A salt may be defined as a substance resulting from the chemic union of an acid with a base. For the present purpose we shall exclude from this classification salts of alkaloids and of other organic bases, and confine our definition to the popular conception of salts, or purgative salts.The purgative salts, in contrast to the antiquity of many of the vegetable cathartics, are of but comparatively modern use, many of the inorganic salts being introduced into Europe by the Moors, but not coming into general use until after the time of Paracelsus.Most of the purgative salts have a disagreeable, bitter taste, but when taken in an effervescing draught this bitterness is masked, and the effervescent salts have therefore come into great popularity. The widespread use of nostrums of this type, instead of the official effervescent salts prepared by the pharmacist, illustrates an unfortunate condition which
THE PHARMACOPEIA AND THE PHYSICIAN.SALINE CATHARTICS. JAMA. 1906;XLVI(7):505–507. doi:10.1001/jama.1906.62510340031003
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