Herbal Therapeutic Actions
NOTE: This definition list of the most commonly used therapeutic actions was taken from
the Book, "The School of Healing", written by Master Herbalist and Naturopathic Physician, Dr. John
- to produce absortion of diseased tissues.
- to alter the existing unhealthy condition in the body and gradually restore
normal body functions.
- to ease pain when administered orally.
- to lessen sexual functions and desires.
- to relieve pain when applied externally.
- to neutralize acid in the stomach and intestinal tract.
- to expel or destroy intestinal worms.
- to counteract abortive tendencies.
- to relieve and heal arthritic conditions.
- to relieve asthma.
- to eliminate a biliary or jaundice condition in the body.
- to heal catarrhal conditions in the body.
- to lessen nausea and prevent or relieve vomiting.
- to eliminate excess body fluids or dropsy.
- to prevent the formation of calculi (stones) in the urinary tract.
- to relieve malarial-type fevers and chills.
- to reduce inflammation or swelling.
- to reduce temperature in fevers.
- to prevent, relieve and cure rheumatism.
- to prevent and cure scurvy.
- to heal scrofula (Tubercular condition of the lymph nodes).
- to prevent, resist and counteract putrefaction (decay of cells and
formation of pus).
- to relieve nervous irritability and reduce or prevent excessive involuntary
muscular contractions (spasms).
- to relieve and cure syphilis or other ventral diseases.
- an antidote to animal, vegetable, or mineral poisons.
- to destroy or arrest the action of bacterial organisms.
- Aperient (mildest) or Laxative (next mildest)-
- for mild evacuation of the bowels.
- having a fragrant, pungent and/or spicy smell and taste, which stimulate
the gastrointestinal mucous membrane.
- to cause contraction of the cell walls, and a condensing of tissues, making
them denser and firmer, and arresting improper discharges.
- to correct conditions of impotence and strengthen sexual power.
- to mitigate, soothe and heal inflamed parts.
- having a bitter taste and serving as a stimulating tonic to the
gastrointestinal mucous membranes.
- used as diffusive stimulants and which cause increased capillary
circulation, giving an external sense of warmth.
- Cardiac Depressant-
- to lessen and are sedative to the heart's action.
- Cardiac Stimulant-
- to increase and give greater power to the heart's action.
- usually volatile oils that excite intestinal peristalsis, and relieve and
promote the expulsion of gas from the gastrointestinal tract.
- active purgatives to the intestinal tract (stronger than a laxative),
exciting peristalsis and stimulating glandular secretions, producing semi-fluid
bowel movements with some irritation and griping.
- to burn or destroy living tissues.
- particularly healing to cerebral conditions and diseases.
- to promote a flow and discharge of bile into the duodenum by contracting
the bile ducts, and to purge the bowels.
- used to season or flavor foods.
- combining the properties of a warm stomach and a cardiac stimulant.
- to alter and lessen the severity of action of other herbs.
- used as skin tonics and to improve the complexion.
- having mucilaginous properties that are soothing and protective internally
to irritated and inflamed surfaces and tissues.
- Dental anodyne-
- used locally to relieve pain from an exposed nerve in the tooth.
- to remove alimentary (in the gastrointestinal tract) and other body
- to eliminate foul odors.
- to clean or purify the blood by promoting elimination.
- able to dry surfaces by absorbing moisture.
- cleansing to wounds, ulcers, etc. or the skin itself.
- producing insensible perspiration and increased elimination through the
- containing ferments and acids, that aid in the digestion of food.
- to dilute secretions and excretions.
- to dispel or dissolve tumors and abnormal growths.
- to eliminate or destroy the noxious properties of decaying organic matter
and thereby prevent the spreading or transfer of toxic matter or infection.
- to increase the secretion and flow of urine.
- hyperactive cathartics producing violent peristalsis, watery stools, and
much griping pain.
- induces vomiting and causes an evacuation of stomach contents.
- female correctives to the reproductive organs, which stimulate and promote
a normal menstrual function, flow and discharge.
- softening, soothing and protective to external surfaces.
- to increase nasal secretions from the sinuses.
- healing to skin eruptions or to skin diseases of an eruptive nature.
- to promote and facilitate discharge of mucous secretions from
- to reduce a fever.
- to increase the secretion of milk.
- to diminish or arrest the secretion of milk.
- rich in iron and manganese and which augment and enrich the red corpuscles
of the blood.
- generally astringent and arrest hemorrhaging or internal bleeding.
- used to strengthen, tone and stimulate the secretive functions of the
- healing to skin eruption and scaling diseases (such as ringworm).
- powerful nervine relaxants and sedatives that induce sleep.
- used to destroy insects.
- produce a greater or lesser degree of vascular excitement when applied to
- to dissolve or discharge urinary and biliary concretions (gravel or stones)
when formed in excretory passages.
- Local Anaesthetic-
- producing anesthesia (loss of sensation) where applied locally to a
- to promote the maturation or ripening of tumors, boils, ulcers, etc.
- having mucilaginous properties.
- causing dilation of the pupil (eye).
- causing contraction of the pupil (eye).
- powerful anodyne-hypnotics.
- producing nausea or an inclination to vomit.
- influencing the kidneys and are healing in kidney complaints.
- tonic and healing to the nerves.
- nourishing and building to body tissues.
- healing to disorders and diseases of the eyes.
- kill or destroy animal and vegetable parasites within the body.
- to stimulate uterine contractions, which induce and assist labor, to
promote and hasten childbirth.
- healing to complaints or affections of the bronchial-pulmonary area.
- to stimulate and increase peristalsis, or muscular contactions (as in the
- protective of abraded, inflamed, or injured parts when applied locally to a
- causing a sharply pricking, acrid, and penetrating sensation to the sensory
- having cooling properties, lowering the body temperature, and relieving
- to promote the dispersion of inflammatory deposits, and their absorption
into excetory channels.
- upon local application, stimulating capillary dilation and action, and
cause skin redness (drawing blood to the surface).
- to lower the functional activity of an organ or part of the body, thereby
tending to calm, moderate or tranquilize.
- to promote the secretion and flow of saliva and buccal mucous.
- to induce a relaxing sleep.
- irritating to the mucous membranes in nasal passages, which cause sneezing.
- to increase functional activity and energy in the body.
- stimulating tonics to the stomach.
- to astringe the blood vessels when applied to an external surface, and
thereby arrest local bleeding or hemorrhaging.
- to stimulate the sudoriferous glands and produce visible and profuse
perspiration when taken hot and act as tonics when taken cold.
- Taeniafuge and Taeniacide-
- to expel (taeniafuges) or kill (taeniacides) tapeworms in the intestinal
- to stimulate nutrition and permanently increase systemal tone, energy,
vigor, and strength.
- to promote healing of fresh cuts, wounds, etc.
If You're Interested In MORE Information Aboiut Herbs, Please CLICK HERE.