Gelsemium and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Self-Poisoner
Featured Poison

Gelsemium and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the Self-Poisoner

Before there was Sherlock Holmes and his trademark deerstalker cap, there was an English physician, Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle. And before that there was just plain old Arthur Conan Doyle, a student at the University of Edinburgh Medical School, and where we will begin. On September 20th, 1879 the British Medical Journal published a letter entitled “Gelseminum as … Continue reading

Sanguinarine: Mexican Prickly Poppy, Toothpaste, and Epidemic Dropsy
Featured Poison

Sanguinarine: Mexican Prickly Poppy, Toothpaste, and Epidemic Dropsy

Mexican prickly poppy, Argemone mexicana, is, oddly enough, prickly.  It is native to Mexico and parts of the American Southwest, but has also found homes throughout the world, particularly India.  I’ll get straight to the point: it’s a weed.  I’ve seen them in New Mexico, and it seems to thrive in dry, barren soil in ditches and … Continue reading