Thursday 13: Thirteen Herbalism Terms Defined

In the study of herbalism, I come across a number of terms that are both interesting and mystifying, since they’re not things we use in everyday conversation. I thought I’d share 13 with you – out of a list of quite a bit more than that! o.O… Never knew whatcha didn’t know, huh? Me neither.

So. Here we go:

1. Abortifacient: A drug or other agent that induces the expulsion of a fetus.

2. Alterative: An agent that produces gradual beneficial change in the body, usually by improving nutrition, without having any marked specific effect and without causing sensible evacuation.

3. Analgesic: A drug that relieves or diminishes pain.

4. Anaphrodesiac: An agent that reduces sexual desire or potency.

5. Anesthetic: An agent that deadens sensation.

6. Anthelmintic: An agent that destroys or expels intestinal worms; vermicide; vermifuge.

7. Anthocyanins: Any of a class of soluble glycoside pigments that are responsible for most of the blue to red colors in leaves, flowers, and other plant parts.

Bonus: Glycoside: Noun: A compound formed from a simple sugar and another compound by replacement of a hydroxyl group in the sugar molecule.

8. Antibiotic: An agent that destroys or arrest the growth of micro-organisms.

9. Anticoagulant: An agent that prevents clotting in a liquid, as in blood.

10. Antiemetic: An agent that counteracts nausea and relieves vomiting.

11. Antihydrotic: An agent that reduces or suppresses perspiration.

12. Antiperiodic: An agent that counteracts periodic or intermittent diseases (such as malaria).

13. Antipyretic: An agent that prevents or reduces fever.

Source: Jeanne Rose,The Medicinal Herbal, Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies Course, 2001, page 102

7 Replies to “Thursday 13: Thirteen Herbalism Terms Defined”

  1. I must talk to a different set of people, because #5, #8 and #9 are actually every day conversation for me.

    And #3 should be familiar to everyone, as the over the counter pain relievers in every medicine cabinet are analgesics, (it says it right on the bottles).

    I’m familiar with #1 and #10 from writing, so I’m doing rather well. I might pick up an herbalism book yet. *grin*


    Happy T13,

    13 Wishes

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