The salts of the Glauber salt group are characterized by the difficulty with wich their solutions are absorbed from the gastro-intestinal tract. The most important members of the group are the sulphates of sodium and magnesium.Both Glauber salt and Epson salt are easily soluble in water. When these salts are taken into the system in dilute form their solutions pass through both the small and large initestines practically unchanged, because the tendency to absorption is so slight that under these conditions the solutions are virtually non-absorbable and because the salts prevent the absorption of any water which was used to dissolve them. Such solutions passing unchanged through the entire bowel produce their effect in part by simply washing out its contents and partly by their local irritant action on the intestinal wall.
BOOS WF. MAGNESIUMG POISONING: A STUDY OF TEN CASES. JAMA. 1910;55(24):2037–2042. doi:10.1001/jama.1910.04330240015005
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