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Constituents: - Strychnine, brucine, gum, resin, oil, bassorin. The Strychnine content is higher than that of Nux Vomica
Toxicology: Info refers to Nux vomica: Nux vomica belongs to the family of Apocynaceae. Other members of this family which we use are Apocynum, Gelsemium, Oleander, Strophanthus and Vinca minor, and of its sub - group, the Loganiaceae, Ignatia, Nux vomica, Spigelia and Curare.The seeds contain strychnine and brucine, substances known toxicologically, their formulae being C21H22N2O2 and C23H26N2O4 respectively, though the chemical constitution has not so far been made clear.
Both are convulsive poisons. The animal with strychnine poisoning shows titanic muscle contractions on sensory, acoustic or optic stimulation which affect not only the stimulated part but the whole muscular apparatus of the body, for strychnine enters into the central nervous system, concentrating in the structures which refer reflexes, and causes the normal resistance in the intermediate neurones to be removed. The innervation of muscles and their antagonists becomes confused and a far too rapid alternation of the two leads to tetanus. Strychnine is easily resorbed and is stored and accumulated in the liver for a long time. In small doses it increases respiratory frequency and blood pressure, at the same time slowing down the heart beat. In cases of strychnine poisoning it is recommended to give ether narcosis at once to win time, give gastric lavage and charcoal, then narcosis with hypnotics or intravenous infusion of 3 per cent. magnesium sulphate. (Morphine must not be used.) (British Homeopathic Journal).
Pharmacology - Strychnine was first discovered in the Saint Ignatius Bean by Joseph-Bienaime Caineiou and Pierre Joseph Pelletier in 1818.
Strychnine is rapidly absorbed into the intestines and acts on the Central Nervous System. respiration deepens, and there is decreased stroke volume of the heart through excitation of the vagal centre. The olfactory cortex, the auditory cortex, the somatosensory and visual cortexes are rendered more acute on the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of the brain.
Epinephrine levels are raised, thus increasing systemic blood pressure,
Brucine, in experiments on Paramecium caudatum, has been shown, like chloroquine and strychnine share a common component in their transduction pathways.