HERBAL ACTIONS & EXPERIENCES USED ON JOYFUL BELLY
The biocharacteristics clinical theory of medicine includes many more categories than herbal actions alone. See all categories
An abortifacient is a substance that induces abortion. These herbs are contraindicated in pregnancy.
Herbs that promote stabilization of physiological processes and homeostasis. Adaptogens increase the body's ability to resist the damaging effects of stress and promote or restore normal physiological functioning.
Literally, an herb that restores the proper function of the body. In practice, alteratives are usually blood cleansers and blood chemistry balancers. They were traditionally used to revitalize and detoxify after a long winter.
Relieves or reduces feelings of pain without eliminating sensation.
Herbs that neutralize acidity in the gastrointestinal tract, the stomach in particular.
Reduces estrogen, which reduces thickness of the uterus endometrium, pelvic congestive disorders like fibroids, and frequently dysmenorrhea as well
Reduces inflammation in the body. Different herbs and carriers target different body systems.
Reduces prolactin, normally secreted by breastfeeding mothers. Prolactin suppresses the uterus, fertility, menstruation.
Reduces testosterone, which can reduce excess growth and drive, including libido.
Herbs that ease arthritic pain and promote joint health.
Herbs that kill bacteria or slow their growth.
Herbs that inhibit or prevent the activity of a carcinogen or the development of cancer.
Herbs that lift feelings of depression, benefit the mind and improve mental function.
An herb that suppresses thirst.
An herb that suppresses the formation of urine. They help retain fluids and rehydrate by reducing urination. They oppose diuresis.
Herbs that reduce nausea or stop vomiting.
Herbs that destroy fungus.
Herbs that interrupt an allergic reaction or calm the immune system.
An agent that kills microorganisms or inhibits their growth. Antimicrobial is an umbrella term that can be broken down into specific categories of target microorganism, such as anti-bacterials, fungals, and virals.
An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits oxidation. Oxidation is a chemical reaction that can produce free radicals that lead to a chain reaction causing damage or death to cells. Antioxidants terminate these oxidation reactions.
An herb that destroys platelets in the blood, therefore reducing the tendency of blood to form clots. They are useful in cardiovascular disease.
An antidote for a poison. Many anti-poisonous herbs draw out a poison and are good for insect bites.
Antipruritics are herbs that inhibit itching that is often associated with itching skin conditions such as sunburns, allergic reactions, eczema, psoriasis, chickenpox, fungal infections, insect bites, or contact dermatitis (as in poison ivy exposure.)
Reduces a fever / febrifuge.
Antirheumatic herbs help to ease and prevent arthritis and rheumatism. Many are also anti-inflammatory, analgesic, detoxicants and blood thinners. Antirheumatic herbs deal with problems involving the painful, stiff, swollen joints, and fatigue.
Capable of preventing infection by inhibiting the growth of microorganisms. Helpful in infections and for those with weak immune systems.
Herbs that reduce or inhibit muscle spasms or cramping, such as in asthma, colic or IBS.
Cough suppressant, particularly for dry coughs or a tickle in your throat.
Herbs that inhibit the development of viral infections. Antivirals also can be found in essential oils of some herbs, such as eucalyptus oil.
Herbs that help people suffering from anxiety or panic. They promote a state of calm and often improve sleep. Most anxiolytic herbs are also nervines.
Herbs that increase sexual arousal through various actions including increased circulation, relaxation, stimulation, or tonics that strengthen glandular health.
Suppresses hunger without causing weight gain
Herbs that cleanse the palate & stimulate hunger or desire to eat.
Herbs that thin the blood. Helpful for people with heart disease or clogged circulation.
An herb that produces more blood cells in the body or otherwise strengthens blood. Helpful for anemia and other types of deficiency.
An herb that strengthens the bones and joints.
An herb that strengthens the brain, thereby improves either mental function, stamina, or stability.
The Sanskrit word for breaking up congealed matter / clogs in the body. Often used for constipation. Be careful with herbs that have Bhedana action.
An herb that encourages the widening or opening of the lung airways. Helpful in cough and asthma.
Herbs that increase the production of semen, often by rebuilding fluids in general.
Promotes strength, endurance and resistance in the body. Rebuilds weak tissues after a time of depletion.
An herb that detoxifies by helping your body metabolize toxins, as opposed to eliminating them.
An herb that literally calms the heart. These herbs are helpful in the treatment of anxiety, sadness, depression, or other emotional imbalances in the heart. Related to the Chinese Herbal Category 'calms spirit.'
Herbs that increase the heart rate. Useful in cardiovascular health, blood stagnation, and subjective feeling of heaviness in the chest area.
