Milk Sickness was first noted in the early 19th century when European settlers, unfamiliar with the plant, began moving into its territory and allowed their cattle to roam freely in wooded areas. Symptoms of the illness (convulsions, violent vomiting, delirium) were described as "the trembles" or "the slows" or the illness "under which man turns sick and his domestic animals tremble."
The death toll from Milk Sickness was so high that sometimes half a frontier settlement might succumb.
Modern animal husbandry methods and controlling cattle pastures have made milk sickness a rare event in the United States, though pasteurization does NOT eliminate the threat of tremetol poisoning. It is still possible to get sick from consuming dairy products from cows that have eaten White Snakeroot....
I never thought I'd see the day,
when mother's milk would treat me this way,
I shiver, I squirm,
I tremble, I shake,
I know I'm dying,
what a bad day this makes.