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L

lactation
production of milk; period after giving birth during which milk is secreted in the breasts

laevi-
in botany, smooth

lamina
in botany, blade

lanci-
in botany, spear-shaped

lani-
in botany, woolly

latex
milky emulsion or suspension formed by some seed plants; contains suspended particles of natural rubber or related compounds

lati-
in botany, broad

laxative
mild cathartic; agent having the property of loosening the bowels

leaf
a photosynthetic and transpiring organ, usually developed from leaf primordium in the bud; an expanded, usually green, organ borne on the stem of a plant

lepido-
in botany, scaly

lepto-
in botany, slender

leuco-, leuko-
in botany, white

leukopenia
low white blood cell count

leukoplakia
thickened, white patch on mucous membrane of the mouth, in some cases precancerous

leukorrhea
discharge from the vagina of a white or yellowish viscous fluid with pus and mucus cells

leukosis
abnormal proliferation of any of the tissues that produce white blood cells

lignum
in botany, wood

ligulate flowers
strap-shaped, as in the case of the flattened corolla in the ray florets of composites

limbic system
brain structures, including hippocampus, dentate gyrus, and amygdala

liniment
ointment

lipid
fat-soluble substances derived from animal or vegetable cells by nonpolar solvents (e.g. ether); the term can include the following types of materials: fatty acids, glycerides, phospholipids, alcohols and waxes

lipid peroxidation
the introduction of a great number of oxygen molecules into unsaturated fatty acids

lipid-lowering
reducing levels of serum lipids in the circulation, usually refers to serum cholesterol

lipolytic
breaking down fat

lipophilic
agent that dissolves fats, e.g., alcohol

loop diuretic
fast-acting, highly effective agents increasing excretion of urine by acting on the loop of Henle in the kidney

lumbago
pain in the mid- and lower back

lumen
space in the interior of a tubular structure

luteinizing hormone
anterior pituitary hormone stimulating estrogen production by the ovary; promoting formation of progesterone by the corpus luteum in women and stimulating testosterone release in men

luteus
in botany, deep yellow