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Scientific noun: Taxus baccata L.
 
Family: Taxáceas
 
Habitat: In humid forests of the European mountains, North of Africa and Western Asia. It is cultivated in gardening. ( See cultivation details)
 

Components:

  • Alkaloids : Taxine (leaves)
  • Glycosides: taxicantin (leaves) and taxiphyllin. (plant)
  • Taxol (mainly in the leaves)
  • Baccatin ( wood)
  • Ephedrine (hojas)
  • Acids: formic, tannic and gallic ( leaves)
  • Vitamins : A ( fruit)
 
active parts: Leaves, branches and seeds.
 

Uses : Traditionally the fruits been used like antitussive, emmenagogue, abortive, diuretic and laxative. Being so dangerous, this plant should not be used in home-made medicine.

- Anticarcenogenic: It is being studies and proved the use of taxol as anticarcenogenic

For more information : " Taxus baccata and taxol "

Toxicity: Extreme. The mortal dose for adult is fixed in drinking the resulting liquid of cooking of 50 - 100 gr. of leaves in water. Some few leaves can be mortal in a child. The seeds, although very toxic, are very protected so that is very difficult to ingest them. The fruits (arils) are not toxic. The toxicity of the plant is bigger in winter than in summer. Traditionally their toxicity has been exploited to manufacture arrows to poison enemies.

Symptoms: Sickness, initial tachicardia with later decrease of the heart pulse. Vomiting , dryness of the mouth, blue lips, cramps, dilation of the pupil, cardiorespiratory failure and death.


Medical treatment: Gastric lavage, heart stimulants and artificial respiration. The outcome takes place in a very short short time - from 30 to 60 minutes - It is generally fatal and, in the event of overcoming it, sequels in the liver or kidneys may generally remain.

 

 
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