This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol2", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
Most of our ordinary edible fruits are laxative, as the peach, apple, pear, strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, etc.; and, during the season when they prevail, persons at other times habitually costive, if permitted by the state of their digestive organs to indulge in them, are apt to be relieved of their complaint. The same is the case, and in a special degree, with the tomato. The imported orange and banana have the same quality. Even when dried or submitted to cooking processes, the fruits generally retain the same character. Several of the imported dried or preserved fruits are peculiarly laxative, and much employed for obviating costiveness. Among the most effectual is the fig; but tamarinds, prunes, raisins, dates, etc. have more or less of the same quality. All these substances are habitually prescribed as ingredients of a laxative diet; and, in relation to some of them, their pulp is used in officinal preparations, particularly in that excellent laxative compound, the confection of senna. (See Senna.) Unfortunately, in certain cases in which these fruits might be most useful as laxatives, in dyspeptic conditions, namely, of the stomach, it often happens that they cannot be used, in consequence of their difficulty of digestion, and their liability to occasion acidity of stomach, abdominal uneasiness, flatulence, etc.