The tomato is native to South America. Genetic evidence shows the progenitors of tomatoes were herbaceous green plants with small green fruit and a center of diversity in the highlands of Peru.One species, Solanum lycopersicum, was transported to Mexico, where it was grown and consumed by Mesoamerican civilizations. The exact date of domestication is not known.
The first domesticated tomato may have been a little yellow fruit, similar in size to a cherry tomato, grown by the Aztecs of Central Mexico. Spanish explorer Cortés may have been the first to transfer the small yellow tomato to Europe after he captured the Aztec city of Tenochtítlan, now Mexico City, in 1521, although Christopher Columbus, a Genoese working for the Spanish monarchy, may have taken them back as early as 1493.
The earliest discussion of the tomato in European literature appeared in an herbal written in 1544 by Pietro Andrea Mattioli, an Italian physician and botanist, who named it pomo d’oro, or "golden apple".
In the region of the Andes, there are some other closely related cultivated potato species. Potatoes were first introduced outside the Andes region four centuries ago, and have become an integral part of much of the world's cuisine. It is the world's fourth-largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and maize.
Following the Spanish conquest of the Inca Empire, the Spanish introduced the potato to Europe in the second half of the 16th century. The staple was subsequently conveyed by European mariners to territories and ports throughout the world. The potato was slow to be adopted by distrustful European farmers, but soon enough it became an important food staple and field crop that played a major role in the European 19th century population boom.
The plant is native to the Indian subcontinent. It has been cultivated in southern and eastern Asia since prehistory, but appears to have become known to the Western world no earlier than ca. 1500. The first known written record of the plant is found in Qí mín yào shù, an ancient Chinese agricultural treatise completed in 544.
The numerous Arabic and North African names for it, along with the lack of the ancient Greek and Roman names, indicate it was introduced throughout the Mediterranean area by the Arabs in the early Middle Ages. The scientific name Solanum melongena is derived from a 16th century Arabic term for one variety.
Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BC. There is archaeological evidence at sites located in southwestern Ecuador that chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago, and is one of the first cultivated crops in the Central and South Americas that is self-pollinating.
Christopher Columbus was one of the first Europeans to encounter them (in the Caribbean), and called them "peppers" because they, like black and white pepper of the Piper genus known in Europe, have a spicy hot taste unlike other foodstuffs. Upon their introduction into Europe chilis were grown as botanical curiosities in the gardens of Spanish and Portuguese monasteries. But the monks experimented with the chilis' culinary potential and discovered that their pungency offered a substitute for black peppercorns, which at the time were so costly that they were used as legal currency in some countries.
Chilies were cultivated around the globe after Columbus. Diego Álvarez Chanca, a physician on Columbus' second voyage to the West Indies in 1493, brought the first chili peppers to Spain, and first wrote about their medicinal effects in 1494.
From Mexico, at the time the Spanish colony that controlled commerce with Asia, chili peppers spread rapidly into the Philippines and then to India, China, Indonesia, Korea and Japan. They were incorporated into the local cuisines.
"A common mnemonic used to describe the physiologic manifestations of atropine overdose is: as per Jon Blinkey "hot as a hare, blind as a bat, dry as a bone, red as a beet, and mad as a hatter".
Other medical uses:
Scopolamine has been used in the past to treat addiction to drugs such as heroin and coc aine. The patient was given frequent doses of scopolamine until they were delirious. This treatment was maintained for 2 to 3 days after which they were treated with pilocarpine. After recovering from this they were said to have lost the acute craving to the drug to which they were addicted
Scopolamine causes memory impairments to a similar degree as diazepam. In October 2006, researchers at the US National Institute of Mental Health found that scopolamine reduced symptoms of depression within a few days, and the improvement lasted for at least a week after switching to a placebo.
Intravenously administered scopolamine has been found to be effective against major depressive disorder. A phase II clinical trial of its efficacy against both major depressive disorder and depression due to bipolar disorder when administered via transdermal patches is scheduled to finish in September 2011.
Due to its effectiveness against sea-sickness it has become commonly used by scuba divers. Scopolamine has been tested as a topical treatment for Aquagenic pruritus and was shown in several cases to be effective.
n. Error; delusion.
n. A sleeping-potion; a soporific.
n. The deadly nightshade, Atropa Belladonna, which possesses stupefying or poisonous properties.
n. In heraldry, a sable or black color.
To mutter deliriously.
n. a sleeping-potion, especially one made from belladonna
n. belladonna itself, deadly nightshade; or some other soporific plant
GNU Webster's 1913
n. The deadly nightshade (Atropa Belladonna), having stupefying qualities.
n. The tincture sable or black when blazoned according to the fantastic system in which plants are substituted for the tinctures.
n. A sleeping potion; an opiate.
“How to make a drink that men call dwale to make a man sleep whilst men cut him: take three spoonfuls of the gall [bile] (!) of a barrow swine [boar] for a man, and for a woman of a gilt [sow], three spoonfuls of hemlock juice, three spoonfuls of wild neep [bryony], three spoonfuls of lettuce, three spoonfuls of pape [opium], three spoonfuls of henbane, and three spoonfuls of eysyl [vinegar], and mix them all together and boil them a little and put them in a glass vessel well stopped and put thereof three spoonfuls into a potel of good wine and mix it well together.
“When it is needed, let him that shall be cut sit against a good fire and make him drink thereof until he fall asleep and then you may safely cut him, and when you have done your cure and will have him awake, take vinegar and salt and wash well his temples and his cheekbones and he shall awake immediately.”
