This plant is different in one very important particular from all others that I have a knowledge of, that the same quantity will produce the same effect in all stages of its growth, from its first appearance till it comes to maturity; but the best time for gathering it, as has before been mentioned, is when the leaves and pods begin to turn yellow, for then the seed is ripe, and you have all there can be of it. It should then be cut and kept clean, and spread in a large chamber or loft to dry, where it is open to the air in the day time, and to be shut from the damp air during the night. When perfectly dry, shake out the seed and sift it through a common meal sieve, and preserve it by itself; then beat off the leaves and pods from the stalks and preserve them clean. This herb may be prepared for use in three different ways, i. e.: 1st. The powdered leaves and pods. 2d. A tincture made from the green herb with spirit. 3d. The seeds reduced to a fine powder and compounded with Nos. 2 and 6.
1. After the leaves and pods are separated from the stalks, pound or grind them in a mortar to fine powder, sift it through a fine sieve, and preserve it from the air. This is the most common preparation, and may be given in many different ways, either by itself or compounded with other articles. For a common dose, take a teaspoonful of this powder with the same quantity of sugar in half a teacupful of warm water, or a tea of No. 3 may be used instead of water; this dose may be taken all at one time, or at three times at intervals of ten minutes. For a young child, strain off the liquor and give a part, as circumstances shall require. There is but one way in which this herb can be prepared that it will refuse its service, and that is when boiled or scalded; it is therefore important to bear in mind that there must never be anything put to it warmer than a blood heat.
2. To prepare the tincture, take the green herb in any stage of its growth; if the small plants are used, take roots and all; put them into a mortar and pound them fine, then add the same quantity of good spirits; when well pounded and worked together, strain it through a fine cloth, and squeeze and press it hard to get out all the juice; save the liquor in bottles, close stopped, for use. Good vinegar or pepper-sauce may be used instead of the spirits, but is not so good. Prepared in this manner, it is an effectual counter-poison, either taken internally or applied externally. It is also an excellent medicine for the asthma, and all complaints of the lungs. This is the only way in which the doctors have made use of the Emetic Herb; and they acknowledge it to be one of the best remedies in many complaints that have been found, though they know but little about it. For a dose, take from half to a teaspoonful. Its effects will be more certain if about the same quantity of No. 2 is added, and in all cases where there are nervous symptoms, add half a teaspoonful of nerve powder, Umbil, to the dose.
3. Reduce the seeds to a fine powder in a mortar, and take half an ounce of this powder, or about a large spoonful, with the same quantity of No. 2 made fine, and put them in a gill of No. 6, adding a teaspoonful of Umbil; to be kept close stopped in a bottle for use; when taken, to be well shaken together. This preparation is for the most violent attacks of disease, such as lockjaw, bite of mad dog, drowned persons, fits, spasms, and in all cases of suspended animation, where the vital spark is nearly extinct. It will go through the system like electricity, giving heat and life to every part. In cases where the spasms are so violent that they are stiff, and the jaws become set, by pouring some of this liquid into the mouth between the cheek and teeth, as soon as it touches the glands at the roots of the tongue the spasms will relax, and the jaws will become loosened so that the mouth will open; then give a dose of it, and as soon as the spasms have abated, repeat it, and afterwards give a tea of No. 3, for canker. This course I never knew to fail of giving relief. It is good in less violent cases, to bring out the measles and smallpox, and if applied to pimples, warts, etc., will remove them. I have cured three dogs with this preparation, who were under the most violent symptoms of hydrophobia; one of my agents cured a man with it who had been bitten by a mad dog; and I have not the least doubt of its being a specific for that disease. For a dose, take a teaspoonful. - Dr. Thomson.
Would it not be better to establish institutes to give this treatment to those bitten by mad dogs than to take the deadly Pasteur treatment, which in itself gives the disease and never cures? It would, but so long as the Serum-fad craze lasts no common sense means will be followed. The people are as anxious to swallow any new fads, no matter how deadly, as a bird seizes upon a worm. Lockjaw has been cured time and again by this preparation but the newspapers never say a word about it. On the other hand, if one patient out of a hundred recovers of those on whom the deadly and costly serum is used the newspapers make a great row about it. Such is the sterile and impotent age. Sooner or later, the people will awake to a truer science and many changes, for the better, will then take place.
Much has been said of the power of the Emetic Herb, and some have expressed fears of it on that account; but I can assure the public that there is not the least danger in using it; I have given it to children from one day old to persons of eighty years. It is most powerful in removing disease, but innocent in nature. Its operation in different persons is according to their different tempers, moving with the natural current of the animal spirits. There are two cases where this medicine will not operate, viz: when the patient is dying, and where there is no death; or in other words, where there is no disease. There can be no war where there is no enemy. When there is no cold in the body there is nothing to contend against, and when there is no heat in the body there is nothing to kindle; in either case, therefore, this medicine is silent and harmless. It is calculated to remove the cause and no more, as food removes hunger, and drink thirst. It clears all obstructions to the extremities, without regard to names of disease, until it produces an equilibrium in the system, and will be felt in the fingers and toes, producing a prickling feeling like that caused by a knock of the elbow ; this symptom is alarming to those unacquainted with its operation; but is always favorable, being a certain indication of the turn of the disorder, and they generally gain from that time.