Resource List



{tab= A }

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{tab= B }

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{tab= C }

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{tab= D }

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{tab= E }

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{tab= F }

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{tab= G }

Gabbay, S. "Diet for Diabetes". Alive 205: 22-24. 1999.

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Gelles, Carol. 1000 Vegetarian Recipes. New York: Macmillan, 1996.

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{tab= H }

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{tab= I }

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{tab= J }

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{tab= K }

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{tab= L }

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{tab= M }

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{tab= N }

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{tab= O }

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{tab= S }

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{tab= T }

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{tab= U }

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{tab= V }

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{tab= W }

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{tab= Z }

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{tab= A }

Abscess -- a localized collection of pus surrounded by inflammation.

Acupoints -- see Acupuncture Points.

Acupressure Points -- see Acupuncture Points.

Acupuncture Points -- locations where meridians come close to the skin and are often found in depressions between bones, muscles, or tendons. The points are identified by the abbreviation of its meridian and a specific number.

Adaptogen -- an agent that helps boost resistance to and deal with stress.

Adensine Triphosphate (ATP) -- an essential molecular component of the body that stores energy that is eventually used to power muscle contraction, protein and carbohydrate synthesis, and a number of other processes. Manufactured by mitochondria in cells.

Alterative -- an agent that gradually corrects or alters impure conditions of the body and helps balance body systems by promoting organ homeostasis. Alteratives act to alter the body's metabolism so that tissues can best deal with a range of functions, from nutrition to elimination. Also acts as a blood cleanser.

Analgesic -- an agent that helps alleviate pain.

Anencephaly -- abnormal development of the cranium.

Anthelmintic -- an agent that destroys and expels worms from the digestive system. Also referred to as Vermifuge.

Anti-biotic -- an agent that is produced by a micro-organism and has the capacity to, in low concentration, inhibit or kill, selectively, other micro-organisms.

Anti-catarrhal -- an agent that promotes the removal of excess mucous or catarrh. Used mainly in ear, nose, and throat infections, but has broader applications throughout the body.

Anti-coagulant -- an agent that prevents coagulation.

Anti-emetic -- an agent that reduces the feeling of nausea and help relieve or prevent vomiting. Generally works two ways: settling the digestive process or reducing the vomiting reflex.

Anti-hemorrhagics -- see Astringent.

Anti-inflammatory -- an agent that counteracts or reduces inflammation or its effects, either internally or externally.

Anti-Lithic -- an agent that helps prevent the formation of stones or gravel in the urinary system. Also aids in the removal of those already formed.

Anti-microbial -- an agent that destroys and helps the body resist pathogenic micro-organisms by strengthening the body's internal resistance mechanisms. Anti-microbial agents gently support the natural immune process.

Anti-spasmodic -- an agent that prevents or eases spasms or cramps in the muscles of the body. Anti-spasmodics reduce tension and many are also nervines, often easing physiological tension as well.

Antioxidant -- an agent that attaches to and/or attracts free radicals and facilitates their removal, preventing cellular damage.

Aromatic -- a strong and often pleasant odour typically capable of stimulating the digestive system. The oils from aromatic herbs form the basis of Aromatherapy.

Arrhythmia -- abnormal heart rate or rhythm.

Arteriole -- blood vessel located between an artery and capillary surrounded by smooth muscle. Small arteries.

Arteriosclerosis -- hardening of the arteries.

Artery -- a thick-walled, elastic vessel that carries blood from the heart to arterioles.

Astringent -- an agent that has a binding action on mucous membranes, skin, and other exposed tissue. Also referred to as "styptics" when used to stop external bleeding or "anti-hemorrhagics" for internal bleeding.

Asymptomatic -- without symptoms.

Automatic Behaviour -- performing a task with no memory recall of having done or completed the action.


{tab= B }

Bacteriostatic -- an agent that inhibits the growth of bacteria without destruction (bacteriostasis).

Benign Tumour -- an abnormal tissue growth that does not pose any dangers to surround tissue.

Bioavailability -- the degree and rate that a substance is absorbed by the body or made available at the site of physiological activity.

