Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Common medicinal properties defined

Analgesic: any member of the group of drugs used to achieve relief from pain.

Anodyne: An anodyne acts to relieve or soothe pain by lessening the sensitivity of the nervous system. It is a kind of analgesic, and is often applied topically

AntiCancer: Herbs used as health tonics may help to lessen the occurrence of cancers. Many medicinal plants contain compounds that are shown to prevent cancer, which is unsurprising given the large range of types of cancers and the host body systems they affect.

Antifungal: demonstrated significant activity against several common infection-causing fungi

Antioxidant: Antioxidants help to control or elimination of free radicals which can reduce cellular oxidation in the body providing an important defense against degenerate diseases caused by oxidative stress.

Antiperspirant: counteract perspiration, and act as natural deodorants

Anti-rheumatic: herbs are helpful in a wide range of arthritic conditions including Rheumatoid arthritis ,OsteoArthritis, Lupus and, Gout. Herbs in this category often have Anti-inflammatory and Analgesicproperties as well.

Antispasmodic: An antispasmodic herb suppresses spasms, and reduce muscular tension. Smooth muscles like those that line the stomach contract without conscious control, and cause spasms, cramps and abdominal pain.

AntiViral: Plants have evolved very good defenses against viruses over the millennia, and we can take advantage of these natural protections against viruses for ourselves

Aromatic: Many of these highly concentrated, fragrant oils, rich in chemical compounds, are extracted by steam distillation from flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and bark and used in aromatherapy. Not all plant essential oils are safe to use, however. Wormwood, calamus and safrole, for instance, are toxic and should be avoided. All essential oils should be handled with care.

Cardiac Tonic Cordial: Herbs that strengthen the heart and the circulatory system are called cordials. These herbs work by supporting the heart muscle and/or stimulating heartbeat in manner beneficial to the body.

Chlagogue: Cholagogues are herbs that support the gall bladder and liver by promoting the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the intestines. Many are also choleretics (increasing bile production). All bitter herbs are cholagogues to some degree. Bitter tastes are mostly missing from the standard American diet (SAD), which may account somewhat for the billions spent on prescription and OTC anti-acids and heartburn remedies. Bitters can have an energizing effect for those who have sluggish digestion and are protective even when taken in small amounts.

Cicatrisant: Herbs that help form scar tissue

Cytophylactic: Stimulate cellular regeneration

Deodorants:  eliminate odors

Diaphoretic: Induce perspiration and sweating  Diaphoretic or sudorific herbs induce involuntary perspiration that helps to reduce fever, cool the body, and speed the elimination of toxins from the system. These herbs are useful in fevers, colds, and detoxification formulations.

Digestive: Herbs to stimulate digestion.

Diuretics: Treats abnormal accumulation of fluid under the skin and water weight.Fluid retention, bloating, swollen feet, dropsy, or edema all are caused by the retention of excess water - often in the feet and ankles. Herbs that are diuretic in action stimulate the elimination of fluid, without the depletion of minerals that is a common side effect of prescription drugs. Diuretics are often included inweight loss and cellulite treatment formulas, however excess water weight is easily regained and does not represent real weight loss. If edema is a chronic problem, look for those herbs that are tonic to the kidneysand liver and well as diuretic. Cleavers and Horsetail are good examples.

Emmenogogue: Emmenagogues stimulate menstrual flow in women who would normally be having a period. (not pregnant) These herbs can also help to restore a normal cycle for those with missed or irregular periods (amenorrhea).

Febrifuge: Also called antipyretic: Herbs that reduce fever are useful in a wide range of conditions including colds and flu and viral infections. Hot herbal teas should be given in good amounts, and a tepid herbal bath can cool the body as well.

Hypotensive: Hypotensive herbs lower blood pressure - relieving hypertension, or high blood pressure.

Insect repellents: Plants contain natural insect repelling chemicals that have evolved as self-defensive mechanisms against predatory insects. Many of these plants are aromatic herbs that use essential oils that we humans can use to protect ourselves, our families and our gardens without resorting to spraying poisons. Neem is considered one of the premium herbs to use for a natural insect repellent for home and garden because of its effectiveness and safety.

Muscle relaxant: Tense skeletal muscles like those in your, neck shoulders and back cause tension headaches and soreness.

Nervine: Herbs that directly act upon and the nervous system are nervines. They can act as stimulants, relaxants or have a tonic and resorative effect on the central nervous system, making nervines a sort of "catch-all" category. Many of the these nervines contain volatile essential oils.

Parturient : Promotes and eases childbirth. Traditional herbs used in childbirth. Motherwort is considered one of the premium herbs for women because of its effectiveness and safety.

Sedative: Herbs have a range of sedative actions, that include pain-relief (analgesics), antidepressants, and anxiolytic (anti-anxiety), often combining two or more actions. They calm the nerves and relieve tension.

Splenic: Treatment for the spleen. Signs of a weak Spleen include poor digestion, bloatedness, frequent bleeding and bruising and anemia.

Stomachic: Herbs that are stomachic are those who act most directly on the stomach, stimulate gastric digestion and relieve the discomfort of generalized stomach pain and cramping.

Uterine Tonic: Uterine tonics are Women's herbs for female reproductive health. They are often use to prepare women for an easier childbirth by toning the muscles of the uterus. They can also be used to address menstrual problems.

Vermifuge: Herbs that cleanse the body of intestinal worms and parasites are called anthelmintic (expel) or anti-parasite. They may also be called vermifuges (stunning) or vermicides (killing). The harder the herb is on internal parasites, the harder it is on the body, so use these cleansing herbs sparingly.

Vulnerary: Heals cuts, wounds and sores

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