Hemlock - The Herb

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Hemlock - Links to Uses, Benefits, Properties, Description, Effects and Details of Hemlock explanation and other information*

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Common Name/s: Other Name/s: Botanical  name/s:
Hemlock Spotted Hemlock, Herb Bennet Conium Maculatum

General description and domicile:
Hemlock looks very similar to wild parsley - a great reason why we should not gather our own food from the wild unless we are expert at identifying, and so differentiating between, safe plants and dangerous plants.
The leaves are small and similar to parsley, stems are green with purple-red marks, and small white flowers bloom in small clusters similar to Dill.
Hemlock is a deadly poison that acts on and paralysis the nervous system causing respiratory failure, cardiac failure and death. Hemlock may be regarded as a valuable medicinal plant by some of the experienced herbalists but unless you are an expert in the use of hemlock do not even touch the plant, let alone ingest any of it.

Hemlock is not recommended. there are other herbs that have the same, but not as deadly, applications - use them instead. You can find alternatives by researching your symptom/s on our Symptoms Directory

This page is included for the completeness of information only and should not be construed in any way as an endorsement of hemlock. It is way too poisonous to use with safety.

Part used and extraction:
All of the plant is used.

Remedy preparation:
The juice that is present in the stalks and leaves, collected after flowering but before the development of fruit, is regarded as the superior source but it is the berries or fruit that contain the highest  percentage of Coniine - the active alkaloid.
Powdered leaves, Fluid extract of leaves, stems, fruit and seed, Juice or tincture. These may all be available but seeing that there is such a small margin between a therapeutic dose and a fatal dose and it is never sure how much of the alkaloid is present in aforementioned alternatives, do not even try to use this medicine. Leave it to an expert (and seeing that your life may depend on it - make sure it is a true expert).

At the time that Socrates was sentenced to death, hemlock was used as the potion for capital punishment. Socrates apparently described his symptoms as losing the feeling in his extremities before paralysis set in. It is said that it does not affect the mind to the end. Shakespeare also liked to use hemlock as the poison of intrigue and mystery in his plays.
In ancient Greece and Arabia hemlock was used for tumors and cancers, skin disease and inflammation of muscles and joints.

Used for treatment of:
Because it is so poisonous Hemlock is not used very frequently in herbal practice and should never be included as one of the home remedies. It however has very definite medicinal effects and i mention these in the interest of completeness.

Use only under medical supervision.




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