By Peter Macinnis

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If you swallow enough of the juice of the leaf or the berries, your heart will beat faster, the pupils of your eyes will enlarge, you’ll feel as though you’re suffocating, you’ll have hallucinations, and then you’ll collapse. Funnily enough, this poison is also an antidote! Belladonna is used to treat poisoning from opium, chloroform and some nerve poisons. 24 3 ‘BUY ME AN ANTIDOTE’: PROFITS FROM POISONS In ancient times, there were four main ways you could benefit from poisons. ( You could kill somebody to get their money or their job or their throne.

They used to eat arsenic! The purpose, they said, was to improve their ‘wind’, so they could go faster, up and down the hills and mountains of Styria. Mostly, though, they seem to have done it for show, using a knife to carve some soft arsenic mineral out of a rock, and gobbling it down.

Victims feel hot and get very thirsty, but have trouble swallowing. They become 46 very excited, and then fall into a deep sleep. Botox causes drooping eyelids and slurred speech. Arms and legs become paralysed, and then the muscles that are used to breathe seize up as well, so that victims suffocate. Carbon monoxide makes people giddy to start with, then they get a headache and later fall into a coma. When victims’ bodies are examined after death, their blood is cherry-red in colour. This is because carbon monoxide locks onto the haemoglobin in our blood, blocking the places where oxygen is normally carried, so the victims die of a lack of oxygen.

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