Strengthens and tones the heart. Cardiac tonics are used to treat a wide range of heart issues.
Stimulates the release of gas. Helpful for bloating or cramping abdominal pain. Propels food downward.
Increases feelings of tension, constriction and tightness in the body.
Cholagogues stimulate the release of bile from the gall bladder for improved digestion.
Cleanses sinuses by draining excess mucus, allowing for clear, easy breathing.
An herb that binds stools / stops diarrhea. When used in excess, these herbs and foods can cause constipation.
Herbs that reduce fertility or prevent conception. There are no reliable herbal contraceptives!
An herb that reduces mucus congestion in the sinus or lungs by restricting blood flow to mucus membranes.
Herbs that coat or form a soothing film over a mucous membrane, relieving minor pain and inflammation of the membrane.
An herb that reduces odor.
herbs that dry surfaces by absorbing moisture
An herb that eliminates or metabolizes toxins from the body.
An herb that induces sweating, often by dilating blood vessels close to the skin.
Herbs that encourage healthy digestion.
Herbs that promote urine formation, thereby flushing the kidneys and urinary tract while eliminating any excess water retention. As diuretics reduce water retention, they are often used to reduce blood pressure.
Makes the mouth feel dry, or pasty.
An herb that causes vomiting.
Herbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus. They are used to increase scanty menstruation, relieve menstrual pain, and other functions.
soothes & softens the skin
Increases estrogen, helpful in menopause. Estrogen is anabolic and increases muscle growth, bone density, and moisture.
Herbs that help you cough up and eliminate mucus. These herbs often work by increasing the quantity of mucus, or thinning the mucus.
Aids the expulsion of toxic substances from the body.
Herbs in this category stimulate mucus membranes to release fluids, flushing them out.
An herb that relieves sinus congestion by flushing out mucus.
Increases production of breast milk.
Promotes a bowel movement. General laxative is an umbrella term that refers to several different types of laxatives...
Encourages feelings of stability and heaviness. Makes you feel settled, mentally relaxed. Mildly sedates the nervous system to ease stress. Can bring a spacey or anxious person back to earth.
An herb or formula that encourages healthy hair growth.
An herb that stops bleeding.
An herb that is capable of preventing liver damage.
A class of laxative that adds bulk and water to stools. The size of a stool stimulates peristalsis and the stool passes more easily through the colon. It is important to drink plenty of water when using high fiber laxatives, as they can be dehydrating.
An herb that increases blood pressure.
Scrapes fats / cleanses blood vessels
An herb that lowers blood pressure.
Stimulates and strengthens the immune system. Helpful when fighting off a cold or flu.
Reduces scattered thoughts. Creates a steady mind.
Herbs that encourage ovulation.
An herb that causes intoxication, makes you 'woozy' or adversely affects mental function. Intoxicants, like valerian or kava, can be addicting. Use sparingly.
Tight, sharp pain just below ribs in the back.
Creates abrasive feeling in the back of the mouth. May stimulate coughing.
An herb that strengthens the kidneys.
An herb used to expel stones such as kidney stones or gall stones.
An herb that breaks up a gall or kidney stone so that is can be passed.
An herb that strengthens the liver. It is helpful for people with a history of substance abuse, chronic liver issues from hepatitis and hemolytic anemias. Generally, liver tonics are oily, cool, sweet, mildly sour, or has beta-carotene.
An herb that lowers blood sugar.
Reduces thyroid function. Useful for people with hyperthyroid.
Makes you feel like there is a ball of tension around the Adam's Apple area.
Strengthens the lungs. These herbs are helpful when recovering from either acute or chronic lung issues like bronchitis or pneumonia.
Induces drowsiness and promotes sound sleep.
Generally increases male reproductive strength and stamina.
Herbs that relax muscles. Helpful for chronic pain or tension as well as healing from physical trauma.
Herbs that strengthen and tone muscle tissue. Helpful for people recovering from long term illness and debility, or after a sprain.
Brings about feelings of unease and discomfort in the stomach, often accompanied with the involuntary urge to vomit.
Herbs that specifically go to the nervous system and brain. They can help with stress, memory, early alzheimer's, even chronic pain.
Inhibits sensation in a particular area.
An herb that is strengthening and nourishing.
Benefits the eyes.
Oxytocin stimulates uterine contractions, preparing the uterus for labor. It helps stop bleeding after delivery. It encourages affection for those close to you, but distance from those outside the inner circle/tribe.
Progeserone is the pregnancy hormone. It raises body temperature (Pitta), and suppresses menstruation. It is generally more extroverted.
