The Cayce Herbal 
 A Comprehensive Guide to the  
Botanical Medicine of Edgar Cayce
The Complete Herbalist
by Dr. O. Phelps Brown (1878)
    Nothing that appertains to domestic treatment is of greater value than a knowledge of poisons, and the treatment necessary in cases of accidental or premeditated poisoning.  So many substances of a poisonous nature are used in manufactures among farmers, mechanics, and also in private houses, it will be useful to have a guide to refer to in case of accident, for in almost every case of poisoning the antidote must be instantly given or else success cannot be expected.  In all cases, unless the physician is within immediate call, no time is allowed to engage his services; hence the great importance of every one supplying himself with the requisite knowledge to treat any or all cases of poisoning.

    Precaution with regard to poisons is very necessary.  In every family, manufactory, etc., where poisons are required and used, the antidotes should also be kept for use whenever occasion calls for them.  Again, when poisons are used for any purpose, it is not enough to know that they are poisonous, but it should also be known of what they are composed.  For instance, corrosive sublimate may be used, and by accident a poisonous dose may be taken of it; but, unless known that it is a preparation of mercury, the treatment must necessarily be of a vague and uncertain character.

    As a general rule, in all cases of poisoning, especially if seen immediately after the poison has been swallowed, the indication is to make the person vomit.  To bring this about give a teaspoonful of mustard in a tumbler of water, or two or three teaspoonfuls of powdered alum in the same way.  Vomiting can in all cases be promoted by tickling the throat with a feather.


    ARTICLES. -- Scheele's green, arsenious acid, orpiment, king's yellow, realgar, fly powder, ague drops, arsenical paste and arsenical soap, rat poison.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Pain and burning in the stomach, dryness of throat, cramps, purging, vomiting, hoarseness and difficulty of speech, eyes red and sparkling, suppression of urine, matter vomited greenish or yellowish.

    TREATMENT. -- Give large quantities of milk and raw eggs, lime-water, or flour and water.  Then castor-oil; or, if tincture of iron is within reach, take from half to a full teaspoonful of it, and mix with it a little bicarbonate of soda or saleratus, and administer it to the person, and follow it with an emetic.  This acts as a real antidote -- the chemical combination resulting being insoluble in the fluids of the stomach.


    ARTICLES. -- Oxalic (salts of sorrel), sulphuric (oil of vitriol), nitric (aquafortis), muriatic (spirit of salt), but not prussic acid.

    SYMPTOMS. -- These acids are all corrosive, and hence produce horrible burning and sour pain from the mouth downwards.  The skin and mucous membrane of the lips, mouth, and throat is eaten away.  The patient experiences great thirst, and purges blood, and has excruciating pain in the stomach.

    TREATMENT. -- Put an ounce of calcined magnesia into a pint of water, and give a wineglassful every two or three minutes.  If you cannot get magnesia, use whiting, chalk, soda, or lime-water, or even knock a piece of mortar from the wall, pound it fine, and give it with milk or water.  While one person is attending to this, let another cut common soap into small pieces and give a teaspoonful with water, or a tablespoonful of soft soap.  Also give plenty of warm water to drink.

    Citric and acetic acids are also poisonous in large doses.  The tretment is the same as for the above.


    ARTICLES. -- Tartar emetic, butter of antimony, oxide of antimony.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Severe vomiting (if this does not occur it should be induced), cramps, faintness, purging, colicky pains, sense of tightness in the chest, recurrence of vomiting repeatedly.

    TREATMENT. -- Give plenty of strong tea.  If no common tea is at hand, use an infusion of oak, elm, aloe, currant, or blackberry bark or leaves, the requirements being a vegetable astringent.  If the butter of antimony has been taken, resort to the treatment advised for acids.  In all cases the strength should be supported with stimulants.


    ARTICLES. -- Nitrate, pearl powder, face powders.

    SYMPTOMS. -- General inflammation of the whole alimentary canal, suppression of urine, hiccough, vomiting, cramps.

    TREATMENT. -- Plenty of milk, flaxseed tea, infusion of slippery elm, marsh mallow.


    ARTICLES. -- Blue copperas, blue verditer, mineral green, verdigris, food cooked in copper vessels, pickles made green by copper.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Coppery taste in the mouth, tongue dry and parched, very painful colic, bloody stools, convulsions.

    TREATMENT. -- Large quantities of milk and white of eggs, afterwards strong tea.  Vinegar should not be given.


    ARTICLES. -- Chloride of gold, fulminating gold.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Similar to other irritant poisons.  Pink patches about the lips and mouth.

    TREATMENT. -- Give sulphate of iron, which decomposes the substances.


    ARTICLES. -- Iodides of potassium, mercury, iron, or sodium.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Burning pain in throat, lacerating pain in stomach, heartburn, vomiting, colicky pains, very likely salivation.

