A large number of drugs act upon the bowels; cathartics is a technical name for these. Only a few of them need to be considered in connection with our present plan.

Rhubarb is adapted to a greater variety of cases than any other medicine for the simple purpose of relieving constipation. Simple syrup of rhubarb is very good for this use with babies. Younger yet, however (under a year), sweet oil (olive oil) is mildest of all, unless it be manna or glycerine Fluid extract of senna, with one drop of oil of aniseed or oil of fennel in a teaspoonful of it, is also a good infantile laxative. Castor oil comes next, when a more active purge is wanted; or, when there is sourness of stomach, magnesia.

At any age, magnesia is the best antacid laxative. Castor oil is to be preferred when colic or irritation of the bowels is present. [Give it in twice as much spiced syrup of rhubarb, well mixed up.]

Saline purgatives are useful generally at an early time of attacks of sickness with fever. Take citrate of magnesium or Tarrant's Aperient. Seidlitz powders are of similar cooling effect; and the same is true of Rochelle salt and cream of tartar. Pullna and Hunyadi mineral waters please the taste of some.

At the beginning of acute attacks of disease with fever, the use of some purgative medicine, especially of the saline kind, is very serviceable and important. This is true, as a rule, of measles, scarlet fever, whooping-cough, small-pox, and varioloid; and, with more discrimination of cases and moderation in doses, also of diphtheria and typhus fever. Typhoid fever has diarrhoea as an early symptom generally. If, in it, the bowels are exceptionally costive, only a tea-spoonful of castor oil had better be ventured upon to relieve the bowels. In measles the bowels sometimes incline to be too free; but this should not prevent our making sure of their full movement during the first two or three days. When, after that, they become too loose, a weakening excess of purging may be checked by suitable means, such as will be presently mentioned.

For habitual costiveness, either chewing at bedtime a small piece of Turkey rhubarb root (as big as a pea), or taking at that time a rhubarb pill, will be the best thing to begin with. If that fails, take another piece, or another pill, also before breakfast.

Compound rhubarb pills are stronger; they will, with most people, purge rather actively. Compound cathartic pills, of the United States list, are too strong to use except when a very decided purgation is needed.

Often, when the mildest and least disturbing way of emptying the lower bowel is required, an enema (injection into the bowels) will be the best. For this, a simple and generally satisfactory mixture will be made by dissolving a thumb-sized piece of

Castile soap in warm (almost hot) water, and stirring into this a tablespoonful of molasses, a tablespoonful of table salt, and a tablespoonful of olive or lard oil, or a dessertspoonful of castor oil. There are different kinds of injecting arrangements. With the most convenient, a person can (unless ill) wait upon himself. If too sick for this, or if only the old-fashioned straight syringe can be had, its point should be greased with lard, and then, the patient lying (best on one side) on a bed, it can be very gently introduced into the opening to the bowel to the distance of an inch or so, and gradually the liquid may be forced through the syringe.

Suppositories are sometimes yet more convenient, and are least disturbing of all; but they are not so sure to take effect, and their action does not extend far upward. A suppository is a small soft mass, preprared for the purpose; rounded, about as large as the last joint of a woman's little finger. Common brown soap, cut into such a size and shape, and dipped in castor oil, or lard, may be so used. All that is to be done is to push it well into the anus (outlet of the bowel), and let it stay there.

After either a suppository or an enema has been introduced, the patient ought to try to retain it for some minutes, for effective operation.