Its only important application in medicine is as a carminative to lessen the griping caused by some purgatives such as aloes.
Sodium phosphate and sulphate are cholagogue purgatives and are used in the treatment of gallstones.
Many species had a great repute as demulcents, febrifuges, astringents, tonics, purgatives and anthelmintics.
The prescriptions are for a great variety of ailments and afflictionsdiseases of the eye and the stomach, sores and broken bones, to make the hair grow, to keep away snakes, fleas, &c. Purgatives and diuretics are particularly numerous, and the medicines take the form of pillules, draughts, liniments, fumigations, &c. The prescriptions are often fanciful and may thus bear some absurd relation to the disease to be cured, but generally they would be to some extent effective.
Above all, fasting was a mode of preparing oneself for the sacramental eating of a sacred animal, and as such often assisted by use of purgatives and aperients.