Abdominal discomfort    Pain in the part of the body below the neck and above the pelvis.

Abortifacients    Something which induces abortion.

ACE-inhibitors    Blood pressure lowering medication commonly used to treat hypertension, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure.

Aggregation    Forming by the collection of units or particles into a body, mass or amount.

Alpha (relaxed) brain waves    An electrical rhythm of the brain often associated with a state of wakeful relaxation.

Alpha blockers    Any of a group of drugs that combine with and block the activity of an alpha receptor, which can thereby enlarge the blood vessels.

Alpha-tocopherol    The most common scientific name for vitamin E. D-alpha-tocopherols are the more effective natural product; dl-alpha-tocopherols are synthetic and less effective.

Amygdala    Another part of the brain's limbic system which triggers emotions when signals are sent to it from other parts of the brain.

Analgesic    Something which creates an insensitivity to pain. A pain reliever.

Anaphylactic shock    An often severe and sometimes fatal reaction in a susceptible individual that is characterized by respiratory problems, fainting, itching and hives.

Anemia    A condition in which the blood is lacking in red blood cells, in hemoglobin or in total volume.

Angelica    Any of various plants of the genus Angelica having compound leaves and clusters of small white or greenish flowers. Used as a diuretic, increases sweat, used to treat nervous headaches and gas.

Angina pectoris    Sometimes called simply "angina." Chest pain, most often caused by a shortage of oxygen to the heart and often associated with hardening of the arteries.

Angioplasty    A minimally-invasive procedure in which blocked arteries are opened using long balloon-tipped catheters which are inserted into the femoral or brachial arteries.

Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE)    Also known as ACE inhibitors, includes any of a group of antihypertensive drugs that relaxes the arteries and promotes the excretion of salt and water.

Angiotensin receptor blockers (ARB)    Blood pressure lowering medication commonly used to treat hypertension, coronary heart disease, and congestive heart failure.

Anise seed    The seed of anise often used as a flavoring in liqueurs and cooking.

Anti-inflammatory    Counteracting inflammation. Reduces swelling.

Antiarrhythmic medications    Medications that treat or prevent an irregular heart rhythm.

Anticoagulant    A substance or drug that prevents or delays blood clots.

Antioxidant    A chemical or agent that prevents or reduces the process in which the oxygen content of a substance is increased (i.e., oxidation).

Antioxidant Supplement Atherosclerosis Prevention (ASAP) study    A study in people examining the role of vitamin E and C in combination for the prevention of coronary heart disease. Those treated had a 45% reduction in coronary plaque formation.

Antiplatelet    A chemical or agent that acts against or destroys blood platelets.

Antiseptic    A substance that stops the growth or action of microorganisms(germs).

Arnica    A plant of the genus Arnica that's dried flower head is used for stimulant and local irritant effects especially in the form of liniment for bruises, sprains and swellings.

Aromatherapy    A course of treatment or therapy which uses various odors to reduce stress, induce relaxation, and other outcomes using inhalation as the method of substance delivery.

Arrhythmias    Irregular heart rhythms.

Arsenic    A solid poisonous element that is commonly metallic steel-gray, crystalline and brittle.

Arteries    Large blood vessels that carry blood containing oxygen from the heart to the rest of the body.

Arteriosclerosis    The arteries thicken, lose their elasticity and the artery walls thicken. The result is less blood supply, especially to the brain and legs.

Artificial nutrition    Nutrition obtained by means other than common food substance(feeding tube, intravenous).

Asafoetida    A yellow-brown, bitter, offensive-smelling resinous material obtain from the roots of several plants of the genus Ferula, formerly used in medicine.

Asthmatics    Relating to being affected with asthma, a condition often of allergic origin that is marked by continuous labored breathing accompanied by wheezing, by a sense of constriction in the chest, and often attacks of coughing or gasping.

Astringent    Having the property of drawing together the soft organic tissues of the body.

Atherosclerosis    Narrowing of the arteries caused by plaque deposits of cholesterol and fats. A major cause of heart disease and heart attacks because of reduced circulation to the heart.

Ayurveda    Practitioners of ayurvedic medicine, which was founded in ancient India around 3500 B.C., prescribe treatment and preventative therapy consisting of diet, herbal supplements, exercise and yoga, as well other treatments, in order to maintain a personÆs balance in life.

Beta-blockers    An agent that combines with and blocks the activity of a beta-receptor. Beta receptors are held to be associated with positive effects on the beat and muscular contractility of the heart and with vasodilation.

