Aromatherapeutic Terminology

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

A

  • Acetylcholine A fluid used in the transmission of information from one nerve ending to another
  • Allergy Hypersensitivity caused by a foreign substance
  • Alopecia (Baldness) Male and female pattern baldness that oftentimes is heredity
  • Amenorrhoea Absence of menstruation
  • Anaerobic A type of organism that does not require oxygen
  • Anaesthetic Pain relieving by loss of sensation
  • Analgesic Pain reliever
  • Anaphrodisiac Lessening of sexual desire
  • Anemia Deficiency of either quantity or quality of red corpuscles in the blood
  • Annual Plant that completes its life cycle in one year
  • Anodyne Stills pain and quietens disturbed feelings
  • Anosmic Loss of smell
  • Anthelmintic A vermifuge, destroying or expelling intestinal worms
  • Anti venin Neutralizing snake venom that has entered the body.
  • Anti-acid Combats acid in the body
  • Anti-allergenic Reduces symptoms of allergies
  • Anti-arthritic An agent which helps to combat arthritis
  • Anti-asthmatic An agent that treats or prevents asthma attacks
  • Anti-bacterial Inhibits bacterial growth
  • Anti-coagulant Blood-thinner to prevent the formation of blood clots and to maintain open blood vessels
  • Anti-convulsant Helps control convulsions
  • Anti-depressant Helps to lift the mood and counteract depression
  • Anti-dontalgic Relieves toothache
  • Anti-emetic Reduces the severity or incidence of vomiting
  • Anti-fungal Inhibits the growth of mould and fungi
  • Anti-galactagogue Impedes or lessens the flow of milk
  • Anti-haemorrhagic A substance preventing or combating bleeding
  • Anti-infectious Prevents against infection
  • Anti-inflammatory Prevents and reduces inflammation
  • Anti-microbial A substance reducing or resisting microbes
  • Anti-neuralgic A substances that reduces or stops nerve pain
  • Anti-parasitic Acts against parasites
  • Anti-phlogistic Counteracts inflammation
  • Anti-pruritic Relieves or prevents sensation of itching
  • Anti-pyretic Reduces fever
  • Anti-rheumatic An agent which helps to combat rheumatism
  • Anti-rheumatic An agent which helps to combat rheumatism
  • Anti-sclerotic Helps to prevent hardening of arteries
  • Anti-scorbutic Helps to prevent or cure scurvy
  • Anti-seborrheic Helps control the oily secretion from sweat glands
  • Anti-spasmodic Assists to relieve muscle spasms and cramps
  • Anti-sudorific A substance to help lessen sweating
  • Anti-toxic Antidote or treatment to counteract the effects of poison
  • Anti-tussive Relieves coughing
  • Antibiotic Destroys bacteria and fights infection in the body
  • Antihistamine Counteracts allergic reaction
  • Antioxidant A substance to prevent or delay oxidation
  • Antiseptic Helps control infection is cleansing and prevents microbe development
  • Antiviral Destroys certain viruses
  • Anxiety A feeling of apprehension and fear
  • Aperient Mild laxative
  • Aphonia Voice loss
  • Aphrodisiac Increasing sexual desire
  • Apoplexy Increasing sexual desire
  • Aromachology The study of the effects of odours on behaviour
  • Aromatherapy The therapeutic use of essential oils
  • Arrhythmia Irregular or loss of heartbeat rhythm
  • Arteriosclerosis Hardening of the arteries
  • Astringent Causing contraction of organic tissue
  • Atherosclerosis Accumulation of fatty deposits on the inside walls of arteries
  • Atony Lack of muscle tone and strenght

B

  • Bactericidal An agent destroying bacteria
  • Balsam Water soluble, semi-solid or viscous resinous exudates similar to that of gum
  • Bechic Anything referring to coughing, or an agent relieving cough
  • Biennial A plant completing its life cycle in two years, without flowering the first year
  • Bilious A condition caused by an excessive secretion of bile
  • Blepharitis Inflammation of the eyelids

