During recent years certain adsorbents, notably kaolin and fullers' earth, have come into use in the treatment of diarrhea. Kaolin (bolus alba) has been favorably recommended by the Austrian medical officers, who used it extensively in checking the diarrhea of cholera when that disease was prevalent early in the war.
Hess,1 working with the diarrheal conditions of infants, advocates the use of fullers' earth rather than kaolin; the latter he found of no value. Fullers' earth checked the diarrhea, indeed caused constipation when continued for any length of time; it diminished the vomiting and seemed without harmful effects of any kind.
It is recognized that any therapeutic action of these substances will result from the physical property of adsorption, and Fantus2 has suggested that they be standardized for use on such a basis. Fantus has studied particularly the value of fullers' earth as an adsorbent of various alkaloids,
PETERSEN WF. A NOTE ON THE INTESTINAL ACTION OF ADSORPTIVE AGENTS. JAMA. 1917;LXVIII(17):1234. doi:10.1001/jama.1917.04270040222006