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Glossary of medical terms

A

   


Abortifacient
Causes abortions


Adaptogen    
Helps the body adapt to stress and supports normal function


Analgesic
Reduces pain


Anaesthetic
Numbs perception of external sensations


Anaphylactic
Caused by extreme sensitivity to a substance


Anthelmintic
Expels or destroys parasitic worms


Anti-anxiety
Protects against feelings of intense fear, real or imagined


Antibiotic
Destroys or inhibits micro-organisms


Anti-candidal
Destroys or inhibits growth of candida yeast infections


Anti-coagulant
Prevents blood clotting


Antidepressant
Treats depression


Anti-fungal
Combats fungal infections


Antihistamine
Reduces allergic reaction caused by histamine production


Anti-inflammatory
Reduces inflammation


Anti-malarial
Destroys organism causing malaria, or used to treat malaria


Anti-microbial
Destroys or inhibits micro-organisms


Anti-oxidant
Prevents oxidation and breakdown of tissues


Anti-periodic
Preventing the recurrence of symptoms of a disease


Anti-protozoal
Destroys protozoal infections


Antiseptic
Destroys or inhibits infection causing organisms


Anti-spasmodic
Prevents and relieves muscle spasms


Anti-tetanus
Destroys bacteria that cause tetanus


Anti-tumourous
Retards or prevent uncontrolled cell growth


Antitussant
Soothes and relieves coughing


Anti-ulcerogenic
Relieves symptoms of gastric and other ulcers


Aphrodisiac
Excites libido and sexual organs


Astringent
Tightens mucous membranes and skin, reducing secretions and bleeding


Auto-immune
Caused by bad reaction to own natural antibodies

B

   


Bitter
Stimulates the appetite


Bronchodilator
Dilates and relaxes bronchial muscles

C

   


Carcinogenic
Causes cancer


Cardiotonic
Strengthens the heart and improves heart function


Carminative
Relieves gas and indigestion

D

   


Demulcent
Soothes and protects body surfaces and mucous membranes


Detoxification
Removal of toxins and waste from the body


Digestive
Aiding digestion


Diuretic
Stimulates flow of urine

E

   


Edema
Retention of fluid


Emetic
Induces vomiting


Emmenagogue
Causes vomiting


Expectorant
Helps clear phlegm form the throat and chest

F

   


Febrifuge
Reduces fever

H

   


Haemostatic
Stops or reduces bleeding


Hepatic
Affects the liver


Hepato-protective
Protects the liver


Hyperglycaemic
Raises blood sugar levels


Hypertension
High blood pressure


Hypoglycaemic
Lowers blood sugar level


Hypotension
Low blood pressure

I

   


Immune stimulant
Stimulates the body's immune defences

L

   


Laxative
Promotes evacuation of the bowels

N

   


Narcotic
Causes drowsiness or stupor and relieve pain


Nervine
Restores the nerves, relaxes the nervous system

P

   


Pectoral
Acts on the chest and lungs


Pesticidal
Destroys insects and other pests


Phytochemical
A plant substance that can treat disease


Pulmonary
Those conditions that affect the lungs


Purgative
A very strong laxative

S

   


Sedative
Reduces activity and nervous excitement


Stimulant
Increase activity and nervous excitement


Styptic
Stops bleeding


Systemic
Affects the body as a whole


   

T

Tonic
Restores and nourishes the body


Topical
Applied to the body surface

V

   


Vaso-constrictor
Contacts and narrows blood vessels


Vaso-dilator
Relaxes and widens blood vessels


Vermifuge
Expels intestinal worms