a substance which promotes bowel movements. Laxatives are divided into those that work by providing bulk, those that stimulate the production of bile in the liver and its release from the gallbladder, and those which directly trigger peristalsis.
Something that loosens the bowels. Used to combat constipation (and sometimes overused, producing diarrhea). The word "laxative" comes from the Latin "laxare" meaning "to open, widen, extend, release."
A laxative is a preparation used for encouraging defecation, or the expulsion of feces. Laxatives are most often taken to treat constipation. Certain stimulant, lubricant, and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations.