Thursday, 7 July 2011


Plant toxins are any substances or chemicals produced by plants that are significantly harmful to humans when ingested or even by just being exposed to them would cause diseases.

Poison ivy

Poison ivy is a mighty liana which clings tightly to the stalks of trees in Europe, North America, West-, Middle- and East Asia.

Poison ivy is a ten-meter-high tree. The leaves and the bark of both plants contain a very poisonous resinous substance which has an allergenic effect. A subsequent exposure to their poison is always more dangerous than a previous one. The most toxic compound is the oleoresin.

Poison ivy sap badly damages skin after a short-lived itching. In a few hours, a rash appears as well as reddening and swelling of parts of the body that have been in contact with the plant. After that, itching returns accompanied by a local sharp stinging pain.

General symptoms also include fever, vomiting and diarrhea. There is a great risk of a lethal end after oral intake of parts of the plant.

There are also cases of irritation and inflammation of the skin and the mucous membrane. These are caused by a long stay in gardens where poison ivy is cultivated as a decorative plant. A number of medicinal substances such as tannin and gallic acid are extracted from poison ivy. They are common ingredients of medicines used in rheumatology, dermatology and neurology.

Daffodil, Narcissus

Many people do not even suspect that this seemingly innocuous plant actually contains poisonous alkaloids!

According to ancient Greek mythology, once there was a handsome slender lad called Narcissus. Many beautiful nymphs were in love with him but he was haughty and rejected their love. One day, he saw his face in the clear water of a mountain brook and fell so deeply in love with his own reflection that he couldn’t leave that place any more. He died there and a beautiful flower–“the flower of death”–grew from the place where his head had dropped. Consequently, it was named after the self-enamored Narcissus. 

The number of the varieties has already reached 12,000. Most people are familiar only with the aesthetic value of the daffodil and are completely unaware of the fact that these wonderful blossoms– yellow or white with a red brim–and the bulbs contain the poisonous alkaloids narcitine and narcicysteine. They have no application in modern medicine.

The poisonous effect of the oleander has been well known for centuries. There are data relating to its having poisoned Napoleon soldiers during one of their campaigns.

The oleander is an evergreen perennial bush originating from the Mediterranean. It can reach up to 5 m of height. It has dark green spear-shaped leaves and beautiful fragrant white, red or orange tufty blossoms. It blooms between May and October. The bush is cultivated as a decorative plant in many countries all over the world. All of its parts are very poisonous. For example, one leaf is enough to cause death.

The oleander contains the toxic glycoside oleandrin. The latter can be considered a cardiac glycoside and is very similar to those found in foxglove(Digitalis) andpheasant's eye(Adonis vernalis).

The characteristic poisoning symptoms are as follows: nausea, vomiting, accelerated or retarded heartbeat, and cardiac arrest. 


   Animal toxins are toxins resembling bacterial toxins in its antigenic properties that is found in the fluids of certain animals.

Sea scorpion 
These fish also live in shallow waters and stay most of the time on sandy and rocky bottoms feeding on crustacea and coastal fish, mainly sea-dwellers. They can be found in sandy beaches, rocky coastlines and in coral reefs to a depth of 93 m. They usually inhabit warm tropical and subtropical seas but some prefer the temperate zone. The skin resembles algae or sponges and is often mottled, with patches of red or blue. Sea scorpions are well camouflaged, which makes them difficult to distinguish from rocks and seaweed. Besides, their low mobility makes them even harder to notice.

Some species reach 43 cm in length. Sea scorpions have a variable number of dorsal spines with venom glands. The spines are covered with skin that is much thicker than that of a lion-fish. Generally, scorpionfish produce milder stings than lion-fish but there are some species that can cause very strong pain.
Scorpionfish are not important for the economy but they have very tender and tasty flesh. Some species are endangered.


This is an amphibian which inhabits Central and South Europe, Northwest Africa and Southwest Asia. The body is about 20cm long with a short tail and short strong limbs without a web. The skin is shiny black with bright yellow spots. It lives in wet forests, on the costs of mountain rivers and streams. It is active in dusk and night and feeds on invertebrates.

