Properties Glossary - Terms, Definitions, and the Herbs that they Represent

I'm all about terms folks! It is important for everyone to be on the same page and this is a great page to be on! This is definitely not an all inclusive list, but it is something I am working on and building continually for myself as well as my awesome tea drinking fans so we can all refer back to this page. I love research, particularly herbal research, so this is something that has been and will be such a joy to build. I will also do my best to link back to each Herbal Highlight beside each property so you can see the details about each herb as well. 

When I first started my journey down the road of researching herbs and herbal medicine in the early 2000's, I began compiling research. Over many years it has evolved into a more organized format and I am eager to share my personal research with you all! This is definitely not the extent of my research, but I hope to expand my blog posts into very detailed information about the herbs I have studied. 

Terms: Definitions (and the herbs that represent them) used throughout this blog (the herbs listed beside each definition are not all-inclusive for that action, they are focused on the herbs that are used here at Cozy Leaf and herbs that will be discussed in detail on this blog)

Absorbents: Herbs used to produce absorption of exudates/inflammation or diseased tissues. (Mullein, Slippery Elm, and more)

Adaptogen: Herbs that help improve the health of your adrenal system which controls how the body adapt in times of stress. (Astragalus, Ashwaganda, Tusli, Ginseng, and more)

Alternative: Herbs used to alter the existing nutritive and excretory processes and gradually restore normal body functions. (Black walnut, Cayenne, Chickweed, Cramp bark, Echinacea, Elder bark flower and berries, Garlic, GoldenSeal, Hops, Plantain, Red Clover, Red Raspberry, St Johns Wort, Sassafras, Wood Betony, Yarrow, and many more)

Analgesics: Herbs used to allay pain when administered orally. (Chamomile, Catnip, Lobelia, Mullein, Scullcap, Nettles, Wood Betony, and many more) 

Antacids: Herbs used to neutralize acid in the stomach and intestinal tract. (Catnip, Cloves, Elder flowers, Fennel, Parsley, Peppermint, Slippery Elm, and many more)

Anthelmintic: Herbs used to expel and destroy intestinal worms. (Black Walnut -powerful, Chaomomile, Catnip, Cloves -powerful, Fennel, Garlic -powerful, Hops, Horseradish, Marigold flowers, Mullein, Plantain, Self0heal, Nettles, Valerian, Wood Betony, Wormwood -powerful, and many more)

Anti-arthritic: Herbs used to relieve and heal arthritic conditions - different from Anti-rheumatic. (Burdock, Cayenne, Dandelion, Sarsaparilla, Scullcap, and more)

Anti-asthmatic: Herbs used to relieve asthma. (Cayenne, Cramp bark, Elder bark and berries, Daisy, Garlic, Honeysuckle, Licorice, Mullein, Plantain, Red Clover, Slippery Elm, Nettle (root and leaves), Thyme, Walnut leaves, Wild Cherry, and many more)

Antibiotic: Herbs used to break down and destroy bacteria and infections.  (Echinacea, Garlic, Goldenseal, Eucalytus, and many more)

Antiemetic: Herbs used to lessen nausea and prevent or relieve vomiting. (Bilberry, Bitter orange, Cassia, Catnip, Cayenne, Cinnamon bark, Cloves, Cramp bark, Fennel, Golden seal, Horseradish, Lobelia, Lavender, Marigold, Nutmeg, Peppermint, Red Clover, Red Raspberry, Spearmint, White clover, and many more)

Antipyretic (febrifiuge): Herbs used to reduce temperature in fevers. (Camphor, Eucalyptol, and more)

Antiseptic: Herbs used to prevent, resist, and counteract the process of decay or rotting in the body - decay of cells and formation of pus. (Echinacea being amongst the most powerful. (Blackberry, Black Cohosh, Black Walnut hulls and leaves, Burdock, Chamomile, Cassia, Cayenne, Cinnamon oil, Cloves, Echinacea (powerful), Elder bark, Eucapytus, Fennel oil, Garlic in olive oil or steeped in a.c.v. (Powerful), Golden seal, Horseradish,  Lemon, Marigold, Marshmallow, Mullein, Peppermint, Plantain, Nettle, Uva Ursi, and many more)

Antispasmodic: Herbs used to relieve nervous irritability and reduce or prevent excessive involuntary muscular contractions/spasms. (Chamomile, Cassia, Catnip, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cramp bark, Elder bark, Eucalytus, FEnnel, Garlic, Lobelia, Marigold, Mullein, Oats, Parsley, Peppermint, Red Clover, Spearmint, Valerian, and many more)

