Conium maculatum – Related to carrots, parsley, caraway

Conium maculatum (1)Conium maculatum (2)Conium maculatum - Germany, 1910

Conium maculatum – Related to carrots, parsley, caraway

Conium maculatum – Plant related with carrots, parsley and caraway seeds. Its main weapon is the violent poison of the coniine, which causes the man to suffocate with full consciousness.

  • Deadly dose: 0,15 g (contained in 20g of the plant)
  • Death: within 2 – 3 days
  • Poison: coniine
  • Aftermath: strangulation through muscle paralysis
  • Where it grows: Europe, Africa and Asia
  • Occurrence in Poland: yes

Coniine easily penetrates the skin and respiratory system. However, the biggest danger is an easy mistake with the vegetable. At first, the poison has a stimulating effect and then starts blocking the spinal cord’s commands. In this way, muscle paralysis and strangulation occur.

History of the plant:
In ancient Greece and Rome often used during the execution. It enjoyed great popularity among the poisoners (allegedly, Socrates was executed with its help). In Europe, it appeared in the Middle Ages, and gradually disappeared during the 20th century. In the meadows and along roads, it began to grow massively in the 80’s.

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.

Traditional tattoos

Traditional tattoos - Maori face tattoo

Traditional tattoos

Traditional tattoos – Tatoo in different parts of the world has a very long tradition. Tattoos have performed the ancient peoples: the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Aztecs, Mayans, Incas. With carefully designed system of tattooing we meet in Polynesian, Maori in New Zealand, Melanesia, Micronesia and Japan.

Vesuvius remains active – Volcano near Naples

Vesuvius remains active

Vesuvius remains active – Volcano near Naples

Vesuvius remains active – Located on the west coast of Italy, near Naples. It is known mainly due to the eruption in 79 A.D. Wherein the layers of volcanic ash killed all the inhabitants of Pompeii and Herculaneum. An eruption was documented by the Roman writer and lawyer Pliny the Younger. He watched the eruption of Mount Vesuvius from the city of Misenum approx. 21 km from Pompeii and described it in his letters to Tacitus.