Make your own free website on
Medicinal Effects



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.







Emetic - An agent that causes vomiting.

Emmenagogue - An agent that promotes menstrual flow.

Emollient - An agent used externally to soften and soothe.

Errhine - An agent that promotes sneezing and nasal discharges.

Euphoriant, Euphorigen - An agent that induces an abnormal sense of vigour and buoyancy.

Exanthematous - Relating to skin diseases or eruptions.

Expectorant - An agent that promotes the discharge of mucus from the respiratory passages.

Febrifuge - An agent that reduces or eliminates fever.

Galactagogue - An agent that encourages or increases the secretion of milk.

Hallucinogen - An agent that induces hallucinations.

Hemostatic - An agent that slopes bleeding.

Hepatic - A drug that acts on the liver.

Hydragogue - A purgative that produces abundant watery discharge.

Hypnotic - An agent that promotes or produces sleep.

Irritant - An agent that causes inflammation or abnormal sensitivity in living tissue.

Laxative - An agent promoting evacuation of the bowels; a mild purgative.

Mucilaginous - Characterised by a gummy or gelatinous consistency.

Narcotic - A drug which relieves pain and induces sleep when used in medicinal doses; in large doses narcotics produce convulsions, coma, or death.

Nauseant - An agent that produces an inclination to vomit.

Nephritic - A medicine applicable to diseases of the kidney.

Nervine - An agent that has a calming or soothing effect on the nerves; formerly, any agent that acts on the nervous system.