Includes problems of memory, longevity etc.
All forms of cancer
Heart & vascular problems including heart pain (angina), hypertension,varicose veins, athersclerosis etc.
Complaints/uses in babies (neonates) infants & children
Skin & hair conditions/uses including inflammation, infections, eczma, psoriasis, baldness etc
Ear, Nose &Throat (ENT)
Conditions including inflammation, infections, deafness etc
Includes diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol.
Complaints of the gastrointestinal tract and organs including infections, inflammation etc.
Complaints of the body in general including weakness, coldness, fever, swellings, oedema etc.
Complaints/ conditions of male & female reproductive & urinary systems.(NOTE: Some complaints/uses may be seperately listed in other systems including Women`s Health, Men`s Health, Reproductive Health, Kidney & Urinery tract).
Conditions/complaints of blood & spleen e.g. anaemia, spleen diseases etc
Specific infectious diseases e.g.tuberculois, leprosy, measles, elephantiasis, diptheria, typhoid, mumps, chicken pox, herpes, cholera etc. (NOTE Helminthic (worm) infections are listed seperately as Helminth Infections and Common microbial infections caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi (e.g.Tinea capitis or ring worm which despite its name is a fungus),are listed accoding in the body system affected e.g.Gastrointestinal, Respiratory,Dermatology,ENT, Wound Healing etc.)
Parasitic worms residing particularly in the gastrointestinal tract including ascaris, pinworms, tapeworm (taenia) etc.
Kidney & Urinary Tract
Conditions/ complaints of kidneys, ureter, bladder including infections, inflammation,stones diuretic use etc. (NOTE: Some complaints/uses may be seperately listed in other systems including: Women`s Health, Men`s Health, Reproductive Health) .
Male related problems including prostate, scrotum, impotence etc. (NOTE: some complaints/uses are listed in other systems including Reproductive Health and /or Sexuality).
Conditions caused by variou mental states e.g. depression, anxiety, psychosis, stressful states (often described as nervousness),etc.
Musculoskeletal / joints
Complaints/uses affecting bones, muscles, tendons, joints, connective tissue including local pain, inflammation, rheumatism, arthritis, fractures etc.
Complaints caused by neurological conitions including nerve damage, paralysis headaches, migraines etc.
Problems/conditions relating to the eyes including inflammation, infection,cataracts, vision etc
Conditions of teeth, gums & mouth including gum disease, dental caries, bad breath, mouth ulcers & uses as mouth fresheners, strenghtening teeth etc
General relief of pain in the body. (NOTE: More specific uses are listed according to the body system affected)
Preparing plasters/ poultices compress for application to the body & hand and foot baths for immersion
Treatment of poisons
Complaints affecting nasopharynx, trachea, bronchi & lungs including coughs, colds, pneumonia, asthma etc.
Conditions affecting male and female reproductive systems mainly infertility. (Some complaints/uses may be seperately listed in other systems including: Women`s Health, Men`s Health, Urogenital system & Sexuality)
Use of sexual stimulants (aphrodisiacs) and anti-libido agents for males & females.
Injuries, accidents & conditions requiring surgery eg hernia
Caused by animals, insects, scorpions, snakes etc
Conditions/uses in pregnancy, labour, childbirth & menstrual, uterine and other problems.(Some complaints/uses may be seperately listed in other systems including: Genito-urinary system, Reproductive Health & Sexuality)
Skin & internal wounds including burns, bleeding haemorrage, infections etc
Non Medical Other Uses
Includes skin care, soap products, hair dyes etc.
Includes use as foods, spices, seasoning, beverages etc.
Includes making dyes, cleaning products, preparing solvents for herbal formulas, preservatives for food etc.
Includes uses for traditional & religious reasons including incense etc.
External use against insects e.g. mosquitos, moths etc.
Used to flavour tobacco for smoking or as an alternative to it.
Includes diseases/conditions in livestock (cattle,sheep goats donkeys chickens etc
Restores body functions by renewal of tissues or changing processes in the body to a state of health
Against gastric acidity/acid reflux
Prevents or inhibits tumor formation (used here when its unclear if tumor is maligant or benign)
Prevents abortive tendancies
Treats allergic conditions
Prevent or corrects anemic conditions
Relieves & heals arthritic conditions
Relieves & prevents asthma attacks
Treats atheromatous conditions of arteries
Counteracts effects of a carcinogen or inhibits development of cancer
Strengthens teeth/ prevents dental caries/decay
Clears excessive mucous usually in upper respiratory tract /relieves congested sinuses/ears/nose/ throat
Removes blood clots
Prevents & treats convulsions
Prevents & treats dandruff
Improves mood and alleviate depression
Prevents and relieves diarrhea
Counteracts effects of poisons
Reduces nausea or stops vomiting
Prevents enuresis (bed wetting) in children
Inhibits or kills fungi
Prevents & treats inflammed & bleeding gums
Prevents & treats haemorrhoids
Causes death and/or expusion of worms in the body
Prevents & treats herpes infection
Eliminates excess body fluids (dropsy)
Treats microbial infections caused by bacteria, viruses, protozoa etc.
