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Ergot , a fungus

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Ergot , a fungus

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:08 pm

Man has a long history with ergot a fungus which infects rye which is then transferred to humans who eat the grain. Ergotism causes hallucinations and attendant irrational behavior, convulsions, and even death.

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Re: Ergot , a fungus

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:10 pm

Other symptoms include strong uterine contractions, nausea, seizures, and unconsciousness. Consumption can lead to amputation of limbs which are damaged by the fungus.

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Re: Ergot , a fungus

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:12 pm

Since the middle ages, controlled doses of ergot were used to induce abortions and to stop maternal bleeding after childbirth.

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Re: Ergot , a fungus

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:13 pm

Ergot alkaloids are used in products such as Cafergot containing caffeine and ergotamine or ergoline, to treat migraine headaches.

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Re: Ergot , a fungus

Post by sujin007 on Fri Nov 16, 2012 2:21 pm

It is also used in a variety of treatments for Parkinson’s disease. Ergotism has even been blamed (though it is not likely the true cause) for the extremely bizarre dancing plague which struck Europe in the 1500s.
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