588 MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE 3. Digest the residue with a small quantity of water rendered slightly alkaline with caustic potash solution. 4. Filter the solution obtained, acidulate with hydrochloric acid and shake with ether in a separating funnel. 5. Separate the ether. (Plumbagin passes into the ether.) 6. Evaporate the ethereal extract. 7. Dissolve the residue (containing plumbagin) in^ caustic potash solution, when a bright crimson liquid is formed. On adding hydrochloric acid to this the colour changes to yellow, and on standing for some time the liquid deposits yellow flocculi of plumbagin, which may be separated by shaking the acid liquid with ether. An alcoholic solution of plumbagin gives a crimson precipitate with a solution of basic lead acetate. Medico-Legal Points.—The crushed roots are largely used for procuring criminal abortion. They are either taken internally, or, in the form of a paste, are applied to the os uteri, or painted on the " abor- tion sticks ". Deaths have en- sued from this use. " A woman48 was given a quack medicine containing plumbago root by her para- mour to cause miscarriage. She died after having suffered from severe gastro-intestinal irritation with vomiting and purging for ten days. At the post-mortem examina- tion severe congestions of the lungs, heart, liver, kidneys and the genital canal were found with the expulsion of the foetus from the gravid uterus. Plumbago roots are rarely used with homicidal intent. Chevers40 men- tions a case in which a woman mixed a small quantity of the powdered root (Lai Chitm) with milk and gave it to her husband. After two hours vomiting and purging occurred and in a short time the man died. On post- mortem examination the surface of the stomach was corrugated and covered with small inflamed patches, and the mucous membrane of the intestine was injected. Plumbagin was detected in the stomach contents, the vomited matter and the remnants of the food. When applied to the skin in the form of a paste, the root of plumbago rosea or zeylanica produces a reddish-brown mark, which simulates a bruise. Walsh so records a case -where one Jitan AH Mir of Murshidabad reported to the police on the morning of August 22nd, 1898, that some eighteen or nineteen men armed with lathies, torches, lanterns, etc,, had entered his house on the previous night, and carried away his valuables after having beaten and branded him with torches, Upon examination twenty-seven trifling injuries were found on several parts of his body which he could easily reach with his hand. These appeared to have been self-inflicted, and caused by the application of plumbago rosea to the skin. Of these injuries only one showed a slight abrasion due t'o destruction of the cuticle. The stains were of a reddish>- brown colour and without raised or inflamed margins. The hair stood on them, unsinged or uninjured. The man was found guilty of bringing a false charge of dacoity with self- inflicted injuries and sentenced to four years' imprisonment. S' £^g* rChem* Exam" A*"™31 Report. 1^33, p. 13, see also Kept, 1938, p. 14, 49. Med. Juris., p. 252. r 50. JndL Med. Gaz., Jan. 1900, p. 8; see also Beng. Chem, Exam. Ann, Rep,, 1939, p, 18, Fig. 176.—Plumbago Zeylanica.