#nature at its #best..
Showing 16 posts tagged posion diaries
Taken from the last of the Poison Diaries short stories ‘Harbour Tales’.
Good #morning, #Morning #Glory…
#orange #crown #imperial #nature_at_its_best
"New blossoms appear in the meadow every day and make a kaleidoscope of the grass: bluebells, violets and butter-yellow daffodils." The Poison Diaries
"The air is perfumed with spring. The sun warms the skin and melts the heart, and everything grows with abandon. Roots stretch deep in the earth to satisfy their thirst. Stalks race upward, propelled by joy. Leaves flutter and dance, buds swell and shameless blossoms unfurl and offer themselves freely to the sky.” The Poison Diaries
"Behind the walls of my apothecary garden are other rare and even more dangerous plants. Many I acquired without fully understanding their uses – perhaps I found a name mentioned in some obscure, ancient medical text, or came upon an old cure related by a beggar who claimed to have heard it from an ancient witch woman he met once. Based upon such vague hints and clues, and often following nothing more than my own blind instincts, I have bought and traded plants from all over the world. The most powerful ones live behind that locked gate." The Poison Diaries
White Snakeroot is a poisonous perrenial herb from the Asteraceae family. It is native to North America. It is an upright plant which can grow up to 1.5m tall that can be found in the woods where it blooms from late summer to fall.
All parts of this plant are poisonous containing the toxin, Tremetol. Usual cases of human poisoning involve cattle ingesting this plant and passing on the toxins through its contaminated milk and meat. When a human then consumes the contaminated products they get what is known as ‘Milk sickness’. This was a common killer in the 19th century and is what people believe killed Abraham Lincoln’s mother in 1818.
The origin of ‘milk sickness’ was unknown until 1830, when Dr. Anna Pierce Hobbs Bixby identified the plant based on knowledge she had learnt from an unknown shawnee woman.
Human symptoms of ingesting contamined produce from a poisoned animal include vomiting and prolonged nausea, in larger quantities this can then lead to death. Signs of direct poisoning include, depression, lethargy, hind feet placed too close together (horses, goats, cattle) or held too far apart (sheep). Nasal discharge, excessive saliva, arched body posture and rapid or difficulty breathing.
Regardless of these severe symptoms White Snakeroot has been used for medicinal reasons. Tea from its roots has been used to treat diarrhoea, kidney stones and fever and its Root poultice to treat snakebites.
“Your ears have the power to hear us, but your heart is bitter as a rhubarb leaf. This bitterness makes you deaf to the truth”. The Poison Diaries
A beautiful botanical image of the poisonous plant Nightshade, from ‘British Herbal by John Edwards’ (Plate 3) from the Duke of Northumberland’s collection at the Alnwick Castle Library.