These are much stronger than laxatives, and act by means of a caustic inflammatory salt, which stimu-lates the nervous membranes of the intestines to discharge their contents; they should never be made use of when laxatives will serve, they hatve often produced most terrible and fatal effects; they are very pernicious to infants, to old persons, to such as have recovered from a disease, to those who have a weak stomach, to those who are subject to nervous disorders, and to persons of bilious constitutions; as also to those who are liable to hysteric and hypochondriac disorders.

They are often necessary in the dropsy, anasarca, when there is no schirrosity in the bowels and glands : in this let gamboge or elaterium be given in proper doses, or two or three ounces of the juice of common purple flower-de-luce-in a pint of milk, for dropsical persons, have a kind of dulness of the intestinal fibres, which requires such a stimulus: whenever these drastic purges are given, it will be best to mix them with cream of tartar, or vitriolated tartar, and a few grains of the calx of antimony; or extract of black hellebore, scammony, rosin of jalap, or coloquintida should be corrected with cinnabar, saffron, salt of ambar, myrrh, or some aromatic oil.