- A term applied in naturopathic, Eclectic, and Thomsonian medicine to those plants or procedures that stimulate changes of a defensive or healing nature in metabolism or tissue function when there is chronic or acute diseases. The whole concept of alteratives is based on the premise that in a normally healthy person, disease symptoms are the external signs of activated internal defenses and, as such, should be stimulated and not suppressed. Sambucus (Elder), as an example, acts as an alterative when it is used to stimulate sweating in a fevered state. Without a fever or physical exertion, Sambucus tea will increase intestinal, lung, and kidney secretions.With fever or exercise, the buildup of heat from combustion, and the dilation of peripheral blood supply, it takes the defense response to the next stage of breaking a sweat. You might have sweated eventually anyway, but you may be one of those people who doesn't perspire easily, and a diaphoretic such as Sambucus will act as an alterative for you by stimulating the next stage of defenses sooner than you would have on your own. The term alterative is sometimes inaccurately used as a synonym for "blood purifier," particularly by nature- cure neo-Thomsonians such as Jethro Kloss and John Christopher. "Blood purifier" is a term better applied to the liver, spleen, and kidneys, not to some dried plant.
Herbal-medical glossary. 2015.
Look at other dictionaries:
Alterative — Al ter*a*tive, a. [L. alterativus: cf. F. alt[ e]ratif.] Causing ateration. Specifically: Gradually changing, or tending to change, a morbid state of the functions into one of health. Burton. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Alterative — Al ter*a*tive, n. A medicine or treatment which gradually induces a change, and restores healthy functions without sensible evacuations. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
alterative — index ambulatory, corrigible, remedial Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 … Law dictionary
alterative — [ôl′tər āt΄iv, ôl′tər ə tiv] adj. [ME & OFr alteratif < ML alterativus: see ALTER] causing or tending to cause alteration … English World dictionary
alterative — /awl teuh ray tiv, teuhr euh tiv/, adj. 1. tending to alter. 2. Med. Obs. gradually restoring healthy bodily functions. n. 3. Med. Obs. an alterative remedy. [1350 1400; ME < ML alterativus. See ALTER, ATIVE] * * * … Universalium
alterative — al·ter·ative ȯl tə .rāt iv, rət n a drug used empirically to alter favorably the course of an ailment alterative adj causing alteration … Medical dictionary
alterative — adj. & n. adj. 1 tending to alter. 2 (of a medicine) that alters bodily processes. n. an alterative medicine or treatment. Etymology: ME f. med.L alterativus (as ALTER) … Useful english dictionary
alterative — 1. adjective /ˈɒl.tə(ɹ).ə.tɪv,ˈɔl.tɚˌaɪ.tɪv,ˈɔl.tɚ.ə.tɪv/ Causing alteration. Specifically: Gradually changing, or tending to change, a morbid state of the functions into one of health. Burton. 2. noun /ˈɒl.tə(ɹ).ə.tɪv,ˈɔl.tɚˌaɪ.tɪv,ˈɔl.tɚ.ə.tɪv/ … Wiktionary
Alterative — A substance used empirically to alter the course of a disease favourably. Calotropis, Centella, Erechtites, Guaiacum, Lepidium, Musa, Phytolacca, Portulaca, Rumex, Solanum, Thespesia, Tragia … EthnoBotanical Dictionary
alterative — adj. tending to alter, tending to change … English contemporary dictionary