Chemistry

Domestic plant poisons

Domestic plant poisons



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Thimble (Digitalis purpurea)

The red foxglove is at home in forests and gardens in Central Europe. It only grows in soils that are poor in lime.

In the leaves of the red foxglove there is about 0.1% glycosides digitoxin, C41H64O13, and about 0.2% gitoxin, C.41H64O14, contain. The sugars associated with the aglycon and the composition and amount of the glycosides can vary greatly in the different foxglove species.

Poisoning manifests itself as arrhythmias, diarrhea and vomiting and can lead to death from cardiac arrest.

The digitoxin contained in the red foxglove is one of the cardiac glycosides. It is used as a drug for heart muscle weakness and cardiac arrhythmias.

For more information on glycosides, see: Glycosides and Heart Glycosides


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