Toxic plants in traditional Indian systems of medicine
Thomas M, Walter and Gopi, Radha, AK (2005) Toxic plants in traditional Indian systems of medicine.
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Siddha system is one of the oldest systems of medicine in India. The Pharmacology (Materia Medica) of Siddha system is divided into three major parts namely Herbal kingdom, Metals & Minerals and Animal kingdom. The initial treatment consists of Herbal treatment followed by metal and mineral preparations. It is important to have an awareness regarding the poisonous plants which when used in the proper, prescribed dose, acts as potent therapeutic agents. Toxins are molecules that are harmful to living organisms. It is a fact that virtually any substance can be harmful at high enough concentrations - as Paracelsus (1493-1541) said in the sixteenth century, "the dose makes the poison." Poisons include both naturally produced compounds and chemicals manufactured by humans. Natural poisons are produced by species of bacteria, fungi, protists, plants, and animals. This article has the basic details such as the Botanical & Family names, Common names, toxic parts of the plant, chemical constituents, signs and symptoms of toxicity, its use in Traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (in prescribed doses), and information about Lethal dose and Fatal period of the important plants (such as Papaver somniferum, Datura alba, Nerium oleander, Strychnos nux vomica, Cleistanthus collinus, Cannabis sativa, Gloriosa superba, Anamirta cocculus, Citrulus colocynthis, Abrus precatorius, Semecarpus anacardium, Excoecaria agallocha, Digitalis purpurea, Aconitum ferrox, Croton tiglium and Plumbago zeylanica) noted as poisons in the Traditional Indian Systems of Medicine (Siddha & Ayurveda).
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