Bioflavonoids -- a group of biologically active flavonoids. Used to promote the absorption of vitamin C. Technically not vitamins, but sometimes referred to as Vitamin P.

Bioidentical Hormones -- see Natural Hormones.

Bitter(s) -- a property associated with many herbs that refers to their predominately bitter taste. It is becoming increasingly apparent that "bitters" have a wide-ranging effect on the body, from appetite stimulation to repairing damage of the gut wall through stimulation of self-repair mechanisms. Bitters are known to aid the liver in detoxification and increase the flow of bile. They also have a regulatory effect upon the hormones secreted by the pancreas that regulate blood sugar, insulin, and glucagon.

Blood-Brain Barrier -- a group of anatomical barriers and transport systems in that help defend and protect the brain against foreign invaders and toxins that may be circulating in the blood stream.

Botulism -- a type of acute, bacterial (Clostridium botulinum) food poisoning primarily associated with damaged or improperly canned foods. The bacterium produces a toxin that inhibits nervous control of muscles.


{tab= C }

Cardiac Tonic -- a general classification applied to herbal remedies that have a beneficial action on the heart.

Carminative -- an agent that soothes and settles the gut, easing griping pains and aiding in the removal of gas from the digestive tract. Remedies rich in volatile oils are carminative and their activity stimulates the digestive system to function properly and with ease.

Cataplexy -- the sudden loss of voluntary muscle tone, usually triggered by strong emotions such as fear, anger, or laughter.

Ch'i -- vital energy residing in every being. Pronounced "Chi". Also spelt "Qi".

Cholagogue -- an agent that stimulates the production of bile from the liver. The secretion of bile is necessary for proper absorption and elimination of ingested substances. Cholagogues help ensure a strong and healthy liver.

Climacteric -- the period of change involving menopause (the cessation of menses) and a general change in ovarian function over the course of six to thirteen years.

Circadian rhythm -- a biological clock synchronized with the 24-hour cycle of the day and night.

Coagulation -- blood clotting.

Colic -- a sharp, sudden, abdominal pain.

Collagen -- a protein substance that gives skin its structural integrity.

Counterirritant -- an agent that produces a slight irritation in order to relieve more serious inflammation elsewhere.


{tab= D }

Decoction -- a herbal preparation where tea is made by simmering herbs to promote extraction of medicinal qualities. Involves using a plant's bark, bulb, clove, root, or stem in water. Usually a more lengthy process than preparing an infusion.

Demulcent -- an agent rich in mucilage that helps soothe and protect irritated or inflamed mucous membranes. Has an overall soothing effect. When used on the skin, they are referred to as "emollients".

Diaphoretic -- an agent that produces or promotes sweating, aiding the body in waste removal through the skin. Diaphoretics are also of great support to proper kidney function.

Digestive -- an agent that promotes the proper digestion of ingested material.

Diuretic -- an agent that increases the secretion and elimination of urine from the body. Diuretics play an important role in the treatment of most illnesses, as they promote waste removal and inner cleansing of the body.

Duodenum -- the initial portion of the small intestine.

Dysentery -- an infection of the lower intestines that produces pain, fever, and severe diarrhea.


{tab= E }

Ectopic Pregnancy -- implantation and development of a fetus at a site other than the uterus.

Elastin -- a protein substance that keeps connective tissues flexible and elastic.

Emesis -- a vomiting episode.

Emetic -- an agent that causes vomiting. A drastic measure that can be useful in some forms of poisoning. NOTE: Vomiting should not be induced when dealing with acidic substances or most acid-based chemicals. You are highly recommended to seek immediate medical attention if treating cases of acute poisoning.

Emmenagogue -- an agent that normalizes and tones the female reproductive system. In its strict sense, "emmenagogue" refers to remedies that stimulate menstrual flow and activity.

Emollient -- an agent that softens, soothes, and protects the skin.

Encephalitis -- inflammation of the brain.

Essential oil -- an extracted, concentrated form of plat material. See also Infusion.

