Mushroom Week on Nature’s Poisons
Quick Commentary

Mushroom Week on Nature’s Poisons

Welcome to Mushroom Week on Nature’s Poisons, where I’ll highlight two poisonous mushrooms, one that severely sickens and one that can kill.  Check back on Tuesday and Thursday for the history, chemistry and science of these two fungi.  I plan on covering more poisonous mushrooms over time, so be patient, but if there’s one you’re … Continue reading

Myristicin: Trippin’ on Nutmeg
Featured Poison

Myristicin: Trippin’ on Nutmeg

In search of a psychedelic high, some teenager, somewhere, will turn to nutmeg.  Yes, that aromatic spice used in pumpkin pie and eggnog can take you for a trip.  And people have been trippin’ on nutmeg for centuries. Nutmeg dates back to Indonesia and the “Spice Islands” near the turn of the 16th century.  Then, … Continue reading

Thujone: Absinthe and Wormwood Wonders
Featured Poison

Thujone: Absinthe and Wormwood Wonders

Wormwood, and its chemicals and concoctions, has an interesting history, and it’s difficult to know where to start.  And whenever I’m in doubt, I start at the beginning, despite what my favorite author says (see rule 5). The plant genus Artemisia houses over 300 species, and includes the common sagebrush, as well as the cool sounding mugwort and … Continue reading

Aconitine: Queen of Poisons
Featured Poison

Aconitine: Queen of Poisons

Queen of Poisons.  Where do you go from there?  And names like that aren’t usually given away, you have to earn them.  So how exactly did aconitine receive this highest honor?  By being a bad ass, of course. The genus Aconitum is comprised of over 200 species of flowering plants, and grow in damp and part-shade areas … Continue reading

Colchicine: Don’t Eat the Crocus
Featured Poison

Colchicine: Don’t Eat the Crocus

Homepage featured image of Colchicum autumnale by ukgardenphotos (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) Colchicum autumnale, the autumn crocus, the meadow saffron.  I am neither a botanist, nor a taxonomist, so when something is called a crocus I naturally assume it is, well, a crocus.  Silly me.  They aren’t even in the same family, let alone order.  They … Continue reading

Caffeine: Addicted to Poison
Featured Poison

Caffeine: Addicted to Poison

On every street corner in America there resides a Starbucks.  On the counter of every gas station there lives an energy drink display.  In every pharmacy there is a No-Doz section.  Mountain Dew by the caseload in gamers’ basements.  Coke and Pepsi in a cage match. What’s the common denominator here?  Caffeine.  And lots of … Continue reading

Teen Arrested for Selling Abrin Online
In the News

Teen Arrested for Selling Abrin Online

A Florida teen, 19-year-old Jesse William Korff, was arrested for allegedly selling one of the world’s most deadly poisons, abrin, to undercover federal agents.  Korff used the online Black Market Reloaded (BMR) to sell the deadly poison in exchange for relatively untraceable Bitcoins and cash.  The bust also revealed a pipe bomb and a methamphetamine lab. … Continue reading

What are Nature’s Poisons?
Quick Commentary

What are Nature’s Poisons?

Everywhere we live, sleep, play, and breathe we are surrounded by Nature’s poisons.  From poisonous plants and deadly mushrooms, to venomous snakes and anthrax toxins.  Mother Nature clearly isn’t happy with us.  And I can’t say I blame her. There are thousands of plants that are poisonous to humans (and animals).  For instance, apple seeds … Continue reading