hemlock, water hemlock, rabies, blekota, deadly; Celery family (Ariaceae), or Umbrella family (Umbelliferae); the milestone is poisonous
The family that gave humanity wonderful spicy and food plants – cumin, coriander, dill, piper, angelica and others, turns out to have presented an unpleasant surprise. Among these noble representatives there are also such dangerous ones as poison hemlock.
The main danger of this plant is that for the uninitiated it looks like an innocent piper and angel. Therefore, first of all, we will talk about the differences between these plants. This information must be remembered so as not to get into trouble.
Poison hemlock is a perennial herbaceous plant. The rhizome is rounded, oblong, hollow inside, with partitions. Its stem reaches a height of 60-120 cm, rarely more. It is bare, with a reddish coating, and branches multiple times at the top. The leaves are sheathed, long-petioled, double- and tri-lobed. Towards the top, the stems are simplified — they become lobed, jagged at the edges. The flowers are small, white, forming a complex umbrella with 10-20 rays. Blooms in June-August. The fruit is a round dicot. Hemlock grows in swampy places, along the banks of rivers and lakes, prefers wet places. Widely distributed in the middle zone of Russia and throughout the forest zone of Siberia, in its north it enters the polar-arctic region. Grows throughout the territory of Ukraine.
It should be remembered that the plant is very poisonous, so any use of products from it must be agreed with a doctor – phytotherapist.
One of the most poisonous representatives of the plant kingdom. Toxic substances – cikutotoxin and picutin – are contained in all parts of the plant, especially in the rhizome. When using hemlock, mostly by mistake, death occurs in about half of the cases. The action of the poison is fast – within an hour. Symptoms: convulsions, dizziness, dilated pupils, burning sensation in the stomach, vomiting, thirst, difficulty in breathing and swallowing, followed by paralysis of the tongue muscles, convulsions and death. As an antidote (antidote), emetics, sour drinks, strong black coffee, mustard seeds are used on the back and shoulders.
According to legend, the ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was poisoned with hemlock juice, so the poisonous properties of the plant were known even in those days.