Ancient Poisons Not Even Putin Would Dare Use

Turns out Earth has been providing natural ends for your enemies for a long time
Ancient Poisons Not Even Putin Would Dare Use

Okay, look, Ill admit to a bit of exaggeration. Putins a pretty nasty fella, and given that hes already putting radioactive pellets in people, I think hed be perfectly glad to bring any of these back into favor. 

Of course, he might just consider his openness to poisoning political enemies a throwback to simpler times. Obviously, since the beginning, there have been substances in nature that are toxic to humans. With them has come the act of sneaking something youre really, really not supposed to eat into the dinner of someone who is unaware of it. 

Id say its a neater option than a good old-fashioned pincushioning, but given some of the symptoms, I think theyd still involve some loud noises and a thorough cleanup process.


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Some plants have only a few poisonous bits. Hemlock, on the other hand, is highly poisonous from tip to tail. If youre unlucky to ingest it, you can expect an unpleasant time filled with seizures and barf until you eventually experience respiratory failure. Something Socrates famously found out personally.



Wolfsbane lays claim to a heaping helping of poisonous aconitine, and also a huge amount of awesome nicknames: monkshood, devils helmet, “the queen of poisons.” The name wolfsbane comes from its use poisoning wolves, and, wouldnt you know it, that means its not great eats for humans either. Ingest wolfsbane, and youre in for a veritable cornucopia of symptoms, including everything from diarrhea to dizziness. From there, its a race to see if your heart or your lungs quit on you first.


Agnieszka Kwiecien, Nova

These days, most people probably think of the screaming plants from Harry Potter, but the real plant theyre based on is deadly in its own right. Its even got an incredible nickname that could threaten wolfsbanes throne: “the Devil's testicle.” Its packed chock-full of all sorts of ingredients that mess with your body, which made it a common medicinal plant. One use was to help put someone to sleep, which, as usual, means its just a question of dose away from murder.



Another highly dangerous sedative of yore was henbane. They knew just how dangerous it was, since it was both used in medicine as well as applied to the tips of arrows and spears as a poison. Maybe the most famous person it can claim the death of, though fictional, was Hamlets father, who received a generous dose of henbane via the ear canal. The afflicted will go through stages of madness and a loss of muscular control before entering a coma and dying.


Kaarel Tiidus

The only non-plant on this list and the one thats probably still most commonly known today is arsenic. It wasnt particularly hard to find in the old days, and it didn't affect the color, taste or smell of the food or drink it was mixed into. Couple that with the symptoms being incredibly hard to definitively link to arsenic, at least before modern tests, and youd think this stuff was plopped on earth specifically to speed along royal lines.

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