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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

698

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

tion o£ the liver, kidneys and heart may also be found. In cases of neurotic symptoms
congestion of the brain vessels, and subpleural and subpericardial haemorrhages are likely
to be met with.

Medico-Legal Points.—Amanita
muscaria in small quantities pro-
duces flushing of the face, spirit of
exhilaration, talkativeness, ludi-
crous laughter and intoxication. It
is used by the poor people of
Siberia and Kamaschatka to manu-
facture an intoxicating beverage.
The poison is excreted in the urine
which possesses intoxicating pro-
perties and is sometimes drunk by
persons to produce intoxication.

In India accidental cases of
poisoning sometimes occur from the
ingestion of mushrooms. Greval56
reports that in the year 1950 twelve
cases of poisoning followed by
seven deaths occurred in Ootaca-
mund, and fifteen serious cases
with ten deaths in a tea estate near
Dibrugarh in Assam-
Some poisonous fungi lose their
toxic properties when they are
boiled, or when they are steeped
in salt and vinegar for some time,
while the edible ones become
poisonous by being warmed some
time after they have been cooked
once.

Some edible fungi are rich in
water and albumen and are, there-
fore, apt to decompose and may
thus produce poisonous symptoms.
It is also possible that owing to
idiosyncrasy some persons may be
poisoned by eating edible mush-
rooms. Frossard57 records the case
of a healthy young woman of 30
years who died in about five hours
after eating some of the raw mush-
rooms which she was preparing for
family breakfast. Along with her
the other members of the family

Fig, 193.—Amanita Phalloides,

ate them after they had been properly cooked, but none of them developed any poisonous
symptoms.

POISONOUS FOOD GRAINS

Lathyms Sativus (Kesari Dal, Teora, or Buttorah H pal),—This is a variety of
pulse, belonging to N.O. Leguminosse, and is used as an article of diet by the common
people in Sind, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and some parts of Madhya Bharat and Madhya
Pradesh. Its continued use gives rise to a disease characterized by spastic paraplegia,
known as lathyrism or vetch-poisoning. Anderson, Howard and SimonsenBii have car-
ried out investigations, and are of opinion that Kesari Dal (Lathyrus Sativus) is by itself
harmless and that the danger of the disease lies in its contamination with Akta, a
leguminous weed, called Vicia Sativa. Acton and Chopran£> confirmed the work of
Anderson and his co-workers by carrying out further investigations, but McCombic
Young60 and Mellanby61 each put forward the theory that lathyrism was due to the

56.   Ind. Med. Gaz., Nov. 1950, p. 513,

57.   Brit. Med. Jour., Feb. 10, 1906, p. 319.

58.   Indian Jour,, of Med. Research, April 1925, p. 613,

59.   Causation of Lathyrism by Vicia Sativa.   Abstract of Papers. Far Eastern Associa-
tion o£ Tropical Medicine, 1927,,p. 104.    .                                    .

60.   Ind. J. Med. Res., 1927, 15, p. 453.

61.   Brit. Med. J., Vol. I, 1930, p. 677; see also Jacoby, Ind. Med. Gaz., 82, Feb. 1947,
p. 53.