Biofeedback    This technique utilizes instruments that monitor bodily functions and allows the participant to regulate those functions. Biofeedback has been utilized to effectively lower blood pressure.

Biosynthesis    Production of a chemical compound by a living organism.

Bogbean    Also called buckbean. This is a marsh plant having a creeping rootstock and white or reddish flowers.

Boldo    Leafy herb used for many gastrointestinal conditions. May interact with other herbs and blood thinning medications and lead to an increased risk of bleeding.

Calcium    A supplement known for building strong and healthy bones, it may also play a role in hypertension.

Capsicum    The dried fruit of various tropical plants in the genus Capsicum. Used for disease prevention, blood pressure equalization, used as arthritis, circulation, diabetes, heart, kidney, bleeding, stroke and tumor treatment.

Carbohydrate metabolism    The physical and chemical processes involved in the body's use of carbohydrates including sugars, starches and cellulose.

Cardiac Glycoside    Heart medicine derived from the foxglove plant utilized for the treatment of congestive heart failure and heart rhythm disorders.

Cardioactive Effects    Substance that affects the electrical or mechanical function of the heart.

Cardiocyte    A cardiac muscle cell.

Cardiomegaly    An enlargement of the heart.

Cardiomyopathy    A typically chronic disorder of heart muscle that may involve hypertrophy(excessive development of an organ, an increase in organ bulk) and obstructive damage to the heart.

Cardiovascular disease    An umbrella term for defects that may cause problems with the heart and blood vessels. Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

Celery    A plant native of Eurasia which is widely cultivated for its edible stalks and seeds. Used for treating rheumatism, nervousness, lumbago, and headaches.

Chamomile    Any of the various plants of the genus Anthemis or of the genus Matricaria. Used to make tea. Used for nerves, menstrual cramps, appetite stimulant, bronchitis, fevers, hysteria and insomnia.

Chemotherapeutic agents    Chemical agents which are used in the treatment or control of disease or mental illness. Most often used for cancer therapies.

Cholesterol    One of many lipids found throughout the body. Produced by the liver, this steroid alcohol is an important building block for cell formation and repair. Only foods derived from animal sources provide dietary cholesterol.

Cholestin    A supplement fermented from red yeast. The active ingredient is similar to the prescription statin-type drug lovastatin.

Chronic disease    A disease or ailment that has a slow progressive course of indefinite duration.

Claudication    Leg pain characterized by cramping in the calves and sometimes accompanied by limping. Caused by poor circulation, the condition is often linked to hardening of the arteries.

Clove    An east Indian evergreen tree of which the aromatic unopened flower buds are used as a spice.

Coenzyme Q-10    A key component in the production of energy in the body, it is found in high concentrations in organs such as the pancreas, liver, kidney and heart. Coenzyme Q-10 can be taken as a supplement and, when taken in combination with traditional medications, appears to be beneficial in treating the symptoms of congestive heart failure and angina, as well as heart toxicity associated with a chemotherapy agent.

Cognitive behavioral therapy    A mind/body technique that uses short-term psychotherapy to reduce the stress response and induce relation. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be utilized to treat hypertension.

Concomitantly    Existing or occurring simultaneously(at the same time.)

Congestive heart failure    A condition characterized by a weak heart, along with a buildup of fluid in the body. Congestive heart failure results in a heart that doesnÆt pump as efficiently as it should. It can be caused by many forms of heart disease. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, high blood pressure and swelling of the legs and hands.

Contraindicated    To advise against a treatment or procedure.

Conversational prayer    Prayer which involves speaking with God and sharing feelings, thoughts and needs.

Coronary artery bypass surgery    Open-heart surgery to relieve a blocked heart artery, resulting in improved blood supply to the heart.

Coronary artery disease    A condition affecting the arteries of the heart. The most common type is coronary atherosclerosis, which is caused by hardening of the arteries. Coronary heart disease can lead to blood clots and heart attack.

Coronary Heart Disease    A condition affecting the arteries of the heart. The most common type is coronary atherosclerosis, which is caused by hardening of the arteries. Coronary artery disease can lead to blood clots and heart attack.

cortisol    A hormone that is released during long periods of stress or physical trauma.

Creatinine    A white crystalline nitrogenous substance found especially in the muscles.

Creatinine clearance    A measure of the functional ability of the kidney.

Creatinine Kinase    A common blood test of muscle destruction used to determine the occurrence and size of heart muscle damage due to heart attack or coronary heart disease.

