May 15, 2009 / Nature / 4 comments
Most plants contain some level of toxin; since they are plants and they can’t move anywhere it is logical to have some kind of weapon for defense. Most of plants don’t have such a big level of toxin but some are really dangerous and even lethal. I think that you’ll be surprised to find out in this article that some of the plants you see every day are poisonous.
1. Castor bean
Castor oil – for all of those who were unfortunate enough as a child and been forced to drink it. Trust to me, I know how disgusting that is. I think that I can still taste it in my mouth. Not such a good childhood memory, if you are to ask me. Since I know the taste I was not surprised to learn that an ingredient in castor bean happens to be the deadliest plant poison on earth. Literally. Just one tiny castor bean is enough to kill an adult man in just a few minutes. Castor oil is made safe with the removable of the lethal compound known as ricin. Amazingly, castor beans are being grown for decorative porpoise all over the place.
2. Rosary pea
The name of this plant may sound sweet, but actually this is one of the most dangerous plants. Its seeds contain a particular lectin known as abrin. If it was to be chewed and swallowed death would follow shortly. The seeds are easily identified with their bright red jacket and single black dot. It looks almost as reverse Black Widow spider.
Another plant you would never tell that it can be dangerous, but that is ‘till you don’t get to know that its nickname is “wolfsbane”, since its common use was by farmers to very effectively exterminate wolfs. The wolfsbane used to be a popular werewolf detection tool. To determinate if someone is to be a werewolf was easily, just by holding this plant near to alleged chin and if there was to be shown a yellow-tinged shadow on the skin was a confirmation.
4. Bushman’s poison
Bushman’s poison was used by the Khoisan of South Africa to poison the tips of their arrows. The plant has very nice flowers and a tasty plum like berry, the milky sap can be fatal. The leaves however have a medicinal prosperities. Bushman’s poison is also known as wintersweet.
5. Angels trumpet
Sweet sound of this angel’s trumpet is the one who would carry you trough the agony of a trip that would not end since its poison has a highly hallucinogen effect. This common plant also goes by other names as jimson weed, stink weed, loco weed and devil’s snare.
6. Water hemlock
The poison hemlock was famously been drunken by Socrates. Water hemlock or poison parsnip is the most violently toxic plant in North America. The flowers and stems are safe but the roots contain chambers that are full of deadly sap.
7. Snake root
Snake root is most dangerous for cattle and sheep. When cows consume accretive fluffy white blooms and stems of the snakes root, their milk and bones become saturated with the toxin tremetol and humans who consume this contaminate animal products will develop milk sickness. In fact milk sickness is what killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother Nancy Hanks.