The Dioecious bryone
Dioecious bryone, scientifically called Bryonia dioica, is a plant species of the Cucurbitaceae family. It is a perennial herb with its root part of poisonous plants. Dioecious bryone is also a climbing plant of hedges. In the past, the species was considered a magical plant and was associated with white magic. It was also used in the twelfth century to increase tolerance to alcohol. At the time, according to Sainte Hildegarde, bryone juice drunk with vinegar prevented drunkenness throughout the week. Dioecious bryone is nicknamed “devil’s turnip”.
The leave of Dioecious bryone
The leaves of the plant are remarkable not their symmetrical and alternating windings. Its stems are slender and can be up to 6 m long. It is noted that the root of the underground part of the stem forms a fleshy strain whose bark is yellowish. This one produces in the spring buds which generate new stems.
Dioecious bryone, as the name suggests, is a dioecious plant with male and female flowers placed on different feet. As for the flowers, they have a corolla attached to 5 lobes of yellowish white color. Within the male flowers are a calyx that looks like a 5-toothed bell and stamens 5 in number with 4 welded two by two through their net. The other is free. Dioecious bryone produces globose, smooth berries that are about the size of a currant grain. Its berries are bright red when ripe. It is forbidden to consume them because they are toxic.
Composition of Dioecious bryone
All parts of the plant contain toxic substances. The root and the fruits are however the most provided. The plant thus contains saponins, such as bryonine, as well as triterpene glycosides, including bryonidine, and several curcurbitacins.
Toxicity of Dioecious bryone
It is necessary to avoid skin contact with the plant. Indeed, it can cause more or less irritated dermatitis. Also, avoid ingestion of berries and roots to avoid vomiting and diarrhea. Intoxication can take on more disturbing proportions with delusions and cramps. The colors of bryone dioecious berries are very attractive and children might be tempted to eat them. It must be avoided that this happens because the consumption of a dozen of these berries by a child can cause the death of it in some time.
Use of Dioecious bryone
This plant is serve as folk medicine because of its drastic purgative properties. It has made it possible to develop remedies for rheumatism. It is good to know that its therapeutic use is generally not without consequences on the patient. By the way, the plant was use as depilatory in the ancient Greeks ago. Its exuberant vegetation can garnish arbours.