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ADAPTOGEN- herbs that are nontoxic, produce a nonspecific defensive response to stress, and have a normalizing influence on the body. Adaptogens help the body adapt to stress, support its normal functions, and restore balance

ALLOSTASIS- a state of stability that is achieved through change or adaptation

ANALGESIC- a substance used to alleviate pain

ANTIBACTERIAL- inhibiting the growth of bacteria

ANTI INFLAMMATORY- a substance that reduces inflammation in the body

ANTIMICROBIAL- inhibiting the growth of microorganisms

ANTIOXIDANT- a substance that prevents damage to cells by inhibiting oxidation and trapping free radicals

ANTISEPTIC- prevents the growth of disease-causing microorganisms

ASTRINGENT- causing the contraction of skin cells and other body tissues

AYURVEDA- a traditional system of medicine originally practiced in India and now practiced throughout the world.  Ayurvedic practitioners combine herbs, massage, diet, and other natural systems in treating diseases

BOTANICAL- a substance derived from plant of a plant

CARRIER OIL- used to dilute essential oils and absolutes before they are applied to the skin. They carry essential oils onto the skin

EMOLLIENT- a substance that softens and soothes the skin

ENDOCRINE SYSTEM- the system composed of glands that release their hormones directly into the bloodstream for chemical signaling of target cells

ENERGETICS- an effective way of understanding an herb not by its constituents but by its activity and effects on the human body

FREE RADICAL- a by-product of normal metabolism that is formed when oxygen is metabolized.  These compounds are highly reactive and can cause oxidation, cellular damage, and inflammation

HERBALISM- the study of herbs

HOLISTIC MEDICINE- the art and science of healing that addresses care of the whole person-body, mind, spirit, and environment

HOMEOSTASIS- a steady internal state, a state of equilibrium or balance within the body

HYDROLAT- an aromatic hydrosol,usually made by steam distillation of a plant extract.  Contains the same constituents and therapeutic benefits as an essential oil

NERVINE- a nerve tonic that gently reduces stress and anxiety.  It affects the nervous system and nerve function due to its ability to soothe the nerves and alleviate irritation and stress

NOOTROPIC- herbs, medications, or supplements that enhance cerebral circulation and memory

PHYTOTHERAPY- treatment of disease by the use of plants and plant extract; herbalism

RASAYANA- the term means ‘the path that rasa takes’. A rasayana is any medicine that improves the quality of rasa and strengthens or promotes the health of all tissues of the body

SEDATIVE- a substance that affects the nervous system and nerve function due to its ability to exert a calming or tranquilizing effect and reduce anxiety, stress, irritability, and excitement

STRESS- any perceived physical or psychological chance that disrupts the body’s metabolic balance.  Stress is a state of threatened homeostasis

STRESS RESPONSE- the body’s response to stress.  When the brain perceives something as stressful, it sends a signal to the hypothalamus, which activates a cascade of hormones that cause the body to react to the stress

TONIC- a substance that alleviates conditions of weakness within the body.  It strengthens and invigorates and can work on any or all body systems

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