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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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Antihemorrhagic (hemostatic)
Also: styptic, antihaemorrhagic. Prevents bleeding and promotes clotting of blood by contracting the tissues and/or blood vessels; by promoting platelet aggregation; by inhibiting fibrinolysis; or by promoting coagulation. There are several classes of antihemorrhagic drugs used in medicine. Th   (more info - Antihemorrhagic)

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halo effect (health halo)
The "halo effect" is a term originally used to describe a cognitive bias in which one's judgments of a person's character can be influenced by one's overall impression of him or her. Its use has been extended into the health halo, wherein the perceived positive effects of one product or practice wil   (more info - halo effect)

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Happiness
The state of well-being characterized by emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Happiness is a fuzzy concept and can mean many things to many people. Part of the challenge of a science of happiness is to identify different concepts of happiness, and where applicable, split them into th   (more info - Happiness)

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Harmala alkaloid (harmala)
Several alkaloids that function as monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), including harmine, harmaline, and harmalol.Harmine and harmaline are reversible MAOIs of the MAO-A isoform of the enzyme, and can stimulate the central nervous system by inhibiting the metabolism of monoamine compounds such as    (more info - Harmala alkaloid)

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Harmine
A fluorescent harmala hallucinogenic alkaloid belonging to the beta-carboline family of compounds. It naturally occurs in a number of different plants, most notably the Middle Eastern plant harmal or Syrian rue (Peganum harmala), Lemon balm, and the South American vine Banisteriopsis caapi (also kno   (more info - Harmine)

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HD
Homeopathic Doctor designated by Homeopathic Medical Council of Canada (HMCC), National Union of Professional and Trained Homeopaths (NUPATH), and others

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heal
To make hale, sound, or whole; to cure of a disease, wound, or other derangement; to restore to soundness or health.

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Healing Touch
A form of energy work during which the practitioner uses the hands as a focus to facilitate the healing process and to induce deep relaxation.

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heart disease (cardiovascular disease)
Disease of the heart or blood vessels, principally cardiac disease, vascular diseases of the brain and kidney, and peripheral arterial disease. Cardiovascular disease is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries, capillaries and veins). The causes are diverse but athe   (more info - heart disease)

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Heat shock protein 90 (hsp90)
Heat shock proteins, as a class, are among the most highly expressed cellular proteins across all species. As their name implies, heat shock proteins protect cells when stressed by elevated temperatures. They account for 12% of total protein in unstressed cells. However, when cells are heated, the    (more info - Heat shock protein 90)

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hemoglobin
The protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to body tissues and carbon dioxide away from them. It is the red pigment that gives red blood cells their characteristic color in erythrocytes. Hemoglobin deficiency can be caused either by decreased amount of hemoglobin molecules,   (more info - hemoglobin)

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hemolysis
Breaking a membranous covering or destroying red blood cells.

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hemolytic anaemia (hemolytic anemia)
Hemolytic anemia is a group of disorders in which anemia occurs due to destruction of red cells(hemolysis). In hemolytic anemia, the serum haptoglobin level is decreased.

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hemorrhagic (hemorrhage)
An area of internal bleeding where blood escapes from the blood vessels, often a large amount in a short time, within the body. Tends not to refer to bleeding which involves the loss of blood from the body entirely (for example from an injury to the skin, like a cut or gash).

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Hepatitis
Infection or inflammation of the liver caused by a virus or a toxin. Symptoms include jaundice (yellowish skin caused by the buildup of bile pigments in the body), fever, appetite loss and gastrointestinal upset. Hepatitis can also be asymptomatic. There are several types of viral hepatitis; hepa   (more info - Hepatitis)

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hepatoprotective (antihepatotoxic)
The ability to prevent damage to the liver.

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herbal tea (tisane)
"Herbal tea" or tisane, is a catch-all term for any non-caffeinated beverage made from the infusion or decoction of herbs, spices, or other plant material. These drinks are distinguished from caffeinated beverages like coffee, maté, kuding, and the true teas (black, green, white, yellow, oolo   (more info - herbal tea)

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Herbicide (weedkillers)
A chemical agent that destroys plants or inhibits their growth. Some herbicides (such as synthetic auxins and triazine) selectively kill broad-leaved plants while leaving grass-leaved plants (i.e., cereal crops) unharmed. Other herbicides, such as paraquat, kill all plants. Some plants produce   (more info - Herbicide)

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herbology (herbalism)
The knowledge of herbs. Also called: phytotherapy, botanical medicine. See also: Pharmacognosy, the study of medicines derived from natural sources. Herbalism is the study and use of medicinal properties of plants and plant extracts. The term herbology was traditionally used in the context of TC   (more info - herbology)

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Herbs
Plant or plant part valued for its medicinal qualities, pleasant aroma or flavouring; aromatic potherb used in cookery for its savory qualities. In Biology, an herb is any vascular plant that never produces a woody stem. In general use, herbs are any plants used for food, flavoring, medicine, or    (more info - Herbs)

