WLM ID: akoi | Catalog Record
Picrotoxin occurs naturally in certain plants. It was first analyzed in 1812 by the French chemist, Pierre Boullay, who named it from the Greek words meaning "bitter poison". Boullay also studied ether, before the introduction of modern surgical anesthesia by Morton in 1846. Pircotoxin acts as a stimulant and a convulsant, and has been used to counteract drug overdose. In the 1930s, Dr. Paul M. Wood (1894-1963) conducted research with this and other central nervous system stimulants. The examples seen here were collected by Dr. Wood.