The Botanist's Companion, Volume II eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 295 pages of information about The Botanist's Companion, Volume II.

“I heard a melancholy story of a mother in this city; viz. that a Country Colleagh gave some of this plant to her two sons, one of six, the other of four years of age, to kill worms; and that before four in the afternoon they were both corpses."-Dr. Threlkeld, in a short account of the plants in the neighbourhood of Dublin.

642.  Juniperus Salvina.  Savine.—­The expressed juice of this plant is very poisonous, and often known to produce the most violent effects.  It is sometimes used by persons for expelling worms in children, but should be used with great caution; for, if the quantity taken into the stomach is more than it can digest, all the dreadful effects of the poisons of this class are certain to be the immediate consequence.

643.  Scrophularia aquatica.  Water-betony.—­Every part of this plant is said to be violently narcotic; but its very disagreeable strong scent and extremely bitter taste render it not likely to be used in mistake for any culinary vegetable; and although we know what its effects are from report, we do not think it of so dangerous a tendency as some of our poisonous vegetables.

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These purge both upwards and downwards with great violence by means of their acrid poisonous resin, which also violently affects the throat and passages.  Although alkalies have been recommended in this case, in order to divide this resin, and that a solution of soap is proper, yet the vegetable acids are also very useful, and have a great effect in diminishing the purgative effect.  Besides this, it appears still more advantageous to give astringents:  Venice treacle, decoctions of bark or cascarilla, pomegranate rind, and balaustines; all which certainly precipitate this drastic principle.

644.  Asclepias syriaca.  Syrian DOGSBANE.—­All the species of Asclepias have a white acrid juice which is considered poisonous.  It is observed to be very acrid when applied to any sensible part of the mouth or throat.

645.  BRYONIA alba.  Wild Vine, or white bryony.—­The berries of this plant, when hanging on the hedges, have the appearance of white grapes, and have been eaten by children.  They are known to produce dreadful effects; but it frequently happens that they produce nausea on the stomach, by which they operate as an emetic of themselves.

646.  Euphorbia Lathyris.  Caper spurge.—­A plant common in old gardens, but not indigenous.  The seed-vessels are much in shape of caper-buds:  hence its name.  People have been in the habit of pickling these berries, from which some dangerous symptoms have arisen; it is probable that the vinegar may have been the means of checking its bad effects.  It should, however, never be used as food.

647.  Euphorbia amygdaloides.  Wood spurge.—­The juice of this plant has been known to produce very dangerous swellings in the mouth and throat of persons who have occasionally put it into their mouths.  We do not know that it is very dangerous; and nothing is likely to tempt any persons to use it as food or otherwise.

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The Botanist's Companion, Volume II from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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