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High Density Lipoprotein (hdl)
A lipoprotein that transports cholesterol in the blood; composed of a high proportion of protein and relatively little cholesterol; high levels are thought to be associated with decreased risk of coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis. HDL cholesterol is considered the "good" choles   (more info - High Density Lipoprotein)

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High-intensity interval training (sprint interval training)
An enhanced form of interval training, an exercise strategy alternating periods of short intense anaerobic exercise with less-intense recovery periods. HIIT is a form of cardiovascular exercise. Usual HIIT sessions may vary from 4-30 minutes. These short, intense workouts provide improved athleti   (more info - High-intensity interval training)

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histamine
A chemical present in cells throughout the body that is released during an allergic reaction, specifically, an amine with the chemical formula C5H9N3, released during an allergic response which causes smooth muscle contraction, inflammation, the secretion of mucus, and other allergy symptoms. It sti   (more info - histamine)

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histamine antagonist (antihistamine)
A medicine used to treat allergies and hypersensitive reactions and colds; works by counteracting the production or effects of histamines in the inflammatory process, typically the effects on a receptor site. Antihistamines suppress the histamine-induced wheal response (swelling) and flare respon   (more info - histamine antagonist)

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HMC
Homeopathic Master Clinician Luminos Advanced Course (2 Year Course)

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homeopathic (homeopathy)
The practice of using extremely small doses of medicines and herbs to cause the same symptoms the disease causes. Homeopaths (practitioners of homeopathy) acknowledge no diseases, only symptoms.

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homeostasis
The ability of an organism to maintain a constant internal environment (i.e. body temperature, fluid content, pH balance, blood glucose, etc.) though regulatory mechanisms (via the autonomic nervous system) that compensate for a changing external environment. Most homeostatic regulation is contro   (more info - homeostasis)

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homocysteine
A non-protein a-amino acid. It is a homologue of the amino acid cysteine, differing by an additional methylene bridge. A high level of homocysteine (hyperhomocysteinemia) makes a person more prone to endothelial injury, which leads to vascular inflammation, which in turn may lead to atherogenesis   (more info - homocysteine)

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Honokiol
An organic compound present in Magnolia grandiflora (mainly magnolia bark, but also the cones and leaves). In traditional Japanese medicine (Saiboku-to) it is used for its antidepressant, antibacterial, and antiemetic properties. It is also used for treating anxiety and to prevent thrombosis (danger   (more info - Honokiol)

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hormesis
The effect whereby a toxic substance acts like a stimulant in small doses, but it is an inhibitor in large doses.

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hormone
An endocrine secretion that is transmitted by the blood to tissue located elsewhere in an organism, where it causes a change or activity. All multicellular organisms produce hormones; plant hormones are also called phytohormones. Hormones in animals are often transported in the blood. Cells    (more info - hormone)

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human growth hormone
A hormone secreted by the pituitary gland that, in children, causes physical growth. It stimulates growth, cell reproduction and regeneration. In adults as well as children, hGH is essential to maintain healthy body composition and metabolism (in other words, to improve one's ratio of fat to lean   (more info - human growth hormone)

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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (hiv)
The virus that causes HIV infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); it replicates inside of and kills T cells, macrophages, and dendritic cells. Infection with HIV occurs by the transfer of blood, semen, vaginal fluid, pre-ejaculate, or breast milk. Within these bodily fluids, HIV is   (more info - Human Immunodeficiency Virus)

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Human microbiome (microbiome)
Defined by Joshua Lederberg as: "the ecological community of commensal, symbiotic, and pathogenic microorganisms that literally share our body space," the human microbiome is the network of living organisms on and in the body that are too small to be seen with the naked eye, including bacteria, fung   (more info - Human microbiome)

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hydracid
From "hydrogen acid". An acid that contains no oxygen, as hydrochloric acid; contrasted with the oxyacids, which contain oxygen, as chloric acid. See Acid.

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hydration (dehydration)
Hydration: Combining with water. Dehydration: Dryness resulting from the removal of water; the process of extracting moisture; depletion of bodily fluids. "Dehydration" is often used in clinical practice to indicate the combined loss of both water and sodium. Many physiologists would have prefer   (more info - hydration)

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hydrocortisone (cortisol)
An adrenal-cortex hormone that is active in carbohydrate and protein metabolism. The major natural glucocorticoid (GC) in humans. It is the primary stress hormone. Cortisol is released in response to stress, sparing available glucose for the brain, generating new energy from stored reserves, and    (more info - hydrocortisone)

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hydrolysis
A chemical reaction in which water is used to break down a compound. This is achieved by breaking a covalent bond in the compound by inserting a water molecule across the bond. The opposite of this is a dehydration-condensation reaction.

