Tobacco And Lobelia

=Tobacco.=--Nicotiana tabacum owes its poisonous properties to its

alkaloid nicotine, a volatile, oily, amber-coloured liquid, with an

acrid taste and ethereal odour; soluble in water, alcohol, ether, and

chloroform. The drug has an intense depressant action on the heart and

respiratory centre.

Symptoms.--Giddiness, fainting, nausea, and vomiting, with syncope,

muscular tremors, stupor, stertorous breathing, and insensible pupil.

Death has occurred after seventeen or eighteen pipes at a sitting.

Post-Mortem Appearances.--Not uniform or characteristic. General

relaxed condition of muscles; engorgement of cerebral and pulmonary

vessels. Congestion of gastric mucous membrane.

Treatment.--Emetics, stimulants, hypodermic injection of 1/25 grain of

strychnine. Warmth to the surface by hot bottles, hot blankets.

Method of Extraction from the Stomach.--Digest the contents of the

stomach in cold distilled water and very dilute sulphuric acid;

strain, filter, and press residue. Evaporate the filtrate to half its

bulk, digest with alcohol, and evaporate alcohol off in a water-bath.

Dissolve residue (sulphate of nicotine) in water, and make solution

alkaline with potash; then shake with ether in a test-tube. Remove ether

and allow it slowly to evaporate. Test resulting alkaloid.

Tests.--No change of colour with the mineral acids. White deposit with

corrosive sublimate. Sulphuric acid and bichromate of potassium give a

green colour, oxide of chromium. Precipitate with bichloride of platinum

and with carbazotic acid.

=Lobelia Inflata= (Indian Tobacco).--Much used in America by the

Coffenite practitioners, and a valuable remedy for asthma.

Symptoms.--Nausea, vomiting, giddiness, cold sweats, prostration.

Headache, giddiness, tremors, insensibility, and convulsions.

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