Custom Health Guide

Glossary

Here you will find definitions for terms we use in this website:

Abortifacient - A substancepharmaceutical or naturalthat induces abortion. Natural attempts include herbal, mineral, and even ritualistic ones in some cultures.

Abscess - A collection of pus and liquefied tissue that has built up in one spot. Signs and symptoms can include redness, pain, warmth and swelling.

Acetylcholine - One of the organic chemicals that transmits impulses between nerves and between nerves and muscle cells. This neurotransmitter is used at neuromuscular junctionsit activates muscles. It functions both in the Peripheral Nervous System and the Central Nervous System.

Acne - A disorder of the skin caused by inflammation of the skin glands and hair follicles. It is characterized by pimples on the face, chest, and back. It is the most common skin disease.

Acute - Having a rapid onset, with more severe symptoms, but with a shorter duration in contrast to chronic conditions.

Adaptogen - A substance, a compound, herb, or practicethat is safe, increases resistance to stress, and has a balancing effect on body functions causing homeostasis. Adaptogenic effect of some herbs may allow the body to better respond to oxidative stress.

Adjuvant - An agent that enhances or modifies the effect of the medicinal agent such as a vaccine. In a vaccine, it aids in stimulating the response to a specific antigen, but is not responsible for the actually immunity component.

Adrenal gland - Endocrine glands that produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol. A number of endocrine diseases involve dysfunctions of the adrenal gland.

Adrenaline - Also called epinephrine. A naturally - produced hormone secreted by the adrenal gland that produces the “fight or flight” response. Used medically to assist with cardiac arrest, in inhalers for asthma, and can be injected just under the skin. 

Aldosterone - Naturally - occurring amines, arising from heterocyclic and often complex structures that display pharmacological activity. Their common names usually end in 'ine.' They are usually classified according to the chemical structure of their main nucleus: phenylalkylamines (ephedrine), pyridine (nicotine), tropine (atropine, cocaine), quinolone (quinine), isoquinolone (papaverine), phenanthrene (morphine), purine (caffeine), imidazole (pilocarpine), and indole (physostigmine, yohimbine). 

Allopathy - The conventional "western" approach to medicine, which combats disease by using substances and techniques targeted specifically against disease. 

Alpha linolenic acid (LNA) - An omega - 3 fatty acid found in soybeans, nuts, canola oil and flaxseed oil.

Alpha lipoic acid - A vitamin - like substance with powerful antioxidant capabilities. Lipoic acid is a cofactor of at least five enzyme systems. It is present in almost all foods, but slightly more so in kidney, heart, liver, spinach, broccoli, and yeast extract.

Alternative - A substance that produces a balancing effect on a particular body function.

Amebiasis - An intestinal infection, characterized by severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, severe colitis , caused by the parasite Entamaeba hisolytica. Another end result can be anemia due to loss of blood.

Amines - The breakdown of amino acids releases amines which are nitrogen - containing compounds. 

Amino acids - A group of nitrogen - containing chemical compounds that form the basic structural units of proteins. Humans need 20 different amino acids to function properly. They are important in nutrition and are commonly used in nutritional supplements, fertilizers, and in food technology.

Anabolic - Describing a compound that allows the conversion of nutritive substance into living matter by constructing molecules from smaller units.

Analgesic - A substance, also known as a painkiller, that reduces pain. They act on both the peripheral and central nervous systems.

Androgen - A hormone, also known as androgenic hormone, is any natural or synthetic compound that stimulates male characteristics.

Animal Structures - Organs and other anatomical structures of non - human vertebrate and invertebrate animals.

Anthelminthic - A group of antiparasitic drugs that cause the elimination of intestinal worms from the body by either stunning or killing them.

Anthocyandin - A class of flavonoids that give plant, fruits, and flowers colors that range from red to blue.

Antibody - A protein, also known as an immunoglobulin, manufactured by the body which binds to an antigen such as bacteria or viruses to neutralize, inhibit or destroy it. 

Antidote - A substance that neutralizes or counteracts the effects of a poison. Ingested poisons can often be treated by taking activated charcoal by mouth, which absorbs the poison and flushes it from the system.

Antigen - Any substance that, when introduced into the body, causes the formation of antibodies against it in the immune system. 

Antihypertensive - A substance that exerts a blood pressure - lowering effect.

Antioxidant - A compound that prevents free - radical or oxidative damage. Substances, such as Vitamins A, C, E, and beta - carotene, protect your body.

Anxiety - An emotion shown by an unpleasant state of inner turmoil causes the person to exhibit nervous behavior such as pace back and forth, loss sleep, feel a sense of dread.

Aphrodisiac - A substance that increases sexual desire when consumed. These are distinct and different than substances for fertility issues.

Artery - A blood vessel that carries oxygen - rich blood away from the heart.

Astragalus - An herbal medicine used to strengthen resistance, promote the discharge of pus and the growth of new tissue.

Astringent - An agent that causes body tissues to shrink or constrict.

Atherosclerosis - A process in which fatty substances (cholesterol and triglycerides) are deposited in the walls of medium - to - large arteries, eventually leading to blockage of the artery.

Atopy - A predisposition to various allergic conditions, including eczema and asthma. People with atopy may also have a tendency toward food allergies.

Autoimmune - A process in which antibodies develop against the body’s own tissues. 

Autoimmune disorder/disease - The body's defenses attack healthy tissues out of an abnormal immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.

Ayurveda - The traditional holistic - medicinal system from India based on ancient Hindu texts. Now part of complementary or alternative medicine practices throughout the world. Therapies are usually based on complex herbal compounds.

Bacteria - Microscopic single - celled organisms found in every environment. Some bacteria live in or on our body without causing disease. 

