Whether you’re talking about a therapeutic drug or a therapeutic exercise plan, something that is therapeutic helps to heal or to restore health.

The adjective therapeutic can be traced all the way back to the Greek word therapeutikos (from therapeuein, meaning “to attend” or “to treat”). Although the word relates to healing or soothing, therapeutic isn’t reserved only for drugs or medical treatments. You’ve probably heard particular activities referred to as therapeutic, which just means that doing that activity makes you feel rejuvenated. You might consider shopping for shoes, for example, to be a therapeutic activity — at least until the credit card bill arrives.

Definitions of therapeutic

adj tending to cure or restore to health

“a therapeutic agent”
therapeutic diets”
alterative, curative, healing, remedial, sanative
conducive to good health of body or mind

adj relating to or involved in therapy

therapeutic approach to criminality”

n a medicine or therapy that cures disease or relieve pain

curative, cure, remedy
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a remedy for hearing loss or deafness
antidote, counterpoison
a remedy that stops or controls the effects of a poison
emetic, nauseant, vomit, vomitive
a medicine that induces nausea and vomiting
remedy that eases pain and discomfort
application, lotion
liquid preparation having a soothing or antiseptic or medicinal action when applied to the skin
magic bullet
a remedy (drug or therapy or preventive) that cures or prevents a disease
balm, ointment, salve, unction, unguent
semisolid preparation (usually containing a medicine) applied externally as a remedy or for soothing an irritation
alleviant, alleviator, palliative
remedy that alleviates pain without curing
catholicon, cure-all, nostrum, panacea
hypothetical remedy for all ills or diseases; once sought by the alchemists
preventative, preventive, prophylactic
remedy that prevents or slows the course of an illness or disease
an ointment used in treating bruises
a poisonous crystalline alkaloid extracted from the nightshade family; used as an antispasmodic and to dilate the eye pupil; also administered in large amounts as an antidote for organophosphate nerve agents or organophosphate insecticides
baby oil
an ointment for babies
an ointment containing a fragrant resin
black lotion, blackwash
a mixture of calomel and limewater that is used on syphilitic sores
calamine lotion
a lotion consisting of a liquid preparation containing calamine; used to treat itching or mild skin irritations
carron oil
an ointment formerly used to treat burns
a hard medicated paste made of lard or oil mixed with wax or resin
chrism, chrisom, holy oil, sacramental oil
a consecrated ointment consisting of a mixture of oil and balsam
collyrium, eye-lotion, eyewash
lotion consisting of a solution used as a cleanser for the eyes
a medicinal drug used to evoke vomiting (especially in cases of drug overdose or poisoning)
embrocation, liniment
a medicinal liquid that is rubbed into the skin to relieve muscular stiffness and pain
lip balm
a balm applied to the lips
a lotion containing menthol which gives it the smell of mint
mentholated salve
a salve containing menthol
mercurial ointment
an ointment containing mercury
dry mustard, powdered mustard
a substance such that one to three tablespoons dissolved in a glass of warm water is a homemade emetic
rubbing alcohol
lotion consisting of a poisonous solution of isopropyl alcohol or denatured ethanol alcohol for external use
witch hazel, wych hazel
lotion consisting of an astringent alcoholic solution containing an extract from the witch hazel plant
zinc ointment
an ointment containing zinc that is used to treat certain skin diseases
a substance believed to cure all ills
obidoxime chloride
a chloride used as an antidote for nerve gases such as sarin or VX
Type of:
medicament, medication, medicinal drug, medicine
(medicine) something that treats or prevents or alleviates the symptoms of disease

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