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Glossary
of
Medicinal Effects.


 

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All the following terms are commonly found in standard reference works on herbal medicine. A few are not used generally, but most of them are. This Glossary contains all of the names used in Herbal Medicine, and the meanings for them.

 

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Balsam - 1) A soothing or healing agent. 2) A resinous substance obtained from the exudations of various trees and used in medicinal preparations.

Bitter - Characterised by a bitter principle which acts on the mucous membranes of the mouth and stomach to increase appetite and promote digestion.

Calmative - An agent that has a mild sedative or tranquilising effect.

Cardiac - An agent that stimulates or otherwise affects the heart.

Carminitive - An agent for expelling gas from the intestines.

Cathartic - An agent that acts to empty the bowels, laxative.

Caustic - A corrosive substance capable of burning or eating away tissues.

Cholagogue - An agent for increasing the flow of bile into the intestines.

Coagulant - An agent that induces clotting in a liquid, such as blood.

Counter-irritant - An agent for producing irritation in one part of the body to counteract irritation or inflammation in another part.

Demulcent - A substance that soothes irritated tissue, particularly mucous membrane.

Deodorant - A herb that has the effect of destroying or masking odours.

Depressant - An agent which lessens nervous of functional activity; opposite of stimulant.

Depurative - An agent that cleanses and purifies the system, particularly the blood.

Detergent - An agent that cleanses wounds and sores of diseased or dead matter.

Diaphoretic - An agent that promotes perspiration; sudorific.

Digestive - An agent that promotes or aids digestion.

Disinfectant - An agent that cleanses infection by destroying or inhibiting the activity of disease-producing micro-organisms.

Diuretic - An agent that increases the secretion and expulsion of urine.