Cystic fibrosis    A common hereditary disease that usually appears in childhood, involves generalized disorder of exocrine glands, and is marked by faulty digestion, difficulty in breathing and excessive loss of salt in the sweat.

Cytokine    Any of various proteins secreted by cells of the immune system that serve to regulate the immune system.

Danshen    Herb used for a wide variety of heart-related conditions. However, its uses have not been well-studied in people.

DASH - Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension    Research trial which clarified the role of diet and its therapeutic role in the treatment of high blood pressure.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)    An androgenic ketosteroid found in human urine and the adrenal cortex that is thought to be an intermediate in the biosynthesis of testosterone.

Deleterious    Having an often obscure or unexpected harmful effect.

Deprivation    The condition of having something taken away from you either by others or yourself.

Diastolic blood pressure    Blood pressure measured when the heart is relaxed. This is the bottom number in blood pressure recordings.

Dilation    The action of stretching or enlarging an organ or some other part of the body.

Diuretics    Something which tends to increase the flow of urine.

Doshas    Primary governing influences that determine the states of the mind/body connection.

Double-blind randomized study    In a double-blind study neither the subject (patient) nor the investigator knows which treatment a patient is being given, in the interest of making the study as objective as possible. In a randomized study treatment is assigned to subjects on a random basis.

Edema    The pooling of fluid in tissues, which can be caused by many conditions, including congestive heart failure.

Eicosapentaaenoic Acid(EPA)    Fish oil fatty acid felt to be beneficial in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Ejection fraction    The percentage of blood released during each contraction of the lower heart chamber (ventricle).

Electrolyte    An element or compound that breaks up into ions (atoms that can carry an electrical charge) when melted or dissolved. The body must have the correct amount of electrolytes - such as potassium, magnesium and sodium - in order to use energy.

Elemi    Any of various oily resins derived from certain tropical trees and used in making varnishes and inks.

Elemicin    Any of various oily resins derived from certain tropical trees and used in making varnishes and inks.

Endorphin    A substance made by the body to stop pain.

Endothelium    The layer of cells that lines the heart, blood vessels and lymph vessels, as well as the bodyÆs fluid-filled cavities .

Enzymes    Any of numerous complex proteins that are produced by living cells and catalyze specific biochemical reactions at body temperatures.

Essential oils    A volatile oil usually having the characteristic odor or flavor of the plant from which it is obtained, used to make perfumes and flavorings.

Ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA)    A white crystalline acid used especially as a chelating agent, as an anticoagulant (blood thinner), and in the treatment of lead poisoning.

Etiology    The underlying cause of a condition.

Exacerbate    To increase the severity of something, a disease, or its symptoms.

Fatigue    Weariness from labor or exertion. Nervous exhaustion. The temporary loss of power to respond induced in a sensory receptor or motor end organ by continued stimulation.

Fenugreek    A clover-like plant having white flowers and pungent, aromatic seeds. Used to dissolve mucus, treat stomach irritations, lung infections, and high cholesterol.

Fermentation    A chemical change with effervescence (bubbles.) An enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic compound.

Feverfew    An aromatic plant having clusters of buttonlike, white rayed flowers.

Flavonoids    Any of a particular group of aromatic compounds.

Flaxseed    The seed of flax that is used to yield linseed oil. It is an excellent source of Omega-3 fatty acids.

Folic Acid    Supplement, also known as B complex vitamin, shown to reduce elevated homocysteine levels in the blood stream. Elevated homocysteine is associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Frankincense    An aromatic gum resin obtained from African and Asian trees primarily used to make incense.

French Paradox    French people have a low incidence of heart disease despite their high-fat diet. This paradox is attributed to the beneficial effects of wine in rising the HDL good cholesterol.

Gastrointestinal    Of or relating to both the stomach and intestine as a functional unit.

Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS)    Herbal designation within the United States signifying general acceptance as safe to ingest in suggested dosages.

Germanium    A brittle, gray-white crystalloid element sometimes used as a catalyst.

Ginger    A plant of tropical Asia having yellowish-green flowers and a pungent, aromatic root stock. Used as a flavoring and for settling the stomach, to treat morning sickness, motion sickness, indigestion, childhood diseases, circulation, colds, colic, fevers and gas pains.

Ginkgo    A tree native to China having fan shaped leaves and fleshy yellowish fruit. Used to increase blood flow to the brain, improve memory, improve transmission of nerve signals, used to treat ringing in the ears, and headaches. Acts as a blood thinner.

