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Earthnotes
Herbalist
Glossary

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   L   M   N   O   P   R   S   T   V   W

A
= toxic agent, AVOID          = danger/caution, mild to severe apply          = AVOID if pregnant
See corresponding herb pages for more information
TERM DEFINITION NATURAL AGENTS ASSOCIATED with the TERM
ABORTIFACIENT Brings about the premature expulsion of a fetus Barley; Bayberry, english; Bur reed
= Burnut; Cohosh, Blue; Juniper; Mugwort
= Burnut; Cohosh, Blue; Pennyroyal, English; also see Plants to Avoid if Pregnant
ACRID Possessing a biting taste accompanied by heat and/or heat and irritation to tissues when applied Asphodel; Betel nut
= Arsesmart; Bindweed, jalap; Burnut; Butter-and-Eggs; Cattail; Celandine; Cohosh, Blue
= Burnut; Butter-and-Eggs; Cattail; Celandine; Cohosh, Blue
= Arrowwood; Asthma weed; Birthwort; Bloodroot; Blue flag; Buttercup; Centipede, Vietnamese
ADAPTOGEN Increases the body's ability to adapt to environmental and internal stresses by strengthening various key body systems such as immune, nervous, and glandular. For an herb to be labeled an adaptogen, it must meet three criteria: 1) Have minimal side effects; 2) Increase the body's overall immune function by a wide range of actions rather than specific action; 3) Restore balance to all body systems while not being detrimental to any. Some are primary adaptogens (P) while others are labeled secondary (S) and are used in an assisting capacity. Astragalus (S); Gotu Kola (S); Oats, wild (S); Reishi (P); Schizandra (P); Suma (S)
= Ashwaganda (S); Burdock (S); Fo-Ti (S); Ginseng, Siberian (P)
= Burdock (S)
ALTERATIVE Restores health in a gradual and nonspecific way by bringing balance to the whole body Abalone; Abscess root; Alder, tag; Alfalfa; Pilewort; American ivy; Angelica tree; Apple; Ash, prickly; Bamboo, dwarf; Bearsfoot, American; Beech, blue; Beggartick, hairy; Bistort; Brunsfelsia; Burnet; Caroba; Celosia; Centaury, european; Chickweed; Cleavers; Clover, red; Coriander; Corn; Cucumber; Dandelion; Lady's bedstraw; Poplar, white; Soapwort; Turkey-Corn
= Angelica; Barberry, common; Bead tree; Bethroot; Birch, sweet; Burdock; Burnut; Butternut; Calendula; Cat's Claw; Celandine; Figwort; Stoneroot; Thistle, blessed; Walnut, black
= Angelica; Alstonia; Barberry, common; Burdock; Burnut; Butternut; Calendula; Celandine; Figwort
= Arrowwood; Black cohosh; Blackroot; Bloodroot; Blue flag; Boxwood
ANALGESIC Relieves or diminishes pain Agrimony; Ajuga (mild); Allspice; Aloe; Anaphalis; Anise, star; Ash, northern; Ash, prickly; Bramble, shiny (see Ash); Aspen, quaking; Balloon flower; Bearsfoot, american; Bayberry; Black haw; Burnet; Catnip; Centipeda; Clove; Couchgrass; Dong Quai; Meadowsweet; Pearly life everlasting; Poplar, white
= Achryanthes root; Angelica pubescens; Apricot; Avens, yellow; Bayberry; Boneset, asian; Borage; Bupleurum; Burnut; Cannabis; Cayenne; Celandine; Chamomile; Comfrey; Figwort; Licorice; Mullein; Sassafras; Willow, white
= Achryanthes root; Angelica pubescens; Burnut; Celandine; Chamomile
= Aconite, carmichael's; Arnica; Arum; Belladonna; Belladonna, japanese; Birthwort, frail; Black cohosh; Buttercup; Camphor; Camphor, Borneo
ANAPHRODISIAC Reduces sexual desire or potency = Cedar, white; Hops
ANDROGENIC Relates to the production of male characteristics = Barrenwort
ANESTHETIC Deadens sensation, particularly that of pain Allspice; Almond (topical); Aloe; Ash, Japanese prickly; Clove (topical); Mint (mild)
= Angelica anomala; Cannabis (topical); Poppy
= Aconite (topical); Bloodroot (topical)
ANODYNE Same as Analgesic see ANALGESIC
