Cicuta (water hemlock) as a poisonous plant

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Material Information

Title:
Cicuta (water hemlock) as a poisonous plant
Series Title:
A
Physical Description:
4 p. : illus. ; 23 cm.
Language:
English
Creator:
Marsh, C. Dwight ( Charles Dwight )
Clawson, Arthur Brooks, 1878- ( joint author )
Marsh, Hadleigh, b. 1888 ( joint author )
Publisher:
Govt. Print. Off.
Place of Publication:
Washington
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Cicuta   ( lcsh )
Genre:
federal government publication   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Statement of Responsibility:
By C.D. Marsh, A.B. Clawson, and H. Marsh ...
General Note:
At head of title: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Bureau of Animal Industry.

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 030007711
oclc - 27958909
lccn - agr17000590
Classification:
lcc - SB618.C53 M37 1917
System ID:
AA00018796:00001

Full Text
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0jF AGRICULTURE.,
V11 INDUSTRY,

a 4, MW of Bureau f

AS A POISONOUS PLANT.'
,X f MAU R, tke Pathological Di
i r fles to clema since
lite est attac
p I in
6isonous of th6 plants emperate
lstiibuted And is annually the. cause of
an=4116S and of human beings, its
a IX elin Is not gelieraHy recognized.. This
I
-Wh! occurs.in Euro'
h pe as
the' genus
own to be poisonous since the middle
sind Many accounts, have'been. written.
A"'Uigg -Cijeuta robts,. T
NAMES OF 01CUTA.
numf)er of popular names. -Perhaps it
wwbane. or wrater hemlock." 'In the

Ivest, it is freqUe4ijy, ealled "parsnip 12 or
A t3s, less common axe snakeroOt
,am
"muskrat weed, spotted hem-
f
JA

''TO, RECOONjZE, CICUTA.

Wpossible' to give' a, description of the
aps i
effigible W one wha has not some botaxxical
shows a specie found on the western
8, Vves ageneral idea of the appearance of

us plant, and belongs: tathe same family as
c,, It grows, in weC plaeos and-, is espeeiaNy.
f 1410,',W7, est along irrigating ditchoa, 'Ul
s m 'umber of haralflqss plaMs
thoAr osely a n
a thic' eq,
Sa 0,a itious.
44
It hag
d, ro 6tsl *,,4i ch, m ay, b e s len d er kh.Vhe 'Picture
flielom 'of a cluster of thicken Jleshy tubers.
.,betidn,' will sto
it be noticed that t6'tpt c Vat
chamber.' Thesechambersariri*oltilways,86ot
7U. S.
otefouta 4d Its poisonous effeets can be found fF DWIttin 69, De
This bulletin ean be obtained from the.Snperlnenkyit of bocumeits,,Gov'
Wpahin$ton D. C., for 10 eents. A.






tinct as shown in the illustration, but they are always presi& dJ
is by them that the plant is readily distinguished from most p]
growing in similar situations. Botanists recognize several speci4,
but they are very closely related and all have the chambered rodw:':
--- stock. So far as:
known, all the sp-p
Scies are poisonous.::
.~...~ '* -^ ,-m :THE POISONING OF
.. ... ... HUMAN BEINGS..:
The curiosity pf
children, which oft:n
leads them to eMt
strange rotish
..l. cause of most of the
......--.... --. .cases of poisoning of
human beings. Oc-
S1 ecasionally older peo-
te B" o" "a Iry of he ple are affected with
the same curiosity,
with similar results.
aCases of. poisoning
-ou.are more frequent in
the spring, partly
because the roots are
more likely to be no-
ticed at that time
and partly because
they seem to be more
poisonous then than
*. later in the season.
Every year a consid-
erable number of
instances of poison-
FIG. 1.-Leaves and flowers of Cicuta vagans (water hemlock). ing are reported to
the Bureau of Animal Industry of the United States Department of
Agriculture, but it is probable that only a small proportion of the
actual number is made public. Many of these cases recover, but
unfortunately the proportion of fatalities is large.


THE POISONING OF LIVE STOCK.