C

  • Calmative A sedative
  • Carcinogenic A substance that promotes cancer or cancerous growths
  • Cardiac Pertaining to the heart
  • Carminative Reduces intestinal spasms
  • Carminative Settles the digestive system and relieves flatulence
  • Carrier oil An oil which is used to dilute essential oils for the purpose of massage
  • Cellulite An ‘orange peel’ effect caused by local accumulation of fat and waste products
  • Cephalic A substance stimulating and clearing the mind
  • Chemotypes The same botanical species occurring in other forms due to different growth condition
  • Chi / Qi Chinese term referring to the essential life force
  • Cholagogue Stimulating the secretion of bile into the duodenum
  • Cholecystokenetic Agent that stimulates the contraction of the gall blalier
  • Choleretic Helps the liver to excrete bile, leading to greater bile flow
  • Cholesterol Is a steroid alcohol found in red blood cells, bile, nervous tissue and animal fat
  • Cicatrisant Agent promoting healing by scar tissue formation
  • Cicatrisation Formation of scar tissue
  • Cirrhosis Chronic inflammation and degeneration of any organ (normally in the liver)
  • Clinical trial A controlled study to look at the effectiveness of a specific ingredient or application
  • Cohobation During distillation of essential oils, some compounds can dissolve in the water, and cohobation is then used to correct this problem. to ensure a "complete" oil
  • Cold pressed Refers to a method of extraction where no external heat is applied during the process
  • Colic Pain due to contraction of the muscle of the abdominal organs
  • Concentration Complete attention; intense mental effort
  • Concentration Complete attention; intense mental effort
  • Concrete A waxy concentrate semi-solid essential oil extract, made from plant material, and is used to make an absolute
  • Constipation A state where normal bowel functions are not present
  • Cutaneous Pertaining to the skin
  • Cystitis Blalier inflammation
  • Cytophylactic Action of increasing the leukocyte activity to defend the body against infection
  • Cytotoxic Toxic to all cells

D

  • Decoction A concentrated herbal preparation made by boiling the material and reducing it
  • Decongestant Reduces congestion
  • Demulcent An agent protecting mucus membranes and helps stop irritation
  • Deodorant Substances applied to the body to eliminate body odor caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration
  • Depurative Helps to detoxify and to combat impurities in the blood and body
  • Dermatitis Inflammation of the skin
  • Detoxifying Assists to detoxify the body by getting rid of waste, combating impurities in the blood and body
  • Diaphoretic A substance which helps to promote perspiration
  • Diffuser A device which helps to release the fragrance molecules into the air
  • Digestive system The organs that are responsible for getting food into and out of the body and for making use of it.
  • Disinfectant A substance which kills germs and/or viruses
  • Distillation A method of extraction used in the manufacture of essential oils
  • Diuretic Aids urine production and removes fluid from the body
  • Dysmenorrhoea Painful menstruation
  • Dysuria Pain or difficulty in urinating

E

  • Edema Water/fluid retention (sometimes spelled 'Oedema')
  • Emetic Inducing vomiting
  • Emmenagogue Encourages menstruation
  • Emollients Substances that soften and soothe the skin
  • Emphysema Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) involving damage to the air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs
  • Endocrine System of glands that secrete a type of hormone to regulate the body via the bloodstream
  • Energy The capacity of a physical system to do work
  • Engorgement Refers to swelling within the breast tissue
  • Enteritis Inflammation of the mucus membranes of the small intestine inflammation
  • Enuresis Involuntary urinating
  • Enzyme Protein produced by living cells which catalyse biochemical reactions
  • Erethism Abnormal state of excitement or irritation
  • Essential oil Volatile aromatic liquid constituting the odorous principles of botanical matter
  • Exhaustion A warning that the body is getting too hot.
  • Exocrine Pertaining to a gland with a duct, secreting directly onto outside surface of organism.
  • Expectorant A substance that encourages mucus to be expelled from the lungs
  • Expression Is an extraction method whereby essential oils are pressed to obtain the essential oil
  • Exudates

F

  • Febrifuge Assists to combat fever
  • Feet
  • Fever Fever is body temperature is above . degrees F ( degrees C).
  • Fibrillation Rapid unsynchronised twitching of muscle fibres
  • Fixative Material that slows evaporation of the volatile components in perfume
  • Fixed oils Vegetable oils obtained from plants that are fatty and non-volatile
  • Flatulence Excess gas in the intestinal tract.
  • Flower water The water resulting from the distillation of essential oils, which still contains some of the plant materials properties from the plant extraction
  • Fold Refers to the percentage of terpenes removed by re-distillation, from one to five times
  • Fractionated oils Refers to oils that have been re-distilled, either to have terpenes removed or to remove other substances
  • Fungicide A substance which combats fungal infections

G

  • Galactagogue Assists to increase milk secretion
  • Gemicidal An agent that destroys micro-organisms
  • Gingivitis Inflammation of the gums
  • Glossitis Inflammation of the tongue