    TREATMENT. -- Large quantities of starch and water, flour and water, grated potatoes, or anything that you know contains starch.  If the iodides are taken in overdose, produce vomiting as soon as possible.


    ARTICLES. -- Sulphate of iron (copperas), green vitriol, chloride of iron.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Colic pains, constant vomiting and purging, violent pain in throat, coldness of skin, feeble pulse.

    TREATMENT. -- Give an emetic, afterwards magnesia or carbonate of soda and water.  Also mucilaginous drinks.

    ARTICLES. -- Acetate or sugar of lead, white lead, red lead, litharge.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Metallic taste in mouth, pain in stomach and bowels, painful vomiting, often blood, hiccough.  If taken for some time, obstinate colic, paralysis, partial or complete; obstinate constipation, diminution of urine.

    TREATMENT. -- Put two ounces of epsom salts into a pint of water and give a wineglassful every ten minutes until it operates freely.  If the solid forms have been taken, give dilute sulphuric acid, but very carefully.


    ARTICLES. -- Calomel, corrosive sublimate, red precipitate, vermillion, white precipitate, turbith mineral.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Harsh metallic astringent taste, burning pain in the stomach, vomiting and purging frequently of bloody matter, tightness and burning in the throat, tendency to doze, stupor.

    TREATMENT. -- Albumen in some form must be instantly given; either the white of eggs beaten up with water, milk or wheat flour beaten up.  Iron filings can also be given.  After these give linseed tea.


    ARTICLES. -- Lucifer matches.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Pain in stomach and bowels, vomiting, diarrhoea, tenderness and tension of the abdomen, great excitement of the whole system.

    TREATMENT. -- Prompt emetic, copious draughts of warm water containing magnesia, chalk, whiting, or even flour.  No oils or fat should be given.


    ARTICLES. -- Nitrate or lunar caustic.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Similar to other irritant poisons, especially arsenic.

    TREATMENT. -- Give a large teaspoonful of common salt in a glass of water, and repeat this in ten minutes.  Then a dose of castor-oil, and linseed tea, or barley water for a drink.


    ARTICLES. -- Chloride, called muriate by dyers, oxide, or putty powder.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Vomiting, pain in stomach, purging, convulsive twitchings.

    TREATMENT. -- Milk must be given copiously.  The milk may contain magnesia chalk, or whiting, if handy.  Also raw eggs beaten up with water and milk.


    ARTICLES. -- Sulphate, or white vitriol, Acetate, chloride (Burnett's disinfecting fluid, also used to destroy cancers).

    SYMPTOMS. -- Violent vomiting, astringent taste, burning pain in stomach, pale countenance, cold extremities, dull eyes.

    TREATMENT. -- Plenty of milk with white of eggs in it.  If it is the sulphate give carbonate of soda.  If excessive vomiting occurs, it can be relieved by copious draughts of warm water.


    ARTICLES. -- Creasote, Dippel's animal oil, oil of tar, oil of tobacco, oil of turpentine, fusel oil.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Burning pain, vomiting, pungent taste, purging.  The oils of tobacco and turpentine affect the nervous system, and will be recognized by their peculiar odor in the matter vomited.

    TREATMENT. -- Creasote is immediately coagulated by albumen, as milk, white of eggs.  Dippel's animal oil may be counteracted by dilute sulphuric acid, and castor or linseed oil.  For the others give milk, and promote vomiting, and probably some stimulant.


    ARTICLES. -- Spirits of hartshorn, muriate, or sal ammoniac.

    POTASSA. -- Caustic potash, liquor potassa, carbonate, or pearl ash, salts of tartar, nitrate, or saltpetre, or liver of sulphur.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Violent, caustic, acrid taste, great heat in throat, destruction of the mucous membrane of mouth and throat, cold sweats, weakness, hiccough, colic pains, bloody stools.


    ARTICLES. -- Oil of bitter almonds, laurel water, peach-kernels, cyanide of potassium, used by photographers.

    SYMPTOMS. -- If the quantity be large, death instantly ensues.  In smaller quantities, nausea, giddiness, debility, weight and pain in the head.

    TREATMENT. -- Give spirits of hartshorn very much diluted, and apply a bottle of smelling-salts to the nose, dash cold water on the head, give stimulants, and make the patient stir about.



    ARTICLES. -- Laudanum, paregoric, black drop, soothing syrups, cordials, syrup of poppies, morphine, Dover's powder, etc.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Giddiness, stupor, gradually increasing to a deep sleep, pupil of the eyes very small, lips blue, skin cold, heavy, slow breathing.

    TREATMENT. -- Make the patient vomit as quickly as possible.  If a full-grown person give fifteen grains of sulphate of zinc in a little water, to a young person half the quantity, to an infant a teaspoonful of syrup of ipecac.  If these drugs cannot be had, use mustard and warm water, salt and water, and tickle the throat with a feather.  After vomiting, give plenty of strong coffee, and place a mustard poultice round the calf of each leg, and if the patient is cold and sinking, give stimulants, and rouse him to walking or running by your assistance.  Beat the soles of his feet, dash cold water on the face, and do anything to prevent him from sleeping until the effects are passed off, for if he goes to sleep, it is the sleep of death.


