Acidic – Having a pH less than 7.
Alkaline – Having a pH greater than 7.
Alveoli – Microscopic air sacs in the lungs.
Anesthetic – An herb that temporarily depresses neuronal function, producing total or partial loss of sensation.
Annual – Plants that complete their life cycle in one year or less (grow from seed to seed).
Anthelmintic – Herbs that expel parasitic worms either by stunning or killing them.
Antibacterial – Herbs that inhibit bacterial growth or kill bacteria.
Antidepressant – Herbs used for the treatment of depression and other conditions.
Antifungal – Herbs that inhibit fungal growth or kill fungi.
Antihistamine – Herbs used to block the histamine reaction.
Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation in the body.
Antimicrobial – Herbs that kill microorganisms or inhibits their growth.
Antineoplastic – Herbs which inhibit or prevent the growth or development of malignant cells.
Antioxidant – Herbs that that may protect cells against the effects of free radicals.
Antirheumatic – Herbs that alleviate or prevent rheumatism.
Antiscorbutic – Herbs that can prevent or cure scurvy.
Antiseptic – Herbs that prevent infection by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms.
Antispasmodic – Relieves spasms in the body.
Antivenomous – Having the ability to neutralize venom in the body.
Antiviral – Herbs that inhibit viral growth or kill viruses.
Aphrodisiac – Herbs that elevate, nourish and/or sustain intimacy and sensual desire
Appetite stimulant – Stimulates the appetite.
Aromatic – Plants with high volatile oil levels which smell strongly, stimulating the digestive system.
Arteriosclerosis – a thickening and hardening of arterial walls in the arteries. Also referred to as artherosclerosis.
Arthritis – A form of joint disorder that involves inflammation of one or more joints.
Asthma – A disorder that causes the airways of the lungs to swell and narrow, leading to wheezing, shortness of breath, chest tightness, and coughing.
Astringent – Herbs that tend to shrink or constrict body tissues.
Biennial – Plants that take 2 years to complete their life cycle. The first year they grow leaves only, the second year they produce flowers, fruits and seeds.
Bitter tonic – Herbs that support the digestive system, boost immunity and promote overall vitality.
Bronchi – The two large branches of the airway passage in the lungs.
Bronchioles – The smaller airway passages that branch off from the bronchi.
Bronchitis – Inflammation of the mucus membranes of the bronchi.
Bronchodilator – Herbs that dilate the bronchi and bronchioles, decreasing resistance in the respiratory airway and increasing airflow to the lungs. Also referred to as bronchial dilators.
Calmative – Having a soothing effect.
Carminative – Inducing the expulsion of gas from the stomach and intestines.
Catarrh – A disorder of inflammation of the mucous membranes in one of the airways or cavities of the body.
Chicken pox – A highly contagious, airborne disease caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus often affecting children.
Cholagogue – Herbs that support the gall bladder and liver by promoting the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the intestines.
Cholera – An infection of the small intestine caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae that causes diarrhea and vomiting.
Colitis – Inflammation of the colon (large intestine).
Compress – A piece of cloth soaked in a tea or infusion of herbs and applied to the affected area of the body.
Croup – A condition that causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract usually caused by a virus.
Deciduous – Plants that seasonally lose their leaves.
Decoction – A tea-like drink of herbs produced by boiling the herb in water.
Decongestant – Helps to relieve nasal congestion in the upper respiratory tract.
Demulcent – Herbs that form a soothing film over mucus membranes to relieve pain and minor inflammation of that area.
Deodorant – A substance applied to the body to prevent body odor caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration in the armpits, feet, and other areas of the body.
Diaphoretic – Promotes sweating, helpful for relieving a fever through perspiration.
Digestive – Aids in digestion.
Diphtheria – An acute infection caused by the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae.
Diuretic – Stimulates the flow of urine.
Dysentery – An inflammation of the intestine, especially the colon, that results in severe diarrhea, accompanied by fever and abdominal pain usually caused by an infection.
Dysmenorrhea – Medical term for menstrual cramps.
Dyspepsia – The medical term for indigestion.
Emmenagogue – Stimulates blood flow in the pelvic area; can bring on menstruation.
Expectorant – Promotes and facilitates the discharge of mucus and fluids from the respiratory tract.
Extract – Also referred to as tincture. Preparations made by extracting, and preserving, the active properties of herbs using alcohol.
Febrifuge – Herbs that reduce fever.
Galactagogue – Increases the milk supply in a lactating woman.
Hemorrhaging - Excessive discharge of blood from the blood vessels; profuse bleeding.
Hemorrhoids – Painful, swollen veins in the lower portion of the rectum or anus.
Hemostatic – Works to slow or stop bleeding or hemorrhaging.
Hepaprotective – Herbs that protect and prevent damage to the liver.
Hypotensive – Reduces blood pressure.
Infusion – A medicinal remedy made by boiling water, pouring it over herbs and letting it steep for 1 – 8 hours.
Lithotriptic - Herbs that help dissolve calculus.
Menorrhagia – Unusually long and heavy menstrual cycles.
Nervine – Having a beneficial effect on the nervous system
Perennial – Plants that die back to the roots after a complete growing cycle and return from the roots the next growing season.
Pertussis – A highly contagious disease caused by the bacteria Bordetalla pertussis. Commonly known as whooping cough.
Pneumonia – Inflammation of the lungs primarily affecting the microscopic air sacs (alveoli). It can be caused by a virus or bacteria, microorganisms, certain drugs and other conditions such as autoimmune disease.
Poultice – A soft, moist mass of herb, often heated and applied directly over the skin or on top of a thin cloth to treat aches, inflammation or painful areas to heal and reduce pain.
Prolapse – From the Latin word prolabi meaning to fall out. A condition where organs fall out of place.
Regenerative – Herbs that have the ability to regenerate, restore or renew tissue in the body.
Relaxant – Calming and soothing without being sedating
Resinous – A thick, sticky substance that is secreted from a plant.
Rheumatism – A non-specific term for medical problems affecting the joints and connective tissue.
Scurvy – a disease that occurs when one has a severe lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in their diet. Scurvy causes general weakness, anemia, gum disease, and skin hemorrhages.
Stimulant – Energizes a system of the body.
Stomachic – Herbs that tone the stomach, improving its function and increasing appetite.
Styptic – Stops bleeding by constricting tissue and blood vessels.
Tincture – Also referred to as extract. Preparations made by extracting, and preserving, the active properties of herbs using alcohol.
Tonic – Herbs that restore or increase body tone.
Tuberculosis – An infectious disease caused by the mycobacterium tuberculosis that affects the lungs but can affect other organs as well.
Typhoid – An infection commonly caused by the bacteria Salmonella typhi that causes diarrhea and a rash.
Urogenital System – The combination of the reproduction organs and urinary system.
Varicose veins – swollen, twisted, and sometimes painful veins that have filled with an abnormal collection of blood.
Vulnerary – Has wounds healing properties.
Whooping cough – see Pertussis.