nicotiana

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Nicotiana‬

nicotiana aka tobacco

Nicotiana is a genus of herbs and shrubs of the nightshade family (Solanaceae) indigenous to North and South America, Australia, south west Africa and the South Pacific. Various Nicotiana species, commonly referred to as tobacco plants, are cultivated and grown to produce tobacco. Of all Nicotiana species, Cultivated Tobacco is the most widely planted and is grown worldwide for production of tobacco leaf for cigarettes.

Nicotiana sylvestris is also known as tobacco, South American tobacco, woodland tobacco, sweet scented tobacco. N. tabacum. Nicotiana is most commonly smoked in the form of cigarettes or cigars. Tobacco is native to both American continents and was used by native cultures by around 3000 BC. Tobacco has a long history of ceremonial use in Native American cultures.

nicotiana aka tobacco

Nicotiana contains nicotine and other alkaloids which are toxic, as a result of this it is best known for smoking related diseases which is estimated to be killing five million people a year. Most smoking related diseases are the result of tars formed when tobacco is burnt but nicotine is a strong toxin.

Symptoms of nicotine poisoning are said to be loss of motor control, involuntary evacuations and convulsions prior to death.

nicotiana aka tobacco

Folklore and Facts

Before its harm was understood, smoking was considered a useful stimulant and appetite suppressant. It was almost the only imported substance not rationed in the UK during the Second World War. Officially, this was said to be because it was felt that morale would suffer great damage if tobacco were in short supply. It seems possible that the authorities felt tobacco would be useful in reducing the demand for scarce foodstuffs.