|Botanical Nomenclature||Conium maculatum|
|Distinguishing Features of the Plant||Conium maculatum is an annual or biennial plant, growing from 0,5 to 2m, with petiolate, opposite, pinnate leaves and white flowers in inflorescences. The fruits are green, oval and hemispherical. The flowering and harvesting take place from June to July|
|Part of the Plant with Active Substances||Leaves, fruits|
|Active Substances||The plant contains five alkaloids (Methylconiine, Conhydrine, Pseudoconhydrine, Ethylpiperidine) from which the most important is the coniin (a-propylpiperidine). Also, esential oil, flavone glycosides, coumarin glycosides subsist in plant extract|
|Pharmacological Effects - Therapeutic Applications||The name of the plant comes from the greek verb "konao", which means "rotate". The whole plant has sedative and antispasmodic properties. The herbal extract acts on the nervous system and causes paralysis of the terminals of the motor neurons. Due to these actions the plant is used for the treatment of epilepsy, muscle cramps (contractions), scrapie paralysis in the early stages and the spasms of larynx and pharynx. Also, it is administered in the form of inhalations to relief the cough caused in bronchitis, pertussis and asthma. Finally, it is recommended in the form of ointment as painkiller against the intense headache, skin ulcers, edema, inflammations, strangles, haematomas and joints.|
|Method of Administration||The plant is administered in the form of infusion and tincture (1: 1 parts of dried leaves and ethyl alcohol 70%, 10 to 20 drops, 3-4 times a day). It is recommended in the form of ointment for external use (1: 9 parts of plant's extract and wax ointment).
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||The swallowing of plant's extract (mainly from the leaves and the shoots) may cause salivation, drowsiness, muscle pain, renal failure, rhabdomyolysis, tachycardia followed by bradycardia, loss of speech, muscle paralysis, loss of consciousness, paralysis of the respiratory muscles, neurotoxicity and death. It is worth mentioning that the Athenian philosopher Socrates is killed from conium.|
|References||1) Bιβλίο: Τα φαρμακευτικά βότανα και οι θεραπευτικές τους ιδιότητες, Λάμπρου Π. Σπύρου, Αγροτικός εκδοτικός οίκος, Αθήνα 1981, Β' τόμος, σελίδες: 325-328 2) Βιβλίο: Οδηγός των φαρμακευτικών φυτών, Paul Schauenberg, Ferdinand Paris, Εκδότης Μ. Γκιούρδας, Αθήνα 1981, σελίδες 25-26 3)http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0944711311001966 4)Na Jiang, Wenyu Xin, Tian Wang, Leiming Zhang, Huaying Fan, Yuan Du, Chong Li, Fenghua Fu, Protective effect of aescin from the seeds of Aesculus hippocastanum on liver injury induced by endotoxin in mice, Phytomedicine, Volume 18, Issue 14, 15 Novem 5)http://www.iama.gr/ethno/plaka/filianos.htm 6)http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-949-hemlock.aspx?activeingredientid=949&activeingredientname=hemlock|