A laxative is a substance that loosens stools and increases bowel movements. Laxatives are used to treat and/or prevent constipation.
Use for punishment
Laxatives can also be used to punish a person. Being made to defecate urgently, possibly violently and for a longer time than usual, can be a frustrating, embarassing and humiliating experience. When the substance is also foul-tasting, the punishment character of a forced spoonful is increased. In the old days (most references are from the 1940s) some parents punished children with a dose of castor oil, which had both properties: a foul taste followed by a laxative effect.
Use in pranks
Laxatives are also sometimes used in pranks.
- Fletcher's Castoria (a laxative whose producer used spanking scenes in their ads)
- Laxative on Wikipedia
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