Glossary of Traditional Western Medical Terms

Referenced from: Potter’s New Cyclopedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations R.C. Wren, F.L.S

Alterative - Substances that restore tissues to better health and functioning
Anodyne - Pain easing
Anthelmintic - Causing death or removal of worms in the body
Antibilious - Alleviates nausea
Antiperiodic - Prevents the return of diseases that can recur
Antiscorbitic - Prevents scurvy
Antiscrofulous - Prevents or cures swelling of the lymph nodes of the neck, tuberculosis
Antiseptic - Prevents putrefaction
Aperient - Promotes a natural movement of the bowels
Aphrodisiac - Excites the sexual organs
Aromatic - Having an aroma
Astringent - Binds, causing contraction of the tissues

Balsamic - Have the nature of balsam, contains resins and benzoic acid
Bitter - Bitter tasting, stimulates the appetite

Cardiac - Products that affect the heart
Carminative - Eases griping pains and expels flatulence
Cathartic - Evacuates the bowels
Cholagogue - Produces a flow of bile
Corrective - Restores to a healthy state

Demulcent - Substances that soothe and protect the alimentary canal
Deobstruent - Clears away obstructions by opening the natural passages of the body
Depurative - A purifying agent
Dermatic - Substances that have an affect on the skin
Detergent - Cleansing
Diaphoretic - Substances that promote perspiration
Digestive - Aids digestion

Emetic - Substances that cause vomiting
Emmenagogue - Activates or excites the menstrual discharge
Emollient - Substances that have a softening and soothing effect
Expectorant - Promotes expectoration, removes secretions from the bronchial tubes

Febrifuge - Reduces fevers

Galactagogue - An agent that stimulates the secretion of milk

Haemostatic - Substances that control bleeding
Hepatic - Substances that have an effect on the liver
Hydrogue - Removes excess water or serum, causes watery evacuations
Hypnotic - Produces sleep

Insecticide - Having the property of killing insects
Irritant - Causes irritation

Laxative - A gentle bowel stimulant

Mydriatic - Causes dilation of the pupils
Myotic - Causes contraction of the pupils

Narcotic - Substances that produce stupor and insensibility
Nephritic - Substances that have an action on the kidneys
Nervine - Substances that restore the nerves to their natural state
Nutritive – Nourishing

Oxytocic - Hastens birth by stimulating the contraction of the uterus

Parasisticide - Destroys Parasites
Parturient - Substances used during childbirth or labor
Pectoral - Substances taken internally for affections of the lungs and chest
Purgative - Substances that evacuate the bowels, more drastic than a laxative or aperient

Refrigerant - Relieves thirst and gives a feeling of coolness
Resolvent - Substances that are applied to swellings in order to reduce them
Rubefacient - Counter-irritants, substances that produce blisters, inflammation

Sedative - Substances that calm nervous excitement
Sternutatory - Produces sneezing by causing irritation of the mucous membranes
Stimulant - Produces energy
Stomachic - Substances given for disorders of the stomachic
Styptic - Substances clot the blood and stop bleeding
Sudorific - Produces copious amounts of perspiration

Taenicide - Substances that expel tapeworms
Tonic - Substances that tone the body producing a feeling of well-being

Vermifuge - Substances that expel worms from the body
Vulnerary - Used in healing wounds

Glossary of Oriental Medicine Medical Terms

Referenced from: Institute of Chinese Herbology Reece Smith, cofounder

Anchors the Yang - The kidneys capacity to hold the qi in its proper place
Aromatic - Promotes digestion by transforming dampness

Bi Syndrome - An obstruction of the channels, commonly causes joint pain
Blood deficiency - A lack of blood with possible signs of anemia, dizziness, dry skin or hair, menstruation disorders, fatigue, pale skin, or poor memory 

Calms the Spirit - Calms the heart, quiets the mind, and soothes the nerves
Cold - Lacking warmth, internal or external and found in many "hypo" conditions such as hypoglycemia and hypothyroidism
Clear Heat - Relieves inflammations and infections, such as infectious diseases
Conception Vessel - Circulates the qi, enhances the Yin, nourishes the reproductive organs

Damp / Dampness - Excessive amounts of fluids in the body, edema, congested fluids
Damp Heat - Congested fluids with additional signs of infection or inflammation
Deficiency - A lack of sufficient qi, blood, yin, yang or essence
Deficiency Heat - Heat arises due to lack of the cooling, moistening quality of the Yin
Drains Fire - Associated with high fever, thirst, irritable, febrile diseases
Dry / Dryness - Lacks moisture

Empty Heat - Chronic Yin deficiency that shows signs of heat (i.e. menopause)
Excess - An excess amount of a substance
External - Location of the disorder is on the surface, such as fevers and skin eruptions

Fire - Associated with fever, red or bloodshot eyes, and inflammations

Heat - Lacking coolness, internal or external and found in many “hyper” conditions 

Internal - Location of the disorder is internal, inside the body, such as stomachache 

Meridians - Also called channels, 12 major pathways the qi travels throughout the body

Phlegm - Accumulation of fluids, usually has a thick and sticky nature 

Qi deficiency - A lack of energy

Rebellious Qi - Energy moves in the opposite direction of its natural tendency (i.e. vomiting)

Six Pernicous Influences - Heat, Cold, Wind, Dampness, Dryness and Summer Heat
Stagnation - A blockage of qi or blood that prevents it from flowing smoothly
Summer Heat - High fever due to exposure to high heat and usually humidity 

Tonify - Supplement, support, or strengthen the body functions
Toxicity - Inflammation, infection, or severe heat disease 

Wei Qi - Defends the body from an invasion, similar to the immune system
Wind - Causes movement usually joins in with another of the Influences 

Yang deficiency - A cold syndrome due to lack of the warming and heating quality of the Yang
Yin deficiency - A heat syndrome due to lack of the moistening and cooling quality of the Yin.