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Natural Health Glossary
Medical Terms, Therapies, Accreditation

Don't forget to check the Herbal Remedies/Herbology 101 reference for more definitions!
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adrenaline (epinephrine)
Adrenaline is a hormone and a neurotransmitter. It increases heart rate, constricts blood vessels, dilates air passages and participates in the fight-or-flight response of the sympathetic nervous system. Adrenaline is produced in some neurons of the central nervous system, and in the chromaffin c   (more info - adrenaline)

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ear candling
From Health Canada's website: Under the Medical Devices Regulations of The Food and Drug Act, a medical device of this type requires that the Therapeutic Products Programme of Health Canada issue a licence before the product can be sold. No licenses have been granted for this product, theref   (more info - ear candling)

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eating disorders
A disruption of the normal eating routine. There are many causes of eating disorders, including biological, psychological and/or environmental abnormalities. Many people with eating disorders suffer also from body dysmorphic disorder, altering the way a person sees himself or herself. Studies hav   (more info - eating disorders)

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ecological footprint
The calculation of the amount of natural resources required by an individual or group of individuals (plants, animals, nations) to sustain itself in the manner in which it is currently accustomed to existing. It refers to the amount of water, minerals, and plant matter used by that entity. It is of   (more info - ecological footprint)

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Eczema (dermatitis)
A generic term for inflammatory conditions of the skin; particularly with vesiculation in the acute stages. A noncontagious skin condition where red and itchy blisters appear, then crusty and thickened skin. The condition can be acute (occurs suddenly and once) or chronic (is present for a long time   (more info - Eczema)

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edema
Swelling from excessive buildup of watery fluid (serous fluid) in the interstitium (locations beneath the skin or in one or more cavities of the body). Generally, the amount of interstitial fluid is determined by the balance of fluid homeostasis, and increased secretion of fluid into the interst   (more info - edema)

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eicosapentaenoic acid (epa)
An omega-3 fatty acid. EPA is a polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) that acts as a precursor for prostaglandin-3 (which inhibits platelet aggregation), thromboxane-3, and leukotriene-5 groups (all eicosanoids). It is obtained in the human diet by eating oily fish or fish oil-- e.g., cod liver, herr   (more info - eicosapentaenoic acid)

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elastin
A fibrous scleroprotein found in elastic connective tissues such as the walls of arteries, which allows many tissues in the body to resume their shape after stretching or contracting. Elastin is a nitrogenous substance, somewhat resembling albumin, which forms the chemical basis of elastic tissue.    (more info - elastin)

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Electrolytes
A solution that conducts electricity, e.g. "the proper amount and distribution of electrolytes in the body is essential for health." It contains ions and can be decomposed by electrolysis. "Electrolyte" in the health context typically refers to ionized salts in the body fluids. The major electrol   (more info - Electrolytes)

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ellagic acid
A phenolic compound (a set of weak acids with at least one of the hydroxyl groups) naturally found in many plants, particularly blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Ellagic acid has antioxidant properties, along with an anticarcinogen and antimutagenic effect on the body. Medical resea   (more info - ellagic acid)

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emmanogogue
see emmenagogue

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emmenagogue
[n] any agent that promotes menstrual discharge

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emodin
An orange-red crystalline substance obtained from the buckthorn, rhubarb, Japanese knotweed, etc., and regarded as a derivative of anthraquinone; -- so called from a species of rhubarb (Rheum emodei).

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emotional freedom techniques (EFT)
EFT is a form of alternative psychotherapy that combines acupressure and self-talk to break patterns of thinking and/or behaviour by disrupting the link between the source event as coded in the brain and the associated emotion. This is usually done by tapping a prescribed set of acupoints while rep   (more info - emotional freedom techniques (EFT))

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Empathy
Understanding and entering into another's feelings. It is the capacity to share or recognize emotions experienced by another sentient or fictional being. One may need to have a certain amount of empathy before being able to experience accurate sympathy or compassion. Empathy has many different de   (more info - Empathy)

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Employee Assistance Programs (EAP)
Employee Assistance Programs are counseling and referral programs designed to improve the psychological health of employees and their families. EAPs help employees develop coping skills and reduce the effects of psychological trauma, issues, or addictions that would otherwise adversely impact their   (more info - Employee Assistance Programs (EAP))

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Employee Engagement
An attachment or emotional connection that an employee feels toward the organization, which increases his or her willingness to support its goals, values, and mission - and the amount of effort and enthusiasm he or she is willing to put into the daily operations. This is closely related to OCBs (   (more info - Employee Engagement)

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endocrine (endocrine system)
1. Of or belonging to endocrine glands or their secretions. 2. The glands that secrete hormones directly into the blood, instead of through ducts. Endocrine organs include: the pituitary gland, the stomach (produces ghrelin), pancreas, ovaries, testes, thyroid gland, and adrenal glands. Oppos   (more info - endocrine)

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Endometriosis
Growth of cells from the tissue lining the uterus (the endometrium) outside the uterus, usually in the lower abdomen. This mislocated tissue bleeds during the woman's period, causing premenstrual pain, dysmenorrhea (painful menstruation), infertility, and inflammation. The uterine cavity is line   (more info - Endometriosis)

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endorphins
Chemicals (peptide hormones) produced in the brain and pituitary gland that reduce pain. They are produced as a result of body stress, trauma, or laughter. Endorphins work by binding the neuroreceptors in brain and acting on the central and peripheral nervous system to alleviate pain. There a   (more info - endorphins)

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endothelium
A thin layer of flattened cells that lines the heart, blood vessels, lymph vessels, and other body cavities. See also epithelium.

