Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
. 1983 Mar;6(1):1-5.
doi: 10.1097/00002826-198303000-00001.

Homer's Moly Identified as Galanthus Nivalis L.: Physiologic Antidote to Stramonium Poisoning

Homer's Moly Identified as Galanthus Nivalis L.: Physiologic Antidote to Stramonium Poisoning

A Plaitakis et al. Clin Neuropharmacol. .

Abstract

The antidotal properties of certain naturally occurring medicinal plants against central nervous system intoxication appear to have been empirically established in ancient times. Homer, in his epic poem, the Odyssey, described a plant, "moly," used by Odysseus as an antidote against Circe's poisonous drugs. Centrally acting anticholinergic agents are thought to have been used by Circe to induce amnesia and a delusional state in Odysseus' crew. We present evidence to support the hypothesis that "moly" might have been the snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis, which contains galanthamine, a centrally acting anticholinesterase. Thus the description of "moly" as an antidote in Homer's Odyssey may represent the oldest recorded use of an anticholinesterase to reverse central anticholinergic intoxication.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 2 articles

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback