Death by Seeds

Hanson, Thor. The Triumph of Seeds: How Grains, Nuts, Kernels, Pulses, & Pips, Conquered the Plant Kingdom and Shaped Human History. New York: Basic, 2015. N. Print.

This week blog for plants and peoples I read chapter 11 Death by Umbrella. In this chapter Hanson talks about seeds and their toxins and he starts with castor bean. Castor beans are part of the Euphorbiaceae family, the Latin name is Ricinus communis. Georgi Markov was assassinated by a umbrella gun with a castor bean pellet. Castor bean have a toxin in the storage protein called ricin. There are other used for caster bean like Castrol Motor Oil Corporation uses castor bean to make their oil for high-performance race cars. So they inadvertently hit on the head with their company motto: “Its More Than Just Oil” (pg 165).

Tho other then been used as toxins ans poison seeds are used and have been used for their medicine properties for riding parasites, or relieving the pain of injury and disease, like: treatments for

  • Parkinson’s disease with vetch and velvet bean
  • HIV with black-bean, pokeweed
  • Alzheimer’s disease with calabar bean
  • Hepatitis with milk thistle
  • Varicose veins with horse chestnuts
  • Psoriasis with bishop’s flower
  • And cardiac arrest with climbing oleander. (pg 169-170)

So these compounds  serve both has poison and cures that why you should know what your type if plant it is before you try eating it.

Seeds have been used to make perfume, caffeine, spices, and lots of other stuff. So how does a plant protect it seeds from animals so there seeds for us to collect but that not the main reason it the plants has built-in protect, the main reason the plant can spread it seeds so it can reproduce cause that the main reason why we are all her is to reproduce the next generation. So how does the plant do that well that why are the seeds are toxic or have a bitter taste, pungency, and burning sensations, with the bitter taste animals learn quick not to eat those plants, if it taste good and the poison doesn’t kick in a for a few days the animal and other animals won’t know which plant cause the death of that animal. But a lot of plants relied on animals to spread the seeds. So like in the castor bean the seed pod explosives and hurls the seeds up to 35 ft away from the mother plant.

So when your out in the wild you need to make sure if the plant is toxic or not before you try to eat them so you don’t get sick or die.