Flowers of Bryonia dioica

Flowers of Bryonia dioica

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Credit: DR JEREMY BURGESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Flowers of White Bryony, Bryonia dioicia. White bryony is a climbing plant with a large perennial taproot, native to Central and Southern Europe and the UK. Each Spring it develops long stems that scramble up through hedgerow shrubs by the use of tendrils. In Autumn, the plant produces small red fruits which if eaten cause symptoms of mild poisoning, including vomiting and stomach pains. More serious poisoning leading to death has been known to occur in cattle that have eaten the root following its exposure after excavation works. Active substances in the root include a glycoside ( bryonin ) and the alkaloid bryonicine, although little is known about their mode of action. Tincture of white Bryony root is widely offered as a homeopathic remedy to treat a variety of symptoms.

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Keywords: alkaloid, biological, biology, botanical, botany, bryonia dioica, bryonicine, bryonin, glycoside, homeopathic remedy, homeopathy, perennial, poisonous plant, taproot, tincture, white bryony

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