— In his treatise on “Urinary Deposits,” etc, Dr. Golding Bird remarks on these minute animalcules, that they are occasionally developed in urine so soon after passing as to lead to the idea that their germ must have existed in the urine whilst in the bladder. All the urine in which I hare found these minute creatures has been pale, neutral, of low specific gravity, and rapidly underwent the putrefactive fermentation.
“When a drop of such urine is examined under the microscope, between plates of glass with an object glass of one-eighth inch focus, it will be found full of minute linear bodies hardly so long as the diameter of a blood corpuscle,. moving with great animation. * * * *
“I have only met these animalcules in the urine of persons in an excessively low and depressed state. In cases of syphilitic cachexia, where the prostration of the strength is extreme, as well as in mesenteric diseases, I have found them abundantly developed with remarkable rapidity.” * *
The following case, in the practice of my friend and neighbor, Dr. R. C. Moffat, differs somewhat from the experience of Dr. B. in this last particular, and on this account is here given. The patient, 84 years of age, was a resident of New Orleans at the time of its capture by the United States forces, and was then in the early stage of her fourth pregnancy. She suffered much from anxiety, and the oppressive heat of July and August. At this time she commenced to pass blood with her urine, which she still continues to do.
In August she came by sea to New York, and put herself under the care of Dr. M. for this unpleasant symptom. September 4th, 1862, he brought to the writer a specimen of the urine of his patient for microscopic examination. It wan near one-fourth pure blood, of bright florid color, and partly coagulated. The supernatant urine was pale, 1015 specific gravity, and soon became excessively offensive. On placing a drop of this under the microscope, numerous minute, linear, actively moving bodies, were perceived, differing from the description of Dr. Bird only in this, that they were somewhat longer, a little longer than the diameter of the blood discs through which they wriggled their way. They were accompanied by numerous moving bodies of an ovoid form, very minute, one-third the diameter of a blood disc, which darted about in the style of the Monads found in stagnant water, which little creatures they much resembled, except in sue, being not more than one-fifth as large. If living, active bodies, similar to these last, have been found in recent passed urine, previous to this, it is not known to the writer. The great resemblance of these to the familiar Monads made the impression that they might have existed in some previous contents of the vial, and the expression of this suspicion brought a specimen of the urine, in a new vial which had never previously been used, into which the urine was immediately put after passing and the vial stopped with a new cork. The urine was soon after carefully examined, and neither Vibriones nor Monads were to be found. Twelve hours after both were abundant. The urine in the mean time had been kept in a close corked phial. This would seem to prove the existence of the germs producing these animalcules in the urine when passed. Great care was taken to prevent their possible introduction from without.
The point of interest in this case is one which separates it from the class of patients, of Dr. Golding Bird, whose urine produced Vibriones. This patient, except that she passes blood in her urine, knows no symptom of disease. She has no pain; and is, considering that she passes daily no inconsiderable quantity of blood, in rather extraordinary strength; has good appetite and sleep. Except the blood, the microscope discloses no signs of diseased action in the kidneys or bladder. She is subject of no cachexia, and exhibits none of the peculiarities of Dr. B.'s cases.
The instrument used in the examination of these minute bodies is one of rare excellence, recently obtained from Charles A. Spencer, Esq. Its defining power is very great, and though magnifying full 1200 diameters linear, no evidences of organization could be perceived in these minute bodies. W.
Curare. — The virulent poison known by this name and also as Woorari, Woorali, Ourari, etc., is said to have been first introduce, into Europe by Sir Walter Raleigh in 1575, but not until Bernard in, 1857, published his pamphlet did it attract much attention. It has been the subject of one or two articles in homoeopathic journals, and it has been suggested that provings of it should be made, The following account of it we find in the London Monthly Homoeopathic Review:
“To prove this poison, the proven should obtain the juice, roots, etc., of the Wourali vine. The so-called Wourali poison is a very composite affair. We give an account of it by a scientific physician now practising in British Guiana, Dr. Dalton.
“The Macousi, Macusi, Macoushi, or Macoosi Indians, occupy the open savannahs of the Rupununi, Barima, and the mountain chains Pacaraima and Canuku, and may be estimated at about 2000 in number. They have been described as inoffensive, hospitable, industrious and provident; but capable of fending themselves against the more martial Accawais and Caribs. Mr. Hill-house considers them timid, taciturn, and obedient; but deficient iu stature and strength. The Macousi Indian has the credit, if any, of preparing the famous Wourali poison when a supply happens to be required. The Macousi seeks the various ingredients of which this poison is composed in the depths of the forests. The principle is the Wourali vine, which grows wild; having procured a sufficient quantity of this, he next seeks a bitter root, and one or two bulbous plants which contain a green and glutinous juice. These being all tied together, he searches for two species of venomous ants; one largo and black, the “muneery,” about an inch long, and found in nests near to aromatic shrubs; the other a small red one, found under the leaves of several kinds of shrubs Providing himself now with some strong Indian pepper, and the pounded fangs of the 'labarri' and 'conna-couchi' snakes, the manufacturer of poison proceeds to bis deadly task in the following manner:
“He scrapes the Wourali vine and bitter root into thin shavings, and puts them into a kind of colander made of leaves; this he holds over an earthen pot, and pours water on the shavings; the liquor which comes through has the appearance of coffee. When a sufficient quantity has been procured, the shavings are thrown aside. He then bruises the bulbous stalks, and squeezes a proportionate quantity of their juice through his hands into the pot. Lastly, the snakes' fangs, ants, and pepper are bruised and thrown into it. It is placed then on a slow fire, and as it boils, more of the juice of the Wourali is added, according as it may be found necessary, and the scum is taken off with a leaf; it remains on the fire till reduced to a thick syrup, of a deep brown color. As soon as it has arrived at this state, a few arrows are poisoned with it to try its strength.
”'The Indians themselves consider it a baneful task, and are not very communicative on the subject, so that after all it is possible that the preparation of this deadly poison has never been thoroughly investigated.
“We recommend the proving of the poison of the Labarri snake, or the Wourali vine, instead of that of the Wourali poison. This Labarri is more deadly that the Rattlesnake (Crotalus). We do not think Hahnemann would have deemed so very composite a poison as this, mixed up with so many ingredients, a proper drug to be proved.”
|The American Homoeopathic Review Vol. 03 No. 04, 1862, pages 190-191
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