Acrid: Causes heat
and irritation when applied to the skin
Analgesic: Relieves pain
Anodyne: Relieves pain, it is milder than an
Anthelmintic: Expels parasites from the gut.
Antibacterial: Kills bacteria.
Antibiotic: A drug used to treat infections caused
by bacteria and other micro-organisms. Originally, an antibiotic
was a substance produced by one micro-organism that selectively
inhibits the growth of another.
Anticholesterolemic: Prevents the build up of
Antifungal: An agent that inhibits or destroys
fungi. Used in the treatment of various fungal problems such as
Antihaemorrhoidal: Treats haemorrhoids (piles).
Antiinflamatory: Reduces inflammation of joints,
Antiphlogistic: Reduces inflammation.
Antirheumatic: Treats rheumatism.
Antiscorbutic: A plant rich in vitamin C that
is used to counteract scurvy.
Antiseptic: Preventing sepsis, decay or putrefaction,
it destroys or arrests the growth of micro-organisms.
Antispasmodic: Relaxes muscular spasms and cramps,
calming nervous irritation.
Antitumor: Preventing, or effective against,
tumors, it is used in the treatment of cancer. Probably synonymous
Aperient: A mild laxative.
Aromatic: Having an agreeable odour and stimulant
Astringent: Produces contraction in living tissue,
reducing the flow of secretions and discharges of blood, mucus,
Cardiotonic: A tonic for the heart.
Cathartic: A strong laxative but less violent
than a purgative.
Carminative: Reduces flatulence and expels gas
from the intestines.
Cholagogue: Increases the flow of bile and its
discharge from the body.
Demulcent: Soothes, lubricates and softens irritated
tissues, especially the mucous membranes.
Depurative: Eliminates toxins and purifies the
system, especially the blood.
Diaphoretic: Induces perspiration.
Digestive: Aids digestion.
Diuretic: Acts on the kidneys, promoting the
flow of urine.
Emetic: Induces vomiting.
Emmenagogue: Promotes or increases the menstrual
Emollient: Softens the skin, causing warmth and
Enuresis: Treats bed wetting.
Expectorant: Clears phlegm from the chest by
Febrifuge: Reduces fevers.
Galactogogue: Promotes the flow of milk in a
Haemostatic: Controls internal bleeding.
Hypnotic: Induces sleep.
Hypoglycaemic: Reduces the levels of sugar in
Hypotensive: Reduces blood pressure, it is used
in the treatment of high blood pressure.
Insecticide: Kills insects.
Laxative: Stimulates bowel movements in a fairly
Mouthwash: Treats problems such as mouth ulcers.
Narcotic: Relieves pain, induces drowsiness and
gives a sense of well-being.
Nutritive: A food for convalescents to help restore
Opthalmic: Treats eye complaints.
Odontalgic: Treats toothache (temporary measure
only) and other problems of the teeth and gums.
Parasiticide: Treats external parasites.
Poultice: A moist, usually warm or hot, mass
of plant material applied to the skin in the treatment of burns
Purgative: A drastic laxative causing a cleansing
or watery evacuation of the bowels, usually with a griping pain.
Rubefacient: A counter-irritant and external
stimulant, it produces inflammation and redness of the skin.
Salve: Soothes and heals damaged skin.
Sedative: Gently calms, reducing nervousness,
distress and irritation.
Stimulant: Excites or quickens activity of the
physiological processes. Faster acting than a tonic but differing
from a narcotic in that it does not give a false sense of well-being.
Sudorific: Causing or increasing sweat (Diaphoretic).
Stomachic: Aids and improves the action of the
Tonic: Improves general health. Slower acting
than a stimulant, it brings steady improvement.
Vasoconstrictor: Narrows the blood vessels, thereby
increasing blood pressure.
Vasodilator: Widens the blood vessels, thereby
reducing blood pressure.
Vermifuge: Expels worms.
Vulnerary: Promotes the healing of wounds.