In the aggregate the loss of domestic animals from Cicuta poisoning
is not large, but individual owners may lose rather heavily. Occa-
sionally the stock cat roots that have been washed out by the high
water in small streams. Farmers in their plowing sometimes bring
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is. are. pain in the
mii:s coach, nausea,
,.times leading
ii.... violent vomiting,
%.1,*,rrhea, dilated pu-
r' t M labored, ster-
0-i' breathing,
ii7ii.: ..:: .: '.. .
tAiir.J.. Inetimes frothing
the mouth, weak
i..: d ,(rapid pulse, and
j'v Iiolent convulsions.
p J:i^^In the lower ani-
mmils the symptoms
... 're like those in man,
i but less pronounced.
Th: e first symptom is
generally frothing at
S the mouth, followed
by uneasiness and
pain. This is suc-


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'H.


FIG. 2.-Rootstock and first leaves of Cicuta vagans. The upper
figure shows the transverse chambers of the rootstock.


needed by violent, intermittent convulsions in which the animal
Mcks, sometimes extending the legs rigidly, throwing back the head,
Nand bellowing and groaning as though in great pain. There are pe-
Uliar spasmodic contractions of the diaphragm which take the place
S vomiting in man. In fatal cases the convulsions grow more vio-
1bdt until terminated by death, which results from respiratory failure.

Si: QUANTITY OF CICUTA NECESSARY TO POISON.
S; The Cicuta root is extremely poisonous. Just how much must be

t4ten to produce illness or death is not known, and the quantity prob-
t' ly varies. While there is reason to think that it is more poisonous


tin




*iiie ... UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
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4 CIoUo A o. g ..0.
CICUTA 3 1262 08925 9609'
in spring than later in the season, a very little at a .iy ......... tim :
may cause illness or even death. .. .....
PART OF THE PLANT POISONOUS. : i:i
~ .. :"..:..... .i
The rootstock of Cicuta is always poisonous. Cases have, kism
reported of the poisoning of live stock from eating the tops, '| ,
green and in hay, but careful experiments by the Office of Poiso, ;
Plant Investigations have shown quite conclusively that there <
danger from the leaves or seeds, either when eaten green our.
dried in hay. Poisoning results only from the ingestion of t.e r
and the fact that Cicuta tops are sometimes gathered withlM :*e
which is made on irrigated farms need give the farmer no dn4
provided the roots are not included. "
REMEDIES FOR CICUTA POISONING.
In cases of the poisoning of human beings the recognized trtea in '
is to give an efficient emetic, followed by a cathartic. Some"
opium may be given to control the convulsions when they are viql.en :
If free vomiting is promptly produced, the patient is likely to MI.
It is obvious that ruminant animals can not be treated in thjiga: i
for the effective clearing of the stomach is impossible. While ,ypI
Sdermic injections of morphin may' be used to aid in controllu'lg t
\ convulsions and a purgative may help in eliminating the poiso.
~\ ordinarily the convulsions are so violent that nothing can be do ,
i for the animal. All cases of poisoning of domestic animals by iu
must be considered as practically hopeless, so far as treatment iso0]:
\ cerned. All cases are not necessarily fatal, for many recover,l b
there is little, if anything, which can be done to aid recovery.
S- So far as live stock are concerned, about all that can be done mu
be in the way of prevention. If the land is plowed where the p4n
grows, care should be taken that no roots are left where stock cal
get at them. Where the plants grow in great abundance, as the
frequently do along irrigating ditches, it is desirable to dig them ou
When this is done the roots should not be left on the surface, bu
should be destroyed. It is seldom that stock are poisoned whe
grazing, unless they graze along ditches, where the plants sometime
grow almost in the water with very little soil and can easily b
pulled up.
Perhaps there is no way to prevent some cases of poisoning ;
children. Something might be accomplished, however, if parent
and teachers would attempt to make clear to children the danger of
eating strange roots.
Di .un I^ T. .. "'.
DAI
"' ~WASHINGTON: GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE: i9s JM
k F:.: IN
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