Estrogen Replacement Therapy (ERT) -- the process of supplementing estrone (E1) and estradiol (E2) hormones to compensate for the declining levels that naturally occur during menopuase. Available in oral, transdermal, and vaginal preparations.

Et cetera -- and others especially of the same kind. And so forth.

Excessive Daytime Sleepiness (EDS) -- an irresistible urge to fall asleep. Usually occurs every day, regardless of the amount of sleep obtained at night.

Expectorant -- an agent that facilitates the elimination of one or more fluids from the cardiovascular system. Term usually associated with the release of phlegm and mucous from the lungs and throat.

Extracts -- an extracted, concentrated form of plant material that has been added to alcohol, oil, vodka, or other mediums. Kept in dark glass bottles, away from light and air, to ensure adequate preservation. See also Infusion, Essential Oil.


{tab= F }

Febrifuge -- reduces a fever.

Flatulence -- presence of an excessive amount of gas in the digestive tract.

Flavonoid -- a large group of crystalline compounds derived from plants. Used to promote the absorption of vitamins, minerals, and other elements.

Follicle-Stimulating Hormone -- a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates egg production in the ovaries.

Food Allergy -- a reaction to ingested food whereby the immune system generates one or more antibodies in response.

Food Intolerance -- the inability to digest and process food correctly, usually due to a lack of one more enzymes.

Free radicals -- damaging compounds that can cause cellular damage. Created naturally through digestion but also found in a variety of chemical compounds in air-borne pollutants, fungicides, herbicides, insecticides, pesticides and off-gassing. Free radical damage is part of the aging process.


{tab= G }

Gait -- method of foot movement.

Griping -- stomach/bowel cramping and associated pains.

Guaranteed potency -- see Standardized.


{tab= H }

Hemoglobin -- the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells.

Hepatic -- an agent that generally promotes proper liver function -- can tone and strengthen the organ and may also increase the flow of bile.

Hepatoxic -- an agent that can potentially destroy liver cells.

Herxheimer Reaction -- a temporary increase in symptoms. Usually associated with bacterial or viral infections.

Homeostasis -- a situation where bodily organs/systems are balanced, healthy, and functioning normally.

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) -- involves the supplementation of declining estrogen levels with a pharmaceutical or natural source.

Hydroquinone -- a powerful urinary disinfectant.

Hydrotherapy -- the utilization of water in any form, either internally or externally, to achieve therapeutic benefits in the treatment of illness or maintenance of health.

Hypnagogic Hallucination -- an intense, vivid, realistic dream that occurs when falling asleep or awakening. Occasionally difficult to distinguish from reality and may be accompanied by frightening sounds or feelings.

Hypnotic -- an agent that induces a deep, healing state of sleep. NOTE: Hypnotic herbs are of a separate category/technique from "hypnotic trances".

Hypercholestrolemia -- a condition of high blood cholesterol levels.


{tab= I }

Immunoglobulin -- Ig. Proteins that are antibodies and antibody-like receptors on B cells. Five classes: IgA, IgD, IgE, IgG, IgM.

Implantation Bleeding -- occurs when the blood supply from the uterine lining extends into the fertilized egg to provide nourishment.

Infusion -- a herbal preparation where tea is made by steeping plant material in hot water. Involves using a plant's berries/fruit, flowers, or leaves. Usually a shorter process than preparing a decoction.

Interferon -- a family of proteins that non-specifically inhibit viral replication inside host cells. Interferon-gamma stimulates the destructive, killing power of macrophages.

Ischemia -- reduced blood flow.

Isoflavones -- natural estrogens that help balance hormone levels, especially in women. Found in a variety of herbs and foods. Believed to have anti-cancer properties.


{tab= K }

Ketosis -- an abnormal bodily state where the body burns fat for energy in the absence of carbohydrates. A survival mechanism designed to keep the central nervous system functioning in the absence of carbohydrate stores and potential starvation. Can be brought about by a high protein intake.


{tab= L }

Laxative -- an agent that actively stimulates the bowels to promote movements. NOTE: Laxatives are not for long term use.

Leucocytes -- white blood cells that help fight infection.

