Tobacco is manufactured from the dried leaves of the Nicetiana Tabacum, a native of the Southern states of America. It is a deadly narcotic, especially the oil, so much of which is absorbed by the pipe in smoking. Its effect on the system is that of a narcotic and sedative, producing sickness, and depressing the action of the heart; it is slightly diuretic, and anti­spasmodic; in over-doses it produces convulsions, which are likely to terminate in death.

Like many other poisons, Tobacco is used medicinally. The American Indians bind the leaves on the bite of the Rattle-snake and cure it. And the bite of a mad dog has been cured by the application of a thick poultice of Tobacco. It has been given to relax the muscular system in colic, constipation, and hernia, and by enema to relieve spasmodic constriction of the bowels. But it is far too dangerous for domestic use.

I hesitate not to say that Tobacco has killed thousands. In some it promotes rapid digestion, forcing the food down faster than it can he disposed of. In others causing " shameful spitting," gradually wasting the frame, or disposing it to those diseases which terminate in death. In some it affects the brain, and renders the person liable to apoplexy. In short, its evil in­fluences are many and great. In others it produces disorder and extreme irritation of the digestive organs, often attended with extreme nervous irritability. The lips of smokers are very liable to cancer, and its injury to the teeth is notorious. Smokers too are very liable to diseases of the throat and air-passages, laryngeal phthisis and bronchitis.

Snuff is even worse than Tobacco; for it often is a combination of the rankest poisons with the powdered leaves of Tobacco.

Important Disclaimer:   The information contained on this web site is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Any information presented is not a substitute for professional medical advice and should not take the place of any prescribed medication. Please do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consultation with your physician.

This page and the rest of the encyclopedia of medicinal herbs was reproduced from old herbals written in the 1700 and 1800s. They are of historical interest to show the traditional uses of various herbs based on folk medicine and ancient wisdom. However the traditional uses for these herbs have not been confirmed by medical science and in some cases may actually be dangerous. Do not use the these herbs for any use, medicinal or otherwise, without first consulting a qualified doctor.

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