In the simplest sense, colic is the cramping that occurs due to eating bad food.  It can also result from food that causes too much gas, or food that causes the gut to behave poorly and slowly (pre-constipation), enabling the food to create other problems internally in the gut.   Bilious Colic however has a bile-related aspect to it.  Bile is usually associated with the color yellow (yellow bile or gall) and so this term may refer to conditions that are colicky and are related to yellow-colored stools.  Black bile may also be related to this name, for which upper level forms of intestinal bleeding are the most common cause (blood turns black after passing through the intestines).

In the modern medical sense, biliary colic is a condition caused by gall bladder disease with gall stones, in turn resulting in the irritation of the intestines due to the release of excess bile.  This is a disease common to people with diets containing large percentages of fats and oils.  Since the gall is important in assisting in the digestion of fats and oils, this illness is the result of overindulgence of fatty tissues, resulting in an overtaxed biliary system and lack of adequate bile stores.  Stones are associated with this when the fatty diet intake assists in their formaion, or when stones form due to some other reason and as a result of their production result in blockage of the biliary duct and the lack of adequate gall or bile release into the intestines, thereby causing colick.

For obvious reasons, Osborn recommends strong laxatives, glysters (enemas), and physics (strong laxatives, often resulting in a water discharge) to treat this condition.  The recommendation of vomiting once again correlates with the yellowish appearance vomit can have, implying the reduction in excess yellow bile humours in the body.

Pharmacologically, there are several laxatives in the materia medica above–Senna is imported but very strong and Elder very common to the local community.  Aloe and Colocynth are also imported laxatives.  New Milk is a curious addition to the Aloes recipe.  This can either be fresh “new” milk or it is a mineral remedy that appears milk-like in color.