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Euphorbia poissonii,[1] also known as Euphorbia poissoni [2] and, incorrectly as Euphorbia poisoni is a highly irritant and toxic succulent member of the large and varied spurge family of plants.[3] It is native to northern Nigeria, where local farmers extract its latex for use as a pesticide. Its powerfully irritant and pain-producing nature mandates use as a fencing plant.

Euphorbia poissonii
Euphorbia poissonii.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Rosids
Order: Malpighiales
Family: Euphorbiaceae
Genus: Euphorbia
Species: E. poissonii
Binomial name
Euphorbia poissonii
Pax

Toxic activityEdit

In addition to a variety of irritant phorbol-type esters, the latex contains resiniferatoxin and tinyatoxin, two closely related highly irritant resiniferonol-type esters.[3] The most active toxin, resiniferatoxin, binds to pain receptors in the same way as capsaicin but much more powerfully. It stimulates the neurons to fire repeatedly, causing pain.

Due to its selective nature of binding and killing pain receptors while leaving other nerve cells intact, resiniferatoxin is currently being researched as a possible treatment for chronic pain.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Euphorbia poissonii in Tropicos
  2. ^ Euphorbia poissoni in CJB African Plant Database
  3. ^ a b Euphorbia poissonii in BoDD – Botanical Dermatology Database

SourcesEdit

Growing Milkweed, a plant with prospective anticancer properties (see pg. 1)

Nicolaou, K. C. and Snyder, Scott A. Classics in Total Synthesis Vol. II. Wiley VCH, 2003. Chapter 6.