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Herbs Actions & Related Definitions

Blue vervain herb

Below are a list of actions, therapeutic effects and definitions relating to herbs, medicine and the body.

abortifacient an agent that can induce abortions
alkaloid a nitrogenous, basic, and often medicinal, plant compound
allergen a compound that produces an allergic reaction
alterative a compound that alters body metabolism
analeptic a restorative
analgesic an agent that relieves pain
anodyne an agent that relieves pain through reducing nerve excitability
anthelmintic a preparation to rid the body of worms
anthraquinones a ketonic tricyclic anthracenes with laxative action
anti- prefix for terms designating amelioration, relief, or removal
antiacid an agent to relieve excess stomach, blood or bowel acidity
antiasthmatic an agent to dilate bronchioles or break up mucus
antibiotic an agent to inhibit growth of, or destroy, bacteria
anticarcinogen an agent to counteract cancer
anticatarrhal an agent to counteract mucus formation
antidepressant an agent that counteracts mental depression
anti-diarrheal an agent to relieve diarrhoea
antiemetic an agent that relieves stomach sickness and vomiting
antihyperlipidemic an agent to reduce arterial plaques
antilithic an agent to removes stones; lithotryptic
antipsychotic see tranquilliser
antipyretic an agent to reduce fever; febrifuge
antisecretory an agent that dries the body tissues
antiseptic an agent for skin application to destroy bacteria
antispasmodic an agent to lessen muscle spasms; spasmolytic
aperient a gentle laxative
aphrodisiac an agent to awaken sexual desires
astringent an agent that coagulates protein
balsams resinous mixtures containing cinnamates and benzoates
beta-carbolines tricyclic MAO inhibitors, hallucinogens
bradycardia a slowed heartbeat
carcinogen a substance that predisposes cancer development
carminative a substance to relieve the body of excess gas
catalyst a preparation that makes other remedies more effective
cathartic see purgative
cholagogue an agent to promote flow of bile into small intestine
CNS abbreviation for central nervous system
depressant, CNS a compound that reduces mental function
coumarins bicyclic, aromatic molecules that antagonise vitamin K
CV abbreviation for cardiovascular
decoction a boiled extract, used for the preparation of roots
decongestant an agent to relieve nasal congestion
demulcent a compound that protects abraded tissues
dextrins partial hydrolysis products of starch
diaphoretic a compound that increases perspiration; sudorific
diuretic an agent promoting urination
dyspepsia an impairment in digestion
emetic an agent to induce vomiting
emollient an agent that smooths and protects the skin
emmenagogue a preparation that hastens the onset of menses
euphoriant an agent to stimulate mental or physical pleasure
expectorant preparations used to break up phlegm in lungs
fatty acids hydrolysis products of fats
febrifuge see antipyretic
flavonoids a class of tricyclic molecules
galactogogue an agent to increase the flow of milk
GI abbreviation for gastro-intestinal
glyco- a prefix indicating the attachment of a sugar to a molecule
glycosides sugar esters
gums water swellable carbohydrate derivatives
HCN hydrogen cyanide, a respiratory poison
hemolytic a compound capable of dissolving red blood corpuscles
hemorragic a compound that leads to internal bleeding
hemostatic a compound that retards bleeding; styptic
hepatic an agent used in maintenance of liver function
hypotensive an agent to reduce blood pressure
infusion a water extract; a tea
laxative an aid to solid waste elimination
lithotriptic see antilithic
MAO monoamine oxidase, a major brain detoxification enzyme
miotic a compound that dilates the pupils
moxybustion the smoke used in acupuncture
mucilage tacky, water-insoluble sugar derivatives
mydriatic an agent used to dilate the pupils
MW abbreviation for molecular weight
nervine an agent that relieves nervousness; mild tranquilliser
oleoresins natural mixtures of resins and volatile oils
oxytocic an agent to promote uterine contractions during childbirth
parasiticide an external or internal agent to destroy parasites
parasympathomimetic an agent that excites the parasympathetic nervous system, eg, tobacco
pectins partially methoxylated uronic acid sugars
pedicullicide an agent to control lice
PMS premenstrual syndrome
purgative a strong laxative and emetic agent
refrigerant an agent to cool the body down
resins water-insoluble mixtures of resins, their acids, and alcohols
rubefacient an agent that brings a blush to the cheeks and increases skin circulation
saponins glycosides with a soaplike water suspension
sedative mild depressant; somnorific
sialogogue an agent that promotes the flow of saliva
spasmolytic see antispasmodic
sterols molecules related to cholesterol and some hormones
stimulant an agent to increase body metabolism
stimulant, CNS a compound that excites mental function
stomachic a preparation for the benefit of the stomach; also a tonic
sudorific see diaphoretic
tachycardia a raised heart beat rate
tannins bitter principles of plants containing plant polyphenols
terpenes hydrocarbon volatile oils, often with a strong smell
tonic an agent that restores normal tone to the body
tranquilizer an agent that reduces phychotic behaviour
vermifuge see anthelmintic
vulnerary an agent to increase the healing of wounds
waxes esters of fatty acids with high molecular weight alcohols
xanthines CNS stimulants with a purine type structure, e g, caffeine

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