavender. Styptic: (Sanskrit- Raktha-sthambana) Astringent: An herb or substance that will locally stop bleeding and hemorrhages by contracting the blood vessels and tissue through strong as- tringent action. Causes vascular contraction of the blood vessels or coagulation of the albuminous tissues of the blood. Checks hemorrhage. Examples: adrenaline, alum. (Syn: Astringent, Coagulant, Hemostatic). Subculoydic: An herb, substance, or preparation that affects the tissue beneath the surface of the skin. (Syn: Hypodermic)
Sudorific: An herb or substance that promotes or increases intense sweating, sometimes causing active droplet perspiration. (Syn: Diaphoretic, Hydragogue)
Suppository: A small solid medication that is inserted into a body orifice other than the mouth.
Suppurative: An herb or substance that helps to release pus from a wound or infected area.
Sympathetic: An herb or substance that affects the sympathe- tic nervous system. (Syn: Para-sympathetic)
Synergist: An herb or substance that has a similar effect upon tissue or function as some other agent, and usually acts harmoniously in conjunction with it.
Systemic: An herb or substance that effects the body as a whole rather working on particular organs or tissue. (Ant: Specific)
Sudorific: Herbs that cause heavy perspiration.
Taeniacide: An herb or substance that kills and expels tapeworms. (Syn: Anthelmintic, Parasititic, Taeniafuge, Vermicide, Vermifuge)
Taenifuge: Same as Taeniafuge.
Taeniafuge: An herb or substance that expels tapeworms. (Syn: Anthelmintic, Parasititic, Taenia-cide, Vermicide, Vermifuge)
Thoratic: An herb or substance which is used to treat respiratory problems.
Thymoleptic: An herb or substance which raises the mood or counteracts depression.
Tincture: A solution of the active principal of an herb in alcohol.
Tonic: Herbs that restore and strengthen the entire system. Produces and restores normal tone. A general tonic would be one that braces up the whole system. Example: Aloe, bala, barberry, chirayata, guduchi, katuka, gentian, goldenseal.
Tonic (nutritive): (Aanskrit- Bruhangana karma) Permanently increases the tone of a part of the body, or the entire system by nourishing and increasing weight. Example: Amataki, ashwagandha, cane sugar, coconut, coriander, dates, Alfalfa, Angelica, Blackberry, Borage, Dandelion, Fumitory, Ground Ivy, Hemp, Horehound, Hyssop, Lady's Mantle, Lavender, Nettle, Oak.
Tonics, Reiuvenative: (Sanskrit- Rasayana karma): Regenerates cells and tissues; promotes longevity. Examples: Ashwagandha, guggul, haritaki, calamus, aloe, amalaki, gotu kola, saffron, guggul.
Toxic: An herb, substance, organism, or chemical that has harmful or fatal effects if it ingested by an organism usually due to the waste products that are manufactured or accumulated. Also the chemical additives and preservatives in food. (Ant: Esculent, Syn: Toxic, Poison)
Toxin: Same as Toxic
Tranquilizer: An herb or substance that calms, soothes, and relaxes. (Syn: Nervine, Relaxant, Sedative)
Tumefacient: An herb or substance that, [a] reduces swell- ing and edema. [b] reduces the growth of tumors, boils, moles, etc. (Syn: Resolvent, Discutient, Maturating,)
Urino-Genital: Same as Urogenital
Urogenital: An herb or substance that affects the genitals and urinary organs or their functions. (Syn: Urino-genital, Genito-Urinary)
Uterine: An herb or substance that affects the uterus or womb, especially one that acts to induce labor at child birth by stimulating the contraction of the uterine muscles. (Syn: Parturifacient, Parturient, Oxytocic, Ecbolic)
Vaso-constrictor: An herb or substance that narrows or constricts the blood vessels, thus raising blood pressure (Ant: Vaso-dilator, Vaso-depressant, Syn: Vaso-stimulant) Example: Heather
Vaso-depressant: An herb or substance that relaxes the blood vessels by acting on the nervous and/or muscle systems, and thus decreases blood pressure. (Ant: Vaso-constrictor, Vaso-stimulant, Syn: Vaso-dilator)
Vaso-dilator: An herb or substance that widens or dilates the blood vessels, thus lowering blood pressure. (Ant: Vaso-constrictor, Vaso-stimulant, Syn: Vaso-depressant) Example: Hawthorn, Mistletoe.
Vaso-stimulant: An herb or substance that increases tension in the blood vessels by acting on the nervous and/or muscle systems, and thus increases the blood pressure. (Ant: Vaso-dilator, Vaso- depressant, Syn: Vaso-constrictor)
Vermicide: An herb or substance that kills and expels in- testinal worms. (Syn: Anthelmintic, Parasiti- tic, Taeniacide, Taeniafuge, Vermifuge)
Vermifuge: An herb or substance that expels intestinal worms. (Syn: Anthelmintic, Parasititic, Taeniacide, Taeniafuge, Vermicide) (Example: Kiremarnewali)
Vesicant: An herb or substance that causes blistering or vesication. (Syn: Epispastic)
Vomitive: An herb or substance that causes vomiting or emesis. (Syn: Nauseant, Emetic)
Vulnerary: An herb or substance that heals open wounds, and is used specifically in external applica- tions, packs, and compresses. It can also be taken internally to enhance the effect.
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