Coni'um macula'tum, Conium, Poison Hemlock, N.F. -- The dried full-grown, but unripe fruit with not more than 2 p.c. of foreign fruits, seeds, or other foreign organic matter, yielding not less than .5 p.c. of coniine; it is unfit for use when kept for more than 2 years, and should be carefully dried and preserved; Europe, Asia, N. Africa, naturalized in N. And S. America -- waste places. Large branching herb, 2-2.5 M. (6-8 degrees) high, stem furrowed, hollow, smooth, green, mottled with port-wine-colored spots; root biennial, fusiform, 15 Mm. (3/5') thick, exuding milky juice when cut; flowers white, small umbels; leaves bipinnate, 15-30 Cm. (6-12') long, incised, dentate, mucronate, grayish-green on drying. Fruit, cremocarp, broadly oval, greenish-gray, 2 mericarps often separated, each 3 Mm. 1/8') long, 1.5 Mm. 1/115') broad, ovoid; inner flattened side with deep longitudinal groove, outer convex with 5 pale yellow crenate ribs, pericarp without oil tubes; odor slight, but with solution potassium hydroxide T.S. strongly disagreeable, mouse-like; taste characteristic, disagreeable, acrid. Powder, greenish-gray -- endosperm tissue, parenchyma cells containing fixed oil, aleurone grains, calcium oxalate rosettes, lignified fibers, seed-coat fragments, starch grains, tracheae; solvent: alcohol, contains coniine (conine -- liquid) .5-1.5 p.c., methylconiine, conhydrine, pseudoconhydrine, volatile oil, fixed oil, coniic acid, ash 8 p.c. Sedative, narcotic, anodyne, soporific, antispasmodic, anaphrodisiac; depresses all motor nerves, beginning in peripheries, thence to spinal cord, etc., causing motor paralysis without loss of sensation; spasmodic chorea, whooping couth, melancholia, neuralgia, delirium tremens, tetanus, asthma, epilepsy, pneumonia; scrofulous glandular sores, affections of mammary glands, to check milk secretion, etc. Poisoning: Vomiting, fatigue, heaviness of legs, numbness, drooped eyelids, mydriasis, vertigo, impaired speech, slow pulse, paralysis of voluntary muscles, loss of speech, and vision, death from paralysis of respiratory muscles -- emetics, lavage, tannin, strychnine, diffusible stimulants, atropine, warmth, epispastics, artificial respiration. Dose, gr. 1-5 (.06-.3 Gm.); 2. Extractum Conii (diluted alcohol + .3 p.c. of diluted hydrocloric acid), dose, gr. ½-2 (.03-.13 Gm.). Fluidextract (diluted alcohol + 2 p.c. of acetic acid), mj-5 (.06-.3 cc.); Ointment; Tincture.
Conium, fruit and longitudinal section magnified 3 diam.; transverse section magnified 8 diam.