laxative

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Related to purgation: disillusion, purgation therapy

laxative,

drug or other substance used to stimulate the action of the intestines in eliminating waste from the body. The term laxative usually refers to a mild-acting substance; substances of increasingly drastic action are known as cathartics, purgatives, hydrogogues, and drastics, respectively. Laxatives or cathartics fall into three general categories: irritants that stimulate the muscular action of the intestines (cascara, phenolphthalein, senna); compounds that increase the amount of bulk in the intestines either by withdrawing water from the body (salines such as Epsom salts, citrate of magnesia) or by increasing the bulk when combined with fluids (agar-agar, bran, the various cellulose substances); and lubricants such as mineral oil, which ease the passage of waste and counteract excessive drying of the intestinal contents. Frequent or regular use of cathartics may seriously disrupt the natural digestive processes. When food and even waste products are forced out of the intestinal tract too rapidly, the body is deprived of vital substances, including the nutrients absorbed in the small intestine and the water, vitamins, and minerals extracted from the waste matter in the large intestine. Vitamins A and D, which are soluble in oil, are removed from the body even when the least irritating laxative, mineral oil, is taken. In addition to disrupting digestive and nutritional processes, laxatives reinforce the condition they are intended to overcome. When the intestines are purged, it may be several days before they can fill again with sufficient waste to induce natural elimination. The harm can be perpetuated by frequent use aimed at forcing daily elimination. The response to laxatives is soon lessened, so that larger and more frequent doses may become necessary. Laxatives should be avoided especially when there is abdominal pain. An inflamed appendix may rupture after the use of a laxative. See constipationconstipation,
infrequent or difficult passage of feces. Constipation may be caused by the lack of adequate roughage or fluid in the diet, prolonged physical inactivity, certain drugs, or emotional disturbance.
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laxative

[′lak·səd·iv]
(pharmacology)
An agent that stimulates bowel movement and relieves constipation.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

laxative

an agent stimulating evacuation of faeces
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
Jane's life struck me as one long and unrelenting purgation with few if any consolations.
What Goertz establishes successfully is that Muntzer's soteriology of purgation and regeneration was central to his career as a reformer from 1521 onward, and that he owed it to his distinctive appropriation of the medieval German mystical tradition.
Accordingly we allege that the subsequent sections of the poem, notwithstanding their being parts of the same dream or constituting different episodes, have been experienced on the same night, Ash-Wednesday's night precisely since in its recollection of mortality, binding together the individual with the rest of the fold, the penitent stands in preparation for purgation, a departure from the sins of the old life into the purity of the new, regarded as a process of death and rebirth.
(75.) "The history of modernism is the history of purgation, of generic cleansing, of ridding the art of whatever was inessential to it.
Sensations might be understood to end, that is, "in an act of intellection, judgment or control," "in persuasion to action," "in a state of heightened passion," "in purgation or cure," "in pleasure," "in poetic furor or sublimity" (210).
Lyons distinguishes between catharsis and purgation, further stipulating that pity and fear may be the means rather than the end of purgation, in his chapter "Passion in the Age of Reason" in Kingdom of Disorder (50).
To take just a few examples: the scrapping of the six grade of the Basic Education and its recent reinstatement, the sham purgation of syllabi, only by cutting textbooks short, irrespective of contents, and lately, the cancellation of the Basic Education Completion Certificate.
POURRAIENT quelquefois ces dessins servir de purgation.
The theology and piety of the later Middle Ages treated intercession for the dead, postmortem purgation and the place called Purgatory as inseparable elements of Christian death ritual.
Nurten Birlik's article, "Lying Down to Die: Breaking the mould" aims to explore Agaoglu's character Aysel's purgation process within the social context and milieu which she was raised in.
On the one hand, the hermitage was "a purpose-built factory for purging sin" and anchoresis a preliminary penance for the purgation of the soul likely to follow after death (121).
Accordingly, they put forth their best remedies -- restoration of putative bodily balance through purgation (enemas) or bloodletting, both of which, of course, were ineffectual and caused more suffering than relief.