This section is from the book "Smith's Family Physician", by William Henry Smith. See also: Natural Physician's Healing Therapies: Proven Remedies that Medical Doctors Don't Know.
Persons engaged in sedentary occupations are peculiarly liable to this complaint. Costiveness is frequently occasioned by neglecting the usual time of going to stool, by an extraordinary heat of the body and copious sweats, by receiving into the stomach a larger portion of solid food than is proper for the quantity of fluids swallowed, by a free use of Opium, and by taking food that is dry, heating and difficult of digestion. Drinking freely and frequently of Port Wine may likewise occasion costiveness.
With the confinement of the bowels there frequently exists nausea, want of appetite, flatulency, pains in the head, and a certain degree of feverishness. Persons of sedentary habits, and those subject to costiveness, should use plenty of vegetables and ripe fruits, and take a fair proportion of soft food. Oatmeal porridge for breakfast is to be recommended, and brown Bread is less confining than white.
Some people who suffer from habitual costiveness are very apt to take strong purgatives; this, however, only increases the mischief, as after the operation is over the bowels become more confined than before. It is far better to regulate the state of the bowels by attention to diet. The following pills may be taken every second night, diminishing the dose as the necessity for using them decreases:-
Compound Extract of Colocynth... Half a Dram.
Powdered Jalap..........................One Dram.
Castile Soap...............................One Dram.
Oil of Cloves..............................Ten drops. - Mix and divide into forty pills. Take two or three for a dose.
A teaspoonful of Milk of Sulphur in a wineglassful of milk, taken every morning before breakfast, will keep the bowels gently open; and usually, after taking it for a week or two, the dose may be diminished.