Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cathartics, remedies employed to produce increased glandular secretion into the intestine with augmented peristaltic action. They set up an artificial catarrh (q.v.) of the intestinal mucous membrane, and, as the derivation of the word cathartic implies (from kathairo, I cleanse), are administered with a view to removing deleterious substances from the alimentary canal. Hydragogue cathartics are those which produce very watery evacuations.