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Full text of "Medical Jurisprudence And Toxicology"

722

MEDICAL JURISPRUDENCE

marked irregularity, The respiration was slow and hurried. The pupils were normal
and reacted to light. The blood pressure was 120/76. Alter inhaling a few whiffs of
ammonia the patient opened his eyes and was able to answer questions. The stomach.
was washed out and 1/100 grain of atropine was injected hypodermically every four hours.
A dose of magnesium sulphate was given to clear the bowels. Next day the patient was
spitting bilious fluid, and felt hungry, Atropine was continued for 8 or 9 days until dilated
pupils, dry skin and great thirst were noticed. After complete recovery, he was handed
over to the police to take his trial in a law Court.—Bhupendra Mohan Roy, Ind. Med
Gaz., Aug. 1927, p. 450.

(b) A woman took some powdered seeds of yellow oleander after sho had been
dragged and beaten with leather slippers by two persons, and died in two hours. Oleander
was detected in the stomach and contents of the deceased.—Madras Chem. Examiner's
Annual Report, 1949 ; see also his Ann. Rep., 1950.

3. Homicide.—(i) A Mahomedan male was given by his wife some powder of
yellow oleander seeds mixed probably with mercuric chloride in food. Soon after taking
the meal, the victim complained of severe burning sensation in the throat and stomach,
vomited several times, and expired in 6 to 7 hours. This appears to be an unusual com-
bination of poisons for homicidal purposes.—Bengal Chem. Examiner's Annual Report
1948.                                                                                                                                '

(ii) A case occurred in Bhandara, where a woman tried to murder her husband by
giving him some powder of yellow oleander seeds in Ambil, a rice preparation. The
powder was mixed up with dirt from the ear of a young buffalo, and was given, to the
woman by her paramour.—UJP. Chemical Examiner's Annual Report, 1948 ; see also his
Report, 1949.

A case is recorded where yellow oleander could be detected in the
stomachs and contents of the two bodies that had been exhumed and had
undergone decomposition.33

The bark is used as an antipyretic in small doses, 2 grains of the pow-
dered bark being equivalent to an ordinary dose of cinchona. In large doses
it acts as an emetic and purgative and produces toxic effects.

Cerbera Odollam (Dabur or
Dhdkur).—This plant belongs to
N.O. Apocynacese, is similar in
action to Cerbera thevetia and
grows in swamps and creeks on
the coasts of India and Ceylon.

It has fleshy lanceolate leaves,
large, white flowers like those of
jasmine and green, fibrous fruits
enclosing a kernel. The kernel
on extraction with petroleum
spirit or ordinary ether gives a
non-poisonous oil, which is used
for burning and anointing the
head. An alcoholic extract of
the defatted kernels yields a
glycoside, cerberin, which is the
same as is contained in Cerbera
thevetia.

In the State of Madras and in
the State of Trayancore-Cochin
the kernel is criminally taken by
women for the purpose of com-
mitting suicide and is acci-
dentally taken by children in
mistake.

The symptoms are violent
vomiting, purging, irregular re-
spiration, general paralysis, col-
lapse and death from heart
failure.

Test—Treated with boiling
dilute hydrochloric acid, cer-
berin forms a blue or bluish-
green colour.

Fig. 197.~Cerbera Odollam,

33.   Madras Chem. Exam. Annual Rep., 1933, p. 9.