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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

SEMECAEPTJS   ANACARDIUM

581

known as capsicum and is used in medicine as a pungent stomachic and
carminative in doses of J to 2 grains. Capsicum also occurs in the official
preparations of Tinctura capsici (dose, 5 to 15 minims) and Unguentum
capsici (chillie paste).

Symptoms.—In large doses capsicum acts as an irritant poison and causes
difficulty of swallowing, pain in the stomach and inflammation of the oesopha-
gus and stomach. Locally applied, it produces irritation of the skin.

Medico-Legal Points.—Chillies are used in India for the purpose of tor-
ture, when money or confession of some guilt has to be extorted. They are
either introduced into the vagina, rectum or urethra, or rubbed on the
breasts of females. The u Pindaris " used to torture their victims by cover-
ing their heads with nose-bags containing chillies. Well-pounded chillies are
sometimes thrown into the eyes to facilitate robbery. A peon in Calcutta
cashed a cheque for four thousand rupees, and while he was passing through
Dalhousie Square a man threw a quantity of well-pounded chillies into his '
eyes and blinded him for the time being. When the peon was in agony the
man relieved him of his money and tried to make good his escape, but was
arrested.25

A case20 occurred in Bombay, where five undertrial prisoners were
being taken in a motor lorry to the Esplanade Police Court under the police
escort. When the lorry had reached the junction* of Jackeria Masjid and
Mohmadali Road, one of the prisoners flicked the cap off the head of one of
the constables escorting them. The lorry was stopped to enable the con-
stable to recover his head-gear, when, seizing the opportunity, the other
prisoners in the lorry flung chilly powder into the eyes of their escorts, blind-
ing them, and, in the confusion that ensued, the five prisoners jumped out of
the lorry, dashed across the street and made their escape in a waiting car.

The fumes arising from burning chillies are very irritating to the eyes
and upper air-passages, and are used by superstitious people to scare away
devils and ghosts.

The seeds which are contained in a capsule, resemble datura seeds.

SEMECARPUS ANACARDIUM   (MARKING-NUT TREE)
This tree belongs to N.O. Anacardiaceae.   Its fruit, called marking nut
(Bhilawan), weighs 25 to 55 grains, and has a hard, black rind within which

is a thick pericarp. The pericarp
or fleshy pulp
seed   abounds
oily,   acrid  juice,

of

in

Fig. 174.—Marking nuts.

the fruit or
a brownish,
which turns

black when mixed with lime
and exposed to air, and is used
by dh obis (washermen) as
" marking ink" for linen and
cotton clothes. Pillay and Sid-
diqui27 have isolated the fol-
lowing constituents from the
juice of the pericarp: —

1. A monohydroxyphe nol,
named semecarpol, which boils
at 185-90°C. at 2.5 mm. pres-
sure, congeals below 25°C. to a
fatty mass and forms 0.1 per
cent of the extract.

25.    Leader, Aug. 27, 1926.

26.    Times of India, July 6, 1950, p. 11; see also Times of ludia, April 15, 1951.

27.    Jour. Ind. CTiem. Soc., 1931, Vol. VIH, p. 517.