Derivation

Hemlock is the fruit of the Conium Maculatum, or spotted (not the common) hemlock, which is an umbelliferous plant. The principal one of its three alkaloids is conine, C8H15N. which is very powerful.

Medical Properties And Action

Conium is a depressing agent producing motor paralysis, first causing, as the effects of a large dose, nausea and vomiting with a general weakness of the voluntary muscles, but with no direct action on the heart. In fatal cases of poisoning death follows from paralysis of the respiratory muscles causing asphyxia. The antidotes are nux vomica, picro-toxin, and active muscular exercise. It is quickly decomposed by heat.

Therapeutic Uses

Conium is employed in mania, chorea, tetanus, hydrophobia, whooping-cough, asthma, laryngismus, stridulus, diseases of the eye and strychnine poison. For nerve-pain with muscular spasm, the best results may be expected from the combined administration of morphine and conine, subcuta-neously applied, as the effects of conine are greatly heightened by morphine. Conium is also used in dislocations to relax muscles.

Dose

Of Abstractum conii, gr. ss to gr. ij ; Extractum conii alcoholicum, gr. ij to gr. iv; Extractum conii fluidum,

Dose 943

to

Dose 944

; Tinctura conii,

Dose 945

to

Dose 946

; Conine,

Dose 947

1/10 to

Dose 948

Dental Uses

Conium is employed in neuralgia, locally applied; inflamed dental pulps; also in cases of artificial teeth lodging in the oesophagus, to produce relaxation of the muscles.