Definition of Laxative:

A substance (food, herb, chemical) that stimulates evacuation of the bowels.  Examples include cascara sagrada, senna, castor oil, prunes, aloe vera, bisacodyl, phenolphthalein and many others.

Also: Laxatives

Topics Related to Laxative

Alfalfa a treatment
“...Its documented properties also include: General tonic, laxative, febrifuge, hepatoprotective (liver protecting), nutritive, anodyne, anti-arthritic...”

Aloe Vera a treatment
“...The bitter yellow juice (different from the gel) of the leaves can also be used to make aloes, used as a laxative.  More often, the related species Aloe ferox (The Cape Aloe) is used for this purpose.”
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More topics Related to Laxative

Anorexia / Starvation Tendency

...the condition
“...Binge/purge anorexia involves self-induced vomiting, laxative abuse, or excessive exercise after eating...”

Aspartame (Nutrasweet) Avoidance a treatment
“...Products containing Aspartame include instant breakfasts, breath mints, cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, cocoa mixes, coffee beverages, desserts, candies, juice beverages, laxatives, multivitamins, milk drinks, pharmaceuticals, medicines and supplements, shake mixes, soft drinks, tabletop sweeteners, tea beverages, instant teas and coffees, topping mixes, wine coolers...”

Banana a treatment
“...Constipation: High in fiber, bananas can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome constipation without using laxatives.  Depression: According to a survey carried out by the British mental health organization MIND, many people suffering from depression felt much better after eating a banana...”

Buckthorn a treatment
“...These compounds act very similar to their related compounds in Cascara Sagrada, as laxatives.  Buckthorn bark has very mild laxative activity compared to other similar natural laxatives...”

Bulk Laxative

...related topic
“...Bulk-forming laxatives provide the closest approximation to the natural process of increasing fecal volume, and are normally the first line recommendation for functional constipation...”

Cascara Sagrada a treatment
“...It is sold by itself or in combination with other ingredients in laxative, cleansing, and detoxification products...”

Castor Oil a treatment
“...It can also be taken internally, but is a strong laxative and is used to treat constipation...”

Cleavers a treatment
“...It has a mild laxative effect, stimulates the lymphatic system, and has shown benefit in skin related problems...”

Coffee a treatment
“...Constipation: The increased stomach acid resulting from a daily cup of coffee has a laxative effect on the bowels and can help maintain regular bowel movements...”

Cold Or Flu

...recommendation Colon Cleansing
“...This is one reason why almost all doctors in the preantibiotic era recommended enemas, or at the least laxatives, for colds...”

Colon Cleansing a treatment
“...The orthodox medical establishment perceives colon hydrotherapy to be little more than a bowel rinse, or expensive laxative.  The procedure uses medically-approved colon hydrotherapy devices with sanitary, disposable speculums, or gravity-fed enema-like systems inserted into the rectum...”


...the condition
“...The use of laxatives should be avoided unless the problem cannot be dealt with otherwise...”
...recommendation Cascara Sagrada
“Parke-Davis recognized its use as an herbal laxative, and marketed it as such as early as 1877...”
...recommendation Magnesium
“When given orally in sufficient quantities, magnesium citrate or sulfate (Epsom salts) is not fully absorbed but attracts water into the colon and thus acts as an effective laxative.”
...recommendation Bladderwrack
“Bladderwrack has historically been used as a bulk-forming laxative.”


...the condition
“...Surreptitious laxative abuse continues to be an important and underappreciated cause of chronic diarrhea...”

Edema (Water Retention)

...the condition
“...Sometimes the syndrome can occur in women with eating disorders who are taking diuretics or even laxatives in order to lose weight...”
...relationship to Anorexia / Starvation Tendency
“...People with eating disorders may interpret the puffiness of edema or any changes on the scale as weight gain or getting "fat" and may panic and purge or take laxatives even more.”

Fecal Impaction

...the condition
“...It is often seen in those with chronic constipation who have been using laxatives; impaction becomes more likely when laxative use is stopped...”

Fecal Lubricant

...related topic
“An example of such a laxative is liquid paraffin, which is indigestible and absorbed only to a small extent...”

Fig (Powder) a treatment
“...They are listed in the British Pharmacopoeia for their use in laxative preparations...”

Flax Seed, Flaxseed Oil, Linseed Oil a treatment
“...Fresh, ground flaxseeds are used often as a bulking laxative, and as a soothing agent for the gastrointestinal tract...”