Antizymotics: Herbs used used to attack and destroy the action of bacterial organisms. (Blackberry, Black walnut leaves and hulls, Cinnamon, Clove, Garlic, Horseradish, Lobelia, Mullein, Peppermint, and more) 

Aperients or Laxatives: Herbs used as mild evacuants or laxatives to the bowels.  (Burdock root, Dandelion, Elder flower and berries, Fennel, Golden seal, Horseradish, Licorice, Marshmallow, Oats, Parsley, Wood Betony, and many more)

Aromatic: Herbs that are odoriferous, having a fragrant, pungent and spicy taste, and which stimulate the gastrointestinal mucous membrane. (Basil, Anise, Black pepper, burdock, Chaomomile, Burdock, Cardamon, Catnip, Cinnamon, Clove, Fennel, Nutmeg, Orange peel, Parsley, Peppermint, Red Cover, Sassafras, Spearmint, Turmeric, Valerian, Wild Cherry, Wood Betony, and many more)

Astringent: Herbs that influence the vital contractility of cell walls, condense the tissues, make them denser and firmer, and arrest discharges. (Cassia, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Cramp bark, Echinacea, Guarana, Lobelia, Magnolia, Mullein, Plantain, Red raspberry, Rosemary, Scullcap, Self-heal, slippery elm (mild), St Johns wort, Nettles, Uva Ursi (powerful), Wild Cherry, Wood Betony, Yarrow, and many more)

Bitters: Herbs having a bitter taste and serving as a stimulant tonics to the gastrointestinal mucous membranes. (Chamomile, Wild Cherry, and more) 

Carminative: Herbs containing a volatile oil that excites intestinal peristalisis, and relieves and promotes the expulsion of flatus or gas from the gastrointestinal tract. (Cardamon, Catnip, Cinnamon, Cloves, Fennel, German Chamomile, Peppermint, Rosemary, Sarsaparilla, Spearmint, Star Anise, Valerian, Yarrow, and many more)

Cathartic: Herbs that are active purgatives to the intestinal tract, exciting peristalsis and stimulating glandular secretions, producing semi-fluid bowel movements with some irritation and griping. - refer to Laxative.

Demulcent: Herbs that have mucilaginous properties that are soothing and protective internally to irritated and inflamed surfaces and tissues (Burdock root, Chickweed, Comfrey root, Corn Silk, Elm, Funugreek, Ginseng, Golden seal, Licorice, Marshmallow, Mullein, Oats of oatmeal, Plantain, Psyllium, Sage, Sarsaparilla, Slippery Elm, and many more)

Depurants: Herbs that clean or purify the blood by promoting eliminative functions.  (Blessed Thistle, Burdock, Chaparral, Chickweed, Dandelion, Echinacea, Elder flower, Fennel, Kava Kava, Plantain, Red Clover, Sarsaparilla, Sassafras, Sarsaparilla, St Johns Wort, Stinging Nettle, White Clover, Wood Bethany, and many more)

Diaphoretic: Herbs that produce excessive perspiration and increased elimination through the skin. (Angelica, Anise, Blessed Thistle, Black Pepper, Burdock root and seeds, Chamomile, Catnip, Cayenne, Echinacea, Elder flowers and bark and berries, Elecampane, Fennel, Garlic, Sarsaparillas, Gingseng, Kava Kava, Lemon balm, Lobelia, Marigold, Peppermint, Sassafras, Spearmint, Yarrow (powerful), Valerian)

Digestants: Herbs containing ferments and acids that aid in the solution of digesting food. (Cinnamon, Cloves, Dandelion, Fennel, Garlic, Goldenseal, Horseradish (powerful), Nutmeg, Onions, Orange Peel, Star Anise, Wild Cherry) 

Disinfectants: Herbs that eliminate or destroy that noxious properties of decaying organic matter and thereby prevent the spreading or transfer of toxic matter or infection. (Black walnut hulls or leaves, Cloves - powerful, Eucalyptus, Garlic, Horseradish, Uva Ursi, and many more) 

Diuretic: Herbs that increase the secretion and flow of urine. (Anise root, Arnica, ARtichoke, Asparagus, Bilberry, Blackberries, Black cohosh, Burdock, Chaomomile, Catnip, Cayenne, Cedar berries, Corn silk, Cramp bark (as a relaxant), Dandelion, Elecampane, Elder bark and flowers and berries, Elm, Fennel, Garlic, Goldenseal, Guarana, Hawthron berries, Honeysuckle, Horseradish, Juniper berries, Kava Kava, Lily of the valley (powerful), Lobelia, Marshmallow, Mullein, Parsley, Plantain, Sarsaparilla, Sassafras, Scullcap, Self-heal, Slippery Elm, Spearmint, Star anise, Stingining Nettles, St Johns Wort, Sunflower, Uva Ursi, Valerian, Yarrow, and many more)

