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1.  Rituals can kill – A fatal case of brucine poisoning 
The Australasian Medical Journal  2012;5(8):421-423.
In some parts of India people follow a religious ritual of drinking an herbal preparation made from the bark of the Alstonia scholaris tree (Blackboard tree) on the day of the new moon in the month of July. This tree could be easily confused with the Strychnos nux vomica tree. Brucine is the predominant alkaloid present in the bark of the Strychnos nux vomica tree. The toxicological property of brucine is similar to strychnine. Brucine is a neurotoxin. A 29-year-old male presented with a history of consumption of an herbal preparation made from the bark of the Strychnos nux vomica tree confusing it for Alstonia scholaris. Soon after, he developed convulsions and later died in hospital on the same day. The aim of this case report is to highlight the fact that people must be cautious when they follow religious rituals.
doi:10.4066/AMJ.2012.1293
PMCID: PMC3442185  PMID: 23024715
Brucine; Alstonia scholaris; strychnine; poisoning

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