Bacterial infections - A large group of diseases, or pathogenic bacteria, is caused by bacteria entering the body and multiplying too fast to be destroyed by the immune system. Some types of bacteria also release powerful poisons, known as toxins. One bacterial disease with the highest death rate is tuberculosis.

Balm - A soothing or healing medicine applied to the skin.

Basal metabolic rate - The rate of metabolism when the body is at rest. 

Basophil - A type of white blood cell that is involved in allergic reactions.

Benign - Harmless; mild, not fatal. Noncancerous (benign) tumors are common and include lipomas, which are fatty lumps beneath the skin and many other skin lesions. Noncancerous tumors do not spread around the body. 

Beta - carotene - Provitamin A. A plant carotene that can be converted to two vitamin A molecules. 

Beta - cells - The cells in the pancreas that manufacture insulin.

Bilirubin - The breakdown product of the hemoglobin molecule of red blood cells. 

Biopsy - A diagnostic test in which tissue or cells are removed from the body for examination under a microscope.

Bleeding time - The time required for the cessation of bleeding from a small skin puncture as a result of platelet disintegration and blood vessel constriction. Ranges from one to four minutes.

Blood -

Blood - brain barrier - A special barrier that prevents the passage of materials from the blood to the brain.

Blood pressure - The force exerted by blood as it presses against and attempts to stretch blood vessels. 

Blood typing -

Body Regions - Anatomical areas of the body.

Botanicals - Substances obtained from plants and used in food supplements, personal care products, or pharmaceuticals. Other names include “herbal medicine” and “plant medicine.”

Bromelain - The protein - digesting enzyme found in pineapple. 

Bursa - A sac or pouch that contains a special fluid which lubricates joints.

Bursitis - Inflammation of a bursa.

Calorie - A unit of heat. A nutritional calorie is the amount of heat necessary to raise 1 kg of water 1 degree C.

Cancer - Cancer cells multiply rapidly, forming rumors that may cause blockages.

Candida albicans - A yeast common to the intestinal tract.

Capsaicin - The active “hot” compound found in cayenne and other peppers.

Carbohydrates - Sugars and starches.

Carcinogen - Any agent or substance capable of causing cancer.

Carcinogenesis - The development of cancer, caused by the actions of certain chemicals, viruses, and unknown factors on primarily normal cells.

Cardiac output - The volume of blood pumped from the heart in one minute.

Cardio tonic - A compound that tones and strengthens the heart.

Cardiopulmonary - Pertaining to the heart and lungs.

Cardiovascular System - The HEART and the BLOOD VESSELS by which BLOOD is pumped and circulated through the body.

Carminative - A substance that promotes the elimination of intestinal gas.

Carotenes - Fat - soluble plant pigments, some of which can be converted into vitamin A by the body.

Cartilage - A type of connective tissue that acts as a shock absorber at joint interfaces between bone surfaces.

Cathartic - A substance that stimulates the movement of the bowels; more powerful than a laxative.

Cataract -

Cells - Minute protoplasmic masses that make up organized tissue, consisting of a nucleus which is surrounded by protoplasm which contains the various organelles and is enclosed in the cell or plasma membrane. Cells are the fundamental, structural, and functional units of living organisms. (Dorland, 28th ed)

Central Nervous System -

Chelation - The bonding of minerals to amino acids or other carrier compounds to aid absorption by the body.

Chicken pox - Sometimes called varicella. A viral infection that used to be common among young children before routine immunization. The infection, with its characteristic rash of blisters, is caused by the varicella zoster virus and transmitted by airborne droplets from the coughs and sneezes of infected people. Although mild in children, it is more severe in young babies and adults. 

Cholagogue - A compound that stimulates the contraction of the gallbladder.

Cholecystitis - Inflammation of the gallbladder.

Cholelithiasis - Production of gallstones; having gallstones.

Choleretic - A compound that promotes the flow of bile.

Cholestatis - The stagnation of bile within the liver.

Cholinergic - Pertaining to the parasympathetic portion of the autonomic nervous system and the release of the acetylcholine as a transmitter substance. 

Crohn’s disease - A type of inflammatory bowel disease that can impact any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, or weight loss. Those with the disease are at greater risk for bowel cancer.

Chronic - Long - term or frequently recurring forms of illness.

Cirrhosis - A severe disease of the liver characterized by the replacement of liver cells with scar tissue. Occurring with long - term damage, the disease can go from virtually no symptoms to a person being tired, weak, having swelling in the lower legs, yellowed skin, bruising easily, fluid build up in the abdomen. It is most common with excessive alcohol use, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and non - alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Coenzyme - A necessary nonprotein component of an enzyme; usually a vitamin or mineral. 

Cold Sore - A small skin blister anywhere around the mouth caused by the Herpes simplex virus.

Colic - Severe, spasmodic pain that occurs in waves of increasing intensity reaches a peak then abates for a short time before returning.

Colitis - Inflammation of the colon; usually associated with diarrhea with blood and mucus. Forms of colitis are classified by the cause.

Collagen - The protein that is the main component of connective tissue. 

Common cold - There are at least 200 highly contagious viruses that can cause the common cold. These viruses are easily transmitted in minute airborne droplets 

Compress - A pad of linen applied under pressure to an area of skin and held in place.

Congestive heart failure - Chronic disease that results when the heart is not capable of supplying the oxygen demands of the body.

Conjunctivitis - Inflammation in the eye’s outermost layer and inner surface of the eyelids touching it commonly called pink eye due to an infection or an allergic reaction.

Connective tissue - The type of tissue that provides support, structure and cellular cement to the body.

Contagious - Capable of being transferred from one person to another by social contact, such as by sharing a home or workplace. It is important to avoid persons with known communicable diseases.

Coronary artery disease - A condition in which the heart receives an inadequate supply of blood and oxygen due to atherosclerosis.

