Purgatives have their place as do fire extinguishers. Although it is wise to have the extinguisher on hand, better if you never need to use it. So it is with the use of purgatives — good to have them in the medicine chest, but better not to have to use them. An enema, if it can answer the purpose, is better than a purgative, that is, if the trouble is not higher up than the colon.
Some obtain even better results from one can, or less, of evaporated milk, or half milk and half fruit juice, than from a commercial purgative; others from a glass or two of sweet milk taken between meals, and still others get the same or even better results from buttermilk. Such laxatives are not only harmless, but are also nourishing food. They will lose their effect though, if the same is taken day after day. Rotating them brings more permanent results.
A proper diet should correct any case of constipation. Prunes, figs, dates, dried olives, and other such fruits give excellent results. Start with a half dozen dried prunes (chewed well) at the beginning of a meal, then keep alternating with other articles of food such as previously named. Occasionally, hot lemonade before breakfast is also an effective intestinal cleanser. A well-balanced diet, though, 80% bulk vegetables, and 20% grains, as before pointed out, will cure constipation and resultant diseases, besides maintain good health.