Are you ready to dilate your mind? Or at least your eyes? We hope so, because that means you’re ready for another Poisoncast episode! This week we’re joined by our friend Matt Candeias from In Defense of Plants to chat about Atropa belladonna, a lethal yet beautiful plant that lives up to all of its many names, including deadly nightshade, belladonna, devil’s berries, and naughty man’s cherries (yes, really). We’ll explore the ancient myth, medieval lore, and modern murder that make up this plant’s history, and then we’ll venture into the nervous system to find out what belladonna has to do with fight or flight. Finally, we talk evolution to see how this deadly substance helps out its plant producer. Pour yourself a quarantini and listen up, making sure you’ve added the right berries to the mix, of course.
Check out Matt’s website indefenseofplants.com and follow him on twitter @indfnsofplnts!
|History||Ecology and Evolution|
|Dangerous Garden: The Quest for Plants to Change Our Lives by David C. Stuart||Rätsch, Christian. The encyclopedia of psychoactive plants: ethnopharmacology and its applications. Simon and Schuster, 2005.|
|Lee, M. R. “Solanaceae IV: Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade.” JOURNAL-ROYAL COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS OF EDINBURGH 37.1 (2007): 77.||Adler, Lynn S. “The ecological significance of toxic nectar.” Oikos 91.3 (2000): 409-420.|
|Müller, Jurgen Leo. “Love potions and the ointment of witches: historical aspects of the nightshade alkaloids.” Journal of Toxicology: Clinical Toxicology 36.6 (1998): 617-627.||Detzel, Andreas, and Michael Wink. “Attraction, deterrence or intoxication of bees (Apis mellifera) by plant allelochemicals.” Chemoecology 4.1 (1993): 8-18.|
|Waniakowa, Jadwiga. “Mandragora and Belladonna–the Names of Two Magic Plants.” Studia Linguistica Universitatis Iagellonicae Cracoviensis 124 (2007): 161-17.||Beuerle, T., et al. “Scientific Opinion on Tropane alkaloids in food and feed.” EFSA Journal 11.10 (2013): 1-113.|