A carminative, also known as carminativum (plural carminativa), is a medicinal drug with antispasmodic activity that is used against cramps of the digestive tract in combination with flatulence. They are often mixtures of essential oils and herbal spices with a tradition in folk medicine for this use.

Often ingredients used for the same purpose are
* Anise seed
* Asafoetida
* Basil
* Calamus
* Caraway
* Cardamom
* Cinnamon
* Coriander
* Dill
* Epazote
* Fennel
* Ginger
* Lemon balm
* Liquorice
* Marjoram
* Muña
* Nutmeg
* Onion
* Oregano
* Peppermint
* Rosemary
* Saffron
* Spearmint
* Thyme
* Wormwood

Modern drugs used for the same purpose include simethicone which, rather than having antispasmodic activity, simply lowers the surface tension of gas bubbles. See anti-foaming agent.

Literary references

* The English author Aldous Huxley includes a long passage (chapter 20) about the word "carminative" in his novel Crome Yellow. The character Denis explains how unfortunate it is that some words don't mean what they ought to mean.

External links

* [ Herbal property dictionary] (also as pdf)
* [ Uses of essential oils]
* [ Downloadable Gutenberg etext of "Crome Yellow" - see chapter 20]
* [ Online text - Chapter 20 of "Crome Yellow"]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Carminative — Car*min ative, a. [NL. carminativus (1622), fr. carminare to card, hence to cleanse, fr. carmen a card for freeing wool or flax from the coarser parts, and from extraneous matter: cf. F. carminatif.] Expelling wind from the body; warming;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • carminative — [kär min′ə tiv, kär′mə nāt΄iv] adj. [ModL carminativus < L carminatus, pp. of carminare, cleanse < carrere, CARD2] causing gas to be expelled from the stomach and intestines n. a carminative medicine …   English World dictionary

  • Carminative — Car*min a*tive, n. A substance, esp. an aromatic, which tends to expel wind from the alimentary canal, or to relieve colic, griping, or flatulence. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • carminative — 1660s, from L. carminat (pp. stem of carminare to card, from carmen, gen. carminis, a card for wool or flax ) + IVE (Cf. ive). A medical term from the old theory of humours. The object of carminatives is to expel wind, but the theory was that… …   Etymology dictionary

  • carminative — 1. Preventing the formation or causing the expulsion of flatus. 2. An agent that relieves flatulence. [L. carmino, pp. atus, to card wool; special Mod. L. usage, to expel wind] * * * car·mi·na·tive kär min ət iv, kär mə .nāt adj expelling gas… …   Medical dictionary

  • carminative — adjective Etymology: French carminatif, from Latin carminatus, past participle of carminare to card, from *carmin , *carmen card, from carrere to card; akin to Lithuanian karšti to card Date: 15th century expelling gas from the stomach or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • carminative — 1. adjective Relieving discomfort of gas in the digestive tract. 2. noun A drug or substance that induces the removal of gas from the digestive tract. But Master Nathaniel was indifferent to these manifestations of unpopularity. Let mental… …   Wiktionary

  • carminative — ● carminatif, carminative adjectif (latin médiéval carminativus, de carminare, purifier en éliminant) Vieux. Se dit de substances qui stimulent les sécrétions salivaires et gastriques et la motilité de l intestin …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • carminative — car•min•a•tive [[t]kɑrˈmɪn ə tɪv, ˈkɑr məˌneɪ tɪv[/t]] adj. 1) med expelling gas from the stomach and bowel 2) med a carminative medicine • Etymology: 1645–55; < LL carmināt(us), ptp. of carmināre to purify (L: to card (wool) …   From formal English to slang

  • carminative — adj. & n. adj. relieving flatulence. n. a carminative drug. Etymology: F carminatif ive or med.L carminare heal (by incantation): see CHARM …   Useful english dictionary

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