There are many substances that are considered poisons. True, people have learned to separate harmful properties from useful ones. It turns out that the correct use of poisons allows them to even bring benefit. This is especially critical for pharmaceuticals, where hazardous substances of plants and animals in microdoses are used to treat a whole bouquet of diseases. Today, poison saves lives, the most useful such substances and will be discussed below.
This anticoagulant was originally a pesticide used against mice and rats. Even today, warfarin is often used in this capacity. And this is despite the fact that many other and more effective means of fighting rodents have been invented. But a few years after the application of this poison, it suddenly turned out that it is also an effective and safe remedy to thrombosis and embolism. Since the middle of the last century warfarin began to be used as a medicine, remaining popular in this capacity to this day. However, such an effective tool still has some disadvantages. It turns out that other popular drugs interact with warfarin, like certain foods. That is why the activity of this poison must be constantly checked by carrying out blood tests.
Poison snail venom.
These predatory creatures are marine snails of medium to large size. They prey on their prey, depriving it of the ability to move with the help of poison, isolated by special glands, from modified teeth. Biting the victim, snails inject into her body neurotoxins. That is why it is necessary to touch such creatures very cautiously, and it is better to refuse from direct contact altogether. After all, touching snails can become painful. Although in most cases the bite of a cone snail is no worse than a bee sting, larger individuals can even maim a person, and sometimes even kill him. Scientists have discovered that the poison of some such creatures, for example, the mage cone, perfectly performs the role of an analgesic. At the same time, the effect of addiction does not occur. As a result, poison can replace morphine, which is more effective than it is a thousand times. From the toxins of the cone, the painkiller drug zikonotid is isolated. Other components of the poison are tested, as a means of fighting against Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and epilepsy.
Poisonous can be not only ground parts of plants, but also underground ones. The roots of the aconite flower (Aconitum ferox) in Nepal are used to make a deadly substance called “bish” or “nabi”. It contains many poisonous pseudoconitins. Until the middle of the last century, medicines prepared from aconite were used in Western medicine. Today their place was taken by more effective and modern analogues. Although less often, drugs based on aconite poison are still used. They treat colds, pneumonia, asthma, croup, laryngitis and sore throat. Taking the medicine inwards allows you to normalize blood circulation, nervous system and breathing. The poison of aconite slows the pulse, and the number of heartbeats falls due to some doses up to 30-40 beats per minute. Curiously, earlier the flowers of this plant were used to identify werewolves. It was believed that if the plant leaves a suspicious yellow shadow on the person’s chin, it would indicate an unclean force inside.
The poison of the foxglove.
Digitalis can, depending on its kind, contain deadly and steroidal glycosides. It is no coincidence that the poisons gave some of the plant species a very eerily nicknamed Witch’s Gloves and Dead Man’s Bells. At the foxglove, not only the roots are poisonous, but also the seeds, and especially the upper leaves. It is enough to eat one of them to die. But on the basis of the poison, the medicinal preparation digitalital is made, which allows to strengthen cardiac contractility. Such a tool allows you to control the heart rate, which is important in the abnormal fabrication of the atria. Digitalitis is often prescribed to people with heart disease.
Poison moccasin poison.
A snake with this name is a dangerous predator who expects a suitable prey in ambush. Shchitomirdnik shuns a man and will not attack people first, if you do not touch her. However, unlike other snakes, this does not attempt to flee. Shchitomirdnik remains in its place, which is fraught with a bite of a man who has stepped on a dangerous being. A lethal dose is as much as 100 grams of poison. At the same time, it is considered to be the weakest of the poisons of other rattlesnakes, yielding even to the capabilities of a close relative, the water shield-muzzle. It’s interesting that the moccasin screenworm practices a so-called precautionary bite. If they come, they can release very little poison, or not release it at all. Useful in the venom of this snake is that it contains the protein Contortrostatin. It helps stop the growth of cancer cells, and also prevents the spread of the tumor to other parts of the body. And although such a protein has not yet been officially recognized as a drug in oncology, it continues to be actively studied in laboratories.
Poison of a hemlock.
Such a poison is one of the most famous in the world. Among the alkaloids of this remedy stands out the most toxic and the most important – konin. Its structure is largely similar to nicotine. This neurotoxin disrupts the efficiency of the central nervous system, it is very dangerous not only for animals, but also for humans. Konin may even lead to death by blocking the neuromuscular junction, which is analogous to the action of curare poison. This leads to paralysis of the muscles, in particular the respiratory ones, which is fraught with death due to a lack of oxygen in the brain and heart. Accident can still be prevented if you begin to perform artificial ventilation. In doing so, you need to do it for the next 48-72 hours after the bite, until the action of the poison stops. Injections of such a substance in any amounts cause serious disturbances in breathing and subsequent death. Lethal outcome is also possible if a person simply swallows 6-8 fresh leaves of a plant, or a few seeds, a crushed root. However, despite such a bad name of a hemlock, a poisonous plant can be used as an antispasmodic and sedative. Such a medicine was known since the time of Greek and Persian healers, who used it from various diseases, including arthritis.
The poison of belladonna.
Of the belladonna, datura, mandrake and other plants of the Solanaceae family, a poisonous substance such as atropine is produced. It is used in injections that treat bradycardia (delayed heart rhythm), asystole and other heart diseases. Atropine is prescribed for many diseases, the poison of belladonna is used even in the fight against increased sweating.
Yellow scorpion poison.
The poison of this dangerous arachnid can prove useful in the fight against cancer. A group of researchers from the Transmolecular Corporation in Cambridge, Massachusetts was able to isolate protein from the substances given off by the Israeli yellow scorpion. He can find and communicate with glioma cells, brain cancer. But this serious disease is especially difficult to treat. Scientists were able to create the poison of the artificial origin of their protein, combining it with radioactive iodine. When such protein is injected into the bloodstream, he finds the affected cells, binds to them and brings a solution of radioactive iodine. This leads to the destruction of cancer cells, and in case of proper treatment, the disease can completely retreat.
Poison of the Chilean pink tarantula.
Biophysicists from the University of Buffalo have learned to use the poison of a Chilean pink tarantula. In this substance a dangerous spider has been identified proteins that help prevent death from heart attacks. The fact is that the cell walls have small channels, they open when the cells are stretched. Such passages are responsible for contraction of the heart muscles.If the channels are opened too widely, then it makes it possible to penetrate the cells into positive ions. They interfere with the work of electrical signals in the heart, which leads to fibrillation. Such a strong vibration prevents the cardiac muscles from working in concert. A spider venom affects these channels, preventing the entry of positive ions into the cells. Thus, the risk of fibrillation becomes much less, and the patient during the attack can enter this poison, which will save him from death.
poison ergot mushrooms.
Man has long known that an ergot fungus can attack rye, and poison can enter the human body together with the grains used. This poisoning is called ergotism, it is accompanied by hallucinations and impaired behavior. A person starts to fight in convulsions, which in the end can even end in a fatal outcome. Other symptoms of poisoning are vomiting, nausea, contraction of the uterus and loss of consciousness. In the Middle Ages, certain doses of ergot caused a miscarriage of the fetus, and also stopped bleeding during labor. Now such alkaloids are used in the medicinal remedy of cabergot, in addition to ergotamine also includes caffeine and ergolin. This medicine helps to cope with headaches and migraines. Also poison is useful in the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. Ergotism is even blamed for the fact that in Europe in the 16th century a strange disease called “Dancing Mania” appeared in Europe, but this has not been confirmed.