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Articles tagged with: POISONOUS

Aconitum ferox, the strongest poisonous plant



Monkshood (Aconitum Ferox), is known to be the strongest poisonous plant of the Himalayas, having said that, Monkshood, is part of some Ayurvedic medicines and preparations as Mahamrutynjaya rasa, contain Aconitum Ferox, Piper nibrum and Piper longum, containing aconitine and piperine [3].

Most of the Ayurvedic formulations containing Vatsanabha (Aconitum Ferox), were traditionally prescribed as an analgesic, anti-rheumatic, appetizer and digestive [2].

The active constituent giving Monkshood this poisonous property is Pseudaconitine, an alkaloid discovered in 1878 by Wright and Luff [8] also known as nepaline (C36H51NO12) that is found in high quantities in the roots of Aconitum Ferox also known as wolfsbane and it is "extremely poisonous" [8]. Image: Monkshood and Monkeyflower by Zabet O'Casey under Creative Commons License (CC BY 2.0). 


Family: Ranunculaceae

Genus: Aconitum

Common name: Monkshood, Vatsanabha


Datura stramonium, a dangerous natural hallucinogen



Datura stramonium (Jimsonweed), is a plant from the Solanaceae family(nightshade), a plant family with 85 genera and about 3000 species [10]. The origin of Datura stramonium is not completely clear, the Sanskrit "dhattura" and the Hindustani "dhatur" may have been the origin of the general name [13].

In spite the traditional use of Datura stramonium refers mainly to witchcraft [13], Datura stramonium has been the subject of many cases of intoxication and accidental poisoning. Between 2003 and 2009 a total of 63 cases of Datura stramonium intoxication were reported only in Oklahoma.

Jimson weed raised the alerts of health services in Spain after several cases of reported intoxications and two deaths were reported on the news in summer of 2011 [6]. In Ayurveda, the plant is known as Kala Datura due to the black colour of its seeds. Image: Jimson Weed by Robert Benner under Creative Common license (CC BY 2.0). 


Family: Solanaceae (nightshade)

Genus: Datura

Common name: Jimson weed [1,2,3,4], devil's trumpet, devil's weed, thorn apple, tolguacha, Jamestown weed, stinkweed, locoweed, datura, pricklyburr, devil's cucumber, Hell's Bells,[3,13] moonflower[2], in South Africa, malpitte and mad seeds [1], Toloache and Taguaro (Mayo, Mountain Pima, Opata, Spanish) [13], Locoweed, Angel Trumpet, Chamiso (Spanish), Estramonio (Spanish) [13]