Lesson 3, Page 10 of 20

A galactagogue is an agent that promotes the flow of milk. It is the opposite of an antigalactic agent which decreases or stops the flow of milk.

Other words useful to an herbalists that contain the suffix -agogue ("to produce" or "to lead forth") are:

emmenagogue [emmen-, menses] - an agent that promotes menstrual flow
hydragogue [hydra-, water] - a substance that increases watery discharge
sialagogue [sial-, saliva] - an agent that stimulates the secretion of saliva
cholagogue [chol-, bile] - an agent for increasing the flow of bile

Many words are derived from the combining form chole, all of which have something to do with the bile—that yellowish substance produced by the liver, stored in the gall bladder, and secreted into the digestive tract to help emulsify and digest fats. Did you know that bile consists mostly of cholesterol? Now you know where cholesterol got its name.

When chole is combined with lith, which means "stone," we get the word cholelith—another term for a "gallstone."

A cholelithotomy [" + tome, to cut] is the surgical removal of a gallstone.

Now that you know that tome or tomy means to cut, you will probably know what the following mean:

tonsillectomy - surgical removal of the tonsils
lobotomy - surgical incision through a lobe of the brain (ouch!)

If you have appendicitis, or inflammation of the appendix, your doctor might want to perform an appendectomy.

What is an appendectomy?

Inflammation of the appendix
Inflammation of the gall bladder
surgical removal of the appendix
surgical removal of the gall bladder