Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is one of the most poisonous plants, due to the presence of piperidine alkaloids in all parts of the plant, including the leaves, flowers, fruits, seeds, and roots. Hemlock was purportedly the poison used in ancient Greece to execute condemned prisoners.
Hemlock poisoning affects the central nervous system (CNS), causing CNS stimulation followed by depression. Hemlock intoxication has occurred when this plant or parts of it are mistaken for other wild and cultivated edible plants, including fennel, wild carrot, wild chervil, anise (seeds), parsley (leaves), and parsnip (roots). Toxic reactions may result from inhalation as well as ingestion, due to the volatility of hemlock alkaloids. Drying the plant greatly reduces, but does not eliminate, the toxicity.
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Note: Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is a different species from Eastern hemlock or water hemlock.
These uses have been tested in humans or animals. Safety and effectiveness have not always been proven. Some of these conditions are potentially serious, and should be evaluated by a qualified healthcare provider.