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Poisons Part 2 (Teacher: Michael)

Few people realise that rhododendron seeds produce urinary and gastroenteritis symptoms, such as pain when passing water, diarrhoea and vomiting. Poppies contain over 100 different kinds of addictive drugs, most powerful being basic derivatives of morphine and codeine. As it is now well known, pretty blue flowers of morning glory conceal drug LSD, which produces horrific hallucinations.

Away from garden and into countryside, yew seeds are dangerous, even lethal if chewed, while holly berries act as purgative. Deadly nightshade isn't as bad as its name suggests, at least 10 or 12 berries are needed to produce diarrhoea, headaches and abdominal pain but still should not be eaten.

The fox-glove, famous for giving us drug digitalis for heart failure and slowing heart rate, is not good for healthy hearts. Even benign sounding buttercup should be avoided, as it belongs to same family as monkshood and can cause blistering of mouth, colic and diarrhoea.

Funghi such as wild mushrooms and toadstools are not often toxic if they are cooked as poisons are broken down by heat, but problems can arise if they are eaten raw. But best protection against plant poisoning is knowing what is dangerous and educating your children.

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