Ginseng(panax)    Any of several plants of the genus Panax. May come from either Asia or North America. Used as a sexual stimulant, for longevity, physical vigor, to treat stress, high blood pressure, age spots and depression.

Glutathione    Herbal supplement used for treating a whole host of conditions, but it is not well accepted as an oral therapy since it cannot be absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract. Intravenous use is accepted for the prevention of chemotherapy toxicity.

Glycosides    Drugs that are used in the treatment of congestive heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

Guaiac test    A test for urine or feces using a reagent containing an agent of guaiacum (family of tropical American trees) that yields a blue color when blood is present.

Halitosis    Unpleasant or foul-smelling breath.

Hawthorn    Hawthorn leaf with flower extract has been found to have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular system, dilating the arteries and improving the heart muscle contraction and conduction system of the heart. It has been associated with reducing fatigue, limited exercise tolerance and perhaps even shortness of breath.

Heme iron    Iron from hemoglobin (blood-based) sources.

Hemodynamic    Concerned with or functioning in the mechanics of blood circulation.

High-Density Lipoprotein    Good Cholesterol. A lipoprotein of blood plasma that is composed of a high proportion of protein with little triglyceride and cholesterol and that is associated with decreasing probability of developing coronary heart disease.

Hippocampus    A part of the brain's limbic system which is responsible for creating and storing specific memories.

Homeopathy    Founded in 1790 by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, homeopathy is founded on the belief that "like cures like." Homeopathic therapies involve administering very dilute solutions of herbal substances felt to stimulate the bodyÆs own vital force.

Homocysteine    An amino acid which when abnormally elevated in the blood stream has been clearly linked to the formation of plaque within the arteries of the heart.

Horse chestnut    A tree having palmate leaves, erect clusters of white flowers tinged with red, and brown shiny nuts enclosed in a spiny burr.

Horseradish    A coarse plant having a thick, white, pungent root.

Hyperreflexia    A condition of overactivity of physiological reflexes.

Hypersensitivity    A condition of excessive or abnormal sensitivity.

Hypertension    High blood pressure exceeding 140/90. Untreated hypertension results in thickened artery walls and decreased blood flow to the heart as well as other body organs. Hypertension remains the most common cause of stroke and is a major risk factor for coronary heart disease.

Hypnosis    An artificially induced sleeplike condition in which an individual is asked to focus on a specific idea or object.

Hypnotherapy    Therapy based on or using hypnosis. See hypnosis.

Hypotension    Abnormally low blood pressure--too low for normal functioning.

Hypothalamus    A part of the brain which forms the floor of the third ventricle and includes vital autonomic regulatory centers (such as for the control of food intake and distinguishing odors.)

Imagery    Together with visualization, this is a therapeutic technique that leads the participant through a series of images that promote relaxation by calming the bodyÆs natural anxiety-provoking chemicals. With proper training individuals can learn to guide themselves through those states, which provide a calming effect and can reduce heart rate and blood pressure.

Inhalation    The action of drawing air into the lungs.

Insomnia    A prolonged and usually abnormal inability to obtain adequate sleep.

Interactive guided imagery(IGI)    MindBody therapy used to reduce/eliminate stress.

Intercessory prayer    Praying for those other than oneself.

International normalized ratio (INR)    Blood test that assesses the thinnest of blood while on warfarin(Coumadin).

International Unit (I.U.)    The amount of specific physiological activity of a standardized preparation (as of a vitamin) that is agreed upon as an international standard. The amount of biologically active substance in the standard amount of the preparation producing this activity.

Ischemic heart disease    Any disease characterized by reduced blood flow to the heart.

Isoelemicin    Any of various oily resins derived from certain tropical trees and used in making varnishes and inks.

IU    An abbreviation for International unit. An IU of a substance is the amount that produces a specific biologic result.

Kapha Dosha    Earth and water governing influence in Ayurveda

Keshan disease    Heart muscle disorder associated with a deficiency of selenium.

L-Carnitine    Also known as carnitine. This B vitamin is important in the transportation of energy molecules in muscle tissues.

Lactose intolerance    Exceptionally sensitive to milk and other dairy products.

Lavender    Any of various aromatic plants having clusters of small purplish flowers and yielding an oil used in perfumery and aromatherapy. Used for treating acne, colic, gas, giddiness, nervous headaches, migraines, nausea, vomiting, toothaches, sprains, sores and muscle spasms.

