Have you ever stumbled across an unfamiliar word when reading about vitamins and supplements? Health and wellness can be a complex adventure. Maybe a new product features ingredients you've never heard of. Or maybe you just need a reminder about a certain term. When a quick reference check is needed, visit our Natural Health Glossary for a brief definition (or a link to more detailed information in our Health Encyclopedia). Be sure to keep this helpful, easy-to-search resource one click away: bookmark it!
5-HTP (hydroxytryptophan): (hi-DROCK-see-TRIP-toe-fan) see 5-HTP encyclopedia entry
Acai: (ah-SIGH-ee) A palm tree from the Amazon rainforest that produces small purple berries packed with vitamins and minerals.
Acacia gum: (uh-KAY-shuh gum) A viscous substance from the spiny trees or shrubs of the genus Acacia, especially Acacia Senegal and Acacia Seyal
Acetylcholine: (uh-SEAT-ill-CO-lean) A choline-based compound used in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Acidophilus: (Ah-si-DAH-fill-us) see acidophilus encyclopedia entry
Adaptogen: (uh-DAP-toe-jin) A substance that helps normalize body functions in times of stress.
Adrenaline: (uh-DREN-uh-lin) The hormone that produces the "fight or flight" response, increasing heart rate and blood pressure. Also called epinephrine.
Agaricus: (uh-GAR-ick-us) A genus that is the large family of mushrooms, Agaricaceae, consisting of fungi with gills and brown spores, including the meadow mushroom and other edible mushrooms.
Alfalfa: (al-FAL-fuh) see alfalfa encyclopedia entry
Aloe: (AL-ow) see aloe encyclopedia entry
Alpha linolenic acid (LNA): (AL-fuh lin-OH-len-ick A-sid) An omega-3 fatty acid found in soybeans, nuts, canola oil and flaxseed oil.
Alpha lipoic acid: (AL-fuh lip-OH-ick A-sid) A vitamin-like substance with powerful antioxidant capabilities. see alpha lipoic acid encyclopedia entry
Alpha tocopherol: (AL-fuh toe-COUGH-er-all) The most active form of vitamin E. Natural vitamin E is designated with a "D" (D-alpha tocopherol), while "DL" (DL-alpha tocopherol) represents the synthetic form.
American Ginseng: (American JIN-sing) see American ginseng encyclopedia entry
Amino acids: (uh-MEEN-oh) A group of nitrogen-containing compounds that serve as the basic building blocks of proteins. The amino acids that must be obtained from the diet are known as the essential amino acids.
Anabolic: (an-uh-BALL-ick) Describing a compound that allows the conversion of nutritive substance into living matter.
Anise: (ANN-us) An annual herb (Pimpinella anisum) of the carrot family with aromatic seeds.
Anthocyanidins: (an-though-SIGH-an-id-inz) A class of antioxidant plant pigments ranging in colors from red to blue.
Antibody: (ANT-ee-bod-ee) Proteins produced by the body to defend against foreign bodies or organisms.
Antioxidant: (an-tee-OX-sid-ent) A substance that inhibits oxidative or free-radical damage.
Aqueous humor (aqueous fluid): (ACHE-we-us humor) The clear, watery fluid that flows between the cornea and the lens of the eye, providing them with nutrients.
Arabinogalactan: (uh-RAB-uh-no-ga-LACK-ten) A non-digestible soluble dietary fiber (polysaccharide) commonly derived from the wood of the Western larch tree.
Arginine: (AR-je-neen) An amino acid, C6H14N4O2, obtained from the digestion of plant or animal protein.
Ascorbate: (uh-SCORE-bait) A compound or derivative of ascorbic acid.
Ascorbic: (uh-SCORE-bick) Describing a substance that prevents scurvy (from New Latin a + scorbutic—scurvy).
Ascorbic acid: (uh-SCORE-bick A-sid) The chemical name for vitamin C.
Astragalus: (uh-STRAW-gal-us) see astragalus encyclopedia entry
Astringent: (a-STRIN-jent) A substance that causes tissues to contract.
ATP (adenosine triphosphate): (uh-DEN-oh-sen try-FOSS-fate) The phosphate compound that serves as the chief energy-storage material for all cells.
Avena Sativa: (UH-veen-uh SUH-teev-uh) A cereal grass and its edible grain; oats.
Ayurveda: (AH-yer-vee-duh) The traditional holistic-medicinal system from India based on ancient Hindu texts.
Barberry: (BAR-bear-ee) see barberry encyclopedia entry
Barley Grass: (BAR-lee grass) see barley grass encyclopedia entry
Bearberry: (bearberry) see bearberry encyclopedia entry
Bee Pollen: (bee pollen) see bee pollen encyclopedia entry
Bee Propolis: (bee PROP-uh-liss) see bee propolis encyclopedia entry
Beriberi: (bear-ee-BEAR-ee) A disease caused by thiamin deficiency.
