Glossary of Modern and Archaic
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Herbal, Naturopathic, and Medical Terms
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
Helps induce feelings of well-being and contentment. (See also tonic.)
Acts to slow the movement of feces along the colon.
Prevents fatigue, helps to maintain vitality. See also tonic.
Helps stop bleeding. (See also "Styptic.")
Antihistamine / Antihistaminic
Non-selectively kills microorganisms, or inhibits their multiplication or growth. (See also germicide.)
An antimicrobial substance which is applied to living tissue/skin to reduce the possibility of infection or sepsis.
A class of drug that is used to promote aquaresis, the excretion of water without electrolyte loss. Aquaretics are not strictly speaking diuretics, but are sometimes classified as such.
The use essential oils, generally from plant material, for therapeutic purposes, to heal or to promote a feeling of well-being. Delivery methods include bodily application through massage, room diffusers, and vaporizers.
Beta blockers target the Beta receptors that are found on cells of the heart muscles, smooth muscles, airways, arteries, kidneys, and other tissues that are part of the sympathetic nervous system and lead to stress responses.
Converted in the body to vitamin A. (See also Retinol.)
A compound that is mildly sedative or produces calming effects.
Converted by the body into Vitamin A. (See also Retinol.)
A chemical compound in the form of a heterocyclic ring, containing a metal ion attached by coordinate bonds to at least two nonmetal ions. Refer to Metal-Chelator.
Swelling (inflammation) of the large intestine (colon) which may cause abdominal pain and bloating that is constant or comes and goes, bloody stools, chills, a constant urge to have a bowel movement, dehydration, diarrhea or fever.
A group of naturally occurring proteins found in animals, especially in the flesh and connective tissues of vertebrates. It is the main component of connective tissue, and is the most abundant protein in mammals.
A dye, pigment, ink, or paint, that colors or modifies the hue of something else.
A natural carotenoid pigment, closely related to beta-carotene, that is converted in the body into Vitamin A (Retinol). As with other carotenoids, cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant and may help prevent free radical damage to cells and DNA, as well as stimulate the repair of oxidative damage to DNA.
Having antioxidant and radical-scavenging actions.
A medicine prepared by boiling or simmering specific plant parts in water. See also infusion.
Diabetes mellitus (DM)
Commonly simply referred to as diabetes, Diabetes mellitus is a group of metabolic disorders characterized by high blood sugar levels over a prolonged period. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger.
The abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid, which is an extremely long macro-molecule making up the main component of chromosomes. It is the material that transfers genetic characteristics in all life forms.
An agent that helps to break up and clear mucus from the airways, lungs, bronchi, and trachea. See also Mucolytic.
A fingertip infection (abscess) deep in the palm side of the finger. Usually is caused by bacterial infection, most commonly from of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria, it often forms a painful bump on the end of a finger. Misdiagnosis of a herpetic whitlow can occur.
A noun used to describe the act of treating mouth and throat tissues by tilting the head back and allowing a mouthful of liquid to sit in the upper throat and then rincing and "bubbling," aka "gargling", kept the liquid in motion by exhaling through it.
Kills "germs," especially pathogenic microorganisms. (See also antimicrobial.)
A painful infection forming a lesion (whitlow) on a finger or thumb caused by the Herpes Simplex virus (HSV-1 or HSV-2). It can occasionally infected the toes or on the nail cuticle. Sometimes misdiagnosed as a felon.
A medicinal preparation made by soaking specific parts of a plant in water. Some formularies call for either hot or cold water, depending on the plant, desired compounds to be extracted, and treatment. Effectively a strong tea. See also decoction.
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To detoxify a body of poisonous metal agents such as mercury, arsenic and lead by using a chelating agent to convert them to a chemically inert form that is then excreted without further interaction with the body.
Drugs that help loosen and clear the mucus from the airways. See also expectorant.
A physical (i.e. electromagnetic energy, radiation, etc.) or chemical agent that causes change to the genetic material, usually DNA, of an organism resulting in an increase in the frequency of mutations.
A type of chemical pesticide used to kill plant-parasitic nematodes.
A tonic which has beneficial nutritional properties.
A soft moist mass of materials, usually heated plant matter, spread onto a cloth, and applied to warm, moisten, or stimulate an aching or inflamed part of the body; particularly useful for localized detoxification of infections, boils, etc.
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RDA or Recommended Daily Allowance
A tonic which has beneficial effects on the kidneys.
Helps to reduce irritability or excitement. See also tranquilizer.
A device that uses heat to extract and release particular compounds, in the form of vapor, from material such as plant matter, especially for medicinal inhalation. See also aromatherapy.
A whitlow, also known as a felon is an infection of the tip of the finger. Whitlow is generally used to differentiate the condition as being cause by the Herpes Simplex virus (refer to Herpetic Whitlow) as opposed to a becterial infection (refer to Felon).
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