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How many times have you come across a description of a specific essential oil you are interested in only to find that the language used to describe its effects are just as foreign as its uses.
I’ve compiled a list that should help decipher any of those terms you should come across.

Enjoy!

Glossary of Aromatherapy Terms

ABORTIFACIENT: Induces childbirth or premature labor.

AEROPHAGY. An excess of air in the alimentary canal that is relieved through burping or flatulence.

ALTERATIVE: Gradually improves the nutritional state of the body.

ANALGESIC: Relieves or reduces pain.

ANAPHRODISIAC: Reduces sexual desire.

ANESTHETIC: Numbs the nerves and causes a loss of sensation.

ANTHELMINTIC: Expels or kills intestinal worms.

ANTIBACTERIAL: Kills bacteria.

ANTIDEPRESSANT: Reduces or prevents depression.

ANTIDIARRHOEIC: Relieves diarrhea.

ANTIDOTE: Counteracts a poison.

ANTIEMETIC: Counteracts nausea and stops vomiting.

ANTIFUNGAL: Kills fungal infections.

ANTIGALACTAGOGUE: Reduces the production of milk secretion of nursing mothers.

ANTI-INFLAMMATORY. Reduces inflammation.

ANTILITHIC: Prevents formation of stones or calculus.

ANTINEURALGIC: Stops nerve pain.

ANTIPHLOGISTIC: Counteracts, reduces, or prevents inflammation.

ANTIPRURITIC: Relieves or prevents itching.

ANTIPUTRID: Stops putrefaction.

ANTISCLEROTIC: Removes deposits from circulatory vessels.

ANTISCORBUTIC: Preventative for scurvy.

ANTISEPTIC: Inhibits the growth of and kills bacteria.

ANTISPASMODIC: Relieves or prevents spasms, cramps, and convulsions.

ANTISUDORIFIC: Reduces perspiration.

ANTITOXIC: Counteracts poisons.

ANTITUSSIVE: Relieves coughs.

ANTIVIRAL: Weakens or kills viruses.

APERIENT: A gentle purgative of the bowels.

APERITIF: Appitite stimulant.

APHRODISIAC: Arouses sexual desires.

BALSAMIC: Softens phlegm.

BRONCHODILATOR: Expands the spastic bronchial tube.

CALMATIVE: Mild sedative or tranquilizer.

CARDIAC: Stimulates or affects the heart.

CARDIOTONIC: Tones the heart muscle.

CARMINATIVE: Expels gas from the intestines.

CEPHALIC: Problems relating to the head.

CHOLAGOGUE: Increases the flow of bile.

CHOLERETIC: Stimulates the production of bile.

CICATRIZANT: Helps the formation of scar tissue; healing.

COAGULANT: Clots the blood.

CYTOPHYLACTIC: Protects the cells of the organism.

DECONGESTANT: Relieves congestion.

DEMULCENT: Soothes irritated tissue, particularly mucous membranes.

DEPURATIVE: Cleanses and purifies the blood and internal organs.

DETERSIVE: Detergent. Cleanses wounds and sores, and promotes the formation of scar tissue.

DIAPHORETIC: Causes perspiration.

DISINFECTANT: Kills infections and disease producing microorganisms.

DIURETIC: Increases the secretion and elimination of urine.

EMETIC: Induces vomiting.

EMMENAGOGUE: Promotes and regulates menstruation.

EMOLLIENT: Softens the skin, and soothes inflamed and irritated tissues.

ESTROGENIC: Similar to estrogen.

EUPHORIANT: Brings on an exaggerated sense of physical and emotional well-being.

EXPECTORANT: Promotes the discharge of mucous from the lungs and bronchial tubes.

FEBRIFUGE: Reduces or prevents fevers.

FIXATIVE: Holds the scent of a fragrance.

GALACTAGOGUE: Promotes or increases the secretion of milk in nursing mothers.

GERMICIDE: Kills germs.

HALLUCINOGEN: Induces hallucinations-an imagined or false sense of perception.

HEMOSTATIC: Stops hemorrhaging.

HEPATIC: That which acts on the liver.

HYPERTENSOR: Raises the blood pressure.

HYPNOTIC: Induces sleep.

HYPOTENSOR: Lowers the blood pressure.

INSECTICIDE: Kills insects.

LARVICIDE: Kills the larvae of insects.

LAXATIVE: Promotes the elimination from the bowels; a mild purgative.

NERVINE: Calming and soothing to the nervous system.

PARASITICIDE: Kills parasites.

PECTORAL: Affecting the respiratory system.

PURGATIVE: Promotes vigorous elimination from the bowels.

REGENERATOR: Promotes new growth or repair of structures or tissues.

REJUVENATOR: Assists in promoting a youthful appearance.

RELAXANT: Lessens or reduces tension, and produces relaxation.

RESOLVENT: Reduces swellings.

RESTORATIVE: Restores consciousness and/or normal physiological activity.

RUBEFACIENT: A local irritant that reddens the skin.

SEDATIVE: Calms anxiety and promotes drowsiness.

STIMULANT: Excites or quickens an activity in the body.

STOMACHIC: Strengthens, stimulates, and tones the stomach.

SUDORIFIC: Promotes or increases perspiration.

TONIC: Strengthens and revitalizes the body or specific organs.

TRANQUILIZER: Calms the nerves.

VASOCONSTRICTOR: Constricts the blood vessels.

VASODILATOR: Dilates the blood vessels.

VERMIFUGE: Expels intestinal worms.

VULNERARY: Assists healing of wounds and sores by external application

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