Hemlock, Carrot à moreau,
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 eposure./)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 toic 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 $ariety of complaints including tumours, epilepsy, #hooping cough, rabies and as an antidote to strychnine poisoning. 3t is still used eternally, usually in ointments and oils, in the treatment of mastitis, malignant tumours 0especially breast cancer1 anal fissure and haemorrhoids. *he lea$es and stems should be har$ested #hen the first fruits are forming, since they are then at their most acti$e medicinally.
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 Paciic '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!: "!.