After the vomiting is over, the effects often remain, by part of the deleterious qualities being absorbed by the stomach; and as it often happens, in such cases, that medical assistance may not be at hand, I shall, under the head of each class, give their proper antidote, which should be in all cases applied as soon as possible, even before medical assistance is procured. And it should not be forgotten that, in dreadful cases where the medicine cannot be forced down through the usual channel, recourse should be had to the use of clysters.
Under each of the following heads I shall describe such cases as have come under my notice; as they may be useful for comparison: and shall put under each of the more dangerous the Plantae affines, describing as accurately as possible the differences.
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These are much altered by vegetable acids in general, and especially by oxymuriatic acid; but they still retain much of their poisonous quality, which appears to be rendered more active by alkalies. The tanning decoctions of nut-galls, acacia, and other strong astringents, Venice treacle, wine, spiritous liquors, and spices, are useful.
623. Chelidonium majus. Celandine.—The yellow juice of this plant is extremely acrid and narcotic. It is not at all like any plant used for culinary purposes, and therefore there is not any great danger likely to arise from its being confounded with any useful vegetable.
624. CICUTA virosa. Cowbane.—Two boys and six girls, who found some roots of this plant in a water-meadow, ate of them. The two boys were soon seized with pain of the pericardia, loss of speech, abolition of all the senses, and terrible convulsions. The mouth closely shut, so that it could not be opened by any means. Blood was forced from the ears, and the eyes were horribly distorted.
Both the boys died in half an hour from the first accession of the symptoms.
The six girls, who had taken a smaller quantity of the roots than the boys, were likewise seized with epileptic symptoms; but in the interval of the paroxysms, some Venice-treacle dissolved in vinegar was given to them; in consequence of which they vomited, and recovered: but one of them had a very narrow escape for her life. She lay nine hours with her hands and feet outstretched, and cold: all this time she had a cadaverous countenance, and her respiration could scarcely be perceived. When she recovered, she complained a long time of a pain in her stomach, and was unable to eat any food, her tongue being much wounded by her teeth in the convulsive fits.
Celery is smaller than this plant.
Parsley is also smaller in all its parts.
Alexanders differs from it, as a plant not of so high growth.
Angelica may be mistaken for this, but has a more agreeable scent.