Header Ads

Criminalised Plants (Samreen Khan)

Plants entail exquisite bounty of nature on human beings, their beautiful abode i.e. earth and their co-dwellers, say, for instance, animals and micro-organisms. Despite of inconceivable anthropogenic exploitations, nature always soldier on providing optimum benefits to whole of the earth, including mankind. On the score of exploitation of nature, it seems quite reprehensible that man, the most prudent creature of God, through his vested interests, overlooks these blessings of nature and harms it impetuously. Nature can never be a criminal but it’s being criminalized by man. Many plants are used for illegitimate purposes across and within borders of nations. The underlying analysis speaks volumes of such reverberations:

A highly toxic shrub, is popular in warm climates around the world and known for its red, pink, yellow or white blossoms. It has been implicated in murders and suicides. This deadly plant commonly known as Rose Laurel.

This plant produces a poison that lingers in the body. For this reason it is sometimes referred to as the "poison that keeps on killing". The poison from the plant is odorless and tasteless. Even a minute amount may kill the human beings. Commonly called as Poison Leaf.

Native to eastern Africa and parts of Western Asia. Only the seeds are poisonous but it takes only three to four to kill the humans. This plant although potentially deadly, can be used as medicines. Commonly known as Ricin.

This woody vine, found in South America, contains powerful alkaloids called d-tubocurarine. The substance acts as a muscle relaxant and instantly immobilizes prey. Used as an arrow poison, the toxin is only effective when it enters the blood stream directly, as opposed to the digestive tract.

Native to the west America, plant produces berries that can cause PARALYSIS.
Two common name are-Tullidora , Cimmaron.

Leaves are legally imported from Peru for pharmaceutical use, is still believed to be used in the flavoring of coca-cola.
Archaeological evidences show that from coca leaves, COCAINE is extracted, and were used as a mild stimulant as far back as 3000BC. Even today, coca leaves are still chewed as a mild stimulant.

A parasitic fungus that attaches itself to a flowering cereal grass such as wheat or rye, can mimic the very plant to which it attaches itself. Hysteria, Hallucination and the feeling that something crawling on the skin are all signs of ergot poisoning.
Rye farmers nowadays rinse their crop in a salt solution to kill the fungus.

A beautiful weed typically grows two to three feet tall. The plant produces long, white or purple trumpet-shaped flowers. All parts of plant contain Tropane alkaloids which cause Hallucinations and Seizures. The seeds are especially concentrated and have been known to induce a coma if eaten with food.

Grass like leaves and starry flowers of pink, white, or yellow color, thrives in meadows across the western U.S. The common name for this plant is Black Snakeroot. Dietitian and food historian, Elaine Nelson discovered that eating death camas might have played a significant role in the illnesses that plagued members of the Lewis and Clark expedition in September 1805. Instead of eating blue camas, which is edible, people mistakenly ate death camas and fell violently ill. Since the flowers would not have been in bloom at that time of year, the two plants would have been indistinguishable.

*Samreen Khan studies M.Sc. Botany in Department of Botany, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh.
Powered by Blogger.