Emmenagogue: Herbs that are female correctives to the reproductive organs, which stimulate and promote a normal menstrual function, flow and discharge. (Aloe, Cohosh, Blessed Thistle, Buchanan, Catnip, Cedar berries, Comfrey, Cornflowers, Cramp bark, Dandelion, Evening primrose, Elecampane, Fennel, Fenugreek, Feverfew, Garlic, Chamomile, Ginger, Goldenseal, Guarana, Lemon, Lobelia, Marigold, Parsley, Peppermint, Plantain, Red Raspberry, Red Sage, Rosemary, St Johns wort, Stinginig Nettles, Slippery Elm, Uva Ursi, Valerian, Wood beyond, Yarrow, and many more)

Emollient: Herbs that are softening, soothing, and protective to the external surfaces. (Chickweed, Elecampane, Fenugreek, Fig, Garlic, Licorice, Marshmallow, Mullein, Oats or Oatmeal, Olive Oil, Onion, Plantain, Rose petals, Sesame, Slippery Elm, and many more)

Errhines: Herbs that increase nasal secretions from the sinuses. Let's be honest, we've all experienced this and did you know it had a technical term?! (Cayenne, Ginger, Horseradish, and many more).   

Expectorant: Herbs that promote and facilitate discharge of mucus secretions from bronchi-pulmonary passages. (Anise seed, Black Cohosh, Cloves, Comfrey, Cramp bark, Elder flowers, Elecampane, Fennel, Garlic, Ginger, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, Hops, Horseradish, Licorice, Lobelia, Mashmallow, Mullein, Onion, Parsley, Slippery Elm, St Johns Wort, Sunflower, Wild Cherry, Yarrow, and many more)

Febrifuges: Herbs that reduce fever. (Bitter Orange, Black Pepper, Black Walnut, Blessed Thistle, Catnip, Cayenne, Dandelion, Echinacea, Elder root, Lobelia (powerful), Margold, Peppermint, Plantain, Red Raspberry, Sarsaprilla, Nettles, Valerian, Wild Cherry, and more)

Galactagugues: Herbs that increase the secretion of milk. (Anise seed, Blessed Thistle, Fennel, Red Raspberry - to enrich the milk, and more)

Galactophyga: Herbs that diminish or stop the secretion of milk. (Cassia bark, Sage, Parsley- as a poultice, and more)

Hemetics: Herbs rich in iron and manganese and which augment and enrich the red corpuscles of the blood (blood-builders). (Blackberries, Black walnut leaves, Comfrey, Dandelion, Fenugreek, Red Raspberry, Yellow dock, and many more) 

Hemostatic: Herbs that are generally internally astringent and help arrest hemorrhagic or internal bleeding. (Black pepper, Black walnut, Cayenne - powerful, Cinnamon bark (uterus), Dandelion, Elecampane, Goldenseal (uterus, rectum), Marshmallow (lungs, urinary), Mullein, Onion juice, Red Raspberry, Red Rose, Self heal, St Johns Wort, Stingining Nettles, Uva Ursi (uterus), Yarrow, and many more)

Hepatics: Herbs used to strengthen, tone and stimulate the secretive functions of the liver, causing an increased flow of bile. (Blessed thistle, Black cohosh, Cramp bark, Dandelion, Elder, Fennel, Golden seal, Horseradish, Lemon, Lobelia, Milk Thistle, Plantain, Self-heal, Uva Ursi, Wood Betony, Yarrow, and many more)

Hypnotics: Herbs that are powerful nervine relaxants and sedatives that induce sleep. (Hops, Passion flower, Valerian, and more)

Laxative: Herbs used to soften stool and clear the bowels.  (Aloe, black walnut, Chaomimile, Elder root and bark, Garlic, Licorice, Lobelia, Red Raspberry, Sarsaparilla, Uva Ursi, Valerian, Yarrow, and more) - refer to Pergatives and Cathartics 

Mucilages: Herbs having mucilaginous properties. (Chickweed, Comfrey, Evening primrose, Fenugreek, Marshmallow, Slippery Elm, Uva Ursi, and many more) 

