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Senecio pulcher Hook.&Arn. Asteