These two lectures will explore the darker side of plants and those that can cause disease and fatalities.
Plants which cause liver disease
Professor Graham Foster, RCP garden fellow and professor of hepatology at Queen Mary University of London
Some plants cause liver disease directly but others are associated with liver disease because of the way that they are used of misused. Poppies are the source of heroin which when injected without sterile precaustions cause viral hepatitis and some plants have antiviral effects.
Plants that kill
Professor Robin Ferner, professor of clinical pharmacology at the University of Birmingham
Plants can be powerful agents for both good and evil. Humans may be harmed by plant extracts e.g. Ricin, Abrin and Aconite can be used for murder or by mistake (Aconite) or as side effect when using the plants for a different purpose (Ayahuasca). Professor Ferner will explore some of these forensic aspects of plant pharmacology.