|Botanical Nomenclature||Claviceps purpurea|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Claviceps purpurea is an ergot, parasitic fungus which grows on cereals and grass. Ergot grows before cereals blooming and manifests itself as a white soft tissue producing sugary honeydew. When the seeds ripen, ergot appears as a long, cylindrical or triangular grain and after a short period of time it becomes solid and fragile.|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||The infected seeds.|
|Active Substances||Ergot alkaloids (ergotamine, ergonovine, ergometrine) and lysergic acid, which is used as a raw material for the synthesis of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). It also contains a lot of ergot alkaloids, which are classified to three major groups: clavines, amides of lysergic acid and ergo peptides.|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||Ergot has been used used to prevent postpartum hemorrhage, as well as vasoconstrictor against migraines and as an agonist for the receptors D1, D2, D3 of dopamine. It has been also used for the treatment of Parkinson's disease, against hyperprolactinemia, and in certain cardiovasvular diseases. Lysergic acid derivatives, which are isolated from Claviceps purpurea, are precursors of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), which has hallucinogenic properties, by affecting central receptors of serotonin (5-HT).|
|Method of Administration||The plant is not recommended in medicine, but it may be useful in cases of metrorrhagia. Drug addicts are taking LSD either orally in the form of tablets, capsules, sugar cubes and patches.
Warning: The use of herb preparations is not recommended without seeking advice from your physician or pharmacist. The substances they contain may interact with the subscribed drugs that the patient already takes, thus eliminating their therapeutic efficacy or inducing toxicity. They may also burden further weakened vital functions of the body thus exposing the patient to increased morbidity and life threatened conditions.
|Toxicity- Adverse Effects||Ergot alkaloids are toxic and they may cause strong vasoconstriction, weakness, sweating, vomiting, hypotension, anuria, visual disturbances and death.|
|References||1)Bιβλίο: Τα φαρμακευτικά βότανα και οι θεραπευτικές τους ιδιότητες, Λάμπρου Π. Σπύρου, Αγροτικός εκδοτικός οίκος, Αθήνα 1981, Ά τόμος, σελίδες: 194 2)http://bioweb.uwlax.edu/bio203/2011/miedema_kait/medicinal_uses.htm 3)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-431-ergot.aspx?activeingredientid=431&activeingredientname=ergot 4)http://entheology.com/plants/claviceps-purpurea-ergot-alkaloid/ 5)http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1637017/|