Nephritics: Herbs that influence the kidneys and are healing in kidney complaints. (Aloes, Black cohosh, Blessed Thistle, Chamomile, Cayenne, Corn silk, Dandelion, Elder, Elecampane, Goldenseal, Hawthorne, Mashmallow, Peppermint, Spearmint, Stinging Nettles, Uva Ursi, Yarrow, and many more) 

Nervine: Herbs that are tonic and healing to the nerve. (Chamomile - sedative, Catnip - sedative, Fennel, Garlic, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Guarana - stimulant, Hops, Valerian - sedative)

Nutritives: Herbs that are nourishing and building to the body tissue. (Burdock, Cayenne, Cloves, Dandleion leaf, Fennel, Dates, Horseradish, Licorice, Marshmallow, Mullein, Oats, Red Clover, Slippery Elm, Wood Betony, and many more)

Purgative: Herbs used to stimulate the action of evacuating the bowels both small and large intestines by loosening stool and increasing bowel movements. - Refer to Laxative and Cathartics 

Resolvents: Herbs that promote the dispersion of inflammatory deposits, and their absorption into the excretory channel. (Chickweed - fresh, Elder leaves and berries, Marigold, Milk Thistle, St Johns Wort, and more)

Sedative: Herbs that lower the functional activity of an organ or part of the body, thereby tending to calm, moderate or tranquilize. (Chamomile, Catnip, Cramp bark, Lobelia, Passion flower, Peppermint, Red Clover, Scullcap, Spearmint, St Johns wort, Valerian, Wild Cherry, Yarrow, and more)

Soporifics: Herbs that induce a relaxing sleep. (Catnip, Elder flower, Hops, Mullein, Passion flower, Peppermint, Scullcap, Valerian, and more)

Stimulant: Herbs that increase functional activity and energy in the body. (Blessed Thistle, Chamomile - nervous system stimulant, Cassia, Catnip - diffusive relaxant, Cayenne, Cloves - as a relaxant, Cornflower, Dandelion, Echinancea, Elder flower, Garlic, Ginseng, Guarana, Hops as a relaxant, Horseradish - powerful, Kava Kava, Lemon, Lobelia - diffisive relaxant, Marigold, Nutmeg, Oats, Peppermint, Red raspberry, Red Clover, Rosemary, Sarsaparilla, Sassafras - as a relaxant, Spearmint, Nettles, Valerian, Wild Cherry - as a digestive, Ginger, Yarrow, and many more)

Stomachics: Herbs that are stimulating tonics to the stomach. (Allspice, Aloes, Bitter Orange, Blessed thistle, Burdock root, Chamomile, Cardamon, Cayenne, Cinnamon, Cloves, Sage, Dandelion, Fennel, Ginseng, Hops, Peppermint, Red Raspberry, Wood Betony, and more)

Tonic: Herbs that stimulate nutrition and permanently increase system, tone, energy, vigor, and strength. (Bitter Orange, Black Pepper, Black Walnut, Burdock, Chaomomile, Cassia, Cayenne, Cornflower, Echinancea, Cramp Bark, Garlic, Ginseng, Goldenseal, Hawthorn, Horseradish, Licorice, Marigold, Oats, Red Clover, Red Raspberry, Red Rose, Sarsaparilla, Scullcap - as a nervine, Self Heal, Slippery Elm, Nettles, Turmeric, Uva Ursa, Valerian, Wild Cherry, Wood Betony, Sage, and many more)

Vulnerary: Herbs that promote healing of fresh cuts, wounds, etc. (Aloe, Arnica flower, Black walnut, Blessed thistle, Chamomile flower, Cayenne, Chickweed, Echinacea, Elder leaves and flowers, Fenugreek, Sage, Garlic, Golden seal, Horsetail grass, Mullein, Parsley, Marigold, Marshmallow root, Red rose, Rosemary, Slippery Elm, St Johns Wort, Wood Betony, Yarrow, and many more)

Harvest and Sourcing your herbs: As with any plant, particularly those growing wild that you are wild crafting, make sure that they have not been sprayed with any chemicals nor have they been too close to the roadside which may have left exhaust residue on the plant. 

All shared information is from my personal research and is intended for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. As always, for children or women who are pregnant or nursing should check with a healthcare professional or herbal practitioner before beginning any herbal regiment. Different herbs can affect some people differently, get to know your body and what herbs are most beneficial to your health and well being.

I have been building this list for yearsand this is my personal research that I am sharing with you for educational purposes only. Refer to the resources page for links to the resources I used to write this properties glossary.