ANTACID Relieves excess acidity such as of the stomach Alfalfa; Apple; Meadowsweet
ANTIANDROGENIC Diminishes effects of masculinizing hormones = Hops
ANTHELMINTIC Destroys or expels intestinal worms See VERMIFUGE
ANTIBACTERIAL/
ANTIBIOTIC
Destroys or arrests the growth of bacteria Akebia; Aloe; Amur cork tree; Anise, star; Apple; Ash, japanese prickly; Ash, northern; Atractylodes macrocephela; Balloon flower; Bamboo, black; Beggartick, hairy (weak); Betel; Black currant; Black medic; Black eyed susan; Bletilla; Bottle gourd; Burnet; Burrweed; Cabbage; Canella; Cannabis; Catnip; Chives; Cleavers (weak); Clove; Coriander; Couchgrass; Fenugreek; Garlic; Horsemint (see Mint); Lavender; Nettle, Dwarf; Onion; Pinks, Chinese; Plantain; Rosemary; Stevia; Usnea; Walnut, english; Water plantain
= Anemarrhena; Ashwaganda; Asparagus, chinese; Bay; Barberry, common; Bayberry; Bearberry; Black cherry; Blackberry lily; Blazing star; Brucea; Burdock; Calendula; Caraway; Cashew;& Cayenne; Chamomile (gram pos/staph); Chicory; Cinnamon; Cohosh, Blue; Coltsfoot; Echinacea; Fennel; Goldenseal; Thistle, blessed
= Barberry; Bearberry; Blackberry lily; Burdock; Calendula; Chamomile (gram pos/staph); Cinnamon; Cohosh, blue; Coltsfoot; Cumin; Fennel; Ginger, Wild; Goldenseal; Sage; Sage, Purple
= Anemone chinensis; Bloodroot; Boxthorn; Camphor, borneo
ANTICOAGULANT Prevents liquid/blood from clotting = Chervil
ANTICHOLINERGIC Blocks passage of impulses through the autonomic nerves Balloon Flower
ANTICONVULSANT Tending to prevent fits or convulsions Ampelopsis
= Arum
ANTIDEPRESSANT Counteracts depressive mental states Ash, Red; Balm, Lemon; Balmony; Basil, Holy; Damiana; Lovage; Lovage, Black
= Cannabis;
ANTIDOTE Relieves, prevents, or counteracts a poison
SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATELY IN CASE OF POISONING BY ANY AGENT!!
!!!FIND YOUR LOCAL POISON CONTROL CENTER or PHONE 1-800-222-1222!!!
Alstonia (strophanthus); Arrowroot (vegetable poisons); Aster (animal); Balm, Lemon (tobacco); Balmony, Indian (carbon tetrachloride); Bayberry (arsenic - external); Blackberry (poison); Black Face God (lacquer poisoning); Bottle Gourd (poison); Canarium (poison fish); Ceylon Spinach (poisons); Clove (side effects of Lobelia); Corn (Iodine); Cranesbill (poisons/mercury); Horehound (snakebite); Yellowdock (Nettle)
= Apricot (kernal); Boneset, Asian (poison)
= Asarabacca (mushroom); Belladonna (certain gases, calabar bean, opium); Birthwort (snake); Calabar Bean (atropine); Hemlock (Strychnine)
ANTIEMETIC Counteracts nausea, relives vomiting Adrue; Amomum; Bamboo, Black; Basil, Holy; Bilberry; Cardamom, Bastard; Cardamom, Round; Chives, Garlic; Clove; Ginger
= Cannabis
ANTIFLATULENT Prevents or relieves intestinal gas/wind Aquilaria; Savory
= Chamomile
= Chamomile; Cumin
ANTIFUNGAL Destroys or arrests the growth of fungal infections Akebia; Anise, Star; Ash, Japanese Prickly; Balloon Flower; Beggar Tick, Hairy; Cedar, True; Clove; Coriander; Horsemint (see Mint); Jewelweed; Marjoram, Showy; Monarda; Stevia; Tea Tree; Thyme; Walnut, English
= Anemarrhena; Barberry; Bay; Bead Tree; Blackberry lily; Brucea; Burdock; Calendula; Cedar, White; Chamomile; Cinnamon; Cohosh, blue; ♣Figwort; Mullein; Walnut, Black
= Barberry; Blackberry Lily; Burdock; Calendula; Chamomile; Cohosh, Blue; Cinnamon
= Ambrosia; Arnica; Bloodroot
ANTIGRIPING An herbalist term descriptive of an agent used to relieve spasmodic pain in the bowel, sometimes as the result of administering another herb to relieve constipation Allspice; Anise; Clove; Coriander
ANTIHISTIMINE Counteracts an allergic condition
NOT FOR EMERGENCY SITUATIONS!