Lipotropic -- an agent that helps prevent excess fat accumulation in the liver, supports fat and carbohydrate metabolism in the liver, and controls blood sugar levels.

Local Points -- acupuncture points near pain or tension.

Luteinizing Hormone -- a hormone produced by the pituitary gland that stimulates egg production in the ovaries.

Luteotropic -- an agent that stimulates the secretion of progesterone.


{tab= M }

Malignant Tumour -- an abnormal tissue growth that invades surrounding tissue and spreads to other, often distant, parts of the body.

Melanin -- a natural protective pigment that gives skin its colour.

Melanocytes -- pigment-producing skin cells.

Meningitis -- inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord

Menopause -- a period in the female life cycle characterized by the cessation of menses. Usually occurs around fifty years of age.

Meridians -- channels or pathways in the body that facilitate the flow of qi (pronounced "Chi"), or life force. Also referred to as jing luo.

Mitochondria -- an organelle found in all cells that carries out energy production.

Monoamine -- a class of neurotransmitters with a specific structure. Excludes peptides and amino acids.

Monosaccharide -- a carbohydrate comprised of one sugar molecular and generally contains five or six carbon atoms.

Mucilage -- a sticky, adhesive substance.

Mucilaginous -- having sticky, adhesive properties.

Mucin -- A layer of mucous lining the stomach and duodenum.

Myelitis -- infection of the spinal cord or bone marrow

Myocarditis -- inflammation of the heart muscles.


{tab= N }

Natural Hormones -- hormones that exactly match those of the human body.

Nervine -- an agent that has a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Further classified as "nervine relaxants", which help relieve symptoms of stress and tension, "nervine stimulants", used for short term use as direct stimulants on the nervous system, and "nervine tonics", which generally strengthen and promote the repair of the nervous system.

Niacin flush -- a dilation of blood vessels resulting in redness and tingling around joints, certain muscles and other portions of the body, and increased warmth.

Nits -- Greyish white lice eggs that fasten themselves to human hair. Difficult to see.

Neurotransmitter -- a chemical messenger that carries impulses between nerve cells, e.g., serotonin.


{tab= P }

Panic attack -- a natural, involuntary, "fight or flight" response where the body prepares to deal with an extreme situation such as an assault, an accident, or natural disaster. Results in heightened levels of adrenaline and other hormones allowing the body to increase reaction time and improve short-term strength and endurance. Metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins make more energy available for the body to use.

Papule -- a small, inflamed, congested spot on the skin. Pimple.

Pectoral -- refers to a remedy that is beneficial to the lungs. It is a very old term, but still very applicable today. Alternatively referred to as remedies that "strengthen a weak chest".

Peptide -- a protein molecule composed of less than fifty amino acids.

Perimenopause -- refers to the years leading up to the last menstrual period and marks the beginning of an irregular menstrual cycle.

Phagocytosis -- a natural process where white blood cells engulf and destroy bacteria.

Phytoestrogen -- An estrogen-like compound that binds to estrogen-receptor sites, resulting in a weaker effect and/or reducing the more powerful effects of naturally-occurring estrogen.

Polysaccharide -- a large carbohydrate formed by the linking of monosaccharide sub-units.

Prostaglandins -- hormone-like substances that act as neuronal messengers in the body, facilitating proper nervous system, immune system, and cardiovascular function. Also protect against heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.

Proteolytic -- an agent that breaks down protein.

Purgative -- a vigorously acting laxative.


{tab= Q }

Qi -- vital energy residing in every being. Pronounced "Chi". Also spelt "ch'i".


{tab= R }

Relaxation Response -- the exact opposite of the stress response.

Retinol Equivalent -- a measure of vitamin A activity. Refers to the quantity of retinol the body will obtain from a food containing preformed retinol or its precursor, beta-carotene.

Rubifacient -- an agent that, when applied topically (to the skin), causes a gentle and localized increase in surface blood flow (vasodilatation). Usually expressed by a reddening of the area.


{tab= S }

Sedative -- an agent that induces a calming effect on the nervous system. Soothes and reduces nervousness, distress, irritation, or stress throughout the body.

