Glossary of Terms

Glossary of Terms ~ Herbal Actions


Analgesic: relieves pain

Anesthetic: produces insensibility to pain

Anodyne: relieves pain

Antibacterial: kills or prevents growth of bacteria

Antidote: counteracts effect of poison

Anti-fungal: inhibits growth or multiplication of, or destroys fungi

Anti-inflammatory: reduces inflammation

Anti-Neoplastic: anti-tumour, anti-cancer

Antimicrobial: helps destroy or resist pathogenic micro-organisms

Anti-rheumatic: eases inflammation and pain in joints and muscles

Antiseptic: a topical antimicrobial

Antispasmodic: relieves cramps, prevents or relaxes muscle spasms

Anti-thrombotic: reduces the formation of blood clots

Aperient: gentle laxative

Aromatic: pleasant odour, stimulates digestive system function

Astringent: contractions and firms tissue, reduces secretions & discharges

Bitters: Support liver function; can help to relieve gas, bloating, nausea, occasional heartburn. Support better digestion.

Cardiac Tonic: beneficial supportive action on heart and circulatory system

Carminative: helps to encourage better digestion

Cholagogue: stimulates the flow of bile from the liver and causing the gallbladder to contract, squeezing the bile into the intestinal tract. They can act as a gentle laxative.

Cholaretic: increase bile secretion by the liver.

Circulatory Stimulant: improves blood flow throughout the body

Decongestant: reduces thick fluid build-up in nose, throat, sinus or chest

Demulcent: soothing to mucus membranes

Diaphoretic: induces perspiration, helps body to sweat, helps herbal medicine to reach the periphery of the body

Emollient: softening, soothing

Expectorant: promotes mucus discharge from respiratory passages

Hemostatic: arrests blood flow, stops bleeding

Hepatic: tones, strengthens liver. Sometimes, helps to increase bile flow.

Hypolipidemic: reduce the lipid level (triglyceride and cholesterol) in the blood

Lymphatic: assists detoxifying by effect on lymph tissue. Supports immune system

Mucilage: contains gelatinous or gummy constituents

Nervine: calms nerves + supports nervous system health

Nutritive: nourishes and sustains life

Parturient: hastens labour

Relaxant: relieves tension, relaxes

Rubefacient: increases superficial circulation, producing irritation

Stimulant: excites or increases vital action

Styptic: stops bleeding

Stomachic: strengthens and stimulates the stomach

Sudorific: produces perspiration

Tonic: produces permanent increase in functional tone of the system

Trophorestorative: healing + restorative action on specific organ or tissue

Vulnerary: stimulates healing of wounds

Complete and Continue