LDL cholesterol    Low-density lipoprotein. Also called bad cholesterol, it is associated with an increased risk for atherosclerosis,.

Left Ventricular Ejection Fraction    The measurement of the amount of blood released during each contraction of the lower heart chamber (ventricle) compared to the amount released by both ventricles of the left side of the heart.

Lemongrass    Any of several tropical grasses of the genus Cymbopogon. Used for treating colds, fevers, digestion problems, flu and children's diseases.

Licorice    A plant of the Mediterranean region having blue flowers and a sweet, distinctively flavored root. Used for treating hypoglycemia, inflammation, female problems, and drug withdrawal. It has also been used to raise a person's energy level, immune and adrenal system support, and to raise blood pressure.

Lignin    A substance related to cellulose that together with celluslose forms the essential part of woody cell walls of plants.

Limbic    Relating to the portion of the brain that is concerned with emotion and motivation.

Limbic system    A group of subcortical structures of the brain that are concerned especially with emotion and motivation.

Lipid solubility    The ability of a substance to dissolve in fat. Vitamins E, D, A and K are all lipid soluble.

Lipids    Any of various substances that along with proteins and carbohydrates constitute the principal structural components of living cells, and that include fats, waxes, phospholipids and related compounds.

Lipoproteins    Any of a large class of conjugated substances composed of protein and lipids.

Low-Density Lipoprotein    Bad Cholesterol. A lipoprotein of blood plasma that is composed of a moderate proportion of protein with little triglyceride and a high proportion of cholesterol. Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased probability of developing coronary heart disease.

Lycopene    A red pigment that occurs along with carotene in many fruits (tomatos).

Lymph nodes    Any of the rounded masses of lymphoid tissue surrounded by a capsule of connective tissue that occur in association with the lymphatic vessels and which secrete lymphocytes.

Macular degeneration    A loss of central vision in both eyes produced by pathological changes.

Magnesium    A supplement that has been demonstrated to have an important role in regulating blood pressure and, therefore, potentially in treating mild to moderate hypertension.

Mammaplasty    Plastic surgery of the breast.

Mandarin    Reddish-orange loose-skinned fruit of a Chinese citrus tree.

Marjoram    An aromatic plant having small purplish-white flowers and leaves used as a seasoning.

Meadowsweet    Any of several plants of the genus Spiraea. Used to soothe nerves and kidney irritations, increase kidney functions, sooth bladder and female organs.

Meditation    This practice, which involves relaxation, has been found to significantly lower both systolic and diastolic blood pressure.

Meditative prayer    Prayer that involves quieting the mind and focusing on a particular topic, word, sound or phrase.

Metabolic processes    The ways in which life is maintained through physical and chemical means.

Methionine    The amino acid that is the product of homocysteine degradation.

Methyl salicylate oil    The principle ingredient of an oil (made up of wintergreen and sweet birch oils) that is used chiefly as a flavoring material, in perfumes, and in medicine to counteract various irritants.

Mindbody    Ancient Chinese medicine considered the mind and body as comprising the whole self. According to the principles of mindbody therapies, the body cannot truly be healed without healing the mind, as well as the body.

Mitral valve prolapse    A condition characterized by elongated, many times thickened, leaflets of the mitral valve. Due to separation of the the leaflets during contraction of the heart, this condition may be associated with valve leak. Heart arrhythmias are also associated with this condition, however the far majority of these are not serious.

Monounsaturated Fat    An oil or fat which contains only one unsaturated chemical bond. This type of fat is much better for long term heart health.

Morbidity    The incidence of disease or rate of sickness within a population.

Mortality    The proportion of deaths to a population.

Myalgia    Pain in one or more muscles.

Myocardial infarction(MI)    Commonly called a heart attack. A blockage of a heart artery caused by narrowing of the arteries or a blood clot, resulting in an area of dead tissue in the heart muscle.

National Cholesterol Education Program    Committee of United States experts which provide the guiding principles for the management of elevated cholesterol.

National Institutes of Health(NIH)    National medical facility in Bethesda, Maryland which performs, as well as provides financial support, for lab bench and clinical research on all aspects of healthcare across the United States.

Naturopathy    Focusing on the bodyÆs ability to heal itself, practitioners of naturopathy rely on a variety of techniques founded in ancient Indian, Chinese and Greek medicine. These include relaxation therapy, counseling and psychotherapy, herbal medicine, nutrition counseling, physical therapy and homeopathy.