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Energy work (energy therapy)
Energy Work (or Energy Medicine) is a category of complementary and alternative therapies that manipulate the body's energy field (or "biofield") to affect changes in the body itself, including relaxation, pain relief, and a general sense of well-being. The National Center for Complementary and Alte   (more info - Energy work)

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enzyme
A protein that acts as a catalyst, speeding the rate at which biochemical reactions take place in the body, but not altering the direction or nature of the reaction.

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Eosinophil granulocyte (eosinophil)
A type of granular leukocyte that is an amoeba-like scavenger that disposes of cellular debris. This cell takes its name from the fact that it can be stained with eosin. Along with mast cells, eosinophil granulocytes also control mechanisms associated with allergy and asthma. They are granulocytes t   (more info - Eosinophil granulocyte)

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epicatechins
A natural phenol and variant of catechins found in cacao and originally called kakaool. The kola nut, a related species, contains epicatechin and D-catechin.

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epicondylitis
Painful inflammation of the muscles and soft tissues around an epicondyle (a rounded projection at the end of a bone).   (more info - epicondylitis)

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Epigallocatechin gallate (egcg)
The ester of epigallocatechin and gallic acid, and is a type of catechin. EGCG has been the subject of a number of studies investigating its potential use as a therapeutic for a broad range of disorders, including: HIV; cancer (particularly brain, prostate, cervical and bladder cancers); chronic    (more info - Epigallocatechin gallate)

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epigenetic
Something which influences the behavior of a cell without directly affecting its DNA or other genetic machinery, such as an environmental effect. Epigenetics is the study of changes in gene expression or cellular phenotype, caused by mechanisms other than changes in the underlying DNA sequence -- he   (more info - epigenetic)

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Epilepsy (epileptic seizures)
A group of long-term neurological disorders characterized by recurrent attacks of seizures of sudden onset; marked by problems in the normal functioning of the brain, particularly cortical nerve cell activity. These seizures consist of unusual body movements, often accompanied by a loss of conscious   (more info - Epilepsy)

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epithelium
A thin layer of tissue that covers organs, glands, and other structures within the body. The covering of an organism or an organ. The layer(s) of cells between the organism or its tissues or organs and the environment. Examples include the skin cells, the inner linings of the lungs and the digest   (more info - epithelium)

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Equine massage
A specialized area of massage therapy for horses. Equine massage may combine any of the following: Hydrotherapy, heat/cold, Kinesiology, Equine massage is employed to relax and settle horses, as well as to increase performance through improved mobility and range of motion, better blood flow, loo   (more info - Equine massage)

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ergocalciferol
a form of vitamin d created in plants when exposed to sunlight. helps prevent rickets.

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erysipelas
An acute streptococcal infection characterized by deep-red inflammation of the skin (often the dermis layer of the face) and mucous membranes. Also called: St. Anthony's fire.   (more info - erysipelas)

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erythrocyte hemolysis
Breaking a membranous covering or destroying red blood cells.

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Esalen Tissue Work
Combination of soft and deep tissue techniques, focusing on both the extremities and torso promoting total body awareness and relaxation.

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escherichia coli
* Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria live in the intestines of animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep and poultry. When these animals are butchered, the bacteria can spread to the outer surfaces of the meat. * E.coli can be spread by hand-to-hand contact with an infected person or surfaces he   (more info - escherichia coli)

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essential fatty acids
A category of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are necessary for health, but must be ingested (hence 'essential') because they cannot be synthesized by the body. Not to be confused with essential oils. Among the benefits of essential fatty acids: alleviating the inflammation respons   (more info - essential fatty acids)

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exercise (physical activity)
Exertion for the sake of training or improvement whether physical, intellectual, or moral; practice to acquire skill, knowledge, virtue, perfectness, grace, etc.;Systematic training by multiple repetitions; "practice makes perfect";Do physical exercise; "She works out in the gym every day"; Physi   (more info - exercise)

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exocrine
1. Of or relating to exocrine glands or their secretions. 2. Exocrine glands are a type of ductal glands that secrete their products (including hormones and other chemical messengers) into ducts that lead directly into the external environment. Exocrine glands include salivary glands, sweat glan   (more info - exocrine)

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magnesium sulphate (epsom salts)
Sulphate of magnesia has cathartic (laxative) qualities; taken orally, it is used as a laxative, and to treat heartburn and constipation. It is also injected to prevent seizures. In bath salts, magnesium sulfate is used to draw toxins out of the body and to reduce inflammation. The increase in io   (more info - magnesium sulphate)

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Medical Exercise Therapy (exercise therapy)
A branch of exercise therapy where the patient performs exercises using specially designed apparatus, without assistance but under the constant supervision of the physiotherapist.

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Mood (emotion)
Emotion: A strong feeling or movement of the mind or soul; excitement of the feelings, whether pleasing or painful; disturbance or agitation of mind caused by a specific exciting cause and manifested by some sensible effect on the body. Mood: an emotional state; a characteristic (habitual or rela   (more info - Mood)

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oestrogen (estrogen)
A hormone secreted by the ovaries which affect many aspects of the female body, including menstrual cycles and pregnancy. It regulates female reproductive processes and creates feminine secondary sexual characteristics. Some types of cancer depend on estrogen for their growth, and modern-day incr   (more info - oestrogen)

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volatile oils (essential oils)
Highly concentrated aromatic extracts which are distilled from a variety of aromatic plant material including grasses, leaves, flowers, needles & twigs, peel of fruit, wood and roots. They can be used to affect mood, to enhance health in a variety of ways, and as biopesticides. They may be   (more info - volatile oils)

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