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GLOSSARY OF THERAPEUTIC ACTIONS

These oils are 100% natural, therapeutic grade essential oils. This means they all have a unique natural chemical makeup that produces a particular effect and therapeutic quality. Molecules such as terpenes, esters, aldehydes, ketones, alcohols, phenols, oxides and acids are important to an Aromatherapist because of the effects and actions. Below you will find a glossary of therapeutic actions to help you when choosing your oils. These are words that are widely used when discussing the properties and effects of the essential oils.

A

Analgesic: a pain-reliever, for mild and sever pain. 

Anti-depressant: this helps lift depression, melancholy and related symptoms.

Anti-fungal: this inhibits mould and fungi growth. An agent that resists or destroys fungi.

Anti-infectious: fights infection. 

Anti-inflammatory: this helps to reduce and prevent inflammation.

 

Anti-spasmodic: this relieves muscle spasm in smooth muscle and relieves cramps.

 

Anti-septic:  cleansing, prevents and removes infection.

 

Aphrodisiac: this hightens sexual desire.  

 

Astringent: contracts and tightens blood vessels and body tissue, especally the skin.

B

Bactericidal: kills bacteria

Balancing: it creates a balance in emotions or in an activity within a part of the body

Bisabolol: anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory

 

C

Calming: this produces a sedative or tranquillising effect.

Carminative: this reduces intestinal spasm, settles the digestive system and preventing flatulence.

Cicatrisant: promotes healing of scar tissue.

Cephalic: this clears and focus the mind.

Cooling: cools and reduces the temperature where applied 

Cordial: a stimulant and a tonic

Cytophylactic: a cell re-generator

D

Decongestant: it relieves or reduces congestion.

Deodorant: this removes or inhibits odours.

Digestive: it aids with the digestion of food.

Diuretic: this increases urine production.

 

E

Emmenagogue: provokes mensuration, contraindicated for pregnancy

 

Expectorant: this helps remove mucus in the respiratory system.

F

Febrifuge: this helps reduce fever by reducing high body temperature.

Fungicidal: destroys fungi

G

Galactagogue: it increases the secretion of breast milk

H

Hypertensive: increases blood pressure

Hypotensive: lowers blood pressure

Hormone influencer: a tonic of the hormone system. It stimulates the action of hormones.

I

Immuno-stimulant: it stimulates the immune system.

L

Laxative: it stimulates or facilitates the evacuation of the bowels

N

Nervine: it strengthens and tones the nervous system

O

Oestrogenic: it promotes the production of oestrogen

R

Refreshing: a refreshing effect

Relaxing: a general relaxing effect

Rubefacient: this is warming and increases blood flow by dilating the blood vessels in the area applied.

S:

Sedative: this slows down and calms the nervous system. It lessens excitement, reducing nervousness, distress, or agitation.

Stimulant: this has an uplifting effect on the whole body or a specific system, depending on the oil.

Stomachic: aids digestion and eases indigestion

Sudorific: increases perspiration

T:

Tonic: strengthens and enlivens the body or parts of the body, depending on the oil.

V

Vermifuge: expels intestinal worms

Vulnerary: this prevents tissue degeneration and promotes healing of wounds with external application.

 

W

Warmth: creates a feeling of warmth