Glossary of pharmacological and medical terms relevant to medicinal plants
Pharmacological and medicinal terminology are generally not needed in this work, as we have avoided technical medical words. Nevertheless, technical medical terms are used so frequently by professionals dealing with medicinal plants that access to a comprehensible dictionary of these terms is advantageous. In addition, technical terms are often employed in the literature references and World Wide Web links provided. Those exploring the subject of medicinal crops often must be able to decipher specialized medical terminology. For these reasons, this extensive glossary is provided.
Herbs have been used to treat virtually every affliction known to mankind, and so all of the terminology of medicine and related disciplines could be used with specific reference to medicinal plants. The present selective list of terms was prepared by inspecting the vocabulary used in recent major surveys of herbal medicine such as Duke (1985) and Wichtl (1994), which are typical of such works in not providing the user with definitions of unfamiliar terminology. If a term is not present here, see the list of internet and hardcopy dictionaries at the end of the glossary. In most cases the shortest spelling of a word is given, with diphthongs reduced (for example, ae to e, as in hemoglobin, not haemoglobin) and American spellings preferred (for example, tumor, not tumour). In many cases alternative spellings and synonyms are given.
Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, 28th edition, Saunders [130,000 terms]
Hocking, G.M. 1997. A dictionary of natural products: terms in the field of pharmacognosy relating to natural medicinal and pharmaceutical materials and the plants, animals, and minerals from which they are derived. 2nd ed. Plexus, Medford, NJ. 994 pp.
Merriam-Webster Medical Dictionary [advertisement for CD-ROM, this must be purchased; available to subscribers of America Online; also available as book;
"Webster's medical dictionary" is a paperback with ca. 35,000 entries;
"Merriam-Webster's medical desk dictionary" is a hardcover book (1996, 894 pp.) with ca. 55,000 entries]
Stedman's electronic medical dictionary, 100,000 medical words with definitions [advertisement for CD-ROM; this must be purchased; also available as book (1995, 26th edition, 2030 pp.)]
MedicineNet medical dictionary
(4,195 words as of April 4, 1998) [written in comprehensible language for laypeople]
OneLook dictionaries database
[lists links to numerous medical dictionaries, as well as a wide variety of other dictionaries]
Plants for a future: species database
medical uses [prepared from a botanical viewpoint]