The plant painted by Van Gogh that is both poison and medicine



The inées warriors, a tribe of Gabon, anointed the tips of their arrows with stanza (Strophantus kombe), a natural plant of tropical Africa, to cause the death of its victims. This vegetable contains a chemical compound called ouabaína O strophanthin capable of causing cardiorespiratory arrest. This effect, common to all cardiac glycosides, is due to the fact that it inhibits an enzymatic pump that is responsible for regulating the output of sodium and the input of potassium at the cellular level.

A cousin of the ouabaína is the digitaline, the main component of the foxglove, suckers or digitalis (Digitalis purpurea), a wild plant that we can easily find in our latitudes. A herbaceous species that, for


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