Therapeutic Herbal Glossary
Abortifacient: An herb used to induce or cause abortion or spontaneous abortion.
Absorbent: An herb used to produce absorption of exudes or diseased tissues.
Adaptogen: An herb that help normalize body chemistry and increase resistance to stress.
Alterative: Tonifying herb that restores proper body function and vitality by correcting and improving blood composition.
Analgesic: Herb that relieves pain (taken orally).
Anodyne: Herb relieving pain (applied externally).
Antacid: Agent that corrects acidic conditions in the stomach, blood, and colon.
Anthelmintic: Herb that help destroy or expel intestinal worms and parasites from the digestive system.
Anti-arthritic: Herb used to relieve or palliate and heal arthritic-type conditions.
Anti-asthmatic: Herb that is used to relieve asthma.
Anti-bilious: Herb that helps neutralize and remove excess bile, and overcome jaundice conditions.
Anti-biotic: Herb that will kill and arrest the growth of harmful micro-organism.
Anti-catarrhal: Herb that help remove excess mucus and congestion, particularly from the respiratory tract.
Anti-emetic: Herb that relieve nausea and upset stomach, and help prevent vomiting.
Anti-Fungal: Herb that destroys or prevent the growth of fungal infections.
Anti-hydopic: Herb used to eliminate excess body fluids or dropsy.
Anti-inflammatory: Herb that helps reduce or overcome inflammation, internally and externally.
Anti-lithic: Herb that helps remove the formation of stones or sediment in the urinary tract.
Anti-microbial: Herb that help overcome and destroy pathogenic bacteria, and strengthens the immune (?defense?) system.
Anti-neoplastic: Herb used to help combat tumorous growth.
Anti-oxidant: Herb that increase the uptake of tissue oxygen and scavenge free radicals.
Anti-periodic: Herb used to relieve malarial-type conditions, i.e., chills, fever, sickle cell, etc.
Anti-philogistic: Herb used to reduce inflammation or swelling.
Antipyretic: Herb that help reduce fevers.
Anti-septic: Herb that combats and neutralizes pathogenic bacteria, and prevents infection.
Anti-spasmodic: Muscle relaxant herb that relieve cramping and spasms.
Anti-syphilitc: Herb that help overcomes sexually transmitted diseases.
Anti-tussive: Herb that prevents and relieves coughing and sore throat.
Anti-venomous: Herb used as an antidote to animal (i.e. snakebite), vegetable, and mineral poisons.
Anti-viral: Herb that combats and neutralizes pathogenic viruses.
Aperient: Herb that has mild laxative activity.
Aphrodisiac: Herb that increase, enhance, and strengthen sexual desire and vitality.
Aromatic: Herb with strong, pleasant odors, that ca stimulate digestion and well-being through both carminative activity and smell.
Astringent: Herb that tighten and contract tissue, and reduce irritation, secretions and discharges.
Balsamic: Herb that mitigate, soothe, and heal inflamed parts.
Bitter: Herb with strong, bitter taste that stimulate and tone the digestive system to produce healthful counteractive juices and secretions, such as bile.
Calmative: Herb used to alleviate stress and nervous tension.
Cardio-tonic: Herb that strengthen and tonify the heart and circulatory activity.
Carminative: Herb that normalize digestive system peristalsis to relieve flatulence (gas).
Cathartic: Herb to stimulate purging from the bowel.
Caustic: Herb that burn or destroy organic tissues.
Cell Proliferant: Herb to promote rapid new cell growth.
Chologogue: Herb that stimulate bile secretion from the gall-bladder, engendering natural laxative activity and digestive improvement.
Contra-indication: A term denoting conditions not to use a certain herb or formula.
Cordial: Tonic herb that warm the stomach and stimulate cardiac activity.
Demulcent: Soothing coating mucilaginous herb that protects irritated and inflamed tissue.
Dental Anodyne: Herb used locally to relieve pain from an exposed tooth nerve (toothache).
Deobstruent: Herb that removes obstructions.
Dessicant: Herb that dry surfaces by absorbing moisture.
Depurant: Blood purifying herb that stimulate the elimination of toxins.
Diaphoretic: Herb that include sweating, releasing body toxins through perspiration.
Digestant: Amino acid, enzyme-containing herb that promote digestion and nutrient assimilation.
Discutient: Herb that dissolve and remove tumors and abnormal growths.
Diuretic: Herb that stimulate kidney and bladder activity, and increase the flow of urine.
Electuary: A sweet paste, food or drink that is used to mask bitter or medicine-tasting herbs so they may be taken by children.
Emetic: Herb that in high dosage causes vomiting to rid the body of toxic substances or excess mucous congestion.
Emmenagogue: Herb that stimulate and normalize menstrual flow.
Emollient: Externally applied, soothing herbs that smooth and soften the skin and reduce inflammatory skin conditions.
Expectorant: Herb that help remove mucus congestion from the chest and respiratory system.
Febrifuge: Herb that help reduce fevers.
Galactagogue: Herb that enhances and increases the flow of Mother?s breast milk.
Hemostatic: Herb that help stop bleeding.
Hepatic: Herb that support and stimulate the liver, gallbladder, and spleen and increase bile flow.
Hormonal: Herb that promotes hormone secretion and formation in the body.
Hypnotic: Herb that help induce normal natural sleep.
Hypotensive: Herb that lowers blood pressure.
Laxative: Herb that promote evacuation of the bowels.
Lithotriptic: Herb that dissolve and discharge urinary and gall bladder stones and gravel.
Lymphatic: Herb used to stimulate and cleanse the lymphatic system.
Mucilaginous: Herb with high mucilage content that has soothing, demulcent action.
Nervine: Herb that tone, relax and have a strengthening effect on the nervous system.
Nutritive: Food supplement herbs, rich in minerals and other nutrients, and that nourish and promote physical system.
Ophthalmic: Herb that heal and relieve eye disorders.
Oxytocic: Herb that aid uterine contractions in childbirth.
Parasiticides: Herb that kill and remove parasites from the skin.
Parturient: Herb that stimulates contractions in childbirth.
Pectoral: Herb that helps heal and strengthen the lung and respiratory system.
Prophylactic: Herb that help ward off and prevent disease.
Purgative: Herb that promotes watery evacuation of the bowels.
Rubefacient: Herb that increase circulation and stimulate dilation of the capillaries.
Sedative: Herb that calm the nervous system, and reduce stress and tension.
Sialogogue: Herb that stimulates salivary secretions.
Soporific: Herb that help induce sleep.
Stimulant: Herb that accelerate, enliven, and vitalize body functions.
Stomachic: Herb that strengthen and tone the stomach and its function, and stimulate appetite.
Styptic: Herb that reduces and stops external bleeding.
Sudorific: Herb that stimulate and increase perspiration.
Tonic: Herb that strengthen and tone specific organs and body parts.
Vaso-dilator: Herb that cause relaxation and expansion of the blood vessel.
Vermifuge: Herb that helps expel and/or destroy intestinal parasites
Vulnerary: Herb externally applied which aid in healing cuts and wounds.