Home | Nature Sunshine Herbs | Nature's Sunshine Health Remedies A-Z
Simple Definitions of Herbal Properties

Adaptogen: a non-toxic substance which helps the body to adapt to stressful situations

Alterative: gradually alters the body towards health, also often referred to as a blood cleanser.

Anodyne: pain relieving

Antibacterial: effective against bacteria

Anticoagulant: prevents blood from clotting, blood thinner

Antidepressant: relieves depression

Antifungal: effective against fungal infections

Anti-inflammatory: reduces inflammation

Antimicrobial: inhibits micro-organisms

Antioxidant: prevents free radical or oxidative damage

Antiseptic: prevents growth of microbes

Antispasmodic: stops spasms

Anti-tumor: inhibits growth of tumors

Antiviral: inhibits growth of viruses

Aphrodisiac: increases libido

Aromatic digestant: promotes digestion through aromatic actions of moving energy and relieving stagnation (promoting peristalsis, expelling gas, etc)

Astringent: tightens tissues, useful for toning organs, stopping diarrhea and otherexcessive fluid loss

Bitter: a taste that stimulates salivation and the secretion of bile and HCL to promote digestion of fats and oils
calmative: promotes calming and relaxing

Carminative: expels gas from the intestines

Cell proliferant: promotes cell growthD

Cholagogue: stimulates bile flow from the gall bladder

Circulatory stimulant: promotes circulation

Emulcent: internally soothing, often times a mucilaginous that coats and protects the mucous membranes of the body

Diaphoretic: a relaxing diaphoretic relaxes the exterior to allow for heat to leave the body.

Digestant: aids digestion

Diuretic: stimulates urination

Emetic: promotes vomiting

Emmenagogue: promotes menstruation

Emollient: soothing and softening to the skin

Expectorant: promotes the expulsion of mucous from the lungs

Hemostatic: stops bleeding

Hepatoprotective: protects the liver

Hypotensive: lowers blood pressure

Immunomodulator: promotes health in the immune system by modulating extremes in hyper or hypo action
laxative: promotes bowel evacuation

Lymphatic: promotes lymphatic movement; an example is reducing enlarged lymph glands
mood elevator: promotes a happier disposition

Nervine: can be relaxing or stimulating. A relaxing nervine relaxes constricted or contracted tissues in the nervous system. . A stimulating nervine stimulates stagnant or overly relaxed tissues of the nervous system.

Nutritive: contains a high amount of vitamins and minerals

Sialagogue; promotes the salivary glands to secrete saliva

Styptic: stops bleeding usually through astringent actions

Tonic: gradually increases organ tone and is often considered invigorating

Trophorestorative: a nourishing herb or food that usually has an affinity to a particularorgan or system of the body, it acts on the particular system to bring it into balance and can also restore function

Vulnerary: heals wounds