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Woodland Herbs - Complementary medicine terms
Category: Health and Medicine > Complementary medicine
Date & country: 23/11/2007, UK
Words: 132

Aqueous coating
a natural water and vegetable cellulose coating which can be used as a coating to enhance tablet disintegration and dissolution

Ascorbic acid
The chemical name for vitamin c

Products that cause a tightening and contractions of the skin tissues, generally used to tone skin and close pores. Can also arrest heavy bleeding

Avocado Oil
Has excellent penetrating qualities, softens and regenerates skin. This emollient is valued for its high lipid and Vitamin A, D and C components

Ayurveda Medicine
System of sacred medicine originating from Ancient India, dating from 1000 to 3000BC.

Barrier cream
cream that provides a protective coating when applied to the skin eg. hands and face

A natural emulsifier and thickener

Beta Carotene
An abundant source of Vitamin A with rich anti-oxidant properties. It is necessary for tissue repair and maintenance and accelerates the formation of healthy new skin cells. Vitamin A deters excess dryness

main active ingredient in chamomile which has excellent skin healing properties

Stimulate the autonomic nervous system. Bitters increase appetite, assist assimilation

Botanical Extract
An extract of herbs and plants. The extracting solvent can be water, oil, alcohol or any synthetic solvent such as propylene glycol

herbs that expand the clear space within the bronchial tubes, opening up airways and relieving obstruction.

Candida albicans
A yeast that causes thrush and in more severe cases, symptoms can affect the whole body

A caprylic acid formulation that facilitates absorption of calcium and magnesium

Coloring agent derived from liquid corn syrup

substances that bring about a malignant change in body cells

Anti-flatulents, aromatic herbs used to expel gas from the stomach and intestines

Natural red pigment obtained from cochineal

Castor Oil
A superb conditioner that has been proven to strengthen the hair shaft

An aspect of metabolism which is concerned with the breaking down of complex substances to simpler ones, with the release of energy

Cetyl Alcohol
Derived from coconut and palm oils. This is not a drying alcohol. Used as an emollient and to protect skin from moisture loss

stored energy of the sun. Green colouring matter of plants

A group of agents which increases the secretion of bile and its expulsion from the gall bladder

An agent which reduces cholesterol levels by excreting cholesterol

Citric Acid
Derived from citrus fruit . A natural preservative that helps to adjust the pH of cosmetic products

Deep-cleansing and highly absorbent. Bentonite and green clay are two types of natural clay

External applications to soften tissue, allay inflammation or alleviate pain

not indicated, against medical advice, unsuitable for use

Used as a safe base for our eye shadows, blushers and loose powders

Powerful anti-coagulant plant chemicals. Used to prevent blood clotting

An agent which produces vaso-dilation of peripheral blood vessels by stimulating nerve-endings of the skin to generate irritation intended to relieve deep-seated pain

Sustained contraction of a muscle.

A preparation obtained by bringing to the boil and simmering dense herbal materials ie. Bark, root and woody parts for a plant to extract active constituents

Herb which is used to loosen mucus within bronchi and lungs

Anti-irritant. A herb rich in mucilage that is soothing, bland, offering protection to inflamed or irritable mucous surfaces

Blood purifier. Alterative

Plant medicines that aid removal of a poison or poisonous effect, reducing toxic properties

Herbs that induce increased perspiration.

Agents that increase the flow of urine from the kidneys and so excrete excess fluid from the body

A term used to describe the cleansing of certain parts of the body eg. Washing wounds and ulcers, eye douches etc.

A herb to disperse and promote excretion from the body

A herb to induce vomiting. Given to expel poisons

Plant substances which initiate and promote the menstrual flow

Any substance that prevents water loss from the skin. Most natural oils perform this function

A substance that holds oil in water or water in oil. They are necessary in the manufacture of cream and lotions

A mixture of two incompatible substances. Most creams on the cosmetic market are emulsions

Bed wetting

A biological catalyst that acts to speed up chemical reactions. Digestive enzymes are necessary for the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates and fats ie.pepsin

Essential Fatty Acids
A fatty acid that must be supplied in the diet as the body cannot produce it itself

Herbs that increase bronchial mucous secretion by promoting liquefaction of sticky mucous and its expulsion from the body.