Balloon Flower; Balm, Lemon
= Ginger
= Asthma Weed
ANTI-INFLAMMATORY Relieves inflammation Agave; Akebia; Alliaria; Ash; Ash, Northern; Aspen, Quaking; Bachelor Button; Balloon Flower; Beggartick, Hairy; Bilberry; Bishopweed; Bistort; Blackberry; Black Currant; Blueberry; Brunfelsia; Bupleurum; Burnet; Butcher's Broom; Cabbage; Canarium; Cayenne; Cedron; Cleavers; Couchgrass; Cranesbill; Dandelion; Meadowsweet; Pinks, Chinese; Plantain; Poplar, White; Walnut, English
= Angelica; Angelica pubescens; Ashwaganda; Avens; Barberry, common; Bead Tree; Birch, Paper; Birch, Silver; Blackberry Lily; Bogbean; Burdock; Calendula; Cannabis; Comfrey; Cat's Claw; Celandine; Chamomile; Chicory; Cohosh, Blue; Crampbark; Elder; Hops; Licorice; Stoneroot
= Angelica pubescens; Barberry; Blackberry Lily; Burdock; Calendula; Celandine; Chamomile; Cohosh, Blue; Ginger; Sage; Sage, Purple
= Anemone chinensis; Arnica; Asthma Weed; Birthwort; Black Cohosh; Blue Flag; Camphor, Borneo
ANTILACTAGOGUE Dries up breast milk Arrowhead; Barley
= Chicory; Walnut, Black
= Sage; Sage, Purple
ANTILITHIC Reduces urinary stones and/or dissolves those already present Bottle Gourd; Dandelion
= Bead Tree; Stoneroot
ANTIMITOTIC Arrests mitosis, a form of cell division = Comfrey
ANTIOXIDANT Prevents oxidation by oxygen molecules that damage tissues in the body Betel; Bilberry; Marjoram, Showy; Rosemary; Selfheal
= Cat's Claw; Ginkgo
ANTIPARASITIC An herbalist term meaning to repel or destroy parasites such as mites or scabies Anise; Annatto (skin); Balsam of Peru; Black Chebula; Elecampane; Papaya; Tea Tree
= Bahia Powder; Bay; Bead Tree
ANTIPERIODIC Counteracts periodic or intermittant diseases such as malaria Artemisia; Ash; Ash, White; Beech, Blue; Burrweed
ANTIPYRETIC Lowers body temperature to reduce or eliminate fever Agave; Aglaia; Ailanto; Akebia; Alfalfa; Amur Cork Tree; Apple; Arenaria; Ash; Ash, Prickly; Aspen, Quaking; Astragalus; Baeckea; Bala; Balloon Flower; Balloon Vine; Balm, Lemon; Balmony, Indian; Balsam; Balsam Pear; Bamboo, Black; Bamboo, Dwarf; Barley; Basil, Camphor; Basil, East Indian; Basil, Holy; Bebeeru; Benjamin Bush; Bilberry; Birdsfoot Trefoil; Bistort; Blackberry; Black Currant; Gourd, Bottle; Currant, Red; Burnet; Button Bush; Cabbage; Caesar Weed; Catnip; Cedron; Celosia; Centaury, American; Centary, European; Ceylon Spinach; Chickweed; Cleavers; Coriander, False; Corn; Couchgrass; Cucumber; Dandelion; Pinks, Chinese; Pinks, Clove; Poplar, Ontario; Ragwort; Safflower
= Alexander, Golden; Anemarrhena; Apricot, Japanese; Asparagus, Chinese; Asparagus, Fern; Avens; Avens, Rough; Avens, Water; Barberry, common; Bead Tree; Bindweed, Hedge; Blackberry Lily; Bogbean; Boneset; Borage; Brucea; Bupleurum; Burdock; Butternut; Cashew; Cattail; Cedar, White; Cinnamon; Comfrey; Thistle, Blessed
= Barberry; Blackberry Lily; Burdock; Butternut; Cattail; Cinnamon
= Ambrosia; Asthma Weed; Birthwort; Black Cohosh; Bloodroot; Boxthorn; Boxwood; Broom, Scotch; Camphor, Borneo; Wormwood
ANTISCORBUTIC Cures or prevents Scurvy due to presence of vitamin C Agrimony; Ash, American; Aspen, Quaking; Citrus fruit; Dandelion; Narrowleaf Cottonwood (see Poplar); Potato
= Barberry; Poplar, Balsam
