Tanghinia venenifera. N. O. Apocynaceae. Trituration of the seed.
Characteristics.-Tanghinia (the Tanghin or Tanquen of Madagascar) is the only representative of its genus of the Apocynaceae. The fruit of the tree is ellipsoid, between two and three inches long, having a smooth, purplish skin tinged with green, containing a hard stone surrounded by a thick fibrous flesh. The part used as an ordeal is the seed, which is pounded, and a small piece is swallowed by the person to be tried. Those in whom it causes vomiting escape. Those whose stomachs retain it are quickly killed, and their guilt is held proven. General weakness, even complete paralysis is produced, death being preceded by spasmodic movements of fingers and toes. Numbness is a common symptom; especially numbness of the hands. The vomiting is intense and distressing, and is accompanied by anxiety and weakness. The Schema comprises symptoms observed on persons undergoing the ordeal.
1. Mind.-Conscious to the last, without delirium.-Delirium occasionally occurs.-Stupor.-Lies as if asleep, and when roused answers like a drowsy man and then relapses into former condition.-Anxiety with the vomiting.
2. Head.-Giddy; staggers.
8. Mouth.-Numb tingling in mouth and fauces.
11. Stomach.-Vomiting, intense, distressing and repeated, first of contents of stomach. then of bile and mucus.
13. Stool.-Purging and urination (purging is a bad symptom, and the worse the more urgent it is).
21. Limbs.-Death preceded by spasmodic movements of fingers and toes.
22. Upper Limbs.-Hands numb.
24. Generalities.-Great debility and anxiety with the vomiting.-Numb feeling over whole body, esp. of hands.-Staggers if attempts to walk, is unable to support his own weight, and falls down helpless and paralysed.
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