Saturday, May 12, 2012

Poisons Post: St. Ignatius Beans & Poison Ivy

St. Ignatius Beans

Scientific Name: Strychnos ignatia
Folk/Common Names: St. Ignatius Beans
Toxin Type: Strychnine (alkaloid)
Where is the toxin: The fruits of the plant (pear sized)
Toxicity Level: Extremely toxic. Strychnine
Symptoms: Severe nausea, eventually severe muscular convulsions, spasms of the face, frothing of the mouth, eventual suffocation
Interesting Fact: This poison was used as rodent toxin, but was eventually thought too dangerous to be around humans. Odorless and colorless, it's often used in movies and shows because of its dramatic effects. Also a favorite of the woman scorned, as it can be slipped into anything.
Folk Info: Named for Saint Ignatius of Loyola, who founded the Jesuit tradition. He wrote several things on the subject.

Scientific Name: Toxicodendron radicans
Folk/Common Names: Poison Ivy
Toxin Type: Urushiol
Where is the toxin: The sap of the plant
Toxicity Level: Considerably less than fatal.
Symptoms: In rare, allergic cases, painful, large blisters can result. Most cases are just dermatitis rashes and blisters.
Interesting Fact: Poison ivy is actually not considered a TRUE ivy.
Folk Info: Since a whole lot of people get in touch with this yearly, it's been the result of a huge number of mnemonic devices, such as "butterflies don't land there, don't put your hand there."
BOTTOM LINE: I mean, you probably won't die, but it's a terrible, itchy rash, people.


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