Corticosteroid drugs - A group of drugs, similar to the natural corticosteroid hormones, used predominantly in the treatment of inflammation and to suppress the immune system.

Corticosteroid hormones - A group of hormones produced by the adrenal glands that control the body's use of nutrients and the excretion of salt and water in the urine.

Creatinine - Levels in urine can show if the kidneys are filtering the waste product out of the blood effectively. If the kidneys are not functioning normally, there will be a low level of creatinine in the urine and a high level in the blood. 

Cushing's syndrome - A condition caused by a hyper secretion of cortisone, characterized by spindly legs, "moon face," "buffalo hump," abdominal obesity, flushed facial skin, and poor wound healing.

Cyst - An abnormal lump or swelling, filled with fluid or semisolid material, in any body organ or tissue. 

Cystitis - Inflammation of the inner lining of the bladder; usually caused by a bacterial infection.

Decoctions - Teas prepared by boiling the botanical with water for a specified period of time, followed by straining or filtering. 

Degenerative disease - This type of disease involves loss of structure and function in body tissues. 

Dehydration - Excessive loss of water from the body disrupting metabolic processes. It occurs when free water loss exceeds free water intake, caused by exercise, heat, or disease.

Dementia - A loss of mental function also known as senility in which the person’s ability to think and remember is slowly lost. They may experience problems with not only memory but with emotions, language, and motivation.

Demineralization - Loss of minerals from the bone which can lead to osteoporosis. Loss of minerals from teeth can lead to dental cavities.

Demulcent - A substance that is soothing to irritated mucous membranes.

Depression -

Dermatitis - Inflammation of the skin, sometimes due to allergy.

DHA(docosahexaenoic acid) - An omega - 3 fatty acid found primarily in cold - water fish.

DHEA (dehydroepiandrosterone) - A steroid hormone produced in the adrenal glands, it is converted by the body into other hormones

Diastolic pressure - The second number in a blood pressure reading; the measure of the pressure in the arteries during the relaxation phase of the heartbeat. 

Digestive System - A group of organs stretching from the MOUTH to the ANUS, serving to breakdown foods, assimilate nutrients, and eliminate waste. In humans, the disgestive system includes the GASTROINTESTINAL TRACT and the accessory glands (LIVER; BILIARY TRACT; PANCREAS).

Disaccharide - A sugar composed of two monosaccharide units.

Diuretic - A compound that causes increased urination or excretion of water from the body. 

DNA(deoxyribonucleic acid) - The complex protein chemical that is the main carrier of genetic information in cells.

Double - blind study - A way of controlling against experimental bias by insuring that neither the researcher nor the subject knows when an active agent or a placebo is being used.

Douche - Introduction of water and/or a cleaning agent into the vagina, with the aid of a bag with a tube and nozzle attached.

Dysplasia - Any abnormality of growth including hip dysplasia, fibrous dysplasia, and renal dysplasia.

Dysfunction - Abnormal function including emotional behaviors and physically as sexually dyfunctionality.

Edema - Accumulation of fluid in tissues producing swelling.

Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) - An essential fatty acid found primarily in cold - water fish.

Electroencephalograph - A machine that measures and records brain waves.

Electrolytes - Minerals that dissolve in water and are capable of carrying electrical charges.

Elimination diet - A diet that eliminates allergenic foods. A method of identifying foods that an individual cannot consume without adverse side effects.

Embryonic Structures - The anatomical parts that make up an organism in the early stages of development.

Emulsify - An action to disperse large fat globules into smaller, uniformly distributed particles.

Encephalitis - Inflammation of the brain, usually due to viral infection.

Endocrine System - The system of glands that release their secretions (hormones) directly into the circulatory system. In addition to the ENDOCRINE GLANDS, included are the CHROMAFFIN SYSTEM and the NEUROSECRETORY SYSTEMS.

Endometrium - The mucous membrane lining of the uterus. Endometriosis is when a tissue that normally grows inside of the uterus grows outside of it producing pelvic pain and infertility.

Enteric - coated - A tablet or capsule coated to ensure that it does not dissolve in the stomach so that it can reach the intestinal tract.

Enzyme - An organic catalyst/protein that speeds a chemical reaction.

Epidemiology - The study of the occurrence and distribution of diseases in human population.

Epinephrine - See adrenaline.

Epithelium - The cells that cover the entire surface of the body and that line most of the internal organs. 

Epstein - Barr virus - One of eight viruses in the herpes family that causes infectious mononucleosis and is associated with Burkitt's lymphoma and nasopharyngeal cancer. It is known as the cause of infectious mononucleosis.

Essential fatty acids - Fatty acids that the body cannot manufacture; linoleic and linolenic acids.

Essential oils - Also known as volatile oils, ethereal oils, or essences. They are usually complex mixtures of a wide variety of organic compounds (e.g. alcohols, phenols, acids, ethers, esters, aldehydes, oxides, etc.) that evaporate when exposed to air. They generally represent the odoriferous principles of plants.

Estrogens - Hormones that exert female characteristics. They also accelerate metabolism, increase fat storage, stimulate endometrial growth in the uterus, increase vaginal lubrication, thicken the vaginal wall, and maintain blood vessels and skin.

Excretion - The process of eliminating waste products from a cell and tissue.

Extracts - Concentrated forms of natural products obtained by treating crude materials containing these substances with a solvent and then removing the solvent completely or partially from the preparation. The most commonly used extracts are fluid extracts, solid extracts, powdered extracts, tinctures, and native extracts.

Extracellular - The space outside the cell composed of fluid.

Exudate - Escaping fluid or semifluid material that oozes from a space that may contain serum, pus, or cellular debris.

Fatigue - A subjective feeling of being tired in contract to weakness. It can be alleviated generally by periods of rest. It can have physical and mental causes.

