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Ignatius Beans

POISON!

Botanical: Strychnos Ignatii (BERG.)
Family: N.O. Loganiaceae

---Synonyms---Faba Ignatic. Ignatia amara (Linn.).
---Part Used---Ripe dried seeds.
---Habitat---Philippine Islands.


---Description---A large woody climbing shrub, introduced into Cochin China, and highly esteemed there as a medicine. It attracted the attention of the Jesuits, hence its name. In commerce the beans are about one full inch long; ovate, a dull blacky brown colour, very hard and horny, covered in patches with silvery adpressed hairs; endosperm translucent, enclosing an irregular cavity with an oblong embryo; no odour; taste extremely bitter. Each fruit contains about twelve to twenty seeds embedded in the pulp from which they have to be separated.

---Constituents---The beans have the same properties as Nux Vomica, but contain more strychnine, also brucine, a volatile principle extractive, gum, resin, colouring matter, a fixed oil, and bassorin; they contain no albumen or starch.

---Medicinal Action and Uses---Tonic and stimulant in action like Nux Vomica, which, being cheaper, is nearly always used as a substitute. Old writers lauded these beans as a remedy against cholera. They are useful in certain forms of heart trouble, but must be used with the greatest caution, as they are a very active and powerful poison.

---Antidotes---Same as for strychnine, chloroform, belladonna, aconite, tobacco, chloral hydrate 1 drachm doses, morphia.

---Preparations and Dosages---Tincture of Ignatia, 5 to 20 minims. Alkaline Tincture of Ignatia (syn. Goute Ameres de Beaume), 5 to 20 minims.

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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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