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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

CHAPTER   XXVIH

NEUROTIC POISONS

POISONS AFFECTING THE BRAIN   (CEREBRAL, NARCOTIC) -o
A.   SOMNIFEROUS POISONS
OPIUM (AFIYUM)

Opium is the juice obtained by incision from the unripe capsules of the
white poppy, Papaver Somniferum, and inspissated by spontaneous evapora-
tion. The white poppy belongs to N.O. Papayeraceae, and is grown in India,
Persia, Asia Minor, China and Egypt, but is cultivated in England and other
cold countries.                                          -                 , i , U iftll I'llllllH

178.—Poppy capsule
tinincised.

Fig. 179.—Poppy capsule—incised.

Poppy capsules (Post ka Doda), when they are ripe and dry, contain
a trace of opium and are, therefore, narcotic in action. Their warm decoc-
tion is used locally as a sedative fomentation and poultice.

Poppy seeds (kkas-khas) are innocuous and white in colour, and are
used as food. They are sprinkled over some Indian sweets. They are
regarded as demulcent and nutritive. They yield a bland oil, known as
poppy-seed oil (khas-khas ka tel), which is largely used for culinary and
lighting purposes,

Opium occurs in more or less rounded, irregularly formed or flattened
masses, weighing from 250 to 1,000 grammes, and having a strong, charac-
teristic odour and a bitter taste. When fresh, it is plastic and internally
moist, coarsely granular or nearly smooth and reddish or chestnut brown,
but becomes hard, brittle and dark brown on keeping. It is a highly com-