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A Healer's Glossary

DISCLAIMER - This is really only for personal use as a reference during role-play. It is NOT intended to be used to diagnose, prevent, treat, or cure any real medical condition. Any risk or liability is your own.

U | V | W | X | Y | Z
A-F | G-Q | R-T


Ulcer - Descriptive of an erosion, or open sore; any area of skin or mucous membrane that is lacking its normal protective cover and, usually, is inflamed.
Ulcers may occur as bedsores on the lower back caused by extended confinement to bed, as sores of the feet or legs associated with varicose veins, in the digestive tract such as a peptic ulcer, etc.

Unguent - A salve or ointment.

Urinary bladder - The organ or sac that recieves, holds, and discharges urine.

Urology - The branch of medicine that deals with the study, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases and disorders of the urogenital tract, or the urinary tract and reproductive system. No Weyr should be without a urologist.

Varicose veins - A condition characterized by swollen, knotted blood vessels, usually in the legs.
Blood returning to the heart from the legs is pushed against gravity; therefore, the veins in the legs have special valves to keep the blood from running backward. If a vein is weakened from obesity, lack of exercise, long stretches of sitting or standing, etc., it stretches and the valves are not allowed to close properly. Blood then leaks backward and gathers in pools that further weaken the vein.
Varicose veins may be temporary, as in the case of pregnancy when they are caused by the strain of carrying the additional weight, or when long periods of sitting or standing are not part of the normal lifestyle. In such cases, resumption of normal activity and exercise may help them to return to normal.

Vasculitis - An inflammation of a blood vessel.

Vein - Any of the numerous vessels that carry blood back to the heart.

Ventral - Along (or toward) the belly surface of the body. Compare anterior.

Vermifuge - Expels or destroys worms.

Vertebrae - The bones or segments that make up the spinal column and through which the spinal cord passes. Vertebrae is plural; vertebra is singular.

Vertigo - A disorder in which dizziness is accompanied by a sensation of moving and the feeling that one's surroundings are moving as well.

Virulent - Descriptive of that which can overcome the body's defenses and cause infection; often powerful and rapid in its advance; malignant.

Virus - 1) Any of a kingdom of prokaryotes, usually ultramicroscopic, that consist of nucleic acid, either RNA or DNA, within a case of protien: they infect animals, plants, and bacteria and reproduce only within living cells: viruses are considered as being either living organisms or inert chemicals. 2) A disease caused by a virus.

Vitamin - Any of a number of organic substances that are essential for the normal growth and functioning of the body.
Most vitamins are derived from various food sources and some are synthesized in the body.

Vitiligo - A condition in which there is an absence of natural pigment in sections of the skin or hair that appear as whitish or light patches.

Volatile - Easily passing off by evaporation. Readily vaporizing at a relatively low temperature.

Vomit - To expel the contents of the stomach forcibly through the mouth.

Wart - A small, dry growth on the skin.
A wart is not malignant or, in most cases, harmful in any other way. The condition is caused by a virus that causes enlargement of the cells of the skin.

Wean - To teach a baby to consume foods other than mother's milk.

Wheeze - Difficulty in breathing that is accompanied by a whistling sound.

Zoonosis - Any disease in animals that can be tramsmitted to humans (Moreta's plague).

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Sources for this glossary were:

Anderson, Kenneth; Anderson, Lois E.; Glanze, Walter D. Mosby's Medical, Nursing, & Allied Health Dictionary, fourth edition. USA: Rand McNally, 1994.

Bremness, Lesley. Herbs. Great Britain: Dorling Kindersley Ltd., 1994.

Lucas, Richard Melvin Miracle Medicine Herbs. West Nyack, New York: Parker Publishing Company, Inc., 1991: xiii-xvi.

McCaffrey, Anne. The White Dragon. New York: Ballantine Books, 1978: 232, 240-268, 292.

Nye, Jodie Lyn (with Anne McCaffrey). The Dragonlover's Guide to Pern, second edition. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997.

Radcliffe, J. The New International Webster's Pocket Medical & First Aid Dictionary of the English Language. USA: Trident Press International, 1997.

Webster dictionaries, various.

Wolfe, Frankie Avalon. The Complete Idiot's Guide to Herbal Remedies. USA: Alpha Books, 1999-2001.