Fats (dietary) - One of the three main macronutrients in addition to carbohydrates and protein. Fats serve both structural and metabolic functions and are necessary to the diet.

Fat soluble - The fat - soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K. Your body stores excess fat - soluble vitamins in your liver and body fat, and then uses them as needed. Ingesting more fat - soluble vitamins than you need can be toxic, causing side effects like nausea, vomiting, and liver and heart problems.

Fever - Normal temperature varies among people but a fever is considered to be 100 degrees Fahrenheit or above. 

Fibrin - A white insoluble protein formed by the clotting of blood which serves as the starting point for wound repair and scar formation.

Fibrinolysis - The dissolution of fibrin or a blood clot by the action of enzymes which convert insoluble fibrin into soluble particles. 

Flavonoid - A generic term for a group of flavone - containing compounds that are found widely in nature. They include many of the compounds that account for plant pigments (anthocyanins, anthoxanthins, apigenins, flavones, flavonols, bioflavonols,etc.). These plant pigments exert a wide variety of physiological effects in the human body. 

Fluid extracts - These extracts are typically hydro - alcoholic solutions with strength of 1 part solvent to 1 part herb. The alcohol content varies with each product. They are, in essence, concentrated tinctures. 

Fluids and Secretions - Liquid substances produced by living organisms to fulfill specific functions or excreted as waste. Secretions do not include hormones or enzymes.

Free radicals - Highly reactive molecules characterized by an unpaired electron, making it unstable and reactive. They can bind to and destroy cellular compounds. Antioxidants can stabilize free radicals.

Fungi - Disease - causing fungi can be divided into two broad groups: the filamentous fungi, which grow as branching threads called hyphae; and the singled - celled yeasts. Some fungi have features from both groups.

Furuncle - Another name for a boil that involves a hair follicle.

Genetic disease - Some diseases are caused by an inherited faulty gene. For example, in sickle - cell anemia, an inherited blood disorder, low oxygen levels lead to the formation of abnormally shaped red cells. 

Gerontology - The study of aging whether social aspects, psychological, cognitive, or biological.

Giardiasis - An infection of the small intestine caused by protozoan (single - celled organism) Giardia lambia.

Gingivitis - Inflammation of the gums in the mouth.

Glaucoma - A condition in which the pressure of the fluid in the eye is so high that it causes damage to the optic nerve and loss of vision.

Glucose - A monosaccharide or simple sugar found in the blood; one of the body's primary energy sources.

Glucose tolerance factor (GTF): (GTF) A chromium - based compound that works with insulin to facilitate the uptake of glucose by cells.

Gluten - A mixture of proteins in wheat and certain other grains that give dough its tough, elastic character. Generally, bread flours are high in gluten and pastry flours have a lower gluten content. Gluten is also often present in beer, soy sauce and is a stabilizing agent in many other food products. Those with gluten intolerance and/or celiac disease avoid gluten products.

Glycosides - Sugar - containing compounds composed of a cycone (sugar component) and an aglycone (non - sugar containing compound) that can be cleaved on hydrolysis. The glyconne portion may be glucose, rhamnose, xylose, fructose, arabinose, or any other sugar. The aglycone portion can be any kind of compound (e.g. sterols, triterpenes, anthraquinones, hydroguinones, tannins, carotenoids, or anthocyanidins).

Goblet cell - A goblet - shaped cell that secretes mucus.

Ground substance - The thick, gel - like material in which the cells, fibers, and blood capillaries of cartilage, bone, and connective tissue are embedded.

Helper T cells - Lymphocytes that help in the immune response.

Hematocrit - An expression of the percentage of blood occupied by blood cells.

Hemic and Immune Systems - Organs involved in the production of BLOOD, including the cellular and the molecular components essential in providing defense against foreign organisms or substances.

Hemorrhoids - Distended veins in the lining of the anus.

Hepatic - Pertaining to the liver.

Hepatomegaly - Enlargement of the liver.

Hernia - The exit of an organ, such as the bowel, through the wall of the cavity in which it normally resides. They can come in many different types. Most commonly they involve the abdomen, specifically the groin. Pain and discomfort may come with coughing, exercise, or going to the toilet. A concern is strangulation, where the blood supply to the part of the bowel is blocked.

Herniated disc - A medical condition affecting the spine, known as a slipped disc, where a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out behind the damaged outer rings.

Herpes zoster - Also known as shingles. Characterized by a painful crop of blisters that erupt among the path of a nerve. 

Histamine - A chemical released in the body when an allergic reaction occurs, responsible for many allergy symptoms.

HIV infection and AIDS - Infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), which in many cases leads to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), has been the most written about, researched infection in the past several decades. It is believed to have originated in Africa, where a similar virus is carried by a species of primates. Symptoms include swollen lymph nodes, fever, fatigue, rash, aching muscles, sore throat initially. 

Holistic medicine - A form of therapy aimed at treating the whole person, not just the part or parts in which the symptoms occur.

Homeopathic medicine - Dating back a little over 200 years, making it a relatively young mode of natural health care. Homeopathy, a Greek word meaning “similar suffering,” is based on the principle of like treats like. In other words, if a natural substance is able to cause symptoms at high doses, micro - doses that have been diluted down can eliminate the symptoms.

Homeostasis -

Hormone - A secretion of an endocrine gland that controls and regulates body functions.

Hyperglycemia - High blood sugar.

Hypersecretion - Excessive secretion.

Hypertension - High blood pressure.

Hyperthyroidism - A condition, also known commonly as over active thyroid, that occurs due to excessive production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. Symptoms may include irritability, muscle weakness, sleeping problems, rapid heartbeat, poor tolerance of heat, diarrhea, enlargement of the thyroid gland, and weight loss.

