Definitions of Medicinal Benefits of Herbs

When reading up on herbs, we need to know the definitions of medicinal benefits of herbs. We may have no clue what those big words mean. I have found a handy reference section in Jethro Kloss' book, Back to Eden. It seems wise to share it here with you. I'm taking the liberty to add other definitions as I come across them.

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Medicinal Benefits of Herbs

Alterative: Producing a healthful change without perceptible evacuation.

Anodyne: Relievers pain.

Anthelmintic: An agent which expels worms.

Aperient: Gently laxative, without purging.

Aromatic: Stimulant, spicy.

Astringent: Causes contradiction and arrests discharges

[Note, these "Anti-" words represent an action that undoes a bad condition. You might want to look up more details on them].

Antibilious: Acts on the bile, relieving biliousness.
(And biliousness is that yucky taste that comes up when you have heartburn).

Antimetic: Stops vomiting.

Antiepeptic: Relieves fits.

Antiperiodic: Arrests morbid periodical movements

Anthilitic: Prevents the formation of calculi in the urinary organs.
(Calculi are kidney stones made of calcium mostly).

Antirheumatic: Relieves or cures rheumatism.

Antiscorbutic: Cures or prevents scurvy.
(That will mainly be fruit, right?)

Antispetic: Opposed to putrefaction.
(So these herbs help to clean wounds, naturally).

Antispasmodic: Relieves or prevents spasms.

Antisyphititic: Having effect on or curing venereal diseases.

More Definitions of Medicinal Benefits Herbs

Carminative: Expells wind from the bowels.
(A substitute for Tums!)

Cathartic: Evacuating to the bowels.

Cephalic: Used in diseases of the head.
(That doesn't say what they really do, does it?)

Cholagogue: Increases the flow of bile.

Condiment: Improves flavour of food.
(That's right; lots of spices are really herbs too).

Demulcent: Soothing, relieves inflammation.
(Like aloe vera on your sunburn).

Deobstruent: Removes obstructions.

Depurative: Purifies the blood.

Detergent: Cleansing to boils, ulcers, and wounds.

Diaphoretic: Produces perspiration.

Discutient: Dissolves and removes tumors.
(Oh, let's go hunt for these herbs!)

Diuretic: Increases the secretion and flow of urine.

Emetic: Produces vomiting.

Emmenagogue: Promotes menstruation.

Emoillient: Softening and soothing to inflamed parts.

Esculent: Edible as food.
(Wouldn't the word edible do?)

Exanthematous: Remedy for skin eruptions and diseases.

Expectorant: Facilitates expectoration.
(That is, it brings up phlegm).

Febrifuge: Abates and reduces fevers.

Hepatic: Remedy for diseases of the liver.

Herpatic: Remedy for skin eruptions, ringworm, etc.

Laxative: Promotes bowel action.

Lithontryptic: Dissolves calculi in the urinary organs.
(The answer to kidney stones then!)

Maturating: Ripens or brings boils, tumors, and ulcers to a head.

Mucilaginous: Soothing to inflamed parts.

Nauseant: Produces vomiting.

Nervine: Acts specifically on the nervous system, allaying nervous excitement.

Opthalmicum: A remedy for disease of the eye.

Parturient: Induces and promotes labor at childbirth.

Pectoral: Remedy to relieve chest affections.
(Not love-sickness, I don't think... Physical problems in the chest).

Refrigerant: Cooling.
(Oh, herbal teas for a hot day? Maybe to bring down a fever too).

Resolvent: Dissolves and removes tumors.
(More herbs to hunt up for our loved ones with cancer).

Rubifacient: Increases circulation, produces red skin.

Sedative: Tonic effect on nerves, also quieting.

Sialogogue: Increases the secretion of saliva.

Stomachic: Strengthens and gives tone to the stomach.

Styptic: Arrests hemorrhage and bleeding.

Sudorific: Produces profuse perspiration.

Tonic: Remedy which is invigorating and strengthening.
(We can sure use more of these!)

Vermifuge: Expels worms.

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