Counteracts effects of intoxicants e.g. alcohol
Reduces sexual energy
Prevents formation of stones /calculi in renal / biliary tract or destroys them when formed
Treats malarial infections caused by Plasmodium parasite normally spread through infected mosquitoes.
Used to reduce/control weight
Prevents or relieves itching
Used to treat psychosis (including delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, disordered thought)
Prevents & cures scurvy (Vit C deficiency)
Antimicrobial substances applied to skin/ tissue reduces possibility of infection/sepsis/ putrefaction by killing or inhibiting growth of organisms
Relieves or prevents muscle spasm especially of involuntary (smooth muscle) in gut, renal tract etc. & also skeletal muscle spasm
Stops/prevents excess tearing from eyes
Treats ringing or sounds in the ears
Treats infection caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis
Treats growths (benign &/or malignant)
Controls/ prevents cough
Treat or prevent ulcer of intestine or stomach
Treat venomous bites from snakes/ scorpions/ insects etc.
Treats sexual dysfunction by increasing sexual pleasure, libido (arousal, desire) and /or potency (erection effectiveness)
Bitter tasting beneficial to digestive process & general health etc
Remove impurities & toxins from blood
Having an effect on the heart
Relieves flatulence/ abdominal pain / distension in gastrointestinal tract by expelling gas from stomach/intestines
Increases bile flow from gall bladder
Decongests nasal /aural passages
Paste/ powder or other substance that cleans teeth
Soothes inflammed or irritated mucous membranes in respiratory /gastrointestinal /urinary tracts
Removes obstruction in the body; clears or opens natural ducts of fluids and secretions
Removes unpleasant smells
Purifying & detoxifying effects
Promotes/ increases perspiration
Promotes/aids digestive process
Increases urine flow
Induces vomiting & stomach evacuation
Regulates & induces normal menstruation
Softens/ soothes skin/improves texture/quality
Promotes expulsion of mucus from respiratory tract
Liquid medication applied in small amounts to eyeball
Improves fertility in males & females
Promotes /increases maternal milk flow in lactation
Controls /stops bleeding
Inhibits hair growth
Promotes hair growth, prevents hair loss
Used to treat liver & gall bladder problems
Reduces hernia by local application of herbs
Reduces blood sugar
Reduces cholesterol in the blood
Reduces blood pressure
Causing a burn by application of heated plant material to skin.Used to treat various problems especially chronic ones.Widely used in traditional medical systems including Chinese Medicine as “moxibustion”
Stimulates/ facilitates bowel evacuation
Reduces skin friction by providing smooth, covering film over parts moving against each other
Cleans /freshens mouth/improves oral hygiene/ bad breath (halitosis)
Cause muscles to become less tense or stiff
A susbtance that in moderate doses dulls senses, relieves pain,induces profound sleep but in excessive doses causes stupor, coma, convulsions & addiction .
Effecting the nerves including nervine relaxants, nutritive tonics & nervine stimulants
Refers to a general problem lacking a specific action e.g skin diseases, spleen conditions, deafness, gall bladder problem etc.
Enhances memory, improves cognitive function & mood
Containing nutrients needed to nourish/build the body e.g Iron
When action/activity unclear is unclear
Increases uterine contractions in labor
Treats all /many diseases
Facilitates labor/ childbirth
Strengthens respiratory tract & lungs
Improves prostate function/ reduces inflammation etc
A strong laxative
Generally used for kidney conditions including strengthening/cleansing/regulating/treating diseases/ problems
Cools the body and relieves thirst
Topically applied produces redness of the skin by dilation of capillaries increasing blood circulation.
Kills scabies mites and/or eggs.
A nervine that has a soothing or calming effect.
A nervine that excites or stimulates the brain /central nervous producing alertness, elevated mood, wakefulness etc.
Aids the stomach/assists digestion /promotes appetite
Decreases uterine contractions in labor
Helps to restore, tone & invigorate body systems & promote general health and well-being.
Breaks down uric acid in gout
Alleviates/ prevent conditions/diseases affecting the blood vessels
Destroys/ expels parasitic worms
Improves impaired vision from conditions e.g. cataracts
Promotes wound healing
Non Medical Activity
soaps, laundery products etc
Substance used to add or change color of a substrate e.g. hair (cosmetic) or various products e.g. textiles (industrial)
Hastens hatching proces in poultry
Substance burned for the sweet smell it produces.
Used as flavouring or alternative to tobacco
Includes fermented drinks etc.
Adding favour to food & drinks
Preparing solvents for herbal formulas, preservatives for food etc.
Plant Parts Used
All parts of the plant above ground including leaves, stems, flowers etc
Outermost layers of stems & roots of woody plants found in trees, woody vines shrubs. Refers to all tissues outside vascular cambium, overlaying wood and consisting of inner and outer bark.
Underground bud (specialized stem structure) of a plant from which shoot & roots may extend.
Highly concentrated aromatic volatile oils extracted by steam distillation from leaves, flowers, bark, and other plant parts containing high amounts of highly concentrated essential oils.