Hypochlorhydria - Insufficient gastric acid output.

Hypoglycemia - Low blood sugar.

Hypolipidemic - Having elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.

Hypotension - Low blood pressure.

Hypothyroidism - A condition that is the opposite of hyperthyroidism, commonly known as underactive thyroid or low thyroid, in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroid hormone. Symptoms include poor ability to tolerate cold, a feeling of lethargy or tiredness, and weight gain.

Hypoxia - An inadequate supply of oxygen.

Iatrogenic - Meaning literally "physician produced," the term can be applied to any medical condition, disease, or other adverse occurrence that results from medical treatment.

Idiopathic - Of unknown cause. 

Immunoglobulins - Antibodies.

Incidence - The number of new cases of a disease that occurs during a given period (usually years) in a defined population.

Incontinence - The inability to control urination or defecation. 

Infarction - Death to a localized area of tissue due to a lack of oxygen supply.

Infectious disease - Microorganisms invading the body

Influenza - Also known as the flu. A highly contagious viral disease that tends to occur in epidemics during the winter. The infection mainly affects the upper respiratory tract (airways) and can be transmitted easily in airborne droplets from the coughs and sneezes of infected people. 

Infusions - Teas produced by steeping a botanical in hot water.

Insulin - A hormone secreted by the pancreas which lowers blood sugar levels.

Interferon - A potent immune - enhancing substance that is produced by the body's cells to fight off viral infection and cancer.

Integumentary System - The outer covering of the body composed of the SKIN and the skin appendages, which are the HAIR, the NAILS; and the SEBACEOUS GLANDS and the SWEAT GLANDS and their ducts.

In vitro - Outside a living body and in an artificial environment.

In vivo - In a living body of an animal or plant.

Ischemic disease - Narrowed blood vessels reduce blood flow to body tissues.

Jaundice - A condition caused by elevation of bilirubin levels in the body and characterized by yellowing of skin.

Keratin - An insoluble protein found in hair, skin, and nails.

Lactase - An enzyme that breaks down lactose into the monosaccharides glucose and galactose.

Lactose - One of the sugars present in milk; a disaccharide.

Laxative - A substance that promotes the evacuation of the bowels. 

LD50 - The dosage that will kill 50 percent of the animals that take the substance.

Lesion - Any localized, abnormal change in tissue formation.

Leukocyte - A white blood cell. 

Lethargy - A feeling of tiredness, drowsiness, or lack of energy. 

 

Leukotrienes - Inflammatory compounds produced when oxygen interacts with polyunsaturated fatty acids.

Lipids - Fats, phospholipids, steroids, and prostaglandins.

Lipotropic - Promoting the flow of lipids to and from the liver.

Lyme disease - Named after Old Lyme, the town in Connecticut where the disease was first recognized, Lyme disease is caused by a bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi. The infection is transmitted to humans by ticks that usually live on deer. Symptoms include a spreading circular rash at the site of the bite, fatigue, flulike chills and fever, headache and joint pain. Dangerous complications may develop up to two yeas later that may affect the heart, nervous system and joints. 

Lymph - Fluid contained in lymphatic vessels that flows through the lymphatic system to be returned to the blood.

Lymphocyete - A type of white blood cell found primarily in lymph nodes.

Malabsorption - Impaired absorption of nutrients, most often due to diarrhea.

Malaise - A vague feeling of being sick or of physical discomfort.

Malignant - A term used to describe a condition that tends to worsen and eventually causes death.

Manipulation - As a therapy, the skillful use of the hands to move a part of the body or a specific joint or muscle.

Mast cell - A cell found in many tissues of the body that contributes greatly to allergic and inflammatory processes by secreting histamine and other inflammatory particles.

Measles - A highly contagious viral illness that causes a distinctive rash and fever and mainly affects young children. Rare in developed countries because of routine immunization. It is easily transmitted in minute airborne droplets from coughs and sneezes of infected people. 

Melatonin - The hormone can be used as a natural sleep aid and in the treatment of sleep disorders. It can be taken orally in liquid form as well as capsules with time release properties. If taken in the evening, it can improve circadian rhythm sleep disorders such as when people travel and their cycles are disrupted.

Menorrhagia - Excessive loss of blood during menstrual periods.

Menopause - A time in most women’s lives when menstrual periods stop permanently, and they are no longer able to have children. It typically occurs between the ages of 45 and 55 years of age. Medical professionals often define menopause as having occurred when a woman has not had any bleeding for a year. It can also be defined by a decrease in hormone production by the ovaries.

Menstruum - Solvent used for extraction (water, alcohol, acetone, etc.).

Metabolic disorder - This type of disorder affects the production of hormones that control metabolism. 

Metabolism - A collective term for all of the chemical processes that take place in the body.

Metabolite - A product of chemical reaction.

Metalloenzyme - An enzyme that contains a metal at its active site.

Microbe - A popular term for a microorganism.

Microflora - The microbial inhabitants of a particular region (e.g. the colon).

Minerals - Nutrients found in the earth or water and absorbed by plants and animals for proper nutrition. Minerals are the main component of teeth and bones, and help build cells and support nerve impulses, among other things.

Mites - Small eight - legged animals, less than one - twentieth of an inch (1.2 mm) long; similar to tiny spiders.

Molecule - The smallest complete unit of a substance that can exist independently and still retain the characteristic properties of the substance.

Monoclonal antibodies - Genetically engineered antibodies specific for one particular antibody.

Mononucleosis (infectious) - Known as the "kissing disease." It is mainly transmitted in saliva. Another name is glandular fever because the symptoms include swollen lymph nodes (glands) and a high temperature. 

Monosaccharide - A simple, one - unit sugar such as fructose or glucose.

Mortality rate - The number of deaths per 100,000 of the population per year. 

