Natural Poisons

  • DOI: 10.1002/chemv.201500039
  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 02 June 2015
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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Morphium was the first alkaloid to be isolated from any plant. The pharmacist's apprentice Friedrich Sertürner isolated it from opium in 1804, and opened the door for the use of pure and precisely dosed medicinal substances.

Encouraged by this success, chemists discovered the active compounds in many other medicinal plants in the early 19th century. These compounds are great examples for the famous Paracelsus quote "The dose makes the poison": While some of them have important medicinal uses, they can also be highly toxic.


Natural Poisons


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Magazine of Chemistry Europe (16 European Chemical Societies) published by Wiley-VCH