Dosages Poison Hemlock

Do not use (JAD). Many of the indications are homeopathic. Maximum dose 300 mg; standard dose 100 mg; not to exceed 1500 mg/day (HHB; PHR; PH2).

• Arab and Greek physicians consider hemlock for arthrosis, cancer, dermatosis, hydrophobia, pain, scrofula, sores, and swelling (HJP).

• Asian Indians report using the herb to paralyze the nerves in painful dermatoses (SKJ).

• British claim to have cured cancer by taking leaf decoctions (AAH).

• British (not me) suggest hemlock juice for cramps, epilepsy in dentition, laryngeal spasms, mania, teething in children, and in inhalations for asthma, bronchitis, and pertussis (GMH).

• English Gypsies use hemlock to cure ulcers (HJP).

• Iranians apply fruits externally as an anodyne (BIB).

• Irish poultice the plant onto burns, rheumatism, sores, swelling, and wounds (AAH).

• Irish use the poisonous plant to treat giddiness. (AAH)

• Lebanese suggest the plant for asthma, cancer, hiccups, nervousness, pain, and whooping cough (HJP).

• North Africans suggest the dangerous tincture for arteriosclerosis, cancer, prostatitis, spasms, the dilute infusion for pain, and rheumatism (BOU).

• Rabat natives fumigate insect bites with the roots (BIB).

Downsides (Poison Hemlock):

"Classed appropriately by the FDA as an unsafe herb containing the poisonous alkaloid coniine and other closely related alkaloids." Plant can also cause contact dermatosis. Ingestion may cause debility, drowsiness, nausea, labored respiration, paralysis, asphyxia, and death. Following lethal doses, animals rapidly begin to show symptoms; among them are paralysis of the tongue, mydriasis, head pressure, giddiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and collapse into central paralysis (first the feet and legs, then the buttocks, arms, then paralysis of the swallowing and speech). With increasing dyspnea and cyanosis, death ensues through central respiratory paralysis. Lethal dose is about 500 to 1000 mg coniine for man (CRC; HHB). (Note that in CRC (1985), I misquoted HHB and said 500 to 100 mg.)

Natural History (Poison Hemlock):

Larks and quail eat the fruit with impunity, but their meat becomes poisonous in the process. Thrush can eat the fruits but ducks are poisoned thereby (GMH).

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