Vegetables, Cantharides and Scorpion Poisons

Vegetables, Cantharides and Scorpion Poisons


VEGETABLE  POISONS

Abrus  precatorius  (Ratti)

  • Abrus  seeds  are odourless,  tasteless,  oval  (egg  shaped),  bright  red coloured  with a black spot at  one  pole.  They  contain abrin  a toxalbumin  as its  active  principle,  which  is  similar  to  viper  snake  venom.
  • Raw  or cooked  seeds,  when  swallowed  are  non-poisonous.  But  if  extract  is  injected  into  wound or under  skin, poisonous  symptoms  occur  which resemble  viper  bite.
  • This  method  is  used  to  poison  cattle’s  by means of needle,  known as sin needle.

Semicarpus anacardium (marking  nut  or  bhilawan):

  • Its seed  are  heart  shaped, conical  and black with acrid  oily  juice  which is  brownish  but  turns  black  on  exposure  to  air.
  • Active princiltles  are  semecarpol and  bhilawanol.
  • Juice applied  to  skin  produces  irritation,  painful  blisters  followed  by  itching  and  eczema.
  • Therefore  it  is  used to  produce artificial  bruises.
  • It is  also  used  by  washerman  to  mark clothes.

Croton  tiglium (jamalgota or  nepala)

  • It contains crotin, crotonoside,  cortonoleic  acid  and  methyl  crotonic  acid;  which  act as vesicating  resins  and  irritants.
  • It  produces  blisters  on skin and  sever  GI irritation  with  abdominal  pain,  vomiting  and  purging.
  • Fatal dose is  4-5 seeds or 1-2 ml (20  drops of  oil).
  • Fatal period  is  4-6  hours  (but  may be  upto  6 days). 

Cantharides (spanish fly  or  blister  beetle)

  • Cantharides  produces  a  poison  called  contharidin  which  has  following  effects  :
  • Skin: Local  inflammation  and blister  (vesicle)  formation.
  • If  ingested:  GI inflammation  with formation  of  blister  in  mouth and GI tract. This causes  burning  sensation  with intense  thirst, difficulty  in  swallowing,  blood  stained  vomiting  and  diarrhea.
  • Genitourinary  tract  inflammation:  Loin  pain, nephrotoxicity,  priapism,  and  engorgment  of vulva in  female.
  • Convulsion and  coma.

Scorpion poisoning

  • Haemolytic : If the scorpion has haemolytic venom, the symtoms of scorpion bite simulate the vasculotoxic snake (viper).
  • Neurotoxic : If the scorpion has neurotoxic venom, the symptoms of scorpion bite simulate the neurotoxic snakes (cobra and krait)
  • The toxicity of scorpion venom is more than that of snakes, but only quantity is injected.
  • The mortality, except in children, is negligible

Exam Important

  • Rati: Raw  or cooked  seeds,  when  swallowed  are  non-poisonous.  But  if  extract  is  injected  into  wound or under  skin, poisonous  symptoms  occur  which resemble  viper  bite.
  • used to  produce artificial  bruises.
  • It is  also  used  by  washerman  to  mark clothes.
  • Fatal dose of croton is  4-5 seeds or 1-2 ml (20  drops of  oil).
  • Cantharides  produces  a  poison  called  contharidin.
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