Mumps - A mild viral infection that was common in schoolchildren until routine immunizations. It is spread in saliva and in minute airborne droplets from the coughs and sneezes of infected people. It causes swelling and inflammation in one or both of the parotid salivary glands, which are situated below and just in front of the ears. 

Mucous membrane - The soft, pink, tissue that lines most of the cavities and tubes in the body, including the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal tract, genitourinary tract, and eyelids. The mucous membranes secrete mucus.

Mucus - The slick, slimy fluid secreted by the mucous membranes which acts as a lubricant and mechanical protector of the mucous membranes.

Musculoskeletal System - The MUSCLES, bones (BONE AND BONES), and CARTILAGE of the body.

Mycotoxins - Toxins from yeast and fungi.

Myelin sheath - A white fatty substance that surrounds nerve cells to aid in nerve impulse transmission.

Neoplasia - A medical term for a tumor formation, characterized by a progressive, abnormal replication of cells.

Neurofibrillary tangles - Clusters of degenerated nerves.

Neurotransmitters - Substances that modify or transmit nerve impulses.

Nerve system - The part of the body that coordinates its voluntary and involuntary actions and transmits signals to and from different parts of the body. In humans, it consists of two main parts: the central nervous system (CNS) and peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS contains the brain and spinal cord. The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to every other part of the body.

Nervous System - The entire nerve apparatus, composed of a central part, the brain and spinal cord, and a peripheral part, the cranial and spinal nerves, autonomic ganglia, and plexuses. (Stedman, 26th ed)

Night blindness - The inability to see well in dim light or at night.

Nocturia - The disturbance of a person's sleep at night by the need to pass urine.

OB/GYN - The acronym for obstetrics and gynecology. It is the medical specialty to care for the female reproductive organs’ health and the management of pregnancies.

OCD—The acronym for Obsessive - compulsive disorder. It is a mental disorder where people feel the need to check certain things repeatedly, perform certain routines repeatedly, or have certain thoughts repeatedly. Common activities, in which the person may not have control over it, include hand washing, counting, checking locks on doors.

Ocular - Pertaining to the eye.

Oleoresins - Primarily mixtures of resins and volatile oils. They either occur naturally or are made by extracting the oily and resinous materials from botanicals with organic solvents (e.g. hexane, acetone, ether, alcohol). The solvent then removed under vacuum, leaving behind a viscous, semisolid extractwhich is the oleoresin. Examples of prepared oleoresins are paprika, ginger, and capsicum.

Oligoantigenic diet - See Elimination diet.

Otitis media - Acute infection of the middle ear.

Oxidation/ Oxidative stress - A chemical reaction in which oxygen combines with a substance, changing or destroying its normal function. Oxidation can damage cell membranes and interfere with a cell’s regulatory systems, but it is also part of our normal functioning immune system.

PABA - The potassium salt is used medically against fibrotic skin conditions under the trade name of Potaba. It is also used in a pill form by sufferers of irritable bowel syndrome and nutritionally to benefit those suffering from fatigue, irritability, depression, forms of eczema, and premature grey hair.

Pacemaker - A medical device that uses electrical impulses, delivered by electrodes contracting the heart muscles, to regulate the beating of the heart either because the heart’s natural pacemaker is not fast enough, or because there is a block in the heart’s own electrical conduction system.

Pain - A distressing feeling often caused by intense or damaging stimuli, such as burning a finger, an injury. It can pertain to physical or emotional situations. Emotionally, it can cause a person to withdraw and to avoid certain situations that have caused the pain. Physically, it is a major symptom in many medical conditions.

Pain threshold - Pain tolerance, the point at which the pain begins to be felt. It is entirely subjective and differs from person to person.

Palate - The ceiling in the mouth that separates the oral cavity from the nasal cavity.

Palpation - The process in using one’s hands to examine the body, especially while perceiving/diagnosing a disease or illness. Doctors may feel an object in or on the body to determine its size, shape, firmness, or location.

Paleo diet - A Paleolithic diet, also known as a caveman diet, is primarily based on foods similar to those available to humans in prehistoric times such as lean meat, fish, fruit, vegetable, root vegetables, eggs, and nuts. It excludes foods such as dairy products, grains, sugar, legumes, processed oils, salt, and alcohol or coffee.

Palliative care - This multidisciplinary approach to the medical care of patients with serious illnesses focuses on providing relief from the symptoms, pain, physical stress, and mental stress of the illness - whatever the diagnosis. The goal is to improve the quality of life. The term can be used when no cure can be expected, such as in late - stage cancer diagnosis.

Palliative surgery - The aim of palliative surgery is to relieve symptoms or to prevent complications rather than to cure. 

Palsy—Referring to various types of paralysis, often accompanied by weakness and the loss of feeling and uncontrolled body movements such as shaking.

Pancreatin - A mixture of several digestive enzymes produced by the exocrine cells of the pancreas composed of amylase, lipase and protease. The mixture is used to treat conditions in which pancreatic secretions are low.

Papain - A protein - digesting enzyme of papaya. It can break down meat fibers and is also found in meat tenderizers.

Parkinson's disease - A slowly progressive degenerating nervous system disease characterized by resting tremor, pill - rolling of the fingers, a mask - like expression, shuffling gait, and muscle rigidity and weakness.

Pathogen - Any agent, particularly a microorganism, that cause disease. 

Pathogenesis - The processes by which a disease originates and develops, particularly the cellular and physiological process.

Peripheral Nervous System - Part of the nervous system that consists of the nerves and ganglia on the outside of the brain and spinal cord. The main function is to connect the central nervous system to the limbs and organs, establishing communication networks.

Peristalsis - Successive muscular contractions of the intestines that move food through the intestinal tract.

Physiology - The study of the functioning of the body, including the physical and chemical processes of its cells, tissues, organs, and systems.

