ECHIMIDINE is an alkaloid found in
comfrey. High levels of echimidine can be toxic.
ECHINACEA is a perennial plant which
produces a stout, bristly, hairy stem 2 to 3 feet in height. The leaves are
linear, lanceolate, and grow 3 to 8 inches long; they are rough, hairy, and
3-nerved. The upper leaves are sessile, and the lower leaves grow on long
petioles. A single large flower blooms from July to October; it is white-rose
to pale purple in color, with a conical disk and 12 to 20 large, spreading
rays. It grows in the prairie region of the United States, west of Ohio.
Other common names: Black sampson, Purple
coneflower, Sampson root.
For more information see the HERBS section
of the Nutrition Notebook.
ECHINACIN is a commercial extract
from species of echinacea, and is a strong antagonist of hyaluronidase.
Echinacin prevents both the spread of hyaluronidase and the absorption of the
materials they carry.
ECHINACOSIDE , found in echinacea, is
a bacteriostatic principle and plant acid.
EDEMA is the abnormal swelling of any
body part due to excess fluid retention. This increase in extracellular fluid
volume may occur in a localized area, or become generalized throughout the
ELECTROLYTES are molecules that
dissociate into cations and anions when fused or in solution and thus become
capable of conducting electricity. The major cations in body fluids are sodium,
potassium, calcium, and magnesium; the most important anions are bicarbonate,
chloride, phosphate, and sulfate.
The type and concentration of electrolytes
contained in a particular body fluid can vary according to the location and
function of the fluid. For example, sodium is the most common cation in
extracellular fluid, while chloride is the most common anion. In intracellular
fluid, potassium is the most common cation and phosphate is the most common
Electrolytes function by controlling the
flow of water through cell membranes. Waters moves from an area of low
electrolyte concentration on one side of a cell membrane to an area of high
electrolyte concentration on the other side of the membrane. This process is
known as osmosis.
EMMENAGOGUE - an agent which
stimulates menstrual flow.
EMODIN is an anthraquinone found in
cascara sagrada, rhubarb, and other plants. Emodin is cathartic; it stimulates
the cathartic action by irritation of the intestinal walls. This differs from
anthraquinone glycosides, which are absorbed into the bloodstream and stimulate
the appropriate nerves.
EMOLLIENT - a skin dressing or
ENCEPHALITIS is an inflammation of
ENCEPHALOPATHY refers to any
degenerative brain disease.
ENZYMES - Enzymes are proteinaceous
substances that act as organic catalysts that are needed to speed up the
specific chemical reactions that take place in all the organs and tissues of
the body. We need the enzymes to speed up these reactions, because without them
the reactions would not normally take place. They help to move a chemical
reaction along without exerting a lot of effort; therefore saving your body a
tremendous amount of energy. Enzymes are made up primarily from the amino acids
or proteins we derive from a healthy diet every day. That is why adequate
protein intake is always important to keep the enzyme levels in the intestinal
tract and elsewhere at optimum concentrations.
EPINEPHRINE - A hormone secreted by
the Adrenal Medulla and released mainly in response to Hypoglycemia. It dilates
arteries, is a potent stimulator of the sympathetic nervous system, is a
powerful vassosuppressor, increases heart activity, dilates the bronchi by
relaxing bronchial muscles, increases the level of glucose in the blood by
stimulating the liver to release it and to increase the amount of fatty acid in
the blood and slow the activity of the gastrointestinal tract.
EPITHELIAL cells form the epithelium,
the layer of cells forming the epidermis of the skin and the surface layer of
mucous and serous membranes. The cells rest on a basement membrane and lie
closely approximated to each other with little intercellular material between
them. The epithelium may be simple, consisting of a single layer, or it may be
stratified, consisting of several layers. Epithelium serves the general
function of protection, absorption, secretion and specialized functions such as
movement of substances through ducts, production of germ cells and reception of
ERYTHEMA is a capillary congestion
which gives rise to reddened skin.
ERYTHEMA MULTIFORME - A skin disease
characterized by papular or vesicular lesions and reddening or discoloration of
the skin, usually in concentric zones around the lesions.
ERYTHEMA NODOSUM - A skin condition
characterized by small, tender, reddened nodules under the skin (as over the
shin bones, but under the skin), often accompanied by fever an temporary
ESOPHAGUS is found behind the trachea
and the heart. It begins at the pharynx and passes through the diaphragm to the
stomach. It is a muscular tube which lacks cartilage. The main function of the
esophagus is to pass food from the mouth to the stomach.
ESTROGEN , the female hormone, is a
generic term for estrus-producing steroid compounds which are formed by the
ovaries, placenta, testes, and adrenal cortex. They can also be isolated from
plants or produced synthetically. Besides stimulation of secondary sexual
characteristics, they exert systemic effects, such as growth and maturation of
long bones. Estrogens are used therapeutically in any disorder attributable to
estrogen deficiency, to prevent or stop lactation, to suppress ovulation, and
to ameliorate carcinoma of the breast and of the prostate. Estrone and
estradiol, both estrogens, induce the growth of female genital organs and
stimulate the changes characteristic of the estrus cycle.
ESTRUS is that stage of the sexual
cycle in female animals characterized by the willingness to copulate. Estrus is
stimulated by estrogens and is suppressed by progesterones.
EXOCRINE refers to secretion that is
external, either to mucous membranes or the skin. It is the opposite of
EXPECTORANT - an agent which
stimulates the outflow of mucus from the lungs and bronchials.