The salamander also secrets its poison through the skin like the   the amphibians.

When teased, the animal secrets the defensive poisonous liquid which contains salamandrin and steroid alkaloids. Salamandrin is a strong neurotoxin so the poisoning is usually characterized by convulsions. The salamander cannot be dangerous for humans.


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Anterior Pituitary Hormone

Endocrine System consists a variety of glands
Ductless is what they are, for they have no tubules to pass
Secreting hormones is its main function
To regulate the body in progress to prevent any obstruction

Master gland is what they call it
May also be hypophysis if you want to sound like a geek
The pituitary is the gland that I am referring       
In this poem, anterior part of it is what you would be learning

Anterior pituitary, also known as adenohypophysis
Where stress, growth and reproduction are its major gist
It’s bigger than the posterior if I would like to discern
Regulates physiological processes are its primary concern

Hypothalamus has the power over the anterior
Acts like a chief in sending stimulus to the supervisor
Wherein, release of hormones is definitely rapid
To the target organs that needs it exactly

Have you ever thought why others are small?
Seems like a kid but the features are old
It’s because of GSH that should promote growth
Has a failure known as hyposecretion

3, T4 and Calcitonin are discharged by the Thyroid Gland
This is not a part of the Anterior Pituitary but I would like to add
For they are correlated to one another in this special function
The negative feedback is the process that I would love to mention

When Hypothalamus secretes TRH, the pituitary will be whipped
TSH will now be freed and send signal to thyroid in just a one click
From the time this happens, TH won’t hesitate to be secreted
To avoid hormonal imbalance, negative feedback must be completed

Once there is sufficient TH, Thyroid gland will now act
Let Hypothalamus know that enough has been construct
So, no TRH and TSH will be able to stimulate the secretion of TH
And the whole body is now in cloud nine and harmony

Bulging eyes, excessive sweating and weight loss
Hyperthyroidism is the most common cause
You may have developed Grave’s disease as you may know
Or for layman’s term, TSH secretion went too low

ACTH is another hormone that will be produced
Stimulation of adrenal cortex  is the primary purpose
To secrete glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids and androgen for males
While, estrogen is also made to help the mom in giving birth

When the mom is still in the stage of pregnancy
Prolactin is produce and acts already
Preparing the breast for future milk production
To nourish the baby when introduced to the new world

LSH and FSH are the perfect duo
Acting on gonads of our dear sisters and bro
Stimulates production of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone
For a baby to come and be born

All of these are nice to know
To educate us of how our body works
All praises to God is all I want to give
To what He have done to you and me

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Definition of Endocrinology, Toxicology and Drug Testing

When I bumped into words, such as endocrinology, toxicology and drug testing, I've remembered one of my folks saying
"What you take in, makes who you are". 

It's been quite a while though. Well, I thought of what's the connect of that to those three terms?  Maybe you too.  I have thought of it and I arrived at the understanding that those terms are related to our body, that when we take food or drugs, it definitely affects of how our body will respond or become later on.

When you think of those terms, I know you would really be of shock or say "whatever".  These terms may be really toxic especially when you've heard it for the first time.

So, I would like to start with some light and understandable definitions of each.

To start of, let me define endocrinology.
Endocrinology is the study of the endocrine system, which involves the different structure and function of endocrine glands.  These endocrine glands which secretes specific hormones are its primary concern, together with the diseases that goes with it. 

Second will be toxicology, when I first heard of it, drugs are the one thing that popped in my mind.  Since I believe that drugs are toxic if you exceed to the required dosage, while others are in their nature to be toxic to the human body. So therefore, toxicology may also be focused on toxins and environmental poisons
that you and I may be encountering everyday.

And third is drug testing.  For me, drug testing deals with body fluids like saliva, blood, urine and the like, which are used for making an examination 
about any presence or adverse  activity of drug in the human body.