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Medical Term:


Pronunciation: fi'so-stig'ma


The dried seed of Physostigma venenosum (family Leguminosae), a vine of western Africa; it contains the alkaloids physostigmine (eserine), eseramine, eseridine (geneserine) and physovenine; at toxic doses, it causes vomiting, colic, salivation, diarrhea, convulsions, sweating, dyspnea, vertigo, slow pulse, and extreme prostration.

Synonym(s): Calabar bean, ordeal bean

[G. physa, bellows, + stigma, a mark, spot; so called because of the shape of the stigma]

© Copyright 2017 Wolters Kluwer. All Rights Reserved. Review Date: Sep 19, 2016.