    ARTICLES. -- Rat poison, nux vomica, St. Ignatius' bean.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Lockjaw, twitching of the muscles, convulsions, the body is bent backwards, so as to rest on the feet and head only.

    TREATMENT. -- Empty the stomach by an emetic, then give linseed tea or barley water, and to an adult give thirty drops of laudanum, to relieve the spasms.  A teaspoonful of ether can also be given.


    Such as false mushrooms, belladonna, henbane, or anything a child may have eaten, or taken in mistake by any person.  Vegetable poisons act either as an irritant, acro-narcotic, or narcotic.  If it is an irritant, the symptoms are an acrid, pungent taste, with more or less bitterness, excessive heat, great dryness of the mouth and throat, with sense of tightness there, violent vomiting, purging, with great pain in the stomach and bowels, breathing often quick and difficult, appearance of intoxication, eye frequently dilated, insensibility resembling death.  The symptoms of narcotic poisons are described under opium.

    TREATMENT. -- If an irritant and vomiting does occur and continues, render it easier by large draughts of warm water, but if symptoms of insensibility have come on without vomiting, empty the stomach with any emetic that may be at hand,--sulphate of zinc, mustard; and after the operation of the emetic give a sharp purgative.  After as much as is possible of the poison is got rid of, very strong coffee, or vinegar diluted with water, may be given with advantage.  Camphor mixture with a little ether may be taken frequently, and if the insensibility is considerable, warmth, frictions, and blisters may be employed.  For the narcotics proceed as in opium.


    POISONOUS FISH. -- Old wife, crawfish, land crab, gray snapper, hyne, dolphin, conger eel, mussel, barracuda, smooth bottle fish, grooper, rock fish, Spanish mackerel, king fish, bonetta, porgee, tunny, blower, etc.

    SYMPTOMS. -- In an hour or two, or much sooner after the fish has been eaten, a weight at the stomach comes, with slight vertigo and headache, sense of heat about the head and syes, considerable thirst, and often an eruption of the skin resembling nettle rash.

    TREATMENT. -- Give a brisk emetic.  After full vomiting an active purgative should be given.  Vinegar and water may be drunk after the above remedies have operated, and the body may be sponged with the same.  Water made very sweet with sugar, to which a little ether may be added, may also be drunk freely.  If spasms occur, give laudanm.

POISONOUS SERPENTS. -- Copperhead, moccasin, viper, black viper, rattlesnake, water viper.

    SYMPTOMS. -- A sharp pain in the wounded part, which soon extends over the limb or body; great swelling, at first hard and pale, then reddish, livid, and gangrenous in appearance, faintings, vomitings, convulsions, pulse small, breathing difficult, cold sweats, failing sight, and derangement of the intellectual faculties.

    TREATMENT. -- Tie a string tightly above the wound, wash it well, apply a cupping glass, or let the person bitten suck the wound well if he can.  If lunar caustic or butter of antimony are at hand, rub them well in, to the very bottom of the wound, or take a very small poker, or a steel used for sharpening knives; make the point of this red hot -- to a white heat, if you can -- and press this for a moment into the wound.  This is not such a dreadful operation as it seems to be, for one moment's application is sufficient, and, if the steel is really hot enough, gives scarcely any pain at the time.  Small doses of hartshorn may also be given, and if gangrene is threatened, give wine freely.  In case of rattlesnake bite, give whiskey freely.  Bibron's antidote and the Tanjore Pills may also be used, -- the latter carefully, as they contain arsenic.

POISONOUS INSECTS. -- Spanish fly, potato fly.

    SYMPTOMS. -- Nauseous odor of the breath, acrid taste, burning heat in the throat, stomach, and abdomen, bloody vomiting, excruciating pain in the stomach, heat in the bladder, strangury or retention of urine, frightful convulsions.

    TREATMENT. -- Excite vomiting by giving sweet-oil, sugar and water, milk or linseed tea, very freely.  Rub camphor dissolved in oil over the belly and thighs.

VENOMOUS INSECTS. -- Tarantula, scorpion, hornet, wasp, bee, gnat, gad-fly.

    SYMPTOMS. -- In general, the sting of these insects occasions only a slight degree of pain and swelling, but occasionally the symptoms are more violent, and sickness and fever are produced by the intensity of the pain.

    TREATMENT. -- Hartshorn and oil may be rubbed on the affected part, and a piece of rag moistened with the same, or with salt and water, may be kept upon it till the pain is over.  A few drops of hartshorn may also be frequently given internally, in a little water.  The sting may in general be removed by making strong pressure with the barrel of a watch-key around it.

RABID ANIMALS. -- See Hydrophobia, in its proper place among diseases.

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