Tanghinia venenifera, Poiret. (T. Madagascariensis, Pet. Th.; Cerbera tanghin, Hook.) Natural order: Apocynacea.
Preparation: Triturations of the seed (used by the natives of Madagascar and Eastern Coast of Africa for an ordeal).
Although the mind is usually clear, yet delirium occasionally occurs. The patient, in cases tending to a fatal issue, becomes unable to rise; in other instances, according to the testimony of observers, he lies as if asleep, and when roused, answers like a drowsy man, then lapses back into his former condition; in other cases, the patient remains conscious to the last, with either stupor or delirium.
The sufferer is said to feel giddy under its influence; he staggers if he attempts to walk, is unable to support his own weight, and falls down helpless and paralyzed.
A peculiar numb tingling sensation is felt in the mouth and fauces, due to its tropical action; several of those who have undergone the ordeal have assured me that they experienced a similar feeling more or less over the whole body, but especially in the hands.
Sickness ensues, with vomiting, intense, distressing, and repeated, first of the contents of the stomach, then of bile and mucus.
Purging and urination appear, and are more or less urgent; purging is a bad symptom, and the worse the more urgent it is.
Death is preceded by spasmodic movements of the fingers and toes.
The vomiting is attended by a feeling of great debility and anxiety.