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Friday, July 18, 2014

Herbal Glossary

Analgesic:  
relieves pain
Antioxidantprevents the production of harmful oxygen radicals. An antioxidant is an agent that inhibits or retards the oxidation of substances to which it is added.
AntisepticAn Antiseptic substance inhibits the growth and reproduction of micro-organisms. Antiseptic substances prevents putrefaction and infection. Generally speaking, an antiseptic substance is less effective than antibiotic substances in destroying specific bacteria but less invasive with generally less side effects.
AntispasmodicA substance that prevents or eases smooth muscle spasms. Examples of smooth muscle spasms are Digestive system spasms, Uterus spasms and Urinary tract spasms. (AKA Spasmolytic.)
Antiviral:Destructive to viruses. A substance that destroys or inhibits viruses in many ways. Evidence of antiviral properties in alternative (herbal and other) medicine is often anecdotal (as it is in conventional medicine) and not fully substantiated.
Carminative: A substance that relieves flatulence and abdominal distension. For the relief of discomfort and pain (cramps) associated with excessive build up of abdominal gas. It could also relieve gaseous distention of the abdomen and related painful spasms.
Cephalic: A substance that stimulates and clears the mind.
Diaphoreticpromotes perspiration (sweating)
Digestiveaids in the digestive process
DiureticCauses urine production. Release of water via urine.
Emmenagogue:Stimulates menstrual flow.
Expectorant:promotes the ejection of mucus (and other substances) from the lungs and other airways. Expectorants achieve this by reducing the viscosity of pulmonary secretions or by weakening the bond of these secretions to the walls of the lower respiratory tract.
Nervine:A nerve tonic, a medicine that acts therapeutically upon the nerves, particularly in the sense of a sedative that serves to calm ruffled nerves.
Sedative:a substance that has a calming effect, reducing nervous excitement. Sedatives calm, reduce irritability and reduce activity of some or all of the body's organs. Not all substances have the same sedative effect some affect specific organs while not calming others and often affect different people in different ways.
Spasmolyticable to relieve spasm of smooth muscle
Tonic:A general term that describes a substance that induces a feeling of well being to the body.
Vasodilator:gents that act as blood vessel dilators (vasodilators) and open vessels by relaxing their muscular walls.
Vulnerary: aid the healing of wounds (arrests bleeding and prevents tissue degeneration)


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