These days, asking the pharmacist for a physic to relieve your constipation will probably get you a blank stare; it's an old-fashioned, rarely-used term for "laxative."
Physic comes from the Latin word for "study of nature," so it's unclear how it came to mean a "purging medicine." An almost-synonym is "cathartic," although that word is usually used to describe an emotional purging- like a good cry- rather than physical one. Don't confuse physic with physics, the scientific study of the interaction between energy and matter, or psychic, someone who can read minds and see the future.
n a purging medicine; stimulates evacuation of the bowels
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aloes, bitter aloes
a purgative made from the leaves of aloe
a purgative extracted from the seed of the castor-oil plant; used in paint and varnish as well as medically
(used with a singular noun) hydrated magnesium sulfate used as a laxative
a mild cathartic
milk of magnesia
purgative consisting of a milky white liquid suspension of magnesium hydroxide; used as a laxative and (in smaller doses) as an antacid
Rochelle powder, Seidlitz powder, Seidlitz powders
an effervescing salt containing sodium bicarbonate and Rochelle salt and tartaric acid; used as a cathartic
a laxative used in many preparations under various trade names; also used as an acid-base indicator in titrations involving weak acids and strong bases because it is brilliant red at high alkalinity and colorless below pH 8