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July 23, 1887


JAMA. 1887;IX(4):125. doi:10.1001/jama.1887.02400030029015

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Dear Sir:  On the evening of March 25, 1887, I was called in haste to see J. H., a stout, muscular colored man, 39 years of age, who was said to have been suddenly attacked with "vomiting and cramps in his bowels." I obtained the following history from him. In the afternoon an old vender of domestic medicines was in the city, with, among other things, a large quantity of poke root, which he said was good when put in whiskey to purify the blood. My patient asked him if it was not good to chew also, and upon receiving an affirmative answer, placed a small piece—probably [unk]j or [unk]ij—in his mouth and began to chew it and swallow the juice. This was about 3:30 P. M. About one hour later, being thirsty, he drank a pint of cold water and shortly afterwards nausea set in, soon followed by vomiting,

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