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Asked in Middle Ages, Salem Witch Trials
Did medieval barley develop fugus and make the peasants sick?
In the context of the Salem witch panic, maybe. The hallucinogenic effects of ergot, a fungus that grows on rye, barley and other wheat crops does match up with many of the symptoms of witchcraft in Salem. But, the distribution pattern of the afflictions doesn't match up with how ergot poisoning would reasonably appear. The afflictions were sporadically spread throughout Salem, but ergot is likely to affect whole households and not just scattered persons. Put simply, one would expect that more people from...
Asked in Mycology or Fungi
What is an ergot plant?
Ergot is actually a specific genus of fungi called Claviceps. The most prominent member of genus Claviceps is Claviceps purpurea. Ergot grows on rye and related plants and produces a powerful hallucinogenic toxin called ergotamine, a precursor to LSD. ...
What were the living conditions of puritans and how might such conditions be a factor in the Salem witch trials?
They were rough and spartan but not bad. The only theory that the living conditions would affect is the Ergot poisoning theory. The afflicted would have ingested the Ergot fungus along with the wheat or rye from the previous harvest after a long enough time for the fungus to really grow. If the ergot really is the culprit and the living conditions allotted for better storage or fresher food, the witch panic may not have happened. ...
Asked in Food & Cooking, Food Spoilage
How does ergot get in your food?
Ergot can grow on rye and other grains as a result of infestation. Claviceps purpea, or Ergot, can get into food made with grain products that have been infected. Typically, it grows in temperatures of 18-30 °C (64.4-86 ºF) temperatures above 37 ºC (98.6 ºF) causes rapid germination, or the sprouting of fungi. If you know where your grain products are coming from you should be fine from the Ergot. ...
Asked in UFOs, Space Aliens
Whwere are the aliens?
on mars..... ddeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!! would u like to no where Dr. evil is too? guess Wat hes on the Satan!!!!!!! guess where Neil Armstrong is?? the moooooooooooooooooooooooooooonn!!!!!!!!!!!!!! guess where i live?? eeeeaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrtttttttttttttttttthhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ...
Asked in Colonial America, Salem Witch Trials
What is the leading medical theory about causes of behaviors leading to the Salem witch trials?
ergot, a hallucogenic mold found on damp wheat. this is the same mold that caused the werewolf craze in france. EDIT: The Ergot theory works because the damp fall preceeding the winter when the affliction began, would have allowed the spread ergot in larger quanitites than is normal. The winter is when the infected wheat would have been eaten at the highest rate. Along with hallucinations, ergot can affect the muscles in the limbs and that can lead to convulsion that could have...
Asked in Witchcraft
What is ergotism in relation to witchcraft?
Ergotism is a condition caused by the ergot fungus. This grows on grains and causes hallucinations, convulsion, paranoia, and mania. Before people had the technology to store most food safely, stored grain would be contaminated by this fungus, and everyone who ate it would get sick without knowing why. In 1976 Linda Caporael published an article in Science magazine which speculated that the Salem witch trials were actually due to ergot poisoning in the village. The symptoms that the Salem villagers described as...
Asked in Health, History of the United States, Medication and Drugs, Colonial America, Salem Witch Trials
What drug was used during Salem which trials?
I think you're referring to the theory that the affliction was caused by the fungus Ergot that does have hallucinginc qualities. The Ergot was ingested accidentally along with wheat or rye, not taken deliberatly. ...
Asked in Health, Medication and Drugs, Painkillers, Opiates
Does LSD and mescaline belong to the psychotropic drug catetory opiates?
No, LSD is an ergot derivative, and mescaline is a phenethylamine. Neither are opiates LSD is not an ergot derrivative -- that would be ergotamine, another hallucinogen, this time alkaloidal (LSD is an acid). LSD does nto occur in nature, and must be synthesized. All the rest is spot on. http://www.answers.com/topic/phenethylamine ...