nux vomica

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nux vomica

(nŭks vŏm`əkə), bitter-tasting drug obtained from the poisonous seeds of Strychnos nux-vomica, a tree that grows in Sri Lanka, India, and N Australia. The dried seeds contain strychninestrychnine
, bitter alkaloid drug derived from the seeds of a tree, Strychnos nux-vomica, native to Sri Lanka, Australia, and India. It has been used as a rat poison for five centuries, and rat biscuits still remain a cause of accidental poisoning in humans.
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 and brucine, both colorless crystalline alkaloids, as well as sugar, acid, and oil. In the past nux vomica was used as a tonic in the form of a tincture, or alcoholic solution, but it is not used in modern medicine. In minute quantities it has a powerful peristaltic action on the intestines and in larger doses causes convulsions and death.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Nux Vomica

 

(Strychnos nux-vomica), also strychnine tree a small tree (to 15 m high) of the family Loganiaceae. The leaves are opposite, leathery, and shiny. The small greenish white flowers are gathered into umbellate cymose inflorescences. The fruit is a berry, with two to eight very hard disk-shaped seeds with shiny, silky hairs.

The nux vomica is native to the tropical forests of Asia and northern Australia; it is cultivated in the tropics of Africa. Like several other closely related species, it contains poisonous alkaloids (strychnine, brucine), mainly in the seeds. Strychnine (nitrate) and galenicals (the dried extract and tincture of nux vomica) are used in medicine and veterinary medicine as tonics to treat lowered metabolism, rapid fatigability, hypotension, weakened cardiac activity (resulting from intoxication and infection), pareses and paralyses, and atony of the stomach. The genus Strychnos contains 150 to 200 species, which are common to the tropics of both hemispheres. Some species are used as a source of the arrow poison curare, which contains alkaloids called curarines; others are used to treat snakebites and to purify drinking water. [29–592.–1]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

nux vomica

[′nəks ′väm·ə·kə]
(botany)
The seed of Strychnos nux-vomica, an Indian tree of the family Loganiaceae; contains the alkaloid strychnine, and was formerly used in medicine.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

nux vomica

a medicine manufactured from the seeds of this tree, formerly used as a heart stimulant

nux vomica

1. an Indian spiny loganiaceous tree, Strychnos nux-vomica, with orange-red berries containing poisonous seeds
2. any of the seeds of this tree, which contain strychnine and other poisonous alkaloids

Nyasa

, Nyassa
Lake. a lake in central Africa at the S end of the Great Rift Valley: the third largest lake in Africa, drained by the Shire River into the Zambezi. Area: about 28 500 sq. km (11 000 sq. miles)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005