H

  • Halitosis Bad breath
  • Hangover Nausea, headache, digestive ailments due to over consumption of alcohol
  • Hay fever A seasonal allergy to airborne p
  • Headache A pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck.
  • Heart burn A burning pain in the chest that is caused by stomach acid entering the gullet
  • Hematuria / Haematuria Presence of blood in the urine
  • Hemostatic Assists to stop bleeding
  • Hepatic Pertaining to the liver
  • Hepatoxic An agent which is toxic or harmful on the liver
  • Herpes An infection/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
  • Hybrid A plant created by fertilization of one species by another
  • Hydro diffusion A distillation method of essential oil extraction where the steam is produced above the botanical material and then percolates down
  • Hydrosol Floral water
  • Hyperglycemia / Hyperglycaemia Excess of sugar in the blood
  • Hypertension High blood pressure
  • Hypocholesterolemia Lowering of the cholesterol content of the blood
  • Hypoglycemia Lowered blood sugar levels
  • Hypotension Abnormally low blood pressure
  • Hypoxia A shortage of oxygen

I

  • In vitro In a test tube
  • In vivo In a living body
  • Indigestion A disorder of digestive function characterized by discomfort or heartburn or nausea
  • Infection The growth of a parasitic organism within the body
  • Influenza The flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract
  • Infused oil An oil that has been permeated (“infused”) with one or more herbs
  • Infusion Herbal remedy made by steeping the plant material in water
  • Insect repellent A chemical substance that repels insects
  • Insomnia Inadequate or poor-quality sleep
  • Irritability An irritable petulant feeling

J

  • Jet lag A temporary disorder that causes fatigue, insomnia, and other symptoms as a result of rapid air travel across time zones.

L

  • Laryngitis Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx
  • Laxative Are foods, compounds, or drugs taken to induce bowel movements
  • Leucocytosis Raises number of white blood cells in the blood
  • Leucorrhoea Vaginal discharge which is whitish in colour
  • Leukocyte White blood cells responsible for fighting disease
  • Lipolytic Causing lipolysis which is the chemical disintegration of fats

M

  • Macerate To soak until soft
  • Massage therapist Someone qualified to perform therapeutic massage
  • Measles Measles is a highly contagious viral disease
  • Memory enhancement To boost your ability to recover information about past events or knowledge
  • Menopause Cessation of menstruation which happens naturally as a women ages
  • Menorrhagia Extreme blood loss during menstruation
  • Menstrual problems Irregularities in the periodic blood that flows as a discharge from the uterus
  • Metrorrhagia Uterine bleeding that is not within the normal menstrual cycle
  • Microbe Tiny living organism such as pathogenic bacteria and viruses
  • Migraine Usually, periodic attacks of headaches on one or both sides of the head.
  • Mouth infection An infection in the upper opening of the digestive tract
  • Mucilage Substance containing demulcent gelatinous constituents
  • Mucolytic Breaking down mucus
  • Mumps An acute viral illness that usually presents with inflammation of the salivary glands, particularly the parotid glands.
  • Muscle pains Discomfort in the tissue of the body which primarily functions as a source of power
  • Myelin Fatty material enveloping the majority of nerve cells

N

  • Natural material secreted by plants which can be spontaneous or after plant damage
  • Nausea Feeling the urge to vomit
  • Nephritis Kidney inflammation
  • Nervine Substance that tones and strengthens the nerves and nervous system
  • Neuralgia Severe pain along a nerve pathway
  • Neurasthenia Nervous exhaustion
  • Nose bleed Nasal injury or drying out or cracking of nasal membrane can cause bleeding

O

  • Odoriferous Exudation from botanical material consisting of essential oil, gum and resin
  • Oedema Retention of fluid or water
  • Oleo Gum resin
  • Oleoresin Natural resinous exudation from plants or aromatic liquid preparation extracted from botanical material
  • Olfaction Sense of smell
  • Olfactory bulb The center where the processing of smell is started and is then passed onto other areas of the brain
  • Oliguria Low volume of urine
  • Ophthalmia Eye inflammation
  • Ostitis Ear inflammation
  • Oxidation Related to the aliition of oxygen to an organic molecule, or the removal of electrons or hydrogen from the molecule

