You Will Be Careful as to the Second Article

The contradictory deductions of medical professors make wise men tremble, good men sad, and bad men bold A.S. Taylor, Poisoning by Strychnine, 1856 In 1848 Great Britain was nominally at peace, but it was a turbulent year. There was revolution in Berlin and at home the Chartist riots continued. The Irish famine was in full spate. Five thousand miles of railway lines had been built, a third of them already equipped with the electric telegraph. Powerful social changes were at work in the English...

Nux Vomike Taken Period

The orientals do not confine themselves, as did Mithridates, to make a cuirass of their poisons, but they also made them a dag-ger With opium, belladonna, bruceaea, snake-wood and the cherry-laurel, they put to sleep all who stand in their way. Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo, 1845 This is the story of how nux vomica reached the west. The centuries following the fall of Rome have often been dismissed as the Dark Ages, but across the globe trade between peoples continued. Even when...

Perfidious Dutchmen Bark up the Wrong Tree

It is very fortunate, she observed, that such substances could only be prepared by chemists otherwise, all the world would be poisoning each other. By chemists and persons who have a taste for chemistry, said Monte Cristo carelessly. Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo The history of strychnine is intimately bound up with that of a second alkaloid, brucine, which occurs with it in plants of the Strychnos genus. The story of how this second alkaloid, chemically closely related to...

The Patient Generally Lies on His Back

High where the Fleet ditch descends in sable streams To wash the sooty Naiads in the Thames There stands a structure on a rising hill Where students take their licence out to kill Although the scientific study of nux vomica, and within a very short time of its active principle strychnine, began in France, the commercial exploitation of the new medicine leaped ahead in Britain. From about the time of John Gerard, the majority of trade between India and England was controlled by the East India...