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Hemlock, (Conium Maculatum)

Hemlock, (Conium Maculatum)

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Metis Folklore and Medicine: Metis beliefs about hemlock which they called Carrot a moreau. Medicinal uses are detailed.
Metis Folklore and Medicine: Metis beliefs about hemlock which they called Carrot a moreau. Medicinal uses are detailed.

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Published by: Lawrence J. Barkwell on Dec 05, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hemlock, Carrot à moreau,
Conium Maculatum
Captain John Palliser reports on Metis beliefs about this plant. Unfortunately he only reports on their superstitions and not on the medicinal and ceremonial usage. On ugust !, !""", they #ere tra$elling in the Pembina hills north of Pa%ue#in Hill or Hill of the &reat Medicine 'ance #hen( )*his e$ening #e #ere amused by one of the many proofs of credulity among the +rench Half-reeds, and subse%uently #ere much entertained by accomplishing its eposure./)fter dark some of the men came to -ourgeau and re%uested him to take notice of a $ery mysterious noise in the s#amp. *his they asserted to proceed from the Carrot à moreau 0a species of umbelliferous plant1 in conse%uence of its  poisonous and Manitou or miraculous attributes. *hey insisted that this plant, #hich continuously kept up a muttering noise, in$ariably became silent at the approach of man2 'etermined to sift this strange but uni$ersal belief among the Half -reeds regarding a poisonous plant gifted #ith a $oice, and that $oice under its control, -ourgeau set out accompanied by Hector #ith a dark lantern on their nocturnal search. fter fre%uently failing to reach se$eral spots from #hich the sound proceeded, they at last effected a stealthy approach, and %uickly turning on their light in the direction of the sound no# almost at their feet, they interrupted a noisy little frog in the midst of its croaking./
 Poison hemlock has been used as a sedati$e and for its antispasmodic properties. 3t #as also used by &reek and Persian physicians for a $ariety of problems, such as arthritis. 3t #as not al#ays effecti$e, since the difference bet#een therapeutic and toic amounts is $ery slight. O$erdoses can produce paralysis and loss of speech, follo#ed by depression of the respiratory function, and then death. 3t is a traditional folk treatment for cancer and #as formerly #idely used internally in $ery small doses to treat a $ariety of complaints including tumours, epilepsy, #hooping cough, rabies and as an antidote to strychnine poisoning. 3t is still used eternally, usually in ointments and oils, in the treatment of mastitis, malignant tumours 0especially breast cancer1 anal fissure and haemorrhoids. *he lea$es and stems should be har$ested #hen the first fruits are forming, since they are then at their most acti$e medicinally.
 John Palliser.
 Exploration—British North America: The journals, detailed reports, and observations relative to the exploration, by Captain Palliser, o that portion o British North America, !hich, in latitude, lies bet!een the  British boundary line and the hei"ht o land or !atershed o the northern or ro#en ocean respectively, and in lon"itude bet!een the !estern shore o $a%e &uperior and the Paciic 'cean durin" the years ()*+, ()*), ()*, and ()-.: Presented to both /ouses o Parliament by command o /er 0ajesty, (th 0ay ()-12
 London: G.E. Eyre & W. Spottiswoode for Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 18!: "!.

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