World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article




A carminative, also known as carminativum (plural carminativa), is an herb or preparation intended to either prevent formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract or facilitate the expulsion of said gas, thereby combatting flatulence.


  • Name 1
  • Varieties 2
  • Literary references 3
  • See also 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


The word "carminative" is a derivative of Latin cārmen 'card for wool', on the humoral theory that carminatives "dilute and relax the gross humours from whence the wind arises, combing them out like the knots in wool".[1]


Carminatives are often mixtures of essential oils and herbal spices with a tradition in folk medicine for this use. Some examples for oils and spices with carminative action are:

Modern drugs used for the same purpose include simethicone, which, rather than having physiological activity, simply lowers the surface tension of gas bubbles.

Literary references

  • The English author Aldous Huxley includes a long passage (chapter 20) about the word "carminative" in his novel Crome Yellow. The character Denis describes how he had loved the word since childhood, and had built up rich, elaborate associations with it until, with disappointment, he had discovered its true meaning.[5]

See also


  1. ^ Hensleigh Wedgwood, A Dictionary of English Etymology, s.v.
  2. ^ a b c d Pitasawat, B; Choochote, W; Kanjanapothi, D; Panthong, A; Jitpakdi, A; Chaithong, U (Sep 1998). "Screening for larvicidal activity of ten carminative plants.". The Southeast Asian journal of tropical medicine and public health 29 (3): 660–2.  
  3. ^ a b c d e Harries, Nicola; James, K. C.; Pugh, W. K. (1 July 1977). "Antifoaming and Carminative Actions of Volatile Oils". Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics 2 (3): 171–177.  
  4. ^ W.N. Ewing; Lucy Tucker (2008). The Living Gut. Nottingham University Press.  
  5. ^ Huxley, Aldous (1921). Crome yellow. United Kingdom:  

External links

The dictionary definition of carminative at Wiktionary

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.