pinyang

Pinyang, Warrior Princess

BY: JOE DORAN (杜乔)

The Sui Dynasty (589-618 A.D.) was not a high point in Chinese history. The first Sui emperor, Wen (541-604), did reunify China after nearly four centuries of internal discord but the second, Yang (596-618), left a lot to be desired. Yang, was as an overly-ambitious tyrant who (it is believed) gained the throne by poisoning his father, before embarking on a reign that would make him a figure of hatred across China.

Yang committed himself to massive construction projects, most notably the completion of the Grand Canal and reconstruction of the Great Wall. Both projects were bought and paid for in blood – the blood of six million peasantsto be more specific. Add to that Yang’s inept military forays into Korea and Vietnam and you might have some idea why the Chinese people hated him so much. To say that he was an unpopular would be a vast understatement.

Read more

Common Toxic Herbs and their Effects

This is not a complete list by any means, but these commonly noted plants, herbs, and flowers should be handled with care or avoided altogether. 

Aconite (Wolfsbane, Monkshood) - all parts: dermatoxic, hepatotoxic, and neurotoxic

Adam and Eve (Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Wild Arum) - root: dermatoxic and gastrotoxic if ingested

African Sumac - leaves: dermatoxic; possibly fatal

Agave - juice: dermatoxic  

Angel’s Trumpet - all parts: cardiotoxic; often fatal

Apple - seeds: cytotoxic in large doses

Apricot - leaves and seeds: cytotoxic in large doses

Arnica - gastrotoxic 

Asparagus - berries: dermatoxic and gastrotoxic if ingested

Azalea - all parts: cytotoxic and neurotoxic; rarely fatal

Betel Nut Palm (Pinyang) - all parts: gastrotoxic if ingested

Bittersweet Nightshade - all parts: neurotoxic and gastrotoxic; rarely fatal

Black Hellebore - all parts: cardiotoxic and gastrotoxic; possibly fatal

Black Locust (False Acacia) - root bark and flowers: gastrotoxic

Black Nightshade - all parts except ripe fruit: neurotoxic and gastrotoxic; possibly fatal

Bleeding Heart - leaves and roots: neurotoxic

Bloodroot - rhizomes: cytotoxic

Blue Passion Flower (Common Passion Flower) - leaves: cytotoxic

Bracken - all parts: carcinogenic

Buttercup - all parts: gastrotoxic and dermatoxic 

Calabar Bean (Ordeal Beans) - seeds: neurotoxic and gastrotoxic if ingested in large doses

Cassava - leaves and roots: cytotoxic in large doses

Castor Bean (Castor Oil Plant) - seeds: cytotoxic if ingested or inhaled

Celandine - nephrotoxic 

Cherry - leaves and seeds: cytotoxic in large doses

Christmas Rose - all parts: gastrotoxic

Cocklebur - seedlings and seeds: gastrotoxic and neurotoxic

Columbine - seeds and roots: cardiotoxic; easily fatal

Corn Lily (False Hellebore) - all parts: cardiotoxic; often fatal

Cowbane (Water Hemlock, Snakeweed) - root: neurotoxic if ingested

Daffodil - bulbs and stems: gastrotoxic; possibly fatal

Datura/Moonflower - all parts: gastrotoxic and cardiotoxic

Deadly Nightshade (Belladonna) - all parts: cardiotoxic and neurotoxic; often fatal

Desert Rose (Sabi Star, Kudu) - sap: cardiotoxic with skin contact

Dumbcane - all parts: dermatoxic; possibly fatal

Elder (Elderberry) - root: gastrotoxic

Elephant Ear (Angel Wings) - all parts: dermatoxic and gastrotoxic

Ergot - neurotoxic 

Foxglove - leaves, seeds, and flowers: cardiotoxic; often fatal

Garlic - all parts: gastrotoxic in animals

Giant Hogweed - all parts: dermatoxic

Golden Chain - all parts, especially seeds: neurotoxic and gastrotoxic; possibly fatal

