In veterinary practice this potent drug was first used by veterinary surgeons serving in India, and would long since have been brought into general use but for the variable strength in which it is produced, and the consequent uncertainty of its action.
Fig. 434. - Tndian Hemp (Cannabis Tndica).
1, Male flower. 2, Female flower. 3, Perianth unrolled. 4, Fruit. 5, Longitudinal section of fruit. 6, Cross-section of fruit.
Fig. 435. - Calabar Bean (Physostigma venenosum).
1, Pistil. 2, Appendage to style. 3, Bean. 4, Long section of bean. 5, Cross-section of bean.
Its action is antispasmodic, anodyne, and in large doses powerfully narcotic. It is usually prescribed in the place of opium, or in combination with chloral and other sedatives. In controlling cerebral excitement it stands higher than opium, and its effects are more lasting than those of chloral. In experiments made upon healthy horses, it was observed that some few of them manifested a preliminary period of excitement so common to the human subject when under its influence.