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 [HOW TO] Understand Poison and Venom

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lazydonut
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PostSubject: [HOW TO] Understand Poison and Venom   8/4/2014, 6:47 am

Hello everyone.

All over the world, the words "poison" and "venom" have been used interchangeably. This however is incorrect and redundant, as there is a difference among the two.

The difference is the method of toxin delivery. Poison is a toxin that and organism produces for self defense/predator deterrence and has no injecting device (fangs, stinger, spines etc.) for the toxin, and is only effected once the producer is ingested or licked etc.
Take poison dart frogs which are highly poisonous.

On the other hand, an organism is deemed "venomous" when it has an instrument for injecting the toxins.
An article by Casewell, Wüster, et al. defines venom as the following:
Venom can be broadly defined as "a secretion, produced in a specialised gland in one animal and delivered to a target animal through the infliction of a wound 'regardless of how tiny it could be,' which contains molecules that disrupt normal physiological or biochemical processes so as to facilitate feeding or defense by the producing animal.

Hopefully I've shared a little bit of knowledge with everyone on the conventions of science.

Btw, I think it's best to be put in this subforum instead of Scorpions in General

Best regards guys!


Last edited by lazydonut on 8/4/2014, 6:49 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling check)
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funkycamel
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Understand Poison and Venom   8/4/2014, 3:26 pm

Great article referenced lazydonut! Thanks.

If I may add a little of my own research -

Venom also does not damage by ingestion - as long as you don't have stomach or intestinal ulcers you can safely drink venom (I DON'T RECOMMEND YOU TRY THIS, OBVIOUSLY!)

In fact, through ingestion, a venom is not recognised as a foreign body - an invading pathogen - as it is when injected, being a combination largely of proteins and peptides (proteins and peptides are made from complex amino acid chains), and can be safely assimilated by the body for therapeutic purposes without having built up antibodies first. Venom is a hyper-evolved aspect of the immune system, made from salivary proteins, and can support the immune system if ingested regularly and safely (generally through dilution in distilled water).

Both poisons and venoms tend to include bioactive peptides in their composition, bioactive meaning they become active through digestion to cause physiological changes. Many studies have reported that some peptides possess bioactivities such as antihypertensive, antioxidant, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antimicrobial, and opioid as well as immunomodulatory and cholesterol-lowering effects.

Both venoms and poisons, if received in safe ways, can cause beneficial evolutionary changes to almost all organs and body systems (such as lymph, circulatory, cardiovascular, respiratory, muscular, skeletal, fascial and nervous systems) and can affect cell replication through changes to our DNA.

Anything is toxic if received in an unbalancing quantity or quality, and beneficial in the right context.

Kambo is a frog 'poison' used as tremendously powerful medicine in the Amazon by various tribes as their primary form of treatment, through application on fresh skin (small burns are made and the dead skin cleaned off, the resin applied to the second layer of skin newly exposed - entering through the nervous and lymphatic systems rather than through the blood stream).

The Satere-Mawe and Marubo tribes practise medicine with the venom from the Tocandeira - bullet ants, containing mainly formic acid (as in nettles, wasps and bees) to treat airborne diseases such as malaria, also joint injuries and a host of other ailments, as well as in manhood initiation rites to master and overcome fear and pain.

And of course bee venom therapy, or bee acupuncture, has been used for thousands of years in China, India, Europe, Africa, Arabia and Native American tribes to treat multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, arthritis and plenty more.

There is much to be learned from these little dudes!
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lazydonut
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PostSubject: Re: [HOW TO] Understand Poison and Venom   8/5/2014, 3:09 am

Thanks for the added information bro.

Personally I believe that the South American tribes that utilize bullet ants have developed some kind of immunity, at least the slightest, because of generations of the tradition.
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