Neroli    An essential oil distilled from orange flowers and often used in perfumery.

Neurotransmitters    A substance that transmits nerve impulses across brain cell connections.

Niacin    Also known as Vitamin B3, it is FDA approved for the treatment of elevated cholesterol. Niacin lowers LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels and raises HDL cholesterol.

Non-heme iron    Iron from non-blood based sources - plants.

Norepinephrine    A hormone released by the sympathetic nervous system onto the heart, blood vessels, and other organs, and by the adrenal gland into the bloodstream as part of the fight-or-flight response.

Nutmeg    The hard aromatic seed of the nutmeg tree that is often used as a spice.

nutritionally deficient    Not ingesting enough of the Recommended Dietary Allowances to maintain health.

Occult blood    Not present in macroscopic amounts (e.g. blood in a stool specimen.)

Olfaction    The sense of smell or the act of smelling.

Olfactory bulb    The portion of the brain responsible for the sense of smell.

Olfactory epithelium    The lining in the nose that contains the cells responsible for the sense of smell.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids    A type of fatty acid, frequently found in fatty fish, which has been demonstrated to lower cholesterol, specifically triglycerides, and reduce the incidence of heart disease.

Onion    The round edible bulb of the onion plant composed of tight, concentric layers, and having a pungent odor and taste.

Osteoporosis    A condition that is characterized by a decrease in bone mass.

Oxidation    The process of combining a small particle or molecule with oxygen. These oxidized substances are frequently damaging to other body tissues, specifically the lining of blood vessel walls.

Panthothenic Acid    Also known as Vitamin B5, is essential in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and lipids.

Papain    Obtained from the unripe fruit of the papaya, papain is an enzyme capable of breaking down protein.

Parasympathetic nervous system    The part of the autonomic nervous system that tends to include secretion, increase the tone and contractility of smooth muscle, and cause the dilation of blood vessels.

Paronychia    Inflammation of the tissues adjacent to the nail of a finger or toe usually accompanied by infection and pus formation.

Passionflower    Any of the various chiefly tropical American vines of the genus Passiflora, usually having large showy flowers. Used as a treatment for insomnia, eye infection, tension, fevers and menopause.

Peppermint    The oil from a plant having small purple or white flowers and downy leaves. Used to aid digestion and to treat gas, loss of appetite, colds, colic, fever, headaches, heartburn and shock.

Periodic table    A tabular arrangement of the elements according to their atomic number.

Peripheral vascular disease    A condition affecting the blood vessels outside the heart and major vessels. Symptoms include numbness, pain, and paleness. Arteriosclerosis and atherosclerosis are both types of peripheral vascular disease.

Pernicious Anemia    A condition associated with the reduced ability to absorb vitamin B12 due to the absence of intrinsic factor, a natural substance found in the stomach. Also known as Addisonian anemia, this condition should be detected and treated prior to initiating supplementation with vitamin B6, vitamin B12 and/or folic acid.

Pet therapy    Contact with a pet, or "pet therapy," has been found to significantly reduce blood pressure and pulse rate.

Petitionary prayer    Prayer which involves asking God for assistance in some manner.

Physiological    Characteristic of, or appropriate to, an organism's healthy or normal functioning.

Phytochemicals    Chemicals from plants and plant products.

Phytoestrogens    Estrogens derived from plants.

Pitta Dosha    Fire and water governing influence in Ayurveda

Placebo    An inactive substance given as if it were a real drug; often used in drug trials.

Placebo effect    The improvement of a patient taking the control substance in a study (a sugar pill) due to the belief that they are getting medicine.

Plaque    A build-up of various fatty substances within the arterial walls which may eventually lead to blockages.

Platelets    A component of blood essential for clotting.

Polyphenols    Compounds that acts as antioxidants as well as having properties which are antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, and antiviral. They can also combine with iron and decrease iron absorption. Green, black, and oolong teas may offer health benefits because they contain antioxidant polyphenols.

Polyunsaturated Fat    An oil or fat which is rich in unsaturated chemical bonds. This type of fat is particularly harmful to heart health.

Poplar quassia    A bitter substance obtained from the wood and bark of the quassia tree. Orally it is used as an ingredient in cough preparations. Topical preparations are used for various skin ailments.

Potassium    A basic element found throughout the body that plays a role in many chemical processes including the regulation of heart rhythms and blood pressure.

Pricklyash    An aromatic shrub or small tree. Also called the toothache tree. Believed to increase circulation, used to treat fevers, mouth sores, ulcers and wounds.

