ALTERANT, or Alterative, in Medicine, a Property, or Power in certain Remedies, whereby they induce an Alteration in the Body, and dispose it for Health or Recovery, by correcting some Indisposition; without occasioning any sensible Evacuation. See MEDICINE. Under Alterants, therefore, come all Medicines which are not Evacuants. See EVACUANT, and EVACUATION. 'Tis a Point much questioned by some, whether there really be any such thing as an Alterant in this Sense; i.e., anything which tends to cure a Disorder otherwise than by eliminating or expelling some peccant Matter. See DISEASE, SPECIFIC, etc. Dr. Quincy has made it probable, that Remedies usually reputed Alterants, act in the same manner on the remoter and more intimate Parts of the Habit, as Emetics, Purgatives, etc., do on the Stomach and Intestines. See PURGATIVE. Alteratives, therefore, are better defined, such Medicines as have no immediate sensible Operation, but gradually gain upon the Constitution, by changing the Humours from a State of Distemperature to Health.