The Essential Oil Glossary: ​​Common Aromatherapy Terms and Their Meanings (AD)

One of the first things I noticed when I started getting heated with my aromatherapy and essential oils research is that there is a whole jargon that surrounds the industry and it can be quite confusing to the average reader. If you’ve ever researched the benefits or history of essential terms, you’ve probably seen these terms and wondered, “What in the world does that mean?”

Now you can know!

If you’re thinking of investing in your own aromatherapy inhaler kit and have started researching all the benefits, this is the jargon you’re likely to come across.

anti fungal

This just means that the essential oil in question has been advertised for its ability to treat or prevent fungal growth or infection. Be sure to verify these facts with credible studies before you buy what reads hook, like, and sinker.


Reduce inflammation.


Inhibit or prevent the onset of acute pain along the course of a nerve or nerves.


Another word for anti-inflammatory, but can also include fever-relieving properties.


Indicates that an ingredient is clean and pure and that it prevents the growth of disease-inducing agents or other microbes.


Something that works to relieve spasms that occur in involuntary muscles (like your intestines or heart, which you can’t start or stop at will).


An essential oil that works to stimulate appetite.


Something that stimulates or arouses sexual desire, attraction, or arousal.


A branch of holistic medicine that uses plant materials and oils (including essential oils and compounds) in an effort to alter the mood, mental dexterity, psychological and/or physical well-being of enthusiasts. For centuries, aromatherapy was at the forefront of chemistry. Today, it is considered an alternative medicine, although new scientific studies are constantly emerging showing that aromatherapy can have powerful applications.


A solution that causes contractions in body tissues in general, but is almost universally used in conjunction with the skin in health and wellness applications.


This is a fairly broad term that indicates a myriad of bacteria-killing agents, including disinfectants, antiseptics, and antibiotics.


Quite a polite term for something that helps relieve gas, specifically flatulence. Think Bean-o.


Bile is a digestive liquid produced by the liver and dosed by the gallbladder. Cholagogues are elements that promote the discharge of bile through and out of the system.


Quite an archaic term that basically translates to the healing process through the formation of scar tissue.


Since this is also a very popular term among foodies, finding out details about it was quite difficult. From what I could understand, it is something that revives and invigorates. It is also synonymous with medicine, specifically stimulant or tonic. The good news is that cordials, as the above association implies, are said to have a comforting or pleasant taste.


Certainly not a term that comes up in typical dinner conversation, a cytophylactic is believed to protect cells and fight infection. They are thought to increase something known as leukocytes, which are responsible for stimulating cell regeneration and repair.


Those who are interested in detoxification and cleansing are all about depurative, a term that means something has purifying and detoxifying properties, cleansing waste and toxins from the system.


Something that helps in digestion.


This means that the solution has antimicrobial properties or agents.


If you look at the very center of the word, “ure”, you will get a clue. Diuretics cause your body to increase the production and passage of urine.

That’s it for the AD aromatherapy glossary.

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