Physostigmine - A drug that blocks the break - down of acetylcholine.

Phytochemicals - Compounds found in fruits, vegetables, and other plants that can be health - protecting. Phytochemicals - also called phytonutrients—include betacarotene, lycopene, and resveratrol.

Phytoestrogens - Plant compounds that exert estrogenic effects.

Placebo - An inert or inactive substance used to test the efficacy of another substance.

Poison - Substances that cause disturbances in organisms. Poisons can be distinguished from toxins and venoms.

Polysaccharide - A molecule composed of many sugar molecules linked together.

Powdered extract - A solid extract that has been dried as a powder.

Progesterone - A hormone that, in part, plays an important role in mammary gland development in females and is also involved in sex drive for women.

Proteins - Large biomolecules that consist of one or more long chains of amino acid residues that perform a vast array of functions within living organisms, including catalyzing metabolic reactions, DNA replication, responding to stimuli, and transporting molecules from one location to another.

Prostaglandins - Hormone - like compounds manufactured from essential fatty acids.

Pschosomatic - Pertaining to the relationship between the mind and the body. Commonly used to refer to those physiological disorders thought to be caused entirely or in part by psychological factors.

Putrefaction - The process of breaking down protein compounds by rotting.

Quality of life - The general well - being of individuals. Within healthcare, it is regarded how a certain ailment affects a patient on an individual level.

Quadriceps - A large group of muscles that include the four prevailing muscles on the front of the thigh. All four quadriceps are powerful

Quarantine - It is used to separate and restrict the movement in people, such as a state of enforced isolation. It is often used in connection to a communicable disease to prevent illnesses from spreading.

Quinine - A medication that was commonly used to prevent and treat malaria and babesiosis. It is extracted from the bark of the cinchona tree. As of 2006, artemisinins is now recommended by the World Health Organization.

Rabies virus—A viral disease that causes acute inflammation of the brain in humans and other warm - blooded animals. Early symptoms can include fever and tingling at the site of possible infection. More serious symptoms follow of violent movements, uncontrolled excitement, fear of water, an inability to move parts of the body, confusion, and loss of consciousness. Death often occurs within one to three months.

Radial artery - The main artery of the lateral aspect of the forearm. It is where the clinician takes the radial pulse to assess heart rate and cardiac rhythm.

Radiation sickness - The onset of and type of symptoms depends on the radiation exposure. Smaller doses may result in gastrointestinal effects, such as nausea and vomiting. Relatively larger doses can result in neurological effects and rapid death.

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) - Recommended Dietary Allowance.

Resins - Complex oxidative products of terpenes that occur naturally as plant exudates, or that are prepared by alcohol extraction of botanicals that contain resinous principles.

Respiratory System - The tubular and cavernous organs and structures, by means of which pulmonary ventilation and gas exchange between ambient air and the blood are brought about.

Saccharide - A sugar molecule.

Salivary gland - Exocrine glands, glands with ducts, that produce saliva. They also secrete amylase, an enzyme that breaks down starch into maltose.

Saliva - A watery substance secreted by the salivary glands. Human saliva is 99.5% water, while the other small portion is electrolytes, mucus, glycoproteins, enzymes, antibacterial, and bacteria compounds. The enzymes in saliva are essential in beginning the process of digestion of dietary starches and fats.

Salk vaccine - Medical researcher Jonas Salk discovered and developed the first successful polio vaccine in 1955 when polio was considered one of the most frightening public health problems in the world.

Salmonella—A type of food poisoning that can cause back pain. It can manifest as gastrointestinal tract infection, enteric fever, bacteremia, localized infection, and chronic reservoir state. It can remain latent in the body for some time.

SAM - e - A supplement if taken on a regular basis may help fight depression, liver disease, and the pain of osteoarthritis. It may also play a role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

Saponins - Non - nitrogenous glycosides, typically with sterol or triterpenes as the aglycone, that possess the common property of foaming or making suds when strongly agitated in aqueous solution.

Satiety - While hunger represents the physiological need to eat food, satiety is the opposite. It is the feeling of being full and not hungry.

Saturated fat - A fat whose carbon atoms are bonded to the maximum number of hydrogen atoms; found in animal products such as meat, milk, milk products, and eggs.

Sclerosis - The process of hardening or scarring of tissues.

Senile dementia - Mental deterioration associated with aging.

Slow - reacting substance of anaphylaxis (SRSA) - A potent allergic mediator produced and released by mast cells. 

Solid extracts - A form of extract that have had all of their residual solvent or liquid removed.

Steroids - Steroids, along with metabolites, often act as signaling molecules. Steroids such as cholesterol decrease membrane fluidity. In terms of drugs, two classes target the mevalonate pathway: stains and bisphosphonates.

Stomatognathic System - The mouth, teeth, jaws, pharynx, and related structures as they relate to mastication, deglutition, and speech.

Stress - A physical or mental demand that provides responses that enable us to meet challenges or escape from danger. The demand may be sudden such as the need to avoid a speeding car, or long - term, such as job pressures. 

Sweating - One of the body's cooling mechanisms. It is a normal response to heat, exercise, and stress or fear. Excessive sweating can be an indication of a fever, hyperthyroidism, hormonal changes with menopause, and chronic health conditions. 

Submucosa - The tissues just below the mucous membrane.

Suppressor T cells - Lymphocytes controlled by the thymus gland which suppress the immune response.

Syndrome - A group of signs and symptoms that occur together in a pattern characteristic of a particular disease or abnormal condition.

T cell - A lymphocyte that is under the control of the thymus gland.

Tapeworm - A class of parasitic flatworm, also known as cestoda, that live in digestive tracts. Humans are subject to infection by several species of tapeworms if they eat undercooked meat such as pork, beef, and fish, or if they live in, or eat food prepared in, conditions of poor hygiene.

