Vasodilator

Merriam-Webster's Medical Dictionary Stedmans Medical Dictionary for the Health Professions and Nursing

The word vasodilator refers to therapeutic agents - including natural substances such as herbs, oils, or essences, or conventional pharmaceutical drugs, that dilate, that is - increase the diameter of - blood vessels.

Increasing the diameter of blood vessels leads to an increase in blood flow around the body, hence vasodilators are sometimes used to reduce the blood pressure of patients who have hypertension (high blood pressure - see lifestyle factors and hypertension).

Related terms:

  • A therapeutic agent that increases blood pressure is called a hypertensive.
  • A therapeutic agent that reduces (lowers) blood pressure is called a hypotensive.

Related information:

The definitions in this section are of words used to refer to the actions (effects) of both pharmaceutical drugs and natural remedies. For information about specific oils, herbs, and remedies that might have properties including some of the actions mentioned in this section, see other parts of this website. For example, the pages about Aromatherapy Essential Oils, Bach Flower Remedies, Herbalism, Homeopathic Remedies, Homeopathy and Massage Carrier Oils.

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