Aperient-What is it?
An aperient: The word means "to open" or to "evacuate". It is another word for laxative. Or in this case, a mild laxative. It was a word used mostly in the 1800's. When a customer asked me what it was, I had forgotten the meaning. That made for a good topic today.
According to Dr. John R. Christopher, in his book The School of Natural Healing, "Aperients or laxatives excite moderate peristalsis, and produce normal stool formation without griping or irritation. Many fruits are aperient, and the drinking of large quantities of water is also laxative. This category of evacuant agent is the one generally used for infants and very weak people. Aperients are mild and slow, and these generally should be administered at night before retiring to bed. Some of these agents, such as olive oil, have an affinity for the small intestines, while others, such as agar and cascara sagrada, act specifically on the large intestines, and some, such as licorice, act upon the entire intestinal tract."
There are many herbs that can be used as mild evacuants or laxatives to the bowels. The ones I am most familiar with are Senna, Barberry, Bloodroot, Blue cohosh, Buckthorn bark, Burdock, Cascara sagrada, Dandelion, Fennel, Licorice, Oregon grape, Turkey rhubarb, Wood betony, and quite a bit more.
Foods that are aperients are Almonds, Apples (stewed), Apricots, Asparagus, Coconut Milk, Figs, Flaxseed, Oats, Parsley, Peaches, Prunes, Raspberries, Spinach, Strawberries, and Watermelon. There are more, but these are the most prominent.