I Immediately Began
To Use A Decoction Of The Bark Of The Root, And My Men Found It So Efficacious
That They Collected Small Quantities Of It For Themselves,
And Kept It In Little Bags For Future Use.
Some of them said
that they knew it in their own country, but I never happened to observe it.
The decoction is given after the first paroxysm of the complaint is over.
The Portuguese believe it to have the same effects as the quinine,
and it may prove a substitute for that invaluable medicine.
There are numbers of other medicines in use among the natives,
but I have always been obliged to regret want of time to ascertain
which were useful and which of no value. We find a medicine in use
by a tribe in one part of the country, and the same plant employed
by a tribe a thousand miles distant. This surely must arise
from some inherent virtue in the plant. The Boers under Potgeiter
visited Delgoa Bay for the first time about ten years ago,
in order to secure a port on the east coast for their republic.
They had come from a part of the interior where the disease called croup
occasionally prevails. There was no appearance of the disease among them
at the period of their visit, but the Portuguese inhabitants of that bay
found that they had left it among them, and several adults were cut off
by a form of the complaint called `Laryngismus stridulus',
the disease of which the great Washington died.
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