No surgeon would think of operating on such a case until iodides had been freely administered and, by failing to cure, had proved the disease to be non-syphilitic. Another instance of this deobstruent power - "alterative," it was formerly termed - is seen in the case of chronic lead poisoning.
They proved that, though Italy came late into the realm of literature, her action was destined to be decisive and alterative by the introduction of a new spirit, a firmer and more positive grasp on life and art.
Sarsaparilla still has a popular reputation as an "alterative," but it has been examined and tested in every manner known to modern medical science, and is professionally regarded as "pharmacologically inert and therapeutically useless."
It is thus vaguely called an alterative, since the patient recovers under its use.