Nature's Kitchen Rules

Glossary of Terminology

Allergy - hypersensitivity caused by a foreign substance

Anaerobic - an organism that does not require oxygen

Analgesic - relief or deadening of pain

Anaphrodisiac - reduction of sexual desire

Anesthetic - relieves pain by loss of sensation

Anti-arthritic - an agent that helps combat arthritis

Anti-allergenic - reduces symptoms of allergies

Antibacterial - fights bacterial growth .....(up to here)

Antibiotic - Fights infection in the body by preventing the growth or destroying bacteria

Anti-depressant - Helps to counteract depression and lifts the mood

Anti-fungal - Prevents growth of fungi

Anti-infectious - Prevents against infection

Antioxidant - A substance to prevent or delay oxidation

Anti-phlogistic - Counteracts inflammation

Anti-pruritic - Relieves or prevents sensation of itching

Anti-rheumatic - An agent which helps to combat rheumatism

Anti-seborrheic - Helps control the oily secretion from sweat glands

Antiseptic - A substance helping to control infection

Anti-sudorific - A substance to help lessen sweating

Aphrodisiac - Increasing sexual desire and sexual functioning

Aromatherapy - The therapeutic use of essential oils

Arrhythmia - Irregular or loss of heartbeat rhythm

Astringent - Causing contraction of organic tissue

Atony - Lack of muscle tone


Bactericidal - An agent destroying bacteria

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

Blepharitis - Inflammation of the eyelids


Calmative - A sedative

Carcinogenic - A substance that promotes cancer or cancerous growths

Cardiac - Pertaining to the heart

Carrier oil - An oil which is used to dilute essential oils for the purpose of massage - see fixed oils

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 conditions

Chi / Qi - Chinese term referring to the essential life force

Cicatrisation - Formation of scar tissue

Cicatrisant - Agent promoting healing by scar tissue formation

Clinical trial - A controlled study to look at the effectiveness of a specific ingredient or application

Cohobation - Is a process in the extraction method of especially rose essential oil, to ensure a "complete" oil

Cold pressed - Refers to a method of extraction where no external heat is applied during the process

Cutaneous - Pertaining to the skin


Decoction - A herbal preparation made by boiling the material and reducing it to a concentration

Decongestant - A substance which helps to relieve congestion

Dermatitis - Inflammation of the skin

Diffuser - A device which helps to release the fragrance molecules into the air

Distillation - A method of extraction used in the manufacture of essential oils


Emollient - Softening and soothing to the skin

Erethism - Abnormal state of irritation or excitement

Essential oil - Volatile aromatic liquid constituting the odorous principles of botanical matter

Expression - Is an extraction method where essential oils are pressed to obtain the oil


Fixative - Material that slows evaporation of volatile components in perfume

Fixed oils - Vegetable oils obtained from plants that are fatty and non-volatile

Flower water - The water resulting from the distillation of essential oils, which still contains some of the properties of the plant material used in the extraction

Fractionated oils - Refers to oils that have been re-distilled, either to have terpenes removed or to remove other substances

Fungicide - A substance which destroys fungal infections


Hybrid - A plant created by fertilization of one species by another

Hydrodiffusion - Is a distillation method of essential oil extraction where the steam is produced above the botanical material and then percolates down

Hydrosol - Floral water


Infused oil - An oil produced by steeping the macerated botanical material in oil until the oil has taken on some of the material's properties

Infusion - Herbal remedy made by steeping the plant material in water


Macerate - To soak until soft

Massage therapist - A person qualified to perform therapeutic massage on people

Massage therapy - The manipulation of soft tissue to enhance health and general well-being

Menopause - The normal cessation of menstruation


Nervine - Substance that strengthens and tones the nerves and nervous system

Neuralgia - Stabbing pain along a nerve pathway

Neurasthenia - Nervous exhaustion

Neurotoxin - A substance having a toxic or harmful effect on the nervous system


Oedema - Water retention

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

Oxidation - Related to the addition of oxygen to an organic molecule, or the removal of electrons or hydrogen from the molecule


Palpitations - Undue awareness of heartbeat, or rapid heartbeat or abnormal rhythm of the heart

Perennial - A plant living for more than two years

Pharmacology - Medical science pertaining to drugs

Phytohormones - Plant substances mimicking the actions of human hormones

Phytotherapy - Treatment of disease with plant material, including herbal medicine

Pomade - Perfumed fat obtained during the enfleurage extraction method

Prophylactic - Preventative of disease or infection

Pruritis - Itching

Psoriasis - A chronic skin disease characterized by red patches and silver scaling

Psychosomatic - Pertaining to the mind and body


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

Rhizome - Underground stem that lasts for more than one season

Rubefacient - Substance causing redness and possible irritation to the skin


Sciatica - Pain down the back of the legs in the area serviced by the sciatic nerve

Sclerosis - Hardening of tissue due to inflammation

Soporific - A substance which helps to induce sleep

Sudorific - An agent causing sweating

Synthetic - Refers to anything not of organic source


Thrombosis - The formation of a blood clot

Tincture - Referring to either a herbal or perfume material prepared in an alcohol base

Tuber - Swollen part of underground stem of one year's duration and capable of new growth


Unguent - A soothing or healing salve or balm


Volatile - Substance that is unstable and evaporates easily, like an essential oil

Vulnerary - An agent applied externally which helps to heal wounds and sores and helps to prevent tissue degeneration


What's New?


ingredients existing in or derived from nature