Fatty Acid
A monobasic acid containing only the chemicals carbon, hydrogen and oxygen. Found in vegetable and animal fats, they are important for maintaining a healthy skin and are excellent emollients


Fixed Oil
A fixed oil is chemically the same as a fat, but is generally liquid ie. Almond oil, grapeseed oil

natural chemicals that prevent the deposit of fatty material in blood vessels

Flaxseed Oil
Rich source of omega 3 essential fatty acids. (Also known as Linseed Oil)

A natural sugar found in honey and fruits

a herb, usually a gum, which when burnt releases mixed gases into the atmosphere to cleanse against air borne infection eg. myrrh or frankincense.

herb to increase flow of breast milk in nursing mothers

Glycerin (vegetable)
A humectant and emollient, it absorbs moisture from the air, thereby keeping moisture in your skin

an organic substance which may be broken into two parts, one of which is always sugar

Grain Alcohol
A natural solvent that evaporates easily

Green Tea Extract
Works towards lightening the skin by actively slowing the transport of melanin to the skin's surface. Has well known antioxidant qualities

Guar Gum
A fibre derived from the guar plant and used as a binder in tablet manufacturing.

agents that arrest bleeding

a herb that assists the liver in its function and promotes the flow of bile

A chemical released via the body's immune system in response to allergens

Hyaluronic Acid
Derived from yeast cells, it is extremely hydroscopic. Binds water in the interstitial spaces between skin cells, forming a gel-like substance which holds the cells together

Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil
Source of essential fatty acids

In the strictest sense means without fragrance, but more broadly refers to products that are unlikely to cause skin irritation

The liquid resulting from making a herbal tea

Iron Oxides
Natural mineral derived colour pigments.

Clay used to absorb oils.

agent used for persistant constipation to help expel faecal matter from the bowel

Natural antioxidant and emollient. High in essential fatty acids. A stabiliser and emulsifier from soya beans, corn, peanuts and egg-yolk. Cholesterol reducer

a straw coloured fluid which circulates many tissues of the body and serves to lubricate and cleanse them.

Magnesium Carbonate
Mineral derived from dolomite, it is used in our face powders to achieve the correct shade or tone

A natural sugar substitute derived from the manna plant and seaweed

abnormally heavy menstrual bleeding, more than normal flow and longer lasting

Nature constituent of peppermint oil. Used for its antiseptic properties

The energy channels which run through the body and are used in acupuncture, reflexology and other similar therapies

the reactions involved in the building up and decomposition of chemical substances in living organisms

bleeding from the womb between periods

Mineral Salts
Used for colour pigments in our temporary hair colour

a slimy product formed by the addition of gum to water. Used internally and externally to soothe irritated and inflamed membranes and surfaces

agents that disperse or dissolve mucus.

Natural glycerine
used to stabilise and disperse liquid nutrients inside a capsule. A clear colourless syrupy liquid with a sweet taste derived from natural fats and oil

Nerve restoratives
herbs used to provide support and restoration of the nervous system caused by stress, disease or faulty nutrition

a non-irritating, easily digested agent which provides body nourishment and stimulates metabolic processes.

a herb which increases or stimulates the appetite

a herb which hastens the process of childbirth by initiating contraction of the uterine muscle.

refers to the outermost parts of the body

poultices are packs of powders, dried or fresh herbs, enclosed in a muslin bag or wrapped in folds of a flannel or linen and soaked in boiling water, then applied to the affected area of the body

hormone like messengers in the body responsible for the control of important body functions

presence of albumin in the urine


an agent that encourages evacuation of matter from the bowel.

a backward flow of food to the mouth from the gullet or stomach

a cooling preparation taken orally or applied externally

a thick-solid, insoluble in water but soluble in alcohol, exude from trees or plants which are used as antiseptics

Rice Bran Wax
Derived from rice bran, used as emollient and to protect skin from moisture loss