AskDefine | Define carminative

Dictionary Definition

carminative adj : relieving gas in the alimentary tract (colic or flatulence or griping) [syn: flatus-relieving] n : medication that prevents the formation of gas in the alimentary tract or eases its passing

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. Relieving discomfort of gas in the digestive tract.


  1. A drug or substance that induces the removal of gas from the digestive tract.

Extensive Definition

A carminative, also known as carminativum (plural carminativa), is a medicinal drug with antispasmodic activity that is used against cramps of the digestive tract in combination with flatulence. They are often mixtures of essential oils and herbal spices with a tradition in folk medicine for this use.
Modern drugs used for the same purpose include simethicone which, rather than having antispasmodic activity, simply lowers the surface tension of gas bubbles. See anti-foaming agent.

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 explains how unfortunate it is that some words don't mean what they ought to mean.

External links

carminative in Catalan: Carminatiu
carminative in Czech: Karminativum
carminative in German: Karminativum
carminative in Spanish: Carminativo
carminative in French: Carminatif
carminative in Italian: Carminativo
carminative in Portuguese: Carminativo
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