= Barberry
= Columbine
ANTISCROFULOUS Counteracts scrofula, a tubercular condition Adder's Tongue
= Birch, Sweet
ANTISEPTIC Inhibits or destroys bacteria Agave; Alder, American Black; Allspice; American Ivy; Anaphalis; Anise; Apple; Ash, American; Aspen, Quaking; Astragalus; Balm of Capaiba (genitourinary); Balm, Lemon; Balsam; Basil, East Indian; Basil, Holy; Beech; Beech, American; Benzoin; Betony; Birch, Silver; Black Currant; Black Face God; Carrot, Wild (urinary); Catnip; Cedar, True; Cedron; Clove; Cranesbill; Damiana (urinary); Eucalyptus; Garlic; Hops; Horsemint (see Mint); Marjoram, Sweet; Mint; Monarda; Mullein; Onion; Oregano, Greek; Palmarosa; Pine; Poplar, Ontario; Poplar, White; Savory (mild); Southernwood; Sweet Cicely; Thyme
= Angelica (urinary); Arsesmart; Avens; Bay (topical); Bayberry, English; Bearberry (urinary); Boldo; Buchu; Bupleurum; Cajuput; Calendula; Cayenne; Cedar, White; Chamomile; Cinnamon; Cohosh, Blue; Goldenseal; Horseradish; Juniper; Sassafras; Thistle, Blessed; Walnut, Black
= Angelica (urinary); Bearberry (urinary); Cajuput; Calendula; Chamomile; Cinnamon; Cohosh, Blue; Goldenseal; Sage; Sage, Purple
= Alder Buckthorn; Arnica; Asthma Weed; Birthwort; Blackroot; Camphor
ANTISPASMODIC Relieves or prevents spasms Abalone; Aglaia; Agrimony; Ailanto; Alfalfa; Almond; Alstonia; Ambrette; American Ivy; Ammoniac Gum; Angostura; Anise; Asafetida; Ash, Prickly; Asphodel; Aster, Short's; Astragalus; Balm, Lemon; Barberry, Amur; Basil, Holy; Beggartick, Swamp; Benzoin; Betony; Bilberry; Black Haw; Blueberry; Burrweed; Caraway; Cardamine; Catnip; Cayenne; Cedron; Celandine; Cleavers; Clove; Coriander; Coriander, False; Dandelion (weak); Lady's Bedstraw; Mint; Nettle, Blind; Oregano; Skullcap; Thyme; Walnut, English
= Angelica; Apricot; Apricot, Japanese; Beechdrops; Bergamot; Boldo; Boneset; Burnut; Calendula; Cannabis; Cardamom; Cascara Sagrada; Chamomile; Cinnamon; Clover, Red; Cohosh, Blue; Crampbark; Licorice; Stoneroot
= Angelica; Burnut; Calendula; Chamomile; Cinnamon; Clover, Red; Cohosh, Blue; Cumin
= Ambrosia; Asthma Weed; Belladonna; Belladonna, Japanese; Birthwort, Frail (bronchial); Black Cohosh; Blackroot; Bloodroot; Buttercup; Butterfly Weed; Cabbage, Skunk; Camphor; Camphor, Borneo
ANTISUDORIFIC Arrests sweating = Sage; Sage, Purple
ANTITHROMBOTIC Counteracts blood coagulation by preventing/inactivating the action of thrombin Alfalfa; Bilberry; Butcher's Broom
ANTITUSSIVE Relieves coughing Arenaria; Aster, Red-Stalked; Balloon Flower; Bamboo, Black; Barrenwort; Black Cherry; Caesar Weed; Centipeda
= Apricot; Asparagus, Chinese; Bugleweed; Cannabis; Coltsfoot; Licorice
Bugleweed; Coltsfoot
= Belladonna, Japanese-2; Birthwort, Frail; Black Cohosh; Boxthorn; Castor Bean
ANTIVIRAL Destroys or arrests the growth of viruses Agrimony; Annatto; Apple; Astragalus; Balsam Pear; Cardamom, Bastard; Clove; Fenugreek; Shitake
= Ashwaganda; Blackberry Lily; Black Cherry; Bupleurum; Calendula; Cat's Claw; Cedar, White; Cinnamon; Comfrey; Elder; Licorice; St Johnswort
= Blackberry Lily; Calendula; Cinnamon; Cumin
ANTIYEAST An herbalist term to denote agents specific to fighting yeast infections Acidophilus (candida); Beggar Tick, Hairy (candida); Stevia
