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Glossary of Medicinal Terms

Analgesic: a compound that reduces pain

Anti-allergenic: describes a compound that alleviates allergic reactions

Antibiotic: anything that hinders the growth or reproduction of an organism, usually bacteria or microorganisms

Anti-inflammatory: lessens inflammation

Antioxidant: halts oxidation and acts as a preservative

Antiseptic: prevents decay and putrification, can also kill germs

Antiviral: a compound that either kills or stops a virus from reproducing

Astringent: causes tissues to contract

Cardioactive: anything that affects the heart

Counterirritant: an irritant that is applied to a part of the body in order to stimulate circulation, which counteracts another irritant

Diaphoretic: causes sweating

Diuretic: induces urination

Estrogenic: a compound that induces activation of the female chemical estrogen

Expectorant: induces the removal of the secretions of mucous

Homeostatic: a compound that regulates bleeding

Hypertensive: anything that causes a rise in blood pressure

Hypoglycemic: causes a decrease in the blood sugar level

Hypotensive: anything that causes a decrease in blood pressure

Immunostimulant: boosts the various functions of the immune system

Infusion: made by soaking plant parts in hot water, essentially a tea

Laxative: an agent which purges the body

Poultice: a warm, moist mass of plant matter that can be applied to the skin

Purgative: cleanses the bowels

Stimulant: a compound that increases the activity of another compound or cellular process

Styptic: controls bleeding by contracting blood vessels

Tincture: a diluted mixture of alcohol and plant matter

Tonic: vaguely describes any substance thought to have a generally positive effect on the body