Nature provides us with many great things that help our bodies – from using local honey to ward off the unpleasant symptoms of hay fever, to eating elderberries to help boost our immune systems in the colder months when cold and flus are around, and even the humble dock leaf, which is well known for having skin soothing properties when we get caught by a stinging nettle. But it is also important to realise that the natural world also has many toxic and dangerous substances. Here are some of nature’s most deadly toxins…
Botulinum – This is an incredibly fatal toxin, even in tiny doses. It is produced by a type of anaerobic bacteria and was first discovered in Germany in the 18th Century. It causes unpleasant symptoms of paralysis and quickly leads to death. It is usually found in foods like meat that have harboured the bacteria. However, this toxin is also used in medicine and in cosmetic surgery. You will probably have heard of Botox, and when used by qualified professionals like doctorkate.co.uk/doctor-kate/ who provides Botox treatments Cheltenham, it can reverse some of the signs of ageing on the skin, and is also used to prevent excessive sweating. Not bad for a substance that is considered to be the deadliest natural poison in the whole world!
Ricin – This is a toxin found in plants, specifically in the seeds of the Castor plant. This is a particularly nasty poison that works by attacking the DNA. It has been known to be turned into a weapon when the substance is aerosolised. When this happens it is inhaled, but people can also be poisoned by it in water or food. It doesn’t take much to cause death, and symptoms of ricin poisoning depend on the way that it was taken into the body. There is no remedy for ricin poisoning.
Cyanide – This natural poison was well documented during the cold war, being something that was kept by spies, who if caught would take a capsule of this deadly poison to prevent the enemy from obtaining their secrets. It was chosen because as well as being deadly, it works very fast. It is found in small quantities in almonds as well as in the pips of some fruits.