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Ames Forester

Abstract

Much interest has been taken in recent years in regard to a knowledge of poisonous plants of the range. The subject of poisonous plants is not new, for the word toxicology is derived from the ancient word "tox", meaning bow or arrow, probably from the ancient use of the arrow to kill. The North American Indians were quite familiar with many poisonous plants. The uncivilized races of Africa and other parts of the world are more or less familiar with many poisonous plants. While the ancients were familiar with poisonous plants, their knowledge was crude. They knew that opium, hyoscyamus, conium, aconite, and peach seed were poisonous. Precise knowledge of poisons could only be gained at the close of the eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth when chemistry had advanced far enough to identify some of the poisons. During this time a number of most important treatises were published dealing with poisonous plants. The works of Gmelin, Bulliard, Plenck, Buchner, Orilla, Ratzeburg, and others, published splendidly illustrated volumes on poisonous plants.

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