Abortifacient - Abortifacient essential oils cause abortion or miscarriage. Essential oils with abortifacient actions are believed to work in a few different ways. None are considered safe for such use and some have been proven ineffective at less-than-lethal doses. Examples of abortifacient essential oils include parsley, rue, savin and, perhaps most famous of all, pennyroyal.
Alterative - Alterative essential oils are believed to cure disease indirectly as they "tone" the organs and allow the body's existing healing system to work. Alteratives typically work over time. Examples of alterative essential oils include many oils distilled from culinary herbs like ginger, nutmeg, rosemary, sage and thyme.
Analgesic - Analgesic essential oils relieve pain, working in various ways, including affecting nerves directly or interfering with the brain itself. Examples of analgesic essential oils include many of the "hot" oils like bay and black pepper and mint oils like peppermint, spearmint and wintergreen. Perhaps the most famous analgesic essential oil is clove, which is widely used as a home remedy for toothache.
Anaphrodisiac - Anaphrodisiac essential oils are believed to lower sexual desire. They are aromatherapy's opposites to aphrodisiacs. The only well-known anaphrodisiac essential oil is marjoram.
Anthelmintic - Anthelmintic essential oils kill intestinal "worms", or helminths. Some anthelmintic essential oils also force the body to purge itself of intestinal parasites, usually by forcing a voiding of the bowels. The word "anthelmintic" is often used interchangeably with "vermifuge", which is any remedy that weakens parasites, and "vermicide", which is used to actually kill helminths. Many essential oils that were once believed to have anthelmintic actions are toxic even in low doses and are not generally recommended. Some of those include tansy, wormseed and wormwood.
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