Spruce forest was so thick that his shadow did not grow grass. Only here and there, in the old rotten stumps and trunks, fallen storm could see the moss and lichens. It seemed that in the dark shadows of spruce forest hid all the bad spirits. There was a smell of damp and fungi.
Through the thorny branches hardly crept young hunter. The first time he found himself far from home and far behind her. He was not lucky naporovshis of acute limb, he hurt his leg. For a long time had to go for the sunset. There, far to the west, was the river, on the bank of a settlement of his relatives. From time to time he shouted, hoping to hear his answer. But they are a load after a successful hunt far ahead. The young man is thirsty, and in order to somehow appease her, he tore on the go soft young spruce needles and chewed.
Gradually, the forest becomes lighter and less. There are grass and shrubs – honeysuckle, buckthorn, hazel. They were almost ripe fruit, but they are not good to eat: nuts were not yet ripe, and berries are edible, and he knew it.
Suddenly, the young men stopped to look low shrubs with oblong leaves. Directly on a thin stem, without stalks, as if glued, were burning tempting juicy, oval berries. He had never seen such. The temptation was too great: fast tearing a berry, he saw through it and then spat out, as his mouth as if burned. Burning did not take place, it felt swollen tongue, the sky begins to burn in the throat …
Forever remembered by primitive hunters this shrub – wolf bark. It is quite possible that in the old days and in the past – was very mistaken, were recalled poisonous and inedible plants better and earlier than edible, or those that were given fiber, paint, spices, incense, wood for craft projects.
Hunger drove try the unknown and in connection with this played out thousands of tragedies. Us and it is difficult to believe that charmed with the beauty of Jean Jacques Rousseau periwinkle azure, or soft pink flower crocus, can kill.
When people are first introduced to the poisonous plants, they have learned to use them for evil. In the history of all time poisoning always considered very serious crimes. Involuntarily the feelings of disgust and horror that caused poisoners were extended to all beings capable of causing such damage, including the poisonous plants.
In this age of catastrophically quickly disappear from the face of the earth, many plant species. Thousands of them is garbage herbs. A greater number of plants are threatened with extinction as a result of logging, cattle eating, poisoning by carbon monoxide, lead and other substances contained in the exhaust gases of vehicles. Many plants are killed by the action of chemical fertilizers and herbicides, an even higher number killed during the construction of irrigation and drainage facilities, as well as roads, houses …
Extinction of individual species is an irreparable loss of unique genetic material, because many of them are valuable not only feeding and healing properties. French primrose, for example, is capable of preventing soil erosion in areas dominated by sand dunes. A number of plants is an indicator of mineral deposits, including lead and copper. Some poisonous herbs that promote the exploration of uranium, now also appear in the list of plants that are threatened with extinction. Therefore, you want to speak in defense of alleged "criminals" because those who talk about their dangers, as a rule, do not know that they are able to benefit.
Among the huge variety of plants inhabit the Earth about 10,000 species – poisonous. Many of them, seeing at least once, you can then find out in appearance or, on a bad smell. But even highly toxic plants, depending on the growing conditions can be less dangerous. For example, the cinchona tree grown in a greenhouse, loses its toxic properties. Depending on the growth conditions become less dangerous poppies, ranks, and lupines even hellebore and fighters – some of the most poisonous plants in the world.
When told of Theophrastus painless death from poppy juice and hemlock (these plants in ancient times was executed criminals), he stressed that Fras mantineets – famous composer took poison hemlock is not where it is necessary, and from Susa and all of the places cool and shady. The same rule is observed it is in relation to the rest of the herbs, making many other poisons. Plants grown in the shade, more toxic. In the morning it has more toxins than in the evening or at night. Toxicity depends on the composition of the soil, temperature and humidity.
Celery, growing in marshy places, is "taste disgusting and poisonous, in vegetable gardens and plant, is … pleasant, nutritious and medicinal "* – wrote one of the founders of Russian Pharmacognosy NM Ambodik-Maksimovic. Even in ancient times noticed that cultured celery is a remedy for obesity and sedative in diseases of the nervous system.
* P. by Kovaleva N. Treatment plants. Moscow, 1971
Toxic substances are distributed in different parts of the plant varies. In some poisonous fruit and bark, the other – flowers and leaves, the third almost the entire set of poisons concentrated in the roots.
Mango fruits are very tasty. But their skin, the juice of the tree and the smell of flowers in many cause severe allergic reactions. Indian cashew (cashew fruit tree – Anacardium occidentale) happy to use bakers all over the world: it is pleasant to the taste of nutritious seeds. However, the seed coats contain pungent balm that causes human skin long unhealed sores. Evaporation, rising from cashews if they are fried in their skins, strongly irritate the respiratory tract and can even lead to death. However, peel cashews may happen to be helpful.