Goldenseal - all parts: gastrotoxic and neurotoxic in large doses

Grapes/Raisins - all parts: gastrotoxic in dogs

Greater Celandine - all parts: gastrotoxic in large doses

Hemlock (Spotted Cowbane, Poison Snakeweed) - all parts: neurotoxic; possibly fatal

Hemlock Water Dropwort - roots: neurotoxic if ingested; possibly fatal

Henbane - all parts: neurotoxic and cardiotoxic

Holly - berries: gastrotoxic

Honeybush - all parts: gastrotoxic

Horse Chestnut - all parts: neurotoxic

Hyacinth - bulbs: gastrotoxic and neurotoxic; possibly fatal

Iris - rhizomes: gastrotoxic and dermatoxic 

Jequirity (Crab’s Eye, Rosary Pea) - seeds: neurotoxic and gastrotoxic; often fatal

Kava Kava - nephrotoxic, hepatotoxic 

Kidney Bean - raw: gastrotoxic

Larkspur - young plants and seeds: neurotoxic; often fatal

Lemon - oil: dermatoxic and gastrotoxic to animals  

Lily - all parts: nephrotoxic

Lily of the Nile (Calla Lily) - all parts: dermatoxic and gastrotoxic if ingested; possibly fatal

Lily of the Valley - all parts: cardiotoxic; possibly fatal

Lima Beans - raw: gastrotoxic

Lime - oil: dermatoxic and gastrotoxic in animals

Lobelia - all parts: gastrotoxic 

Mandrake - roots and leaves: gastrotoxic and neurotoxic

Mango - peel and sap: dermatoxic

Mangrove - bark and sap: dermatoxic and eye irritation

Mayapple - all green parts and unripe fruit: gastrotoxic

Meadow Saffron (Autumn Crocus) - bulbs: gastrotoxic; possibly fatal

Mistletoe - leaves and berries: gastrotoxic, cardiotoxic, and neurotoxic; rarely lethal in adults

Moonseed - fruits and seeds: gastrotoxic; often fatal

Mountain Laurel - all green parts: gastrotoxic

Nutmeg - raw: psychoactive in large doses

Oak - leaves and acorns: gastrotoxic; rarely fatal

Odollam Tree (Suicide Tree) - seeds: cardiotoxic; often fatal

Oleander - all parts: dermatoxic, cardiotoxic, and gastrotoxic; possibly fatal

Onions - all parts: gastrotoxic in animals

Orange - oil: dermatoxic and gastrotoxic in animals

Peach - seeds and leaves: cytotoxic in large doses

Pokeweed - leaves, berries, and roots: gastrotoxic; often fatal

Poison Ivy/Oak/Sumac - all parts, especially leaves: dermatoxic; possibly fatal

Poison Ryegrass (Darnel) - seeds: neurotoxic

Potato - raw: cytotoxic

Privet - berries and leaves: neurotoxic and gastrotoxic; possibly fatal

Ragwort - all parts: hepatotoxic

Redoul - all parts: gastrotoxic, neurotoxic, and causes respiratory issues; can be fatal in children

Rhubarb - leaves: nephrotoxic

Skullcap - hepatotoxic

Spindle (Spindle Tree) - fruit: hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic; possibly fatal  

Stinging Tree (Gympie Gympie) - bark and sap: dermatoxic; sometimes fatal

Strychnine Tree - seeds: neurotoxic; often fatal

Sweet Pea - seeds: neurotoxic and damaging to connective tissues

Tomato - leaves and stems: cytotoxic in large doses

Uva Ursi - neurotoxic, dermatoxic 

White Baneberry (Doll’s Eyes) - all parts, especially berries: cardiotoxic; possibly fatal

White Snakeroot - all parts: gastrotoxic; often fatal

Winter Cherry (Jerusalem Cherry) - all parts, especially berries: gastrotoxic; occasionally fatal, especially to children

Wisteria - gastrotoxic

Yew (English Yew, Common Yew) - leaves and seeds: gastrotoxic if ingested and respiratory issues if inhaled

last updated: 12-6-2016