Tartar on teeth - A form of hardened dental plaque caused by minerals from saliva and gingival crevicular fluid forming a rough and hardened surface that comprises the health of the gums.

Tearing - A secretion of tears which often serve to clean and lubricate the eyes in response to irritation of the eyes. Those with dry eye syndrome have problems with lubrication.

Tinctures - Alcoholic or hydro - alcoholic solutions usually containing the active principles of botanicals in low concentrations. They are usually prepared by maceration, percolation, or dilution of their corresponding fluid or native extracts. The strengths of tinctures are typically 1:10 or 1:5. Alcohol content may vary.

Tissues - Collections of cells organized in a cooperative arrangement for the purpose of performing a particular function.

Testosterone - A steroid hormone from the androgen group and is found in humans and other vertebrates. In humans and mammals, it is secreted primarily by the testosterone of males, and to a lesser extent, the ovaries of females. Small amounts are also secreted by the adrenal glands. It is the principal male sex hormone and an anabolic steroid.

Toxic shock syndrome - First recognized in the late 1970s, toxic shock syndrome is an uncommon but potentially fatal infection. Caused by a toxin produced by Staphyloccus aureus and some streptococcal bacteria, which enter the bloodstream from a localized site of infection. Half of all cases occur in menstruating women. It may be linked to wrong tampon usage. 

Tracheotomy - A surgical procedure which consists of making an incision on the anterior part of the neck and opening a direct airway through that incision in the trachea allowing a tube to be inserted to permit a person to breathe without the use of his or her mouth or nose.

Traction - In orthopedic medicine, it refers to the set of mechanisms for straightening broken bones or relieving pressure on the spine and skeletal system.

Tremor - It is an involuntary, somewhat rhythmic muscle contraction and relaxation involving oscillations or twitching movements of one or more body parts. It is the most common of all involuntary movements and can affect the hands, arms, eyes, face, head, vocal folds, trunk, and legs. It can be a sign of cold, fear, nervousness or a neurological disorder.

Ulcer - A break in bodily membrane that impedes the organ from its normal functions. It can include pressure ulcers (known as bedsores), genital ulcers, ulcerative dermatitis, anal fissures or tears, diabetic foot ulcers, mouth ulcers, stomach ulcers, venous ulcers, ulcerative colitis.

Ulcerative colitis - A form of inflammatory bowel disease causing inflammation and ulcers in the colon. It has much in common with Crohn’s disease but only affects the colon and rectrum.

Ultraviolet rays - In terms of health, excessive exposure to UV radiation can result in acute and chronic harmful effects on the skin, eye, and immune system. Overexposure to UVB radiation not only can cause sunburn on skin but some forms of skin cancer.

Umbilical cord - During prenatal development, the embryo or fetus and the placenta is connected. The umbilical vein supplies the baby with oxygenated, nutrient - rich blood from the placenta. Also, the developing baby’s heart pumps deoxygenated, nutrient - depleted blood through the umbilical arteries back to the placenta.

Unsaturated fats - A type of fat or fatty acid in which there are at least one double bond within the fatty acid chain eliminating hydrogen atoms. Replacing saturated fat in the diet with unsaturated fat helps to lower levels of cholesterol.

Vaccine - A biological preparation that gives active acquired immunity to a particular disease. Vaccines typically contain an agent that resembles a disease - causing micro - organism made from weakened or killed forms of the microbe, its toxins or one of its surface proteins. Administering a vaccine is a vaccination.

Vagina - The muscular and tubular part of the female genital tract which plays a significant role in female sexuality.

Vagus nerve - The tenth cranial nerve, also known as the pneumogastric nerve, interacts with the parasympathetic control of the heart and digestive tract.

Valerian - A perennial flowering herb used as a remedy for insomnia as well as an alternative for sedatives.

Valve - In the heart, valves normally allow blood to flow in one direction.

Vertigo - It is when a person feels as if they or the objects around them are moving when they are not. Often it feels like a spinning or swaying movement. There may be associated nausea, vomiting, sweating, or difficulty in walking.

Viruses - The smallest infectious organisms, so tiny that millions of them could fit inside a single human cell. Viruses are only capable of reproduction inside a living cell, called a host cell.Some of the most familiar minor illnesses, such as coughs, sore throats, and attacks of diarrhea and vomiting, are often caused by viral infections. 

Waist-hip ratio - The ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips measured at the midpoint between the lower margin of the last palpable rib and the top of the iliac crest. The hips are measured around the widest portion of the buttocks with the tape measure parallel to the floor. When measuring, the individual should stand with feet close together, arms at the side and body weight even distributed and wearing little clothing.

Wandering abscess - A localized collection of pus in a cavity formed by the disintegration of tissue caused by specific microorganisms that invade the tissues by small wounds or breaks in the skin. The body’s natural defense is to attempt to localize the infection so it cannot spread throughout the body by walling off the organisms and forming an abscess. (There are many different types of abscesses.)

Warfarin - A medication also known by brand names Coumadin among others. It is an anticoagulant normally used in the prevention of thrombosis and thromboembolism. It was initially introduced as a pesticide against rats and mice.

Wet nurse - A woman who breast feeds and cares for another child. They have been employed when the birth mother is unable or chooses not to nurse the child herself.

Worms - Complex organisms that range in size from microscopic to several feet in length. There are two types: flatworms and round worms, that are adapted to infest humans. Adult worms or immature larvae infest various parts of the body, including the intestines and blood vessels. 

X-ray - A form of electromagnetic radiation in medical settings to identify bone structures. Diagnostic x - rays, primarily from CT scans due to lose dosages used, can increase the ris

Dr. Herdman is a graduate or member of the following organizations:

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