|Statement||by Thomas R. Fraser|
|Contributions||Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh|
|The Physical Object|
|Number of Pages||16|
Biological warfare is a menacing twenty-first-century issue, but its origins extend to antiquity. While the recorded use of toxins in warfare in some ancient populations is rarely disputed (the use of arsenical smoke in China, which dates to at least BC, for example) the use of "poison arrows" and other deadly substances by Native American groups has been fraught with contradiction. Biological warfare is a menacing twenty-first-century issue, but its origins extend to antiquity. While the recorded use of toxins in warfare in some ancient populations is rarely disputed (the use of arsenical smoke in China, which dates to at least BC, for example) the use of "poison arrows" and other deadly substances by Native American groups has been fraught with contradiction. S. kombe was originally misidentified as S. hispidus in the mid 19th century, the latter being differentiated by its more hirsute, less coriaceous (leathery) leaves. And whereas S. hispidus is indigenous to the western regions of the African continent, S. kombe is found principally in the southeast. The strophanthins, which we now know to be steroidal cardiac glycosides, were isolated from African plant sources (arrow poisons) in the late 19th cen.
Arrow poisons from plants Arrow poisons are used to poison arrow heads or darts for the purposes of hunting. Poisoning arrows was & is practiced everywhere except in Australia Monkshood, Ranunculaeceae. Used since time of Neanderthals. For shooting wild beasts, the tubers of Aconitum are boiled in water. Resulting liquid, viscous and poisonous, is smeared on sharp. Strophanthus kombe, the kombe arrow poison, is a vine that grows in the tropical regions of Eastern Africa, and is part of the genus Strophanthus, which contains approximately 38 species. S. kombe contains a cardiac glycoside which directly affects the ically, both the seeds and roots of the plant were used in the preparation of poison arrowheads used for hunting. The seeds and roots of Strophanthus kombe have been used in the preparation of arrow poison since prehistoric times throughout the species’ range. Game wounded by a poisoned arrow dies quickly, while the flesh can be eaten without ill effect. However, flesh immediately surrounding the wound is . Now we get to the arrow poison most people have heard of – the toxin that comes from the poison dart frog. Found in South America, there are three species of these frogs that contain the most poison: Phyllobates terribilis, P. bicolor and P. aurotaenia. Terribilis is so poisonous that arrows only have to be dipped in the back of its skin to.
In , Thomas R. Fraser, Professor of materia medica and therapeutics in Edinburgh, reported on the “Kombi arrow poison” (obtained from Kirk). Working on frogs, birds and mammals, he found that the primary action was on the heart, but noted that voluntary muscles were gradually impaired. U.S. National Plant Germplasm System COVID Update, Ma Shipments may be delayed requesting germplasm, scientists should consider their capacity to receive it. Strophanthus kombe, its use as an arrow poison and its stimulant effects on the heart became known after Livingstone's Zambesi expedition. 14 This article focuses on this particular strand of the history of Strophanthus plants and the substances derived from them. Diana N. Knittel. WALA Heilmittel GmbH, Department of Analytical Development and Research, Section Phytochemical Research, Bad Boll/Eckwälden, Germany; Other articles by th.