Medicinal Terms: A-B-C, D-E-F, G-H-I-J-K-L , M-N-O-P-Q-R, S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z | Links to check chemistry


Abortifacient: Capable of inducing abortion
Absolute: The most concentrated form of fragrance obtained when distilling a concrete
Anthelmintic: A vermifuge, destroying or expelling intestinal worms
Anti-emetic: Reduces the severity or incidence of vomiting
Antioxidant: A substance to prevent or delay oxidation
Anti-phlogistic: Counteracts inflammation
Anti-pruritic: Relieves or prevents sensation of itching
Anti-pyretic: Reduces fever
Anti-sudorific: A substance to help lessen sweating
Aphrodisiac: Increasing sexual desire and sexual functioning
Apoplexy: Sudden loss of consciousness, a stroke or sudden hemorrhage
Aromatherapy: The therapeutic use of essential oils
Arrhythmia: Irregular or loss of heartbeat rhythm
Astringent: Causing contraction of organic tissue

Balsam: Water soluble, semi-solid or viscous resinous exudate similar to that of gum

Calmative: A sedative
Carcinogenic: A substance that promotes cancer or cancerous growths
Carminative: Settles the digestive system and relieves flatulence
Carrier oil: An oil which is used to dilute essential oils for the purpose of massage - see fixed oils
Cellulite: An "orange peel" effect caused by local accumulation of fat and waste products
Chi / Qi: Chinese term referring to the essential life force
Cicatrisation: Formation of scar tissue
Cicatrisant: Agent promoting healing by scar tissue formation
Clinical trial: A controlled study to look at the effectiveness of a specific ingredient or application
Cohobation: Is a process in the extraction method of especially rose essential oil, to ensure a "complete" oil
Cold pressed: Refers to a method of extraction where no external heat is applied during the process
Colitis: Inflammation of the colon
Concrete: A waxy concentrate semi-solid essential oil extract, made from plant material, and is used to make an absolute
Cytophylactic: Action of increasing the leukocyte activity to defend the body against infection
Cytotoxic: Toxic to all cells


Decoction: A herbal preparation made by boiling the material and reducing it to a concentration
Demulcent: An agent protecting mucus membranes and helps stop irritation
Depurative: Helps to detoxify and to combat impurities in the blood and body
Dermatitis: Inflammation of the skin
Diaphoretic: A substance which helps to promote perspiration
Diffuser: A device which helps to release the fragrance molecules into the air
Distillation: A method of extraction used in the manufacture of essential oils
Diuretic: Helps to produce urine and remove water from the body

Edema: Water retention
Emetic: Inducing vomiting
Emmenagogue: Inducing or assisting menstruation
Emollient: Softening and soothing to the skin
Essential oil: Volatile aromatic liquid constituting the odorous principles of botanical matter
Expectorant: A substance that helps to expel mucus from the lungs
Expression: Is an extraction method where essential oils are pressed to obtain the oil
Exudates: Natural material secreted by plants - can be spontaneous or after damage to plant

Febrifuge: Helps to combat fever
Fixative: Material that slows evaporation of volatile components in perfume
Flower water: The water resulting from the distillation of essential oils, which still contains some of the properties of the plant material used in the extraction
Fractionated oils: Refers to oils that have been re-distilled, either to have terpenes removed or to remove other substances.

Galactagogue: Helps to increase milk secretion

Hemostatic: Helps to stop bleeding
Herpes: Inflammation of the skin or mucus membranes
Hormone: A product from living cells that produces a specific activity of cells remote from its point of origin
Hydrosol: Floral water
Hypertensive: Increases blood pressure
Hypoglycemia: Lowered blood sugar levels
Hypotension: Abnormally low blood pressure
Hypotensive: Lowers blood pressure

Infused oil: An oil produced by steeping the macerated botanical material in oil until the oil has taken on some of the material's properties
Infusion: Herbal remedy made by steeping the plant material in water
Leucorrhoea: Whitish vaginal discharge
Lipolytic: Causing lipolysis which is the chemical disintegration of fats

Macerate: To soak until soft

Neuralgia: Stabbing pain along a nerve pathway

Oedema: Water retention
Oleo gum resin: Odoriferous exudation from botanical material consisting of essential oil, gum and resin
Oleoresin: Natural resinous exudation from plants or aromatic liquid preparation extracted from botanical material
Olfaction: Sense of smell
Oxidation: Related to the addition of oxygen to an organic molecule, or the removal of electrons or hydrogen from the molecule

Palpitation: s Undue awareness of heartbeat, or rapid heartbeat or abnormal rhythm of the heart
Pathogenic: An agent causing or producing disease
Pomade: Perfumed fat obtained during the enfleurage extraction method
Prophylactic: Preventative of disease or infection
Pruritis: Itching
Psoriasis: A chronic skin disease characterized by red patches and silver scaling

Resinoids: Perfumed material extracted from natural resinous material by solvent extraction
Resolvent: An agent that helps disperse swelling, or that helps absorption of new growth
Rubefacient: Substance causing redness and possible irritation to the skin

Sciatica: Pain down the back of the legs in the area serviced by the sciatic nerve
Sclerosis: Hardening of tissue due to inflammation
Stomachic: A substance which helps with the digestion and helps to improve appetite
Styptic: An agent that stops external bleeding
Sudorific: An agent causing sweating
Synergy: Agents working together and in harmony to produce an effect greater than the sum of the two separate agents
Synthetic: Refers to anything not of organic source

Tachycardia: Abnormally increased heartbeat
Tannin: An astringent substance that helps seal tissues
Terpeneless: Essential oil from which monoterpene hydrocarbons have been removed
Thrush: A fungal infection in the mouth or vaginal area
Tincture: Referring to either a herbal or perfume material prepared in an alcohol base

Unguent: A soothing or healing salve or balm
Urticaria: Weal on the skin

Vasoconstrictor: An agent causing the contraction of blood vessel walls
Vasodilator: An agent causing the dilation of blood vessel walls
Vermifuge: An agent expelling intestinal worms
Volatile: Substance that is unstable and evaporates easily, like an essential oil
Vulnerary: An agent applied externally which helps to heal wounds and sores and helps to prevent tissue degeneration

Links to check general skin care product components:

  1. Skin Deep - Cosmetic Safety Database by Environmental Working Group
  2. Bulk Additives - Ingredients for Skin Care
  3. Decoding today's comsmetics
  4. Cosmetic ingredients  

    From Earth to... Skye Natural Skin Care uses natural plant materials and oils