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Materia Medica

Materia medica, herbal medicine, herbs, plant medicine, natural healing

A Materia Medica is a compilation of herbs and other substances used for healing or medicine.  My Materia Medica specifies the actions, energetics, constituents, use, and safety of each substance along with growing/harvesting tips.

 I will be adding a new herb each month, so feel free to check back in as my Materia Medica grows!


Glossary of terms used in the Materia Medica.  I will be adding to this as each new plant species and term arises.

Abortifacient – Causes abortion

Analgesic – Agent that relieves physical pain

Anthelmintic – Agent that expels or kills internal worms or parasites

Anti-bacterial – Stops or destroys the growth of bacteria

Antidote – May help neutralize toxins

Anti-fungal – Stops or destroys the growth of bacteria

Ant-inflammatory – Agent that reduces inflammation

Antiphlogistic – Acts against inflammation or fever

Antirheumatic – Used to prevent or relieve rheumatism

Antiseptic – Agent that prevents bacterial growth and infection

Aperient – Agent used to relieve constipation

Astringent – Substance that contracts body tissues; may control secretions or bleeding

Bactericide – Substance that kills bacteria

Bitter – Bitter taste; stimulates digestive actions and increases appetite

Carminative – Prevents formation of gas in gastrointestinal tract or helps relieve gas

Cholagogue – Action that promotes bile flow from gall bladder into duodenum (small intestine)

Coagulant – Substance that promotes or produces coagulation (clotting)

Decoagulant – Slows or prevents the clotting of blood

Demulcent – Action that soothes and softens injured or inflamed tissue, often those that contain mucilage

Depurative – Cleans or purifies blood through form of elimination

Diaphoretic – Induces perspiration

Diuretic – Substance that promotes production of urine

Emmenagogue – Stimulates blood flow in pelvic area and uterus; encourages menstrual bleeding

Emollient – Softens, smoothes, and protects inflamed tissue such as skin or internal mucous membranes

Hemostatic – Substance that stops bleeding

Hepatic – Relating to and possibly affecting the liver

Laxative – Substance that promotes bowel movements

Purgative – Agent that works fast to empty intestines

Sedative – Agent that causes a calming, tranquilizing effect

Stimulant – Agent that increases physical energy and blood circulation; increases internal heat

Stomachic – Action that strengthens, tones, or stimulates the stomach

Tonic – Agent that strengthens, restores, or invigorates the entire body or specific organs

Vermifuge – Expels intestinal worms

Vulnerary – Promotes wound healing by protecting against infection and stimulating cell growth

Keep up to date on the latest herb of the month!



Aloe vera

The information provided by Rooted Essence is for educational purposes only.  It is not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.  These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.  Results from use of herbs may vary by person, and some herbs may suppress or hinder actions of other medications.  It is advised to consult with your health care provider before using them.


Sources for glossary and Materia Medica:

Bruton-Seal, Julie, Matthew Seal, and John Parkinson. The Herbalist’s Bible: John Parkinson’s Lost Classic Rediscovered:

Theatrum Botanicum (1640). Print.

Ritchason, Jack. The Little Herb Encyclopedia. Pleasant Grove, UT: Woodland Health, 1995. Print.

Gladstar, Rosemary. Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub., 2012. Print.

Kowalchik, Claire, William H. Hylton, and Anna Carr. Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Emmaus, PA: Rodale,

1987. Print.

Steel, Susannah. Home Herbal: Cook, Brew & Blend Your Own Herbs. New York: DK, 2011. Print.