Fo-Ti / Heshouwu a treatment
“...using fo-ti have focused on the following areas: Antiaging effects, immunologic effects, hypolipidemic and antiatherosclerotic effects, liver protectant effects, resistance to colds, antimicrobial, laxative and others...”
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More topics Related to Laxative

Hibiscus a treatment
“...Other activities attributed to hibiscus are uterine and intestinal antispasmodic, bactericidal, appetite suppressant, diuretic and mild laxative.  Most of these claims come from various traditional sources are have not been tested rigorously...”

IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)

...recommendation Calcium
“...It is important to note that there are two types of supplemental calcium, which for IBS can have either a laxative or constipating effect: Calcium carbonate contains no magnesium and can help with diarrhea in those with IBS-D; Calcium citrate contains magnesium and can therefore cause diarrhea, so it is...”
...recommendation High/Increased Fiber Diet
“...The synthetic polymers methylcellulose and polycarbophil have been found to be the most effective fibers or bulk-forming laxatives for use in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)...”

Laxative/Enema Overuse

...the condition
“It is possible to become too dependent upon laxatives in order to achieve bowel movements; the bowels relax with repeated use of laxatives and constipation worsens...”
...relationship to Potassium Need
“Potassium loss can occur in cases of laxative or enema overuse.”
...recommendation Increased Fruit/Vegetable Consumption
“Many people who are dependent on laxatives feel that they must keep on using them because otherwise they become very constipated...”

Magnesium a treatment
“...Used primarily as an antacid, buffering, or laxative additive rather than a source of magnesium...”

Magnesium Requirement

...the condition
“...What is the health risk of too much magnesium?  Dietary magnesium does not pose a health risk, however very high doses of magnesium supplements, which may be added to laxatives, can promote adverse effects such as diarrhea...”

Magnesium Toxicity

...the condition
“Dietary magnesium very rarely poses a health risk, but very high doses of magnesium supplements, which may be added to laxatives for example, can promote adverse effects such as diarrhea...”
...our question about Magnesium-based antacid use
“Magnesium toxicity can come as a result of taking magnesium-containing laxatives and antacids.”

Master Cleanse a treatment
“...Each evening before bed, drink 1 cupful of herbal laxative tea.  Each morning either repeat the laxative tea, or alternate morning routine with 1 quart lukewarm clean water with 1 tsp...”

Oregon Grape Root a treatment
“...Oregon grape rhizome and roots have the following properties: alterative, antibiotic, antiseptic, astringent, bitter taste, cholagogue, cooling, diuretic, emetic, laxative, thyroid stimulant...”

Osmotic Laxative

...related topic
“Osmotic laxatives exert a laxative effect by drawing water into the colon and retaining fluid in the bowel or by changing the pattern of water distribution in the feces...”

Parsley a treatment
“...Other traditional uses include the treatment of diseases of the prostate, liver, and spleen, anemia, and arthritis; as an expectorant, antimicrobial, aphrodisiac, hypotensive, laxative; and as a scalp lotion to stimulate hair growth...”

Potassium Need

...the condition
“...Potassium loss is increased by excessive fluid loss from sweating, urination (diuretics), diarrhea (laxatives) or the use of aspirin and some other drugs...”

Psyllium a treatment
“Psyllium seed is used mainly for its laxative properties...”


...related topic
“...Although tumors can cause the problem, far and away the most common causes are a lower back subluxation (responding to adjustment) or pelvic congestion and edema (responding to laxatives, exercise, and decreasing portal vein and lymphatic congestion).”

Senna a treatment
“Considered one of the herbal laxatives, senna (Cassia senna or Cassia angustifolia), is a common ingredient in teas as well as capsule and tablet preparations...”

Stillingia a treatment
“...In larger doses, stillingia can act as an emetic (induce vomiting) and laxative.  Stillingia Root is considered especially effective for the lymphatic system...”

Susceptibility To Miscarriages

...recommendation against Senna
“Anthraquinone laxatives such as aloe, buckthorn, cascara sagrada, docks, meadow saffron and senna stimulate smooth muscles, including the uterus, possibly causing miscarriage.”

Thuja a treatment
“...Herbalists prescribe thuja for the following ... (The seeds) As an aperient – a mild laxative...”

Vinegar a treatment
“...prolonged consumption of apple cider vinegar could lead to lower potassium levels, which could increase the risk of toxicity of cardiac glycoside drugs such as Lanoxin (digoxin), insulin, laxatives and diuretics such as Lasix (furosemide)...”

Vitamin A Requirement

...the condition
“...It also tends to occur in patients with problems absorbing nutrients from the intestine, or in those who abuse mineral laxatives.  The most common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency are night blindness and xerophthalmia (drying and inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye)...”
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