Not Your Garden Variety Episode: Toxic Plants
Can you identify all the plants in your yard or garden pots? After hearing this episode, you may never look at them (or honey products) the same way again! Eric Slyter and Curtis Bender, your Horrific History co-hosts, explore some pretty (and highly toxic) plants from across the globe. From nightshade to wolfsbane, and rhododendron to barbasco, this episode will have you questioning the biological warfare applications of your garden plants… just remember to watch how much you use!
Discover which invading armies might have thought of new territory as the “Lands of Tainted Honey.” While Xenophon weighs in with his thoughts on the matter, discover the awful side effects of the wholly natural (but toxic to mammals) “mad honey” which had a history of being used as a tool of violent conflicts long before Draco Malfoy thought to lace a mead with poison.
The “queen of poisons,” derived from a plant family found all across the Northern Hemisphere, also has a long history that pre-dates the Scythians! Learn which Pope approved medical experimentation on prisoners to see if it might be used as a cure for plague or as an antidote for other poisons. The reward for the prisoners if they survive? Life working in a galley. Hear some of the cases in history when it has been used to kill, as well as accounts from some survivors who describe the long term after-effects as torture.
Witches‘ flying ointments, cultural revolutions, murder, assassinations and unsolved cases, this episode might just be the beginning of “Poisons-R-Us.” Whether you are interested in the Curry Killer, homeopathic “cures” for syphilis, or the glorious lives of European honey bees (and Eric’s attempt to bring in salamanders with wings) you’ll get all the delectable details we could fit into this episode… just remember, no squeam allowed!
So sit back and enjoy a nice curry dinner with your loved ones, or maybe some congealed bee vomit on a biscuit, while listening to this new Horrific History episode! Come back in two weeks when we talk about sleep paralysis, incubus, succubus and… alien abduction?
And if you’d like to own a copy of the movies that made Eric geek-out in this episode, find Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – 20th Anniversary Edition (Blu-ray / DVD Combo Pack) here:
Some of our favorite resources from this week’s episode:
- State Symbols USA
- Modern Farmer
- Research @ Texas A&M
- ZME Science
- Dr. Kathy’s Bees
- American Chemical Society
- Jungle Laboratories: Mexican Peasants, National Projects, and the Making of the Pill (find it on Amazon!)
- My Byzantine
- The Every-Day Book of Natural History (click to find it on Amazon!)
- Herbs-Treat and Taste
- The Poison Garden
- Hermiones Garden
- The Medici Archive Project
- DailyMail, 2
- The Guardian
- ITV News
Commercial break music by Dead but Dreaming.