Beta-carotene: (BAY-ta –CARE-ah-teen) An antioxidant plant compound that can be converted by the body into vitamin A. see encyclodpedia entry
Beta cells: (BAY-ta cells) Cells in the pancreas responsible for insulin production.
Bilberry: (BILL-bear-ee) see bilberry encyclopedia entry
Bioflavonoids: (BY-oh-FLAV-ah-noydz) See flavonoids.
Biotin: (BY-oh-tin) A B vitamin produced in the small intestine by beneficial bacteria. see biotin encyclopedia entry
Black Cohosh: (black CO-hosh) see black cohosh encyclopedia entry
Black Currant Seed Oil: (black CUR-rent seed oil) see black currant seed oil encyclopedia entry
Boron: (BORE-on) An essential trace mineral required for bone formation. see boron encyclopedia entry
Boswellia: (BOZ-well-EE-ah) see boswellia encyclopedia entry
Bran: (bran) The thin husk of grains such as rice, wheat, and oats. A rich source of soluble and insoluble fiber.
Brewer's Yeast: (Brewer’s yeast) see brewer's yeast encyclopedia entry
Bromelain: (BRO-ma-lane) see bromelain encyclopedia entry
Burdock: (BURR-dock) see burdock encyclopedia entry
Butcher's Broom: (Butcher’s broom) see butcher's broom encyclopedia entry
Calcium: (CAL-see-um) see calcium encyclopedia entry
Capsaicin: (cap-SAY-uh-sin) The active "hot" compound found in cayenne and other peppers.
Carbonate: (CAR-buh-nate) A salt of carbonic acid.
Carbonic acid: (CAR-bon-ick A-sid) An unstable liquid made by dissolving carbon dioxide in water, used to form carbonates.
Cardiotonic: (card-ee-oh-TON-ick) A substance that strengthens the heart muscle.
Carotenoid: (kuh-ROT-en-oyd) A family of plant pigments (including alpha carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, etc.), many of which exhibit antioxidant properties.
Cartilage: (CAR-ta-lidge) The smooth connective tissue that acts as a shock absorber between bone surfaces in joints.
Cascara Sagrada: (kuh-SCAR-uh suh-GRAH-duh) see cascara sagrada encyclopedia entry
Catalyst: (CAT-ill-ist) A substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction but is not affected by that reaction.
Catechins: (CAT-a-kin) Antioxidant flavonoids found in green tea.
Cathartic: (kuh-THAR-tick) A substance that stimulates bowel movements.
Cat's Claw: (cat’s claw) see cat's claw encyclopedia entry
Cayenne: (KIE-ann) see cayenne encyclopedia entry
Cetyl Myristoleate: (SEAT-ill my-WRIST-oh-lee-ate) see cetyl myristoleate encyclopedia entry
Chamomile: (CAM-oh-meal) see chamomile encyclopedia entry
Chaparral: (shap-uh-RAL) see chaparral encyclopedia entry
Charcoal: (charcoal) see charcoal encyclopedia entry
Chasteberry: (chasteberry) see chasteberry encyclopedia entry
Chelation: (key-LAY-shun) The bonding of minerals to amino acids or other carrier compounds to aid absorption by the body.
Chitosan: (KITE-oh-san) see chitosan encyclopedia entry
Chlorella: (kluh-REL-uh) see chlorella encyclopedia entry
Chondroitin: (con-DROY-tin) see chondroitin encyclopedia entry
Chromium: (CROW-me-um) see chromium encyclopedia entry
Citrate: (SI-trate) Any salt of citric acid.
Citric acid: (SI-trick A-sid) A tribasic acid found in citrus fruits that acts as an intermediary in the tricarboxylic (Krebs’) cycle.
Citrus Bioflavonoids: (SI-tress BY-oh-FLAV-uh-noydz) see citrus bioflavonoids encyclopedia entry
Cod Liver Oil: (cod liver oil) see cod liver oil encyclopedia entry
Coenzyme: (coenzyme A) A nonprotein substance needed to complete an enzyme, usually a vitamin or mineral.
Coleus: (CO-lee-us) see coleus encyclopedia entry
Collagen: (KOLL-uh-jen) The protein that serves as the main component of connective tissue.
Copper: (copper) see copper encyclopedia entry
CoQ10: (co-Q-ten) see CoQ10 encyclopedia entry
Cranberry: (cranberry) see cranberry encyclopedia entry
Creatine: (CREE-ah-teen) see creatine encyclopedia entry
Cyanocobalamin: (SIGH-an-oh-co-BALL-uh-min) The form of vitamin B-12 used in supplements.