"One of the key elements of “witch lore” was that witches were able to fly on broomsticks, rods or other implements to their sabbats and other night-time gatherings in the wilderness beyond the pale of the town or village. “Flying ointments” were often used, either smeared on the person’s body or flying implements.
The people who became identified as “witches” by the Church were in actuality simply the continuation of an ancient tradition of “night travellers.” In northern Europe they were called qveldriga, “night rider,” or myrkrida, “rider in the dark.”
Medieval “witches” sometimes rubbed themselves with goose grease, perhaps enriched with hallucinogenic herbs, as a symbolic gesture of supernatural flight. Duerr remarks that the night flights were known as “grease flights” [Witch applying ointment] and the night travellers themselves called “grease birds” or “lard wings.” All this was the vestige of archaic spirit-flight symbolism invested in the goose, as expressed in the iconography of Siberian shamans"
As cited in the same article.
Researcher Nigel Jackson has noted:
"Celtic iconography from the Dauphine shows the goddess Epona riding upon a goose in flight. The high calls of the migrant geese on winter nights were poetically perceived as the baying of the spectral hounds by folk in the north of Europe and are closely linked with the flight of the Wild Hunt in Celtic and Germanic regions. "
Ibn Beithor, the Arab herbalist, refers to the mandrake as 'The Devil's Candle', a title suggested by the plant's glistening appearance at night.
This luminosity is accounted for by the presence of numerous glow-worms at rest on the plants's ample leaves. The Moors, for the same reason, call mandrake 'The Lamp of the Elves'.
According to Ibn Beithor, sometimes styled 'the Arab Discorides', King Solomon had a portion of mandrake set in his famous signet ring, and by its power he held dominion over the jinn; further, the learned Arab tells us that
Alexander the Great owed his conquest of the East to the magical power of mandrake, and that it cures numerous maladies, including in its wide range elephantiasis and loss of memory. One Arab name for mandrake
is Abdul Selam, 'servant of health'.
"She (Datura) is as powerful as the best of allies, but there is something I personally don't like about her. She distorts men. She gives them a taste of power too soon without fortifying their hearts and makes them domineering and unpredictable. She makes them weak in the middle of their great power."
Don Juan Matos.
Soon after drinking the Tonga, the man fell into a dull brooding, he stared vacantly at the ground, his mouth was closed firmly, almost convulsively and his nostrils were flared. Cold sweat covered his forehead. He was deathly pale. The jugular veins on his throat were swollen as large as a finger and he was wheezing as his chest rose and sank slowly.
His arms hung down stiffly by his body. Then his eyes misted over and filled with huge tears and his lips twitched convulsively for a brief moment. His carotids were visibly beating, his respiration increased and his extremities twitched and shuddered of their own accord. This condition would have lasted about a quarter of an hour, then all these actions increased in intensity.
His eyes were now dry but had become bright red and rolled about wildly in their sockets and all his facial muscles were horribly distorted. A thick white foam leaked out between his half open lips. The pulses on his forehead and throat were beating too fast to be counted. His breathing was short, extraordinarily fast and did not seem to lift the chest, which was visibly fibrillating. A mass of sticky sweat covered his whole body which continued to be shaken by the most dreadful convulsions.
His limbs were hideously contorted. He alternated between murmuring quietly and incomprehensibly and uttering loud, heart-rending shrieks, howling dully and moaning and groaning.
Over 4,000 varieties of native potatoes grow in the Andean highlands of Peru, Boliva, and Ecuador.
Selected over centuries for their taste, texture, shape and color, these potato varieties are very
well adapted to the harsh conditions that prevail in the high Andes, at altitudes ranging from 3,500 to 4,200 meters. Farmers generally produce these native varieties with minimal or no use of agrochemicals.
Diversity is conserved on farms and in communities for subsistence use and as a highly valued heritage. Most of these varieties never see a market; they are traded among highland and lowland communities and given as gifts for weddings and other occasions. The varieties differ from community to community.
It is believed that wild tubers were first domesticated around 8,000 years ago by farmers who lived on the high plains and mountain slopes near Lake Titicaca, which borders modern-day Bolivia and Peru. The tubers grew well in the cold, harsh climate and quickly took root as a centerpiece around which life revolved.
Originally posted by Eidolon23
reply to post by Xoanon
It appears that the potato farmers in those parts really know their stuff. Because, although only a few varieties are in commercial demand, they maintain a crazy diverse stock.
it reminded me of a bit of local lore [P.R.] my grandma once told me [and regret not following up] here in PR and neighboring islands when a witch flies she "peels her skin off and hides it by hanging it from a tree" perhaps the local ointment or more probable medicinal bath was pretty strong stuff?
great thread and hopefully it's academic value will outweigh any mention of "power plants" and will remain here
The thing that gets me is that the universal object of this whole 'greasing ones self in ointment' routine seemed to be to fly. And it occurs wherever the solanaceous plants grow.
Polyploid is a term used to describe cells and organisms containing more than two paired (homologous) sets of chromosomes. Most eukaryotic species are diploid, meaning they have two sets of chromosomes — one set inherited from each parent. However polyploidy is found in some organisms and is especially common in plants.
They are free of wicked desire for sex; when they wish to produce children, they go to the east near paradise, where a plant called mandrake grows. The female first takes some of the plant, then offers it to the male and persuades him to eat it. Becoming aroused from the action of the plant, they mate and the female immediately conceives. When it is time for her to give birth, for safety from their enemy the serpent (or the dragon) she enters a body of water up to her teats, and there gives birth, while the male stands guard on shore. The young elephant swims until it finds its mother's thighs and suckles from her teats.
...The female elephant seeks a plant called mandrake; when she tastes it she becomes aroused with lust. She offers the plant to the male, who also becomes aroused, and they mate.