ADAPTOGEN: Adaptogens support and nourish the adrenals and thereby increase the resilience & resistance to stress, enabling the body to avoid reaching collapse.

ALTERATIVE: Old fashioned blood purifiers and lymphatic cleansers, increasing the proper function of the elimination channels through liver, kidney, skin & lungs

AMPHOTERIC: Has the ability to act as either an acid or a base

ANALGESIC (or Anodyne): Pain reliever

ANODYNE (or Analgesic): Pain reliever

ANTHELMINTIC (or Vermifuge): Destroys and expels worms from the digestive system

ANTICATARRHAL: Expels mucus from upper respiratory system

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Helps alleviate depression

ANTIDIURETIC: Causes retention of more water in the body

ANTIEPILEPTIC: Helps alleviate epilepsy

ANTIHISTAMINE: Blocks the action of histamine

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY: Reduces inflammation and interrupts the prostaglandin process

ANTIMICROBIAL: Helps the body destroy pathogenic microorganisms. This category includes:

  • ANTIBACTERIAL: Destroys bacteria
  • ANTIFUNGAL: Destroys fungus
  • ANTIVIRAL: Destroys viruses

ANTIOXIDANT: Prevents free radical or oxidative damage

ANTIPYRETIC (or Febrifuge): Reduces fever

ANTIRHEUMATIC: Helps prevent and relieve rheumatism

ANTISPASMODIC: Eases cramps and reduces severity of spasms

ANTISEPTIC: Destroys and prevents the development of microbes

ANTITUMOR: Prevents or is effective against tumors

ANTITUSSIVE: Reduces coughing by affecting activity in the brain’s cough center and depresses respiration

ANXIOLYTIC: Used to reduce anxiety

APERIENT (or Deobstruant): Gentle laxative that does not cause purging- stimulates the digestive system and moves the liver

APHRODISIAC: Increases or stimulates sexual desire

ASTRINGENT: Has a binding effect on mucus membranes, skin, and other tissues- they tone and tighten

BALSAMIC: A healing or soothing agent

BITTER: Acts as stimulant tonics for the digestive system through a reflex via the taste buds

CARDIOPROTECTIVE: Protects the heart

CARMINATIVE: Reduces gas and relaxes the stomach

CATHARTIC: Stimulates the movement of the bowels, more powerful than a laxative

CHOLAGOGUE: Stimulates secretion of bile from the gall bladder

CHOLERETIC: Aids excretion of bile by the liver, so there is a greater flow of bile

DEMULCENT: Rich in mucilage which soothes and protects irritated or inflamed internal tissue

DEOBSTRUANT (or Aperient): Removes obstructions by clearing and opening the natural ducts of the fluids and secretions of the body

DIAPHORETIC: Promotes perspiration, enabling the skin to eliminate waste from the body

DIURETIC: Increases the production and elimination of urine

EMMENAGOGUE: Tones and stimulates the female reproductive system

EMETIC: Causes vomiting

EMOLLIENT: Softens and soothes the skin when applied externally

EXPECTORANT: Supports the removal of excess mucus from the lungs and respiratory system

FEBRIFUGE (or Antipyretic): Helps the body bring down fevers

GALACTAGOGUE: Increases secretion of breast milk

HEMOSTATIC (or Styptic): Stops or reduces bleeding

HEPATIC / HEPATOPROTECTIVE: Strengthens and protects the liver

HYDRAGOGUE: A type of CATHARTIC that increases the fluid content of feces

HYPOCHOLESTEROLEMIC: Lowers the amount of cholesterol in the blood

HYPOTENSIVE: Helps to lower blood pressure

IMMUNOMODULATOR: Used to strengthen the immune system and help the body fight off disease

IMMUNOSTIMULATOR: Stimulates some aspect of the immune system

LAXATIVE: Helps to promote elimination of the bowels

NEPHROPROTECTIVE: Protects the kidneys

NERVINE: Restores and strengthens the nervous system

NEUROPROTECTIVE: Protects the nervous system

OXYTOCIC: Stimulates labor contractions in pregnancy

PECTORAL: Strengthens the respiratory tract and pulmonary system


REFRIGERANT: Cooling, reduces fever

RUBEFACIENT: Increases localized blood flower when applied externally to the skin. Often used to ease the pain and swelling of arthritic joints

SEDATIVE: Reduces stress, calms the system, and relieves anxiety. Can relax nervous system enough to allow for restful sleep. Some sedatives are also considered HYPNOTICS

SIALOGOGUE: Stimulates the production of saliva

STYPTIC (or Hemostatic): Stops or reduces bleeding. Used as ANTI-HEMORRHAGIC for external bleeds

THERMOGENIC: Stimulates metabolism and body’s ability to burn fat by increasing the heat in the body

TONIC: Nourishes, tones, balances, and restores natural function, vitality & flexibility to tissue and/or organs. There are tonic herbs specific to each body system

VASODILATOR: Dilates the blood vessels

VERMIFUGE (or Anthelmintic): Destroys and expels worms from the digestive system

VULNERARY: Wound healers for internal and external use