An injection of castor oil, or a solution containing castor oil, into the rectum as a laxative. Not in common usage today, the usual method was to mix two ounces of castor oil with one ounce of soft soap and 10 to 20 ounces of water. Another recipe was to add two ounces of castor oil into a mixture of starch and water. The starch absorbed the castor oil and insured it didn’t separate as rapidly from the water, and once adminstered, caused the castor oil to adhere to the walls of colon, enhancing the effectiveness of the enema. castor oil is not a particularly fast acting laxative, and when given rectally usually requires a minimum of 30 minutes to an hour to be effective. castor oil is also sometimes used as an enema without being mixed with other ingredients. In this case two ounces of the oil are placed in a bulb syringe and injected into the rectum. The drawback to this method is that the oil remains relatively low in the colon and it’s effectiveness varies, with some individuals experiencing a bowel movement within 30 minutes while others may require up to two hours before evacuation occurs.
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