Poisonous nut peel contains 35% dark resinous liquid. In the U.S., its valuable substances – phenols go for synthetic polymers. Africans use this oily juice for a tattoo. In the Philippines and in India it is moistened wood for protection from ants and used in bookbinding.
Some plants are toxic only in a certain period of their life. Famous Soviet researcher vegetation Pamir OE Agahanyants in the book "For the plants in the mountains of Central Asia" (Wiley, 1972) show a widespread there umbrella plant – prangos stern, in Tajik – Johan, from the family. Celery (umbrella). Prangos forms extensive thickets on mountain slopes. The very name of this plant indicates that it is a food for livestock, but … after fruiting. Johan gives a lot of green mass, it bound into sheaves and fed to cattle during the winter. In spring and early summer, before fruiting, the plant is poisonous. His soft, feathery leaves skin to burn blisters, leaving a dark stain.
Egyptian lotus – the bread of the ancient Egyptians (think "lotus-eaters" in Homer's Odyssey) in cotyledons and young leaves contain a poisonous alkaloid nelyumbin that poisons the heart. However, as the lotus leaf lose virulence.
There are plants of the poison which can be removed relatively easily. Enough, for example, dried buttercups, Globe or anemones – and their toxicity disappears. Highly poisonous marsh calla (Calla palustris), the spring attracts cows lush greenery, and in the summer – children red berries collected in the ear, it is very dangerous. But if it boil or dry, it becomes harmless.
Arawaks, the residents of the island of Dominica in the Caribbean, make cakes from the poisonous root of the cassava (Manihot esculenta), bitter varieties of one of the oldest cultivated plants, distributed in South and Central America, Africa, India and Indonesia, and related to the family. Euphorbiaceae. The plant contains a poisonous glycoside, which can be removed by digestion, broiling or soaking root for 4 – 5 days. Arawak and arrive. They have long rubbed him with stones, turning the white pulp, which is stuffed with a long, narrow bag. Bag crumple and twist until until otozhmut poisonous milky sap (if poured into a backwater of the river, it poisons the fish). Pulp devoid of juice, put between two flat plates, press down on top of the stone and baked on hot coals. Get nutritious, rich in starchy substances bread.
But, perhaps, we should not go on a long trip to the island of Dominica in order to see something like this nearby.
Our ordinary potato contains poisonous glycoalkaloid solanine, is quickly destroyed when cooked. Now hardly anyone would think of eating its poisonous berries and tops. However, not everyone knows that much greenish tubers for food are not suitable, because they contain a lot of solanine, and cooking in this case does not help.
Have found that not every body equally susceptible to the poison. The famous French surgeon Ambroise Paré (1510 – 1590), who lived in a time when poisoning was particularly common in the late XVI century, wrote that the same poison to different people act differently.
So, in that case poison?
Poison or poisonous substance in toxicology is conventionally called a chemical compound that, when administered into the body in small amounts in certain circumstances can lead to illness or death. In biology, the idea of poison even more.
It is well known that the very body of an animal or a person with metabolic disturbances can poison yourself, such as excess hormones. We also know that many poisons introduced into the body in small amounts, are medicine. Absolute poisons that can always lead to poisoning, do not exist. Only under certain conditions substance becomes a poison.
Toxic and may be the most common, it is benign food, if you eat it in disproportionate numbers.
And yet, despite the fact that sometimes in small doses, the poison is not poisonous, and "not poison"Large amounts of kills, it is often possible to hear that someone has suffered from poisonous plants. To avoid such troubles, you must be familiar with these plants.
Do not touch the wrestlers, hellebore, ezhovnika leafless or colchicum, a poison that can penetrate into the bloodstream through the skin. You can not come close to those plants that emit dangerous fumes. Poison sumac – tropical plant, growing in our southern botanical gardens and arboretums, usually provided with a cautionary sign. On a hot summer day is enough to stay close to him for a while, and a rash on the skin, inflamed mucous membranes, fever and can occur even loss of consciousness. Each must be the rule: do not eat questionable berries and mushrooms, do not chew twigs and stems of unknown plants.
You can not graze cattle where feed of common poisonous plants. Animal instinct tells a lot, but not always be trusted.
Poison squill (Urginea maritima), known since ancient times in Egypt as a heart medicine, forms a huge onion, sometimes weighing 8 kilograms. Since time immemorial, used this plant to control rats. Disgusting smell and taste bulbs pushed all animals except rats. They, on the contrary, felt for this plant inexplicable addiction and died, poisoned glycosides that are part of its juice. Their bodies do not dry out and published the putrid smell.
Many poisonous plants, deadly to humans, are food for the animals immune to their poison. But this is just one of the reasons that justify their existence on earth.