TERMINALIA BELLERICA 599 and general appearances. The pods are used as a vegetable, and are considered preven- tive against intestinal worms. The root acts as a vesicant, if applied externally. The bark contains small quantities of an essential oil, having a very pungent odour. It also contains 0.105 per cent of alkaloidal bases, which closely resemble ephidrine in action. One of them is crystalline and is less active than the other which is amorphous. Both have a stimulant action on the heart, constrict the blood vessels and produce a marked and persistent rise of blood pressure. They relax the bronchioles, inhibit the tone and movements of the intestines and produce contraction of the virgin, as well as the preg- nant, uteri of guineapigs and rabbits.67 The powdered bark is largely used as an aborti- facient in Bengal, and has produced fatal results. RUTA GRAVEOLENS (SATAP) This plant belongs to N.O. Rutaceae, and is commonly cultivated in Indian gardens. It yields, on distillation, a volatile oil, which is acrid bitter in taste, and is a valuable diuretic and emmenagogue in 2 to 5-minim, doses. In large doses it acts as an aborti- facient, and produces irritant symptoms. SAPINDAS TRIFOLIATUS (EH1THA) This tree belongs to N.O. Sapindacese, is common in Southern India and is culti- vated in Bengal. Its fruits are known as soap-nuts, and are largely used for washing silk, etc. They contain a glucoside, saponin, a white amorphous powder, which dissolves in water, forming a froth like soap. It is insoluble in cold alcohol or ether and strikes a red colour with sulphuric acid. According to Blyth cs 1| to 3 grains of saponin administered by the mouth increases mucous secretion and causes nausea. Forty grains administered subcutaneously to an adult would endanger life, the symptoms being great muscular prostration, weakness of the heart's action and probably diarrhoea. The post-mortem appearances would probably be those of an irritant or inflammatory action on the gastric and intestinal mucous membrane. TERMINALIA BELLERICA (BELLERIC MYROBALANS, BAHERA) This tree belongs to N.O. Combretaceae, and grows in Indian forests. Its fruits are oval and somewhat five-angled. When fresh, they are of the size of a nutmeg, fleshy and covered with a grey silky down. When dry, they are of the size of a gall nut, dry brown in colour and astringent in taste. The stones are smooth and hard, and contain white kernels. These yield an oil which is used as a dressing for the hair. The dried ripe fruits are astringent and are used in Indian medicine. The powder of their pericarp enters into the composition, of triphala, the other two constituents being the chebulic and emblic myrobalans. Accidental cases of poisoning by the belleric fruits have occurred, the symptoms being nausea, vomiting, headache, insensibility, normal pupils, quick, feeble pulse, slow, laboured respirations, trismus, convulsions and death. On post-mortem examination the stomach may be found congested. A Hindu boy, aged 4 years, died in about 24 hours after he had taken a Bahera fruit.^ A boy of five years, who ate fresh kernels of Bahera fruits, died within forty-eight hours.70 Windsor 71 reports a case where a family consisting of a man, his wife and four children partook of a pilau prepared with some kernels. In about an hour they were seized with nausea, vomiting and giddiness. After forty-eight hours' illness the man, his wife and two children recovered, but still felt dazed and giddy. The two younger children, aged 2 and 3J years respectively, died within forty-eight hours, being unconscious throughout the illness. 67. Chopra and De, Ind. Med. Gazette, March 1932, t>. 128. 68. Poisons, their Effects and Detection, Ed. V, p. 461. 69. Beng, Chem. Exam. Annual Report, 1936, p. 11. 70. Bhondoo Lai, Ind. Med, Gaz,, May 1900, p. 180. 71. Ibid., Oct. 1906, p. 406.