cathartic

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cathartic

 [kah-thahr´tik]
1. causing emptying of the bowels.
2. an agent that so acts; called also evacuant and purgative.
3. producing emotional catharsis.
bulk cathartic one stimulating bowel evacuation by increasing fecal volume.
lubricant cathartic one that acts by softening the feces and reducing friction between them and the intestinal wall.
saline cathartic one that increases fluidity of intestinal contents by retention of water by osmotic forces, and indirectly increases motor activity.
stimulant cathartic one that directly increases motor activity of the intestinal tract.

ca·thar·tic

(kă-thar'tik),
1. Relating to catharsis.
2. An agent having purgative action.

cathartic

/ca·thar·tic/ (-tik)
1. causing emptying of the bowels.
2. an agent that empties the bowels.
3. producing emotional catharsis.

bulk cathartic  one stimulating bowel evacuation by increasing fecal volume.
lubricant cathartic  one that acts by softening the feces and reducing friction between them and the intestinal wall.
saline cathartic  one that increases fluidity of intestinal contents by retention of water by osmotic forces and indirectly increases motor activity.
stimulant cathartic  one that directly increases motor activity of the intestinal tract.

cathartic

(kə-thär′tĭk)
adj.
Inducing catharsis; purgative.
n.
An agent for purging the bowels, especially a laxative.

cathartic

[kəthär′tik]
Etymology: Gk, katharsis, cleansing
1 adj, pertaining to a substance that causes evacuation of the bowel.
2 n, an agent that promotes bowel evacuation by stimulating peristalsis, increasing the fluidity or bulk of intestinal contents, softening the feces, or lubricating the intestinal wall. The term cathartic implies a fluid evacuation, in contrast to laxative, which implies the elimination of a soft, formed stool. Cathartics that increase peristalsis, usually by irritating intestinal mucosa, include certain plant substances, such as aloe, colocynth, croton oil, podophyllum senna, phenolphthalein, bisacodyl, and dehydrocholic acid. Saline cathartics, such as sodium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium hydroxide, dilute the intestinal contents by retaining water through osmotic forces. Suppositories containing sodium biphosphate, sodium acid pyrophosphate, and sodium bicarbonate induce defecation when the salts react to form carbon dioxide and the expanding gas stimulates peristalsis. Also called coprogogue [kop′rəgōg] . catharsis, n.

cathartic

Herbal medicine
adjective Referring to an evacuative therapeutic agent.
 
noun A herb that evokes intestinal evacuation.

Herbal cathartics
• Black root—Leptandra virginica.
• Butternut—Juglans cinerea.
• Castor oil plant—Ricinus communis.
• Jalapa—Ipomoea jalapa.
• Mayapple—Podophyllum peltatum.
• Mountain flax—Linum catharticum.
• Rhubarb—Rheum palmatum.
• Senna—Cassia acutifolia. 
 
Medspeak
adjective Having the effect of or referring to a laxative.
 
noun A laxative.

Psychiatry
adjective Referring to or having the effect of catharsis.

cathartic

adjective Referring to
1. Catharsis, see there.
2. An evacuative therapeutic agent Mainstream medicine noun A purgative, laxative.

ca·thar·tic

(kă-thahr'tik)
1. Relating to catharsis.
2. An agent having purgative action (i.e., of the bowel).

cathartic,

n a substance that expels material from or cleanses the gastrointestinal tract.

cathartic

1. causing bowel evacuation, usually of liquid feces; an agent that so acts.
2. producing catharsis.

bulk cathartic
one stimulating bowel evacuation by increasing fecal volume.
irritant cathartic
contact irritants that directly or indirectly cause diarrhea. May cause superpurgation in susceptible animals, especially horses. Drastic purgatives such as croton oil are no longer used. Castor oil, danthron, senna and cascara are still used, but much less than more bland agents such as mineral oil.
lubricant cathartic
one that acts by softening the feces and reducing friction between them and the intestinal wall.
osmotic cathartic
agents which retain water into the intestinal lumen, thereby producing liquid feces; includes saline cathartics (below).
saline cathartic
one that increases fluidity of intestinal contents by retention of water by osmotic forces, and indirectly increases motor activity.
stimulant cathartic
one that directly increases motor activity of the intestinal tract.