Active Ingredients. - Prunes contain a large amount of water, with about 20 per cent. of solid matter. The latter consists of malic acid, gum, sugar, pectin, lignin, and other unimportant substances, with a purgative principle, the exact nature of which has not yet been accurately determined.

Physiological Action. - Prunes, like most other kinds of plum, are gently laxative, but if eaten in excess, they are apt to occasion flatulence, griping, and diarrhoea.

Therapeutic Action. - Employed as an article of diet by persons of costive habit, prunes often induce beneficial effects. Hence, too, they constitute an ingredient of the Confectio Sennae of the Pharmacopoeia. They are also considered useful during convalescence after febrile and other disorders.

Preparations And Dose. - Confectio Sennae, 3i. - ij. (4.- 8.); A favorite laxative with many ladies is made by stewing an ounce each of prunes and senna with a pint of water. The requisite dose is adjusted by trial.