Benefits to Humans of Poisonous Plants and Fungi

The benefits that people gain from poisonous plants extend well beyond the pleasure many varieties of beautiful but poisonous house and garden ornamentals, like laburnum and oleander, can bring. From the glycosides of foxglove, used as heart medicines, to the alkaloids of ipecac, used as an emetic to treat poisoning, toxic compounds and poisonous plants applied in appropriate doses provide us with many important medicines. For 80 percent of the world's people, plants are the primary source of...