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Glossary of Essential Oil Properties

Glossary of Essential Oil Properties


Abortifacient: Capable of inducing abortion.

Analgesic: Numbing or pain relieving.

Anthelmintic: Expels parasitic worms from the body by either stunning or killing them. They may also be called vermifuges (stunning) or vermicides (killing).

Anti-bacterial: Destroys bacteria.

Anti-dontalgic: Relieves toothache.

Anti-emetic: Reduces the severity or incidence of vomiting.

Anti-fungal: Inhibits fungus growth.

Anti-galactagogue: Impedes or lessens the flow of breast milk.

Anti-hemorrhagic: Prevents or combats bleeding.

Anti-infectious: Helps the body strengthen its own resistance to infective organisms and rid the body of illness

Anti-inflammatory: Alleviates inflammation.

Anti-phlogistic: Counteracts inflammation

Anti-pruritic: Relieves or prevents sensation of itching

Anti-pyretic: Dispels heat, fire and fever (from the Greek word pyre, meaning fire).

Antiseptic: Assists in fighting germs and infections.

Anti-seborrheic: Helps control the oily secretion from sweat glands.

Anti-spasmodic: Relieves spasms of voluntary and involuntary muscles.

Anti-sudorific: To lessen sweating.

Anti-rheumatic: Prevents and/or relieves rheumatic pain and swelling.

Anti-tussive: Capable of relieving or suppressing a cough (from ANTI- + Latin tussis a cough)

Anti-toxic: Antidote or treatment to counteract the effects of poison.

Anti-viral: Inhibits growth of viruses.

Aperient: Mild laxative

Aphrodisiac: Increasing sexual desire and sexual functioning

Astringent: Firms tissue and organs; reduces discharges and secretions.

Balsamic: Soothing medicine or application having the qualities of balsam

Carminative: Relieves intestinal gas pain and distention; promotes peristalsis.

Carcinogenic: A substance that promotes cancer or cancerous growths

Cephalic: A substance which is stimulating and clearing for the mind.

Cholagogue: Stimulating the secretion of bile into the duodenum

Choleretic: Helps the liver to excrete bile, leading to greater bile flow

Cicatrisant: Promotes healing by cell-regeneration and formation of scar tissue.

Cytophylactic: Action of increasing the leukocyte activity to defend the body against infection.

Colic: Pain due to contraction of the muscle of the abdominal organs

Decongestant: Reduces nasal mucus production and swelling.

Demulcent: An agent protecting mucus membranes and helps stop irritation

Depurative: Helps to detoxify and to combat impurities in the blood and body

Detoxifier: Helps to detoxify and to combat impurities in the blood and body.

Diaphoretic: Causes perspiration and increased elimination through the skin.

Diuretic: Promotes activity of kidney and bladder and increases urination.

Emetic: Induces vomiting.

Emmenagogue: Helps promote and regulate menstruation. Helps the uterus to expel.

Emollient: Smoothes, softens and protects the skin.

Expectorant: Promotes discharge of phlegm and mucous from the lungs and throat.

Febrifuge: Helps to combat fever

Galactagogue: Helps to increase milk secretion.

Hemostatic: Stops the flow of blood. An astringent that stops bleeding or hemorrhaging.

Hypotensive: Lowers high blood pressure.

Immune stimulant: Stimulates functioning of the immune system.

Laxative: Promotes bowel movements.

Menorrhagia: Excessive blood loss during menstruation

Mucolytic: Breaks down mucus (pulmonary).

Narcotic: Substance inducing sleep

Nervine: Strengthens the functional activity of the nervous system; may be either a stimulant or sedative.

Neurotoxin: A substance having a toxic or harmful effect on the nervous system

Parturient: Assisting and helping childbirth

Pruritis: Itching

Pyrosis: Heartburn

Rubifacient: Increases local blood circulation, can cause minor skin irritation, vasodilation and local analgesic effect.

Sedative: Calms and tranquilizes by lowering the functional activity of the organ or body part.

Soporific: A substance which helps to induce sleep

Stimulant: Increases functional activity of specific organ or system.

Stomachic: Serves to tone the stomach, improving its function and increasing appetite.

Tonic: Strengthens and restores vitality.

Sudorific: Increases sweating.

Vasoconstrictor: An agent which helps the contraction of blood vessels.

Vasodilator: An agent which helps the dilation of blood vessels.

Vermifuge: Expels intestinal worms

Vulnerary: An agent applied externally which helps to heal wounds and sores and helps to prevent tissue degeneration.