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Euphorbia poisonii

Euphobia poisonii

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: Euphorbia poisonii

Euphorbia poisonii is a highly toxic and succulent member of the large and varied Spurge genus of plants. It is native to northern Nigeria, where local farmers extract its latex for use as a pesticide, potent against any animal that enters the field. Its powerful and painful nature mandates fencing and clear marking of fields using the poison, but the produce is safe to eat as the toxin decomposes after a few days of exposure to air.

Toxic Activity

The active toxin Resiniferatoxin binds to pain receptors in the same way as capsaicin but much more powerfully. It stimulates the neurons to fire repeatedly until the neuron dies, causing searing pain and sending the victim into severe anaphylactic shock.

Due to its selective nature of binding and killing pain receptors while leaving other nerve cells intact, resiniferatoxin is currently being researched as a possible treatment for chronic pain.


Pain research (see pg. 7)

information on Resiniferatoxin

Nicolaou, K. C. and Snyder, Scott A. Classics in Total Synthesis Vol. II. Wiley VCH, 2003. Chapter 6.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Euphorbia_poisonii". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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