CASE REPORT
Heracleum sosnowskyi Manden
 
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1
Department of Dermatology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
2
Chair and Department of Forensic Medicine, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
3
Chair and Department of Medicinal and Cosmetic Natural Products, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
4
Department of Dermatology, Poznan University of Medical Sciences, Head
5
Chair of Social Medicine, Department of Hygiene, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
 
Ann Agric Environ Med. 2012;19(2):327–328
KEYWORDS:
ABSTRACT:
Heracleum Sosnowskyi was discovered in 1772 and described as a separate species in 1944 by I. P. Mandenova. Its name is derived from the surname of a botanist studying Caucasian flora, Prof. D.I. Sosnowski. In the area of the Caucasus foothills, the plant reaches approximately 1-1,5 m in height, whereas in Poland its size is significantly larger, up to 3-3.5 m. Heracleum blooms from mid-June to the end of July. The flowers are arranged in umbels and last for 2-3 weeks. In Central Europe, the species colonizes mostly neglected green areas, ruins and riversides. Heracleum poses a serious threat to the human population due to its photoallergic properties, resulting from the presence of intensely toxic furanocoumarin in its sap. Furanocoumarins are found in small hairs that cover the leaves and stem, and are the components of the essential oil. They may penetrate the skin through the epithelial layer, posing a direct threat to human health. Contact with the plant, followed by sun exposure, may lead to the development of large blisters and symptoms of burns. Heracleum, in the event of consumption, is also harmful to farm animals, causing, among others, internal bleeding and diarrhea. Although the toxic properties of Heracleum have been known for many years, every summer people who had contact with the plant present at physicians of different medical specialties.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR:
Jerzy T. Marcinkowski   
Chair of Social Medicine, Department of Hygiene, Poznan University of Medical Sciences
 
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