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Toxicology – Pyrrolizidine alkaloids occur throughout the Borage family, especially in Lithospermum. They occur in Gromwell, and are hepatotoxic, producing megal stenosis, leading to cirrhosis and carcinomas. There can be fatty degeneration, with necrosis of the hepatic veins, and occlusion.
They are also teratogenic.
These alkaloids have been found in honey from bees visiting onosmodium, giving rise to some concern.
Pharmacology – It is diuretic, is anti-gonadotrophic in men, and counteracts ovulation in women.
It can reduce blood sugar levels and restrict the action of the thyroid.