Springboard Health Nutrition notebook Health information
Medical Dictionary 296 pixels Return home
2 pixels

Medical Dictionary


Return to top

DAMIANA grows wild and is cultivated around the Gulf of Mexico, and in some South American countries. Damiana is heavily branched and reaches six and half feet in height. The stems are smooth, straight, and yellow or reddish-brown in color. Small, obovate leaves grow in clusters alternately along the stem; the upper surface of which are olive green with undersurfaces lightly covered with whitish hairs. The leaves have toothed margins, and small flowers grow in the upper leaf axils. The fruits are small capsules, slightly curved, with rough skin. The medicinal part is the leaves.

For more information see the HERBS section of the Nutrition Notebook.

DANDELION is a common herbaceous plant abundant all over the world, growing in meadows and pastures, and often your front lawn. Dandelion has a thick, light brown perennial root which produces a rosette of basal leaves. A leafless flower stem grows from the center of the basal leaves. It is smooth, hollow, and terminates with a single large golden flower which opens during the day and closes at night, and in the rain. The root, leaves, and stem contain a milky fluid. These flowers are succeeded by a hairy puffball containing seeds which ripen and are blown by the wind. The medicinal parts are the leaves and the roots.

Other common names: Blowball , Cankerwort, Lion’s tooth, Priest’s crown, Puffball, Swine snout, White endive, Wild endive

For more information see the HERBS section of the Nutrition Notebook.

DEAD: Metabolically challenged.

DEMULCENT - An agent which smooths the mucous membranes on contact.

DEPURATIVE - a cleansing agent


DIETING: A game where you have to lose to win.

DIETING: Something that takes the starch out of you.

DIAPHORETIC - an agent which increases perspiration.

DIAPHRAGM - The diaphragm is a thin, muscular, and fibrous sheet located below the lungs. It is connected to the ventral surface of the lumbar vertebrae, and to the medial surfaces of the ribs, costal cartilage, and xiphoid process (collectively, the interior of the chest cavity). It divides the trunk of the body into thoracic and abdominal regions. The diaphragm is important in respiration. Contraction of the diaphragm, along with other muscles, causes the lungs to expand, permitting inhalation. Relaxation of the diaphragm causes the lungs to compress, permitting exhalation.

DIGESTIVE - a substance which assists in digestion

DILATE is the act of opening or stretching, as does the pupil of the eye or cross-sectional areas of arteries and veins.

DITERPENE ALCOHOLS are a group of compounds classified together because of their similar chemical structure. Diterpene alcohols are found in eyebright and horehound, and other plants. Some examples of diterpene alcohols are marrubenol and marrubiol.

DIURETIC - Diuretics form a class of drugs which increase the volume of urine produced by the kidneys. It can be used effectively to treat mild cases of edema when kidney function is good and when underlying abnormality of cardiac function, capillary pressure, or salt retention is being corrected simultaneously. Diuretics are not an appropriate treatment for edema caused by inflammation of the kidneys, and are useless in cardiac edema associated with advanced kidney insufficiency.

DLPA - DL-Phenylalanine is a mixture consisting of equal parts of the D- and L- forms of phenylalanine. Phenylalanine is a naturally occurring amino acid, discovered in 1879, essential for optimal growth in infants and for nitrogen equilibrium in human adults. The DL form has been found to be clinically useful in pain relief in certain conditions.

DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) is a complex protein present in chromosomes of the nuclei of cells. It is the chemical basis of heredity and the carrier of genetic information of all organisms.

DNA: A complex organic molecule characterized as the building block of life and appropriately shaped like a spiral staircase to nowhere.

DOGMA: A bitch with a litter.

DOPAMINE - an intermediate product in the synthesis of norepinephrine. Is responsible for dilation of systemic arteries, increased cardiac output and increased flow of blood to the kidneys. Dopamine’s precursor, L-Dopa are used in Parkinsonism and Manganese poisoning.

DRUG ADDICT: Chemically challenged.

DRUNK: Spacially perplexed.

DYSARTHRIA is a disturbance of articulation due to emotional stress or to paralysis, incoordination, or spasticity of the muscles used for speaking such as the tongue. It is one of the more common symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

DYSMENORRHEA refers to painful or difficult menstruation.

DYSPHAGIA refers to difficulty in swallowing.

472 pixels

Return to top

2 pixels
2 pixels

Copyright © 2004 Springboard All rights reserved.
2 pixels
Left tab 436 Pixels Right tab