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Author Topic: How much hemlock would kill you?  (Read 16088 times)

Offline annie123

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How much hemlock would kill you?
« on: 26/08/2014 01:24:35 »
Hemlock has recently been identified as an invasive species growing wild in my area.Does one have to eat it to be killed? or can its poison rub off on you? We have been warned about touching it. Or does it have to be made into a tea to be dangerous?


 

Offline Don_1

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Re: How much hemlock would kill you?
« Reply #1 on: 26/08/2014 10:49:07 »
There are two species of Hemlock, Cicuta (Water hemlock) and Conium (Poison hemlock).

In fact both plants are poisonous, but it is the Conium which is the most toxic, most common and most often responsible for poisoning.

While the plant grows undamaged, it emits a chemical warning which grazing animals recognise and avoid. However when damaged, the broken part of the plant no longer emits this warning, but still remains highly toxic.

All parts of the plant are toxic, but it is the root, seeds and young shoots which are the most toxic, containing 5 alkaloids.

Accidentally ingested small quantities can result in birth defects among sheep, cattle, goats, horses and pigs. Larger quantities will often result in death.

As far as humans are concerned, even small quantities can be fatal. The leaves can be mistaken for parsley and the root for parsnip, both members of the same family. The toxins cause paralysis of the neuromuscular systems. Death is caused by the paralysis of the respiratory muscles. (Heart, diaphragm). There is no known antidote and death can result in just an hour or two. A woman in the USA died after consuming a salad to which Hemlock leaves had been added mistakenly.

Though the main cause of poisoning is by ingestion and the plant is generally not toxic to touch, pulling out the plant or any prolonged contact can result in the plant oils entering the body subcutaneously. It is certainly best to avoid the plant and ALWAYS to wear protective clothing when dealing with an infestation.

 

Offline annie123

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Re: How much hemlock would kill you?
« Reply #2 on: 31/08/2014 06:45:52 »
Thanks! the part about the salad is alarming! i don't think I will eat a salad in any restaurant here for a long time.
 

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Re: How much hemlock would kill you?
« Reply #2 on: 31/08/2014 06:45:52 »

 

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