P

  • Palpitations Abnormality of heartbeat that can cause fear and anxiety, not necessarily related to heart condition
  • Parturient Assisting and helping childbirth
  • Pathogenic An agent causing or producing disease
  • Peptic Pertaining to gastric secretions and affected areas
  • Perennial A plant living for more than two years
  • Pharmacology Medical science pertaining to drugs
  • Pharmacopoeia Reference book of pharmaceutical drug specifications
  • Pheromone Chemical signals first discovered as a sex attractant in insects
  • Phototoxic Sun exposure causes skin pigmentation
  • Phytohormones Plant substances mimicking the actions of human hormones
  • Phytotherapy Treatment of disease with herbal medicine and plant material
  • PMS Combination of physical and emotional disturbances that occur after a woman ovulates and ends with menstruation.
  • Polypus A non-malignant cyst like growth
  • Pomade Perfumed fat obtained during the enfleurage extraction method
  • Prophylactic Preventative of disease or infection
  • Prostatitis Inflammation of the prostate gland
  • Pruritis Itching
  • Psoriasis A chronic skin disease producing red patches and dry scaling
  • Psychosomatic Pertaining to a physical disorder influenced by emotional factors effecting the mind and body
  • Pulmonary The pulmonary arteries carry blood from the heart to the lungs
  • Pyelitis Inflammation of the kidneys
  • Pyorrhea or Pyorrhoea A discharge of puss from the gums
  • Pyrosis Is heartburn which is a painful burning sensation in the oesophagus

R

  • Rectification Process of re-distilling essential oils to remove impurities and to increase the quality
  • Relaxing A feeling of refreshing tranquility and an absence of tension or worry
  • Renal Pertaining to the kidneys, renal failure or kidney failure is when the kidneys fail to adequately filter toxins
  • Resin Natural or prepared product; natural resins are exudations from trees; prepared resins are oleoresins from which the essential oil has been removed
  • 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
  • Respiratory problems Difficulty in exchanging oxygen and carbon dioxide.
  • Rheumatism A number of painful conditions of muscles, tendons, joints, and bones
  • Rhizome Underground root stem of a plant, that is usually found underground and that lasts for more than one season
  • Rubefacient Substance causing redness and possible irritation to the skin

S

  • Scar tissue The connective tissue that forms a scar
  • Sciatica Pain down the back of the legs in the area serviced by the sciatic nerve
  • Sclerosis Is a hardening of tissue and other anatomical features
  • Scrofula Tuberculosis of the lymphatic glands
  • Sea sickness A form of motion sickness sometimes experienced when on a vessel at sea; especially during rough weather
  • Seborrhea Increased secretion of sebum
  • Sedative Slows down functional activity, calming
  • Shock Is failure of the circulatory system to maintain adequate blood flow.
  • Sialogogue An agent stimulating the secretion of saliva.
  • Sinusitis Inflammation of the lining membrane of any of the hollow areas (sinuses) of the bone of the skull around the nose
  • Soporific A substance or drug which helps to induce sleep
  • Spermatorrhoea Involuntary release of sperm without orgasm
  • Splenic Pertaining to the spleen, connected with, or affecting the spleen
  • Stimulant Has an uplifting effect on the body
  • Stomachic A substance which helps with the digestion and helps to improve appetite
  • Stomatitis Inflammation of the mucus membranes of the mouth
  • Styptic An agent that that promotes haemostasis which stops bleeding.
  • Sudorific An agent causing sweating
  • Sun burn Inflammation of the skin that develops in response to exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun or from tanning beds
  • Synergy Agents working together and in harmony to produce an effect greater than the sum of the two separate agents
  • Synthetic Refers to non organic sources

T

  • Tachycardia Abnormally increased heartbeat heart, beating at more than beats per minute
  • Tannin An astringent substance that helps seal tissues
  • Terpeneless Essential oil from which monoterpene hydrocarbons are removed
  • Throat The throat is the anterior (front) portion of the neck beginning at the back of the mouth
  • Thrombosis Deep vein thrombosis is a blood clot that forms in a vein deep in the body
  • Thrush A fungal infection that presents in the mouth or vaginal area
  • Tic Repetitive twitching
  • Tincture Referring to either a herbal or perfume material prepared in an alcohol base
  • Tonic Producing normal tone or tonus in muscles or tissue
  • Tonsillitis Inflammation of the tonsil, typically as a result of infection by either a virus or bacteria.
  • Tooth ache Pain in or near a tooth.
  • Tracheitis Windpipe inflammation
  • Tuber Swollen part of underground stem of one year's duration and capable of new growth

U

  • Unguent A soothing or healing salve or balm, for application to sores and wounds
  • Urticaria Is the medical name for hives which are pink welt that come up on any part of the skin

V

  • Varicose veins Visible or bulging
  • Vasoconstrictor An agent causing the contraction of blood vessel walls
  • Vasodilator An agent such as a nerve or a drug causing the dilation of blood vessel walls
  • Vermifuge An agent expelling intestinal worms
  • Volatile Substance that evaporates readily at normal temperatures such as an essential oil