Adaptogen  herbs helping to increase the body’s resistance to stress, mainly by supporting the function of adrenal glands.

Astringent  herbs containing compounds that bind onto mucous membranes or skin, producing shrinkage or contraction of the tissue, and therefore reducing inflammation, irritation or bleeding, and creating a barrier against infections.

Carminative plants, rich in aromatic volatile oils, which promote appropriate digestive system function, soothing the gut wall, reducing inflammation, easing gripping pains, and helping the body eliminate gas from the digestive tract.

Cholagogue herb compounds that stimulate the release of bile that has already been formed in the biliary system. Can help to decongest the liver, support digestion of fats, and prevent formation of gallstones.

Demulcent herbs high in mucilage, soothing and protecting surface area, such as irritated or inflamed mucosal tissue; these herbs reduce irritation in gut, diminish surface tension in the respiratory tract and relax painful spasms in the bladder.

Emollient herbs rich in compounds that soften and moisturize the skin

Nervine:            

  • Relaxant or anxiolytic herbs act on the nervous system, easing anxiety and tension, soothing both body and mind
  • Stimulant or tonic herbs directly stimulate nerve activity

Spasmolytic or anti-spasmodic herbs ease muscle cramps. The compounds in these herbs alleviate muscular tension or reduce muscle spasms throughout the body; some herbs work on specific organs or organ systems.                  

Tonic  Herbs that nurture and enliven; usually whole plants that enliven whole body by supporting nourishment and repair.                  

Vulnerary herbs promoting wound healing; although the term is used mainly to describe skin-healing, this action is applicable and relevant for internal wound healing as well.