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hydrolyze
To undergo hydrolysis - to decompose by reacting with water

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hydrosols
Very fine particles dispersed in water (see colloid). Often used to denote the water that remains after distilling essential oils (volatile oils). These are sometimes also called hydrolates or floral water.   (more info - hydrosols)

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Hydrotherapy
Hydrotherapy is a broad category encompassing everything from physical therapy (exercise) in water, to balneotherapy, to colon irrigation. It is closely related to thermotherapeutics. Bathing as therapy (often using essential oils and other additives) has been documented from the time of the Anc   (more info - Hydrotherapy)

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Hygiene hypothesis
A theory that a lack of early childhood exposure to infectious agents, symbiotic microorganisms (e.g., gut flora or probiotics), and parasites increases susceptibility to allergic diseases by suppressing natural development of the immune system. It is hypothesized that if the TH1 polarized respon   (more info - Hygiene hypothesis)

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hyperactivity
A condition characterized by excessive restlessness and movement, typically observed in children. Numerous studies have found a significant correlation between the ingestion of salicylates and hyperactivity in children. Two studies show academic performance increased and disciplinary problems dec   (more info - hyperactivity)

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hyperbilirubinemia
A medical condition where abnormally high concentrations of the bile pigment bilirubin are found in the bloodstream. This can result in jaundice. Hyperbilirubinemia sometimes occurs in premature babies.

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hypercholesterolemia
Elevated level of cholesterol in the blood.   (more info - hypercholesterolemia)

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hyperglycemic (hyperglycemia)
Abnormally high blood sugar usually associated with diabetes. Signs of hyperglycemia are a great thirst, a dry mouth, and a need to urinate often. For people with insulin-dependent diabetes, hyperglycemia may lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. Too high a level of glucose (sugar) in the blood is a    (more info - hyperglycemic)

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Hyperlipidemia
Presence of excess fats (lipids) and/or lipoproteins in the blood. It is the most common form of dyslipidemia (which includes any abnormal lipid levels). Lipids (fat-soluble molecules) are transported in a protein capsule. The size of that capsule, or lipoprotein, determines its density. The lipo   (more info - Hyperlipidemia)

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hypermagnesemia
An electrolyte disturbance in which there is an abnormally elevated level of magnesium in the blood. Usually this results in excess of magnesium in the body.

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hyperopia (farsightedness)
A condition in which parallel light rays are focused behind the retina of the eye, causing nearby objects to seem blurry while faraway objects are clearer. As the condition worsens, objects at all distances may be blurred. Other symptoms may include headaches and eye strain. People with hyperopia   (more info - hyperopia)

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Hypertension (high blood pressure)
When the blood flows through the vessels at a greater than normal force. High blood pressure strains the heart; harms the arteries; and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, and kidney problems. See also: hypotension.    (more info - Hypertension)

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hypnosis (hypnotherapy)
Hypnosis is a trance- or sleep-like state that is induced by suggestion, characterized by extreme suggestibility, relaxation and heightened imagination. Hypnotherapy is the use of hypnosis in psychotherapy. Modern hypnotherapy is widely accepted for the treatment of anxiety, subclinical depressio   (more info - hypnosis)

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hypoglycemic (hypoglycemia)
Too low a level of glucose (sugar) in the blood. This occurs when a person with diabetes has injected too much insulin, eaten too little food, or has exercised without extra food. A person with hypoglycemia may feel nervous, shaky, weak, or sweaty, and have a headache, blurred vision, and hunger.   (more info - hypoglycemic)

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Hypotension
Abnormally low blood pressure or a sudden drop in blood pressure. A person rising quickly from a sitting or reclining position may have a sudden fall in blood pressure, causing dizziness or fainting. While most people have normal systolic pressure above 100 mmHg and diastolic pressure above 50 mm   (more info - Hypotension)

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hypoxia
1. A medical condition in which the blood is carrying abnormally low levels of oxygen. 2. A condition in which an organism is living in an environment that doesn't contain enough oxygen to keep it alive, as in altitude sickness.

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Myocardial infarction (heart attack)
A sudden severe instance of abnormal heart function. It occurs when one of more regions of the heart muscle experience a severe or prolonged decrease in oxygen supply caused by a blocked blood flow to the heart muscle, possibly through narrowed or blocked blood vessels. Heart attacks can cause pe   (more info - Myocardial infarction)

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Propolis (honey)
A sweet viscid fluid, esp. that produced by bees from nectar collected from flowers of plants, and deposited in the cells of the honeycomb. Honey bees transform nectar into honey by a process of regurgitation and evaporation. They store it as a primary food source in wax honeycombs inside the beehiv   (more info - Propolis)

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Swine flu (h1n1)
Swine influenza virus (SIV) is any strain of the influenza family of viruses that is endemic in pigs. As of 2009, the known SIV strains include influenza C and the subtypes of influenza A known as H1N1, H1N2, H3N1, H3N2, and H2N3.   (more info - Swine flu)

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variable heart rate (heart rate variability)
Heart Rate Variability is a measure of the change in the beat-to-beat interval of the heart. Our heart rate naturally changes rather than being steady as a metronome as many people believe. When we inhale, the vagus nerve is obstructed, which causes the heart rate to increase. When we exhale, the va   (more info - variable heart rate)

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wholistic (holistic)
Health care of the whole person considered as subject to personal and social as well as organic factors.

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