Under the Weather:
I've Got ... A Fever
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I remember if you had fever, if your temperature was up and you were hot, the important thing was to give a laxative. With children it was called senna tea. I had to take it. Dreadful stuff. If you were older it was Epsom salts or castor oil.
- Sister Bruce, b. 1902
Many a patient suffering from a range of ailments from gastro-intestinal upsets to colds, faced not only a tonic, but also a laxative. Senna pods or leaves were used by many people, young and old, but it was the oil extracted from the seeds of one of the most handsome of plants that was the worst of horrors to many children: castor oil.
Other popular over-the-counter laxatives commonly contained aloes, cascara, and rhubarb.
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