One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A purgative drug obtained chiefly from the tuberous roots of a Mexican climbing plant.
This drug is obtained from Ipomoea purga, family Convolvulaceae
- ‘A paste of the roots mixed with milk works as a laxative but with violent cathartic effect compared to the purgative jalap Ipomoea purga from which the true and milder jalap is extracted.’
- ‘Rush's strategy with serious fevers was to purge with powerful doses of calomel and jalap, followed by bleeding until the patient fainted.’
- ‘Accordingly, the expedition's medical kit contains substances to induce vomiting (ipecac, white vitriol, tartar emetic) and to loosen the bowels (jalap, rhubarb, cream of tartar, Glauber's salts, calomel, magnesia, assafoetida).’
Mid 17th century: from French, from Spanish ( purga de) Jalapa (see Jalapa).
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