A cholagogue is a medicinal agent which promotes the discharge of bile from the system, purging it downward.
In Patrick O'Brian's Post Captain (Ch. 10), which is set in the Napoleonic era, Stephen Maturin, one of the book's main characters (who is also a physician, naturalist and spy) sits in the snug of the Rose and Crown in Deal, Kent, and drinks a "good" tea described as an "unrivalled cholagogue".

  • 1. [Post Captain (novel)] Post Captain is the second historical novel in the Aubrey–Maturin series by Patrick O'Brian, first published in 1972. It features the characters of Captain Jack Aubrey and naval surgeon Stephen Maturin in the early 19th century and is set in the Napoleonic Wars.
  • 2. [Stephen Maturin] Stephen Maturin, FRS, /ˈmæʊərɪn/ is a fictional character in the Aubrey-Maturin series of novels by Patrick O'Brian. The series portrays his career as a physician, naturalist and spy in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, and the long pursuit of his beloved Diana Villiers.
  • 3. [Bile] Bile or gall is a dark green to yellowish brown fluid, produced by the liver of most vertebrates, that aids the digestion of lipids in the small intestine. In humans, bile is produced continuously by the liver (liver bile), and stored and concentrated in the gallbladder (gallbladder bile). After eating, this stored bile is discharged
  • 4. [Laxative] Laxatives (purgatives, aperients) are substances that loosen stools and increase bowel movements. They are used to treat and prevent constipation. Laxatives vary based on how they work and the side effects they have. Certain stimulant, lubricant and saline laxatives are used to evacuate the colon for rectal and bowel examinations, and may be supplemented by enemas under certain circumstances. Sufficiently high doses of laxatives may cause diarrhea.
  • 5. [Deal, Kent]
    Deal is a town in Kent, England which lies on the English Channel, eight miles north-east of Dover and eight miles south of Ramsgate. It is a former fishing, mining and garrison town. Close to Deal is Walmer, a possible location for Julius Caesar's first arrival in Britain.
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