Um, wha?? Action Words

 

 

So you're learning herbs....

 

Herbal terminology will be an important part of learning herbs. Understanding common words and terms will provide a deeper understanding of the plants actions and uses. Among the different categories of herbal terminology, action words allow you to quickly identify the uses and conditions under which a specific herb could be used or should not be used.

 

Action words can sum up the uses of a plant very nicely and be used as a quick reference to what a plant is capable of. However, it's important to note that if you are just learning herbs, it's important to look at all the plants qualities and to always work with an experienced herbalist or practitioner to ensure safety of use.

 

Although these words look a little intimidating at first, keep practicing! In no time you'll be using these action words.

 

The list below provides you with a to-the-point definition of each action word. At some point, an
in-depth post describing each action with examples of plants and herbs that fall under them would be beneficial so a point of reference can be established.

 

This list does not include all action words used but will provide you with a good quantity to review.

 

 

ACTION WORDS

 

Abortifacient:                   Induce abortion
 

Adaptogen:                        Modulating action for entire body
 

Alterative:                           Restore health and vitality to help assimilate nutrients and eliminate waste                                                          properly through lymphatic system
 

Anodyne/Analgesic:    Relieve pain
 

Antacid:                               Neutralize acid in stomach and intestinal
 

Anti-carcinogenic:        Prevent or delay cancer
 

Anti-catarrhal:                Counteracts excessive mucous and inflammation in sinus or respiratory
 

Anti-depressant:            Depressed states of mind
 

Anti-emetic:                     Relieve nausea and vomiting
 

Anti-inflammatory:     Combats extensive/excessive states of inflammation
 

Anti-microbial:                Stimulate immune system to combat micro-organisms
 

Antioxidant:                      Protects body from free radicals
 

Antiseptic:                           Prevents or eliminates sepsis
 

Antispasmodic:               Prevents or eases spasms
 

Aperient:                             Gentle stimulation to digestion, mild laxative
 

Aphrodisiac:                      Increase sexual desire/excitation (libido)
 

Astringent:                         Tone muscle tissues
 

Bitter:                                     Stimulates digestion
 

Cardio-protective:         Protects the heart
 

Carminative:                    Initiate peristalsis
 

Choleretic:                         Increase secretion bile from the liver
 

Cholagogue:                      Flow of bile from gallbladder

Counter-irritant/
Derivative:                          Induce local irritation, draw blood in
 

Demulcent:                        Mucilaginous herbs, relax and sooth tissues
 

Depurative:                        Purifying & detoxifying
 

Diaphoretic:                      Increase sweating
 

Diuretic:                              Increase urine flow
 

Emmenagogue:               Increase menstrual flow
 

Emollient:                          Skin to soften, smooth and protect

 

Expectorant:                     Remove excess mucous
 

                                                Amphoteric: Stimulate OR relaxing expectorant IE: Allium sativum
 

                                                Stimulating: Vagus nerve affecting upper gastric and bronchial reflex IE:                                                               Lobelia inflate & Inula helenium
 

                                                Relaxing: Mucilage. Anti-spasmodic. Thin mucous and relieve irritation IE:                                                           Althaea off.


Febrifuge:                          Reduce fever
 

Galactagogue:                 Flow of mother’s milk
 

Hemostatic:                     Arrests bleeding
 

Hepatic:                               Strengthen and tones liver
 

Hepato-protective:      Protects liver
 

Hypnotic:                          Relaxant/sedative action, sleep aid
 

Hypotensive:                   Reduce blood pressure
 

Immune stimulant:     Stimulate immune response to deal with infection
 

Lymphatic:                      Support lymphatic system
 

Nervine:                             CNS. Relaxing, stimulating and/or tonic depending on herb
 

Refrigerant:                     Colling herbs lower body temperature and relieve thirst
 

Rubefacient:                    Localized increase of blood
 

Sedative:                             Calm CNS by reducing stress and nervous irritation
 

Sialagogue:                       Increase flow of saliva
 

Stimulant:                        Warms body, increase circulation, breaks up congestion and obstruction
 

Styptic:                                Stop external bleeding by astringing
 

Stomachic:                        Tonic to the stomach
 

Tonic:                                   Improve assimilation of nutrients
 

Vasodilator:                     Dilates veins = increase circulation
 

Vulnerary:                        Healing wounds externally

 

 

Action!

 

Ninetta (Nina) Savino

Herbalist

Please reload

Featured Posts

Herbal Cold Care Series - Introduction: Natural Remedies for Cold + Flu Season

October 3, 2019

1/4
Please reload

Recent Posts

May 13, 2016

Please reload

Archive
Please reload