alterative (plural alteratives)
- (medicine, now historical) A medicine or treatment which works by changing processes within the body, rather than by evacuating something etc. [from 14th c.]
- 1624, Democritus Junior [pseudonym; Robert Burton], The Anatomy of Melancholy: […], 2nd edition, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Printed by John Lichfield and James Short, for Henry Cripps, OCLC 54573970, partition II, section 5, member 1, subsection v:
- Amongst this number of cordials and alteratives I do not find a more present remedy than a cup of wine or strong drink, if it be soberly and opportunely used.
- Causing alteration.
- (medicine) Gradually changing, or tending to change, a morbid state into a healthy one. [from 15th c.]