An herb that promotes fertility. Generally used by women who wish to become pregnant. These herbs may also help with menstrual problems of deficiency, such as amenorrhea (lack of a period).
Encourages virility and potency.
An herb that aids the prostate, especially for those at risk for prostate cancer or BPH.
Where general laxatives target the colon, purgatives are strong laxatives that target complete elimination of the small intestine. Use only sporadically as it can be habit forming.
An herb or substance that relieves thirst.
An herb that increases thyroid function.
Substances that increase your electrolyte balance. Electrolytes help you retain water, keep your palate moist, and truly quench your thirst.
Herbs or substances that create moisture in the body and increase fluids.
Suppresses sweating, often by cooling the metabolism, reducing blood flow to the skin, or closing pores.
Flushes the lymphatic system to cool, awaken, and revive the skin.
Stimulates and wakes up the body, leaving it feeling cool, fresh, and energized.
An herb or substance that strongly cools the body. Can be helpful in cases of heat conditions.
Eases tension in eye muscles, so the eyes feel less strained, often by supporting the liver.
Reduces mental agitation, irritation, stress and racing thoughts.
Soothes and comforts the muscles of the upper abdomen, reducing any tension or pressure in the solar plexus area.
Herbs that soothe a burn or reduce an internal burning sensation, such as aloe vera.
An herb that releases tightness, constriction, and rigidity in a muscle.
An herb used topically that causes dilation of the capillaries and an increase in blood circulation. The skin will appear red or flushed.
Provides a sense of gratification and fullness in the stomach.
Sedative herbs create a sense of calm in the mind and body by specifically calming or quieting the nervous system. Excellent for anxiety, stress and chronic pain.
A sialogogue increases saliva. Sour foods are often great sialogogues, and increase output of all exocrine glands. Salty taste is very moistening as well. Bitter, pungent and sweettastes also increase salivary output but to a
lesser degree. Astringents
An herb that strengthens and nourishes skin, improving tone, color, moisture and complexion.
Soothes throat discomfort, including from a sore or ticklish throat.
Calms and alleviates irritation or discomfort in a particular region.
An herb that strengthens spleen function by improving strength of the blood. Spleen tonics Builds agni, brighten the person's appearances & firms up tissues.
Stimulant laxatives induce bowel movements by stimulating peristaltic movement (the contraction of smooth muscle in the intestines). They are effective when used on a short-term basis. On a long-term basis, they can create dependency.
Creates a feeling of awareness or tension in the area at the base of the skull.
Creates a feeling of awareness or tension in the area at the top of the head.
This category groups thyroid and adrenal stimulating herbs
Creates a feeling of awareness or tension in the area in the forehead. Activates the frontal lobe - the area responsible for motor function, emotional expression, thinking, and decision making.
An herb that promotes involuntary smooth muscle contractions to facilitate the movement of food and waste through the digestive tract.
An herb that increases appetite or settles a nauseas or nervous stomach. These generally increase the digestive fire, therefore relieving symptoms of sluggish or difficult digestion.
An herb that softens stool that is hard and difficult to pass. They are the safest and most gentle type of laxative. Some foods are even stool softeners, such as warm milk with ghee.
Increases determination and courage by reducing stress and building strength.
A herb that contracts tissue or blood vessels. Generally styptics are astringent. They are often used to stop bleeding.
Androgenic. Stimulates testosterone.
A tonic herb restores function through strengthening tissue. This can happen through a combination of nourishing the tissue, and invigorating tissue metabolism. The tonic should not be withering, as in caffeine.
An herb that tonifies and strengthens the urinary system. These can be helpful for urinary incontinence or improving function after a urinary tract infection. They can also strengthen the bladder to ward off a urinary tract infection.
Causes contractions in the uterus often by stimulating production of oxytocin. These herbs are contraindicated during pregnancy.
An herb that tonifies and strengthens the uterus. Helpful for menstrual difficulties and fertility. Often herbs that increase ojas, but also circulation to reproductive system.
A vasodilator is an herb that widens the blood vessels by the relaxation of smooth muscle cells within the vessel walls, thereby increasing circulation systemically or to a local area.
An herb that improves the tone and integrity of blood vessel walls. This is helpful in easy bruising.
An herb used for the treatment of wounds. Promotes healing of skin lesions and wounds/promotes cell growth and repair
Invigorates the body and nervous system, increases energy.
Warms the muscles and organs of the abdomen, stimulating digestion and metabolism.
Warms the chest and lungs, clearing mucus and allowing for clear breathing.
Stimulates peripheral circulation to warm extremities, including the ears.
An herb that increases sensations of heat and warmth in the head.
Warms the kidneys by increasing blood flow to the organ.