Of those poisons which generally prove mortal, when swallowed, the principal arc, arsenic, corrosive sublimate, glass of antimony, ver-digrease, and lead. Mineral poisons apparenntly attack the solid parts of the stomach; and, by eroding its substance, occasion death. Antimonials rather injure the nerves, and destroy by pro-ducing convulsions. Most vegetable poison to operate in this manner; but fatal accidents more frequently happen from the former.
In the year 1777, M. NaviEr advised large quantities of milk to be administered to persons who had swallowed arsenic; a metal, the vi-nce of which is effectually counteracted by this liquid, us it allays the intestines. The patient is afterwards directed to take a dram of the liver of sulphur, in a pint of warm but when this this not be procured, he may substitute agently alkaline lixivium, or soap-Hi of iron in vine gar, or any other acid, or even a portion of ink, if nothing else can be readily procured. The cure may be completed by the constant use of milk and warm sulphureous waters.—See Arsenic.
The remedies most suited to obviate the effects of corrosive subli-'mate, are different preparations of the liver of sulphur, which decernposes or resolves the mercurial salt; and, by the addition of the alkali to the acid, forms an inoffensive new Acids, therefore, even of the mildest kind, are fata!, if applied to counteract this poison, as they render it more active : thus, even lemonade, or treacle, are pernicious, as they contribute to in-crease pain and danger. Common salt dissolved in water, readily precipitates the mercuiy, and thereby greatly abates its virulence. This article being always ready, it ought to be. resorted to preferably to any other; especially as, when taken in a large quantity, it operates as an emetic, or carries oil the mercury by stool.
Volatile and fixed alkaline salts and spirits, also precipitate mercury, such as spirits of hartshorn, or sal ammoniac, salt of tartar, wormwood, etc. ;.but, as these can seldom be obtained on an enter gency, the following articles may be substituted, viz. pot-ashes dis-solved in warm or cold water, but the lixivium should not be too strong. When pot-ashes are not at hand, warm water may be strained through ashes of bean-stalks, broom, straw, or any other vegetable that can be most readily burned. White or black soap should be injected by way of ( and likewise dissolved in all the water that is drunk.
Those poisons which may be called culinary, are perhaps the most destructive; because they are generally the least suspected. No els therefore which contain copper in ther composition, should be used in cookery, etc. In cases where the poison of verdigrease has been recently swallowed, erne-tics should first be given, and afterwards cold water gently aikalis-ed, ought to be drunk in abundance.
Though lead may not be considered as corrosive poison, its ef-fects are nevertheless deleterious, and may be corrected by the remedies already suggested, namely, by drinking large quantities of acidulated liquors, or solutions of the liver of sulphur, and completing the cure by gentle laxatives; but, in the commencement of the complaint, drastic purgatives should be carefully avoided.
The poisonous effects of mineral acids may be counteracted by the administration of calcined magnesia. M. Desgranges relieved a soldier in the agonies of death, who had swallowed a glass of the sulphuric acid, or oil of vitriol, by prescribing the following antiacne, viz. a dram and a half of the carbonate of magnesia (magnesia usta aerata), dissolved in a tea-cupful of pure water. This dose produced excessive vomiting. He repeated the magnesia in the quantity of half a dram every hah hour, giving at intervals a solution of gum-arabic and sugar till the cure was accomplished.
To obviate the ill effects of opium, emetics should be given as speedily as possible. If the first symptoms only appear, which are the same as those of intoxication, the following emetic will be of service, viz. Simple spearmint-water and oxymel of squills, of each one ounce, and half a scruple of ipecacuanha : frequent draughts of water-gruel should be given, to assist the operation. If the poison has been swallowed in a liquid state, which may be ascertained from the smell of the first discharge, four or five vomitings may be sufficient; but if in a solid form, two or three more must be procured, by giving fresh doses. S., ould the symptoms continue violent, it will be necessary to increase the quantity of the medicines, in proportion to the urgency of the case, and the strength of the patient. The principal object to he kept in view, according to Dr. Seaman, is, to produce such a degree of irritation, as may counteract the narcotic effects of this deleterious drug. Hence it is very useful to stimulate the nostrils with spirits of hartshorn, and to apply friction with salt over the whole body..
Lemon juice, a solution of white vitriol, and other acid substances, have long been considered as effectual antidotes against opium; but they do not afford sufficient security.
As we seriously advise all persons in this unfortunate situation, immediately to avail themselves of medical assistance, it would be needless to expatiate farther on the subject : we shall only observe, that there is a remedy at once simple and efectual for all kinds of poisons, to be found near every cot-, as well as in the palaces of the great. This is pure water, which, when taken at an tarty period, and in sufficient quantity, has the beneficial tendency of diluting and neutralizing most of the poisons introduced into the stomach.
With respect to those vege-table Substances which sometimes, though rarely, requite antidotes, we shall in this place mention the following: 1. Camphor ; 2. Arnica, or German Leopard's bane ; 3. CoCcuIus Indus, or India berry ; 4. Gamboge; 5. Datura stramo-ntum, or Thorn-apple ; 6. Vera-irum album, or White Hellebore ; and 7. Mozereum, or Spurg Olive. Against the violent operation of these medicinal drugs, Professor Hufeland, of Jena, at present physician to the King of Prussia has from experience found, that the first is most effectually counteracted by taking internally' proportionate doses of opium ; the second, by the copious use of vinegar ; the third, by moderate portions of camphor; the fourth, by swallowing alkaline solutions in water; the fifth, by either vinegar, or the acid of lemons ; the sixth, by strong decoctions of coffee; and the seventh, by camphor.
There are, however, many other vegetable, animal, and mineral substances, sometimes taken by mistake, or administered from malignant motives, and the fatal effects of which may be obviated by a timely use of their respective antidotes.—In order to conclude this article, within its due limits, we are obliged to refer the reader to the following heads, where he will find each subject discussed as it occurs in the order of the alphabet, viz. Balsamine Seeds, Cassava, Co-LOQUIntida/VVate R-Crow foot, Wild Cucumber, BeardedDar-nel, Euphokbium, SpanishI''lies, Foxglove, Glass, Gypsum, Hellebore, Hemlock, Henbane, Lead, Leadwort, Lime, Lobsters, Putrid Meat, MetalLIC Pointed Substances, Muscles, Deadly Nightshade. Nux vomica, Oysters, Meadow S'affeon, Saltpetre, Scammosy, Sow-Bread, Stavesacre, Wolf'sbane, and Poisons in general.