Private prayer    Prayer in which only the individual praying is involved.

Propensity    A tendency to do something or behave in a certain manner.

Protease inhibitors    Compounds that inhibit (stop) the enzyme that hydrolyzes proteins, especially peptides.

Pruritus    Localized or generalized itching due to irritation of sensory nerve endings from organic or psychogenic causes.

Psychotherapy    Treatment of mental or emotional disorders or maladjustment by psychological means especially involving verbal communication (as in psychoanalysis, nondirective psychotherapy, reeducation or hypnosis.)

Pulmonary embolism    Blockage of an artery to the lung by a blood clot.

Qi gong    Developed in ancient China, it involves movements and deep breathing exercises. Qi gong, which has become increasingly popular in the United States, is intended to channel a personÆs vital energy and promote health.

Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA)    The amount of a substance(as a vitamin or mineral) that is officially recommended for daily consumption by a governmental board of experts.

Red clover    A plant often used for forage or hay for livestock. It has leaflets in groups of three and globular heads of fragrant, rose-purple flowers. Used as a blood purifier and relaxant, used to treat spasms and bronchitis, and to flush toxins.

Red Yeast    A supplement fermented from rice. The active ingredient is similar to the prescription statin-type drug lovastatin.

Red yeast rice    Herbal supplement consumed for the reduction of cholesterol.

Respiratory    Serving or relating to the process of breathing.

Rose hips    Contains vitamin C and bioflavonoids. Used to treat colds, flu, infections, sore throats, nervousness and stress. Also used as a blood purifier.

Sandalwood    The oil of a tree which has yellowish heartwood. Acts as a diuretic, genitourinary antiseptic, used to treat urethritis, chronic cystitis, and gonorrhea.

Selenium    An antioxidant that regulates enzymes. It is a nonmetallic element that resembles sulfur and tellurium chemically.

Serotonin    A phenolic amine that is a powerful vasoconstrictor and is found especially in the bood serum and gastric mucosa of mammals.

Serum cholesterol    A measurement of cholesterol within the blood.

Short-term psychotherapy    A course of treatment for mental, emotional and nervous disorders lasting a relatively short period of time - not over the course of years.

Sodium    A chemical found throughout the body that is important in the balance of fluids. Its excess may contribute to high blood pressure.

Somatizers    The worried well, those that neither have a diagnosable physical or psychiatric problem, but worry to much and aggravate their ailments.

Spirituality    The state, quality or fact of being spiritual. Having the nature of spirit, something not tangible or material.

Spontaneous eruption    Appearing without apparent external influence, sudden occurrence.

SSRI    (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) a class of antidepressant drugs effective in blocking the reabsorption of serotonin following the transmission of a nerve impulse across a synapse

Statin-type drug    Group of medications well established to effectively lower cholesterol levels and reduce heart-related events such as heart attack or death.

Stenosis    The abnormal narrowing of a blood vessel.

Stimuli    Agents (such as an environmental change) that directly influence the activity of a living protoplasm (as by exciting a sensory organ or evoking muscular contraction or glandular secretion.)

Stroke    A blood clot or bleeding in the brain, resulting from a lack of oxygen to the brain. Depending on the location and extent of damage, stroke may result in paralysis, weakness, an inability to speak or understand, or death. High blood pressure and heart disorders can put a person at risk for stroke.

Subconscious    Affecting thought, feeling and behavior without entering awareness.

Succinate    The natural form of vitamin E.

Superoxide Dismutase (SOD)    An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of superoxide into hydrogen peroxide and oxygen.

Supplementation    The act of adding or completing something.

Sympathetic nervous system    The part of the autonomic nervous system that is concerned with preparing the body to react to situations of stress or emergency.

Synergistic    The capacity of the interaction of two discrete agents (such as drugs) such that the total effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects.

Synthesis    The production of a substance by the union of chemical elements, groups, or simpler compounds.

Systolic blood pressure    Blood pressure measured when the heart is contracting. This is the top number in blood pressure recordings.

Tai chi    Developed in China in the 1200s, it combines slow, graceful movements with deep breathing and mental attention. Increasingly popular in the United States as a form of mild to moderate aerobic activity, some studies have found that thai chi lowers blood pressure and heart rate.

