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Nineteenth century self-administering clyster (a type of enema syringe). The enema is a medical procedure whereby fluid is introduced to the rectum and colon via the anus. The expansion of the lower intestinal tract brought about by this fluid prompts its evacuation. The use of enema procedures dates back to ancient Egypt (circa 1500 B.C.) and has been used therapeutically throughout history for conditions such as fever and constipation. The plunger would be used to force liquid (usually water) out of the pewter cylinder, into the nozzle, and into the anus. The bent nozzle allowed for self-administration, avoiding the embarrassment of involving a second person in the administration of the enema.
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