Ricinus communis – Castor oil plant

Ricinus communis - Southern MexicoRicinus communis - Botanic Garden (Frankfurt, Germany)Ricinus communis - Venezuela
Ricinus communis - Castor oil plant (1)Ricinus communis - Castor oil plant (2)

Ricinus communis – Castor oil plant

Ricinus communis – It probably comes from the north of Africa. It is a 10-meter tall plant that enjoys great popularity in gardening.

  • Deadly dose: 15 – 20 seeds
  • Death: to 1 week
  • Poison: ricin
  • Aftermath: renal, liver and spleen failure
  • Where it grows: in all tropical and subtropical areas of the world
  • Occurrence in Poland: artificially bred

The most dangerous are the bars of its seeds, about 6,000 times more aggressive than cyanide. Causes agglutination of red blood cells and damages the liver, kidneys and spleen. The first symptoms are similar to a cold, followed by headaches, mouth burning, vomiting and internal bleeding. It gradually attacks the entire human circulatory system.

History of the plant:
Castor oil is squeezed from the seeds, from which soap, ointments, drops or perfumes are made. Apparently Cleopatra applied it to her eyes to have a “wider perspective”. In 1978, a Bulgarian secret interview was used to murder the writer and journalist Georgie Markov, who after several days of the fight for his life died of kidney failure in a London hospital.

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale - Jena, Germany (16-09-2007)Colchicum autumnale (1)Colchicum autumnale (2)Colchicum autumnale (3)

Colchicum autumnale – Protected and very poisonous

Colchicum autumnale – It belongs to protected as well as very poisonous plants.

  • Deadly dose: 20 – 40 mg (5 – 10 seeds)
  • Death: to 4 days
  • Poison: colchicine
  • Aftermath: paralysis, pulmonary edema, renal failure
  • Where it grows: Southern and Western Europe
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

One flower contains more than 20 alkaloids, the most dangerous of which is colchicine and its derivatives. Thanks to the appropriate dosage, they can be used for treatments of cancers. Medicinal products for rheumatism, ascites and kidney diseases are produced from wintering seeds. However, if you carelessly handle (for example when confusing with wild garlic leaves), poisoning may occur. Fowl and goat’s milk may also be dangerous. The first symptoms of taking harmful substances appear after 2 – 6 hours after ingestion. At the beginning you can observe mouth burning, vomiting or cramps. Without proper help, a man can die.

Atropa belladonna – Most dangerous in Central Europe

Atropa belladonna - Botanic Garden - Leipzig, GermanyAtropa belladonna (2)Atropa belladonna (3)Atropa belladonna (4)

Atropa belladonna – Most dangerous in Central Europe

Atropa belladonna – This plant is considered the most dangerous in Central Europe. Its all parts are very toxic.

  • Deadly dose: 10 – 12 fruits
  • Death: in few hours
  • Poison: atropine, hyoscyamine
  • Aftermath: nervous system and heart rate weakness, stopping breathing
  • Where it grows: most of Europe, some places in Africa and Asia
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

The big danger lies in the fact that its shiny fruits can be easily confused with edible forest fruits. Man can poison not only through direct consumption, but also through goat’s milk or meat, if animal earlier ate it. Typical symptoms of poisoning are dilated pupils, an accelerated pulse or redness on the face. There may also be hallucinations and loss of consciousness.

History of the plant:
Atropa belladonna was a component of shampoo drinks and ointments, because after applying to the skin it caused hallucinations – a man seemed to be able to fly.
In ancient Rome, the wives of Emperor Augustus and Claudius poisoned them with a shout. Medieval women applied drops of juice to their eyes. It was to guarantee them beautiful, large eyes. In this way, they risked not only conjunctivitis and eye deterioration, but death as well. Atropine in eye tests doctors are using today.

Various fear forms – Formed as reaction to danger

Various fear forms - Fear in eyes

Various fear forms – Formed as reaction to danger

Various fear forms – Fear is a natural emotion, formed as a reaction to danger. Sometimes even the greatest hero overwhelmed and there is nothing wrong with that. We distinguish between two basic types of fear:

The first is innate fear (atavistic), which carry encoded in our genes. It eg. fear of the storm, dark or dangerous animals.
The second type is the fear acquired, which is developed during the life. We can be afraid of old age, loneliness, job loss, etc.

A specific form of morbid fear are phobias, that is a very strong fear of specific objects, animals, people or situations. We have hundreds of kinds of phobias. The most popular are:

Arachnophobia fear of spiders.

Claustrophobiafear of small, enclosed spaces.