148. Daphne Laureola, Linn.—Spurge-laurel.
Laureola, Gerard; Parkinson, 205.—This is another indigenous species of Daphne. It has drooping axillary racemes of green flowers, evergreen lanceolate leaves, and black berries. Mr. Squire says that 7 lbs. of the root yielded 4 lbs. 5 oz. of fresh bark, or 1 lb. 1¼ oz. of dry bark; and 11 pounds of the stems yielded 1 ¾ lbs. of fresh bark, which, when dried, weighed ¾ lb. The liber is remarkably tough. In odour, and irritating effect on the throat, the bark of the spurge laurel appeared to him to be weaker than that of mezereon. Half an ounce of the bruised bark yielded him 45 grs. of alcoholic extract. In its effects, spurge-laurel resembles mezereon. Parkinson mentions its emmenagogue properties. Some years ago, a farrier gave a girl, at 17, three pills to procure abortion. They caused violent vomiting, convulsions (during which she aborted), coma, and paralysis, from which she slowly recovered. A microscopic examination of the fragments of leaves in the pills led the late Mr. Edwin Quekett to believe that the poison was this plant.