Composed of petals, sepals, stamen & carpel (sometimes known as a pistil). Flowers with all parts are known as complete. In herbal preapartions may consist of single flower or entire inflorescences (head, umbel, panicle, spike, etc.)
Fleshy or dry ripened ovary of a flowering plant enclosing seed or seeds.
Complete flower head of a plant including stems, stalks, bracts, and flowers.
Milky fluid found in 10% of all flowering plants (angiosperms) consisting of complex emulsion of proteins, alkaloids, starches, sugars, oils, tannins, resins, and gums that coagulate on exposure to air. Usually exuded after tissue injury.
Usually flattened green outgrowth from stem of a vascular plant & primary sites of photosynthesis
Solid or highly viscous substance secreted by a plant for protective benefits in response to injury. Resin protects plant from insects and pathogens.
Continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals.
Normally underground part of vascular plants used as anchorage, for absorption of water & dissolved minerals, conducting these to stem, and as a reserve food storage.
An embryonic plant enclosed in protective outer covering whose formation is part of the process of reproduction in seed plants.
A structural axis of vascular plants (the other being the root) that supports leaves, flowers and fruits, transports water and dissolved substances between the roots & shoots, stores nutrients & produces new living tissue.
A branch is the woody part of a tree arising from the trunk usually dividing; a small thin branch of a tree or bush is a twig
In BERC (B) and Zaitschek (Z) preparations this refers to all parts of the plant including above ground aerial parts and below ground roots, rhizomes, bulbs etc.
Chamaephyte or dwarf-shrub
Plants that bears hibernating buds on persistent shoots near the ground – usually woody plants with perennating buds usually less than 25 centimetres (9.8 in) above soil surface.
Typically herbaceous perennials e.g. grasses, which produce perennating buds at the soil surface, where the buds are protected by leaf or stem bases.
Woody plant that carries its dormant buds openly on branches above the ground.
Plants which climb up trees & other tall objects.
Plants with underground storage organs, where energy or water stored. May be in the form of a bulb, corm or rhizome
Plant growing on waste ground or among refuse.
Species, genus, or family characteristic of warmer environments than those otherwise indicated by the pollen record.
Local name for naturally occurring Mediterranean scrublands found in Mediterranean forests, woodlands & scrub biomes. Also known as “garrigue” (France),” phrygana” (Greece) etc.
Scrubland vegetation of the Mediterranean region, composed primarily of leathery, broad-leaved evergreen shrubs or small trees.
Low-rainfall natural grassland, arid but with sufficient moisture to support cover of perennial grasses or shrubs, distinguishing them from deserts.
Types of Preparations
Vegetable oil derived from seeds, kernels, or nuts of a plant e.g olive seeds used to dilute concentrated essential oils so they can be “carried” safely into the skin for therapeutic use
Used mainly in Zaitschek (Z) data, this process involves heating the plant, often in combination with other ingredients, usually but not always in water, over a prolonged period (e.g. 1-2 hrs)
Semi-solid oil emulsion (often herb-infused) and water (often infusion or decoction)
An extract made by simmering plant material (usually bark, rhizomes, roots, seeds) in water. In both Zaitschek (Z) and BERC (B) data decoctions are also used for extracting less dense plant material including leaves, stems & aerial parts. Occasionally some terms e.g. “boiling” given in the original descriptions are used interchangeably with the more standard term “decoction”.
Highly concentrated aromatic volatile oils extracted by steam distillation from leaves, flowers, bark, and other plant parts containing high amounts of highly concentrated essential oils. Therapeutically usually diluted in a carrier oil.
Infused plants used as a dilute, cool preparation to bathe tissues surrounding the eye in order to reduce itchiness, redness, infection etc. Care must be taken to ensure that no plant material remains in the eyewash.
Liquid herbal preparation used as a mouthwash by swilling around mouth, throat and gums
Herbal infusion or decoction, strained & used to soak a clean soft cloth which is held in place over the affected area to alleviate pain or reduce inflammation.
An extract, often referred to as a tea made by pouring boiling water over fresh or dried plant material (usually flowers, fruit, or leaves), which is allowed to steep for 10-20 minutes before drinking. Both Zaitschek (Z) and BERC (B) data also use more dense plant material e.g. roots & rhizomes in infusions
Medicated or protective dressing prepared by spreading powdered, slightly moistened herbs onto cloth and covered with plastic to protect clothing and trap body heat
Topical/ local application of soft, moist mass of plant material (bruised fresh herbs), usually wrapped in a fine woven cloth & applied to affected area.
Semi-solid medicinal ointment prepared by combining herb infused oil with beeswax.
Solid, conical or cigarette shaped medicinal substance designed to place within rectum or vagina to deliver localized herbal treatment. Rectally commonly used to treat haemerroids.
Herbal preparation combining infusion or decoction with equal amount of syrup (e.g. concentrated sugar solution) or honey.
Plant extract made by soaking (macerating) herbs in alcohol solution or specific ratio of alcohol to water, leaving to macerate for two to six weeks in a dark place, after which liquid extract is strained from plant material and used therapeutically.