Poison can be deadly when absorbed by the body because it damages organs and muscles and can be fatal even in small amounts. After learning how to distinguish toxins, mankind began enjoying poisonous substances in safe amounts.
Chinese poet Su Dongpo praised blowfish for its exquisite taste, for which he was even ready to die. But blowfish contains poison that paralyzes peripheral nerves. A test was conducted on various parts of the fish to find out which part was the deadliest. One blowfish contains enough poison to kill 11 people.
Many popular dishes in Korea such as bracken, gingko nuts, water dropwort and taro also contain toxins. How dangerous are they?
Natural poison contained in animals and plants can be used as medicine if processed right. Natural toxins have drawn attention recently as the raw material for various medicines that are cheap and have no side effects. In ancient times, aconite was used to poison people, but nowadays it is an herbal medicine.
Lacquer trees, which cause skin allergies, have emerged as the last hope for cancer patients.
Just one gram of botulinum toxins is enough to kill 100 adults. But these days it is used to make the popular beauty drug Botox.
Thalidomide was popular in the 1960s for its property to alleviate morning sickness in pregnant women. But the repercussions were serious: more than 10,000 people born with deformities. The survivors still struggle to come to grips with their disabilities.
The Copenhagen shock: People who take synthetic vitamins in excessive amounts have shorter life spans.
Both poison, which kills humans, and medicine, which helps them treat disease, have their roots in nature. Even modern medicine has failed to unravel the mystery of medicinal herbs. Nature provides both medicine and poison to humans. They hold the key to health and death.