Sleep Paralysis -- the inability to move or talk for approximately one minute. Occurs when waking up or falling asleep.

Spina Bifida -- abnormal spinal cord development in the fetus.

Standardized -- a pharmaceutical term used to guarantee a certain percentage of a specific/active ingredient in a laboratory preparation. Also referred to as "guaranteed potency".

Stimulant -- an agent that quickens, excites, or stimulates the activity of physiological processes of the body. Most natural stimulants will assist in carrying a normal amount of blood to all parts of the body and will tend to normalize circulation or restore balance to the circulatory system.

Stomachic -- an agent that stimulates, tones, or strengthens the stomach.

Stress Response -- a series of biological changes in the body resulting from one or more stressors.

Stressors -- physical, chemical, emotional, or personal triggers that cause stress.

Styptics -- see Astringent.

Subluxation -- a misalignment of the vertebrae of the spinal column.

Substance P -- one of a number of neuropeptides. A neurotransmitter that relays sensory information, particularly pain, to the brain.

Sulfites -- a type of preservative used to prevent food spoilage. Often found in beer, wine, and dried fruit.

Synovium -- the slippery sheath encasing the carpal tunnel that contains bones, nine tendons, and the median nerve.


{tab= T }

Tincture -- a herbal preparation where plant material is suspended in alcohol, vodka, or water for three weeks to six months. Once finished, any solid material is removed from the resulting extract and then used for the desired purpose. Kept in dark glass bottles away from heat and light to ensure proper preservation.

Tonic -- an agent that strengthens, tones, or invigorates organs, systems, or the body as a whole, improving function and health.

Traction -- sustained pressure. A stretching or lengthening of the spine to relieve spinal misalignment.

Transdermal -- through the skin.

Trigger Points -- acupuncture points that do not appear directly related to the pain or tension in question.

Tripeptide -- a protein molecule (peptide) formed from three amino acids, e.g., glutathione.

Trygliceride -- a compound made of three fatty acids and glycerol. Triglycerides are the main type of dietary lipid (fat) and are also the form that fat is stored in the body.

Tumour -- an abnormal tissue growth that serves no useful function in the body.


{tab= U }

Urushiol -- the thick, oily substance present in the resin emitted from the leaves, flowers, fruit, stem, bark, and roots of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac.

Uvula -- the fleshy, cone-shaped projection hanging from the top of the mouth above the back of the tongue.


{tab= V }

Vasodilation -- an increase in blood-vessel diameter resulting from smooth-muscle vascular relaxation.

Vesicle -- a serum-filled blister.

Villi -- finger-like projections located in the small intestine.

Viscera -- the internal organs of the body, particularly those within the thorax and abdomen.

Vulunery -- an agent that promotes the healing of cuts, wounds, or inflammation. Most often associated with herbs for skin healing but also applies to remedies for internal wounds, such as stomach ulcers, et cetera.






°C -- Degrees Celsius

°F -- Degrees Fahrenheit

g -- Gram

mg -- Milligram

mcg -- Microgram

mg/dL -- Milligram per Decalitre

mmol/L -- Millimoles per Litre


L -- Litre

mL -- Millilitre

oz -- Ounce

tblsp -- Tablespoon

tsp -- Teaspoon

gdu -- Gelatin-Dissolving Unit

mcu -- Milk-Clotting Unit






For Vitamin A:

1 IU = 0.3mcg RE (retinol equivalent)
1 RE = 3.33 IU

For Vitamin D:

1 IU = .025mcg (cholecalciferol)
1 mcg = 40 IU

For Vitamin E:

1 IU = .667mg a-TE (tocopherol equivalents)
1mg a-TE = 1.5 IU




B -- Bladder

CV -- Conception Vessel (Channel)

GB -- Gallbladder

GV -- Governing Vessel (Channel)

H -- Heart

K -- Kidney

LI -- Large Intestine

LU -- Lung

LV -- Liver

P -- Pericardium

SI -- Small Intestine

SP -- Spleen

ST -- Stomach

TW -- Triple Warmer