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