APERIENT Mild bowel stimulant ♣Asparagus; Balmony; Betony; Butcher's Broom; Candle Nut; Ceylon Spinach; Couchgrass; Cucumber; Dandelion
= Borage; Calendula
= Calendula
= Arrowwood (mild); Ash, Mountain
APHRODISIAC Stimulates sexual desire or increases potency of the sexual response Anaphalis; Aquilaria; Artichoke; Asafetida; Ash, Black; Bala; Balsam Pear (male); Beggar Tick (female); Broomrape; Candle Nut; Celosia; Clove; Damiana; Lady's Bedstraw; Nettle, Dwarf; Rosewood
= Ashwaganda; Barrenwort; Boneset, Asian; Burnut
= Burnut
AROMATIC An agent with an agreeable, spicy taste and odor which possesses the ability to have a physiological or psychological effect (as in aromatherapy) Acacia, Cassie; Ajuga; Ambrette; Amomum; Anaphalis; Angostura (bitter); Anise; Szechuan Pepper; Aster, Purple-Stemmed; Atractylodes chinensis; Balm of Copaiba; Balm, Lemon; Balsam; Basil; Basil, East Indian; Basil, Holy; Bearswort; Benjamin Bush; Betel; Brunsfelsia; Buchu; Butcher's Broom; Canella; Caraway; Cardamom; Cardamom, Bastard; Cayenne; Chamomile; Chervil; Cinnamon; Clove; Coriander; Coriander, False; Costmary; Ginger; Marjoram, Sweet; Mint; Oregano, Greek; Pinks, Clove; Pussytoes
= Avens; Bay; Bayberry; Bergamot; Birch, Sweet; Blazing Star; Boldo; Bugleweed; Poplar, Balsam
= Bugleweed; Cumin; Ginger, Wild
= Arnica; Blue Flag (slight)
ASTRINGENT An agent which brings about contraction or constriction of tissue and reduces secretions or discharges Abscess Root; Acacia; Agrimony; Agrimony, Water; Ailanto; Ajuga; Alder; Alder, American Black; Alder, Tag; Alfilaria; Alkanet; Alstonia; American Ivy; Anaphalis; Annatto; Arbutus; Ash; Ash American; Ash, Northern; Ash, Prickly; Ash, White; Aspen, Quaking; Aster, Short's; Atractylodes (A. ovata); Bachelor Button; Bael (mildly); Bala; Balloon Flower; Balm of Copaiba; Balsam; Bamboo, Black; Bebeeru; Beech, American; Benzoin; Betel Nut; Betony; Bilberry; Bistort; Blackberry; Black Chebula; Black Cherry; Black Currant; Black Haw; Blazing Star; Blueberry; Burnet; Canarium; Capers; Carrot, Wild; Catnip; Celosia; Cleavers; Costmary; Cranesbill; Dandelion; Lady's Bedstraw; Lady's Mantle; Nettle, Blind; New Jersey Tea; Parsley, Piert; Pearly Life Everlasting; Pilewort, Poplar, White; Pussytoes; Ragwort; Savory; Szechuan Pepper; ♣Thistle, Blessed; Thyme; Walnut, English
= Angelica; Apricot, Japanese; Arsesmart; Ashwaganda; Avens; Avens, Rough; Avens, Water; Barberry, common; Bay; Bayberry; Bayberry, English; Bearberry; Beechdrops; Bethroot; Birch, Common; Birch, Silver; Birch, Sweet; Boneset; Brucea; Bugleweed; Burdock; Burnut; Butter-and-Eggs; Butternut; Calendula; Caraway; Cascara Sagrada; Cattail; Cayenne; Cedar, White; Chamomile; Cinnamon; Coltsfoot; Comfrey: Crampbark; Elder (mild); Sorrel; St Johnswort; Stoneroot; Walnut, Black
= Angelica; Barberry, Common; Bearberry; Bugleweed; Burdock; Burnut; Butter-and-Eggs; Butternut; Calendula; Cattail; Chamomile; Cinnamon; Coltsfoot; Cumin; Sage; Sage, Purple
= Anemone chinensis; Anemone, Canadian; Arnica; Ash, Mountain; Black Cohosh; Broom, Scotch; Buttercup; Columbine (mildly)
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©2006 by Ernestina Parziale, CH