Therapeutic touch    Developed in the United States in the 1970s, this technique draws much of its premise from ancient Chinese medicine. At the root of therapeutic touch is the belief in a common life force or energy field. By interacting with this energy field, it is believed that a person can influence the healing of another. Providers hold their hands at a short distance from the person receiving the care and move their hands throughout the personÆs perceived energy field.

Thrombophlebitis    Inflammation of the veins, usually caused by blood clots.

Thrombosis    The formation of a clot, or “thrombus”, inside of a blood vessel, obstructing the flow of blood through the circulatory system. Arterial thrombosis can lead to a myocardial infarction (MI).

Thyroid dysfunction    The malfunctioning of a large gland in the neck which produces an iodine-containing hormone having a profound influence on growth and development and specifically stimulating the metabolic rate.

Tincture    A solution of a medicinal substance in an alcoholic base.

Toxic heavy metals    Metal substances when consumed can lead to toxicity and organ damage.

Toxicity    The degree to which something is poisonous, or a condition that results from consuming a poisonous substance.

Trans-resveratrol    An antioxidant chemical found in wines and used for the treatment of plaque formation within the heart arteries, the reduction of total and HDL good cholesterol.

Trans-urethral resection of prostate (TURP)    Surgical procedure performed to reduce the size of the prostate and its associated complications.

Transcendental Meditation    A technique of meditation which involves the repetition of a mantra (word or chant.)

Triglyceride    Also called neutral fat. These lipids are the main source of fat storage in the body.

Trytophan    A crystalline amino acid that is widely distributed in proteins and is essential to animal life.

Turmeric    A plant of India having yellow flowers and an aromatic rootstock. Also known as Zedoary. It is thought to promote bile production and gallbladder emptying.

Type A personalities    Relating to, characteristic of, having or being a personality that is marked by impatience, aggressiveness, and competitiveness and that is held to be associated with increased risk of heart disease.

Type B personalities    Relating to, characteristic of, having or being a personality that is marked by a lack of excessive aggressiveness and tension and that is held to be associated with reduced risk of heart disease.

Valerian    The dried roots of the valerian plant having dense clusters of small white or pinkish flowers. Used to treat nervousness, hysteria, convulsions, high blood pressure, hypochondria and body pain.

Valvular Heart Disease    A condition in which the valves of the heart are diseased.

Vasoconstriction    The constriction of blood vessels; results in increased blood pressure and decreased local blood flow.

vasodilation    The relaxing of the smooth muscle around a vessel, allowing it to increase in diameter.

Vasodilatory    Having the effect of widening or relaxing blood vessel walls. Vasodilatory drugs are used to treat severe heart failure.

Vata Dosha    Wind/air governing influence in Ayurveda

Venous thrombosis    Blood clots in the veins. Often occurs in the lower extremities(legs.)

Vertigo    A condition with many causes in which the individual or his surroundings seem to whirl dizzily.

Visceral Obesity    Obesity characterized by a bulging abdomen and a waist to hip ratio greater than 0.9 in men and 0.8 in women.

Vitamin B12    Supplement which has a role in the formation of red blood cells. Taken along with vitamin B6 and folic acid, vitamin B12 has been demonstrated to reduce homocysteine levels. When elevated, homocysteine has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Vitamin B6    Supplement which has a role in the making of methionine from homocysteine. Taken along with vitamin B12 and folic acid, vitamin B6 has been demonstrated to reduce homocysteine levels. When elevated, homocysteine has been associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.

Warfarin(coumadin)    A highly effective medication that acts as an anticoagulant (blood thinner). Its use must be monitored by regular blood tests known as the INR.

Wild carrot    A plant known as Queen Anne's lace which has finely divided leaves and flat clusters of small white flowers. It is frequently used as a herbal supplement in the treatment of kidney stones. It may interact other herbs, as well as medication, leading to excessive thinning of the blood.

Wild lettuce    Herbal supplement utilized for the treatment of several respiratory conditions. When taken concomitantly with other medications or supplements with blood thinning properties, wild lettuce may exacerbate these effects and increase the risk of bleeding in some people.

Willow    Any of various deciduous trees or shrubs of the genus Salix, having usually narrow leaves, flowers in pods and strong, lightweight wood. Willow bark is used for colds, infections, headaches, pain, and inflammation.

Ylang-ylang    An oil derived from a tropical Asian tree having fragrant greenish-yellow flowers. Most frequently used in perfumes.

Yoga    Developed in ancient India as a set of practices intended to integrate the mind, body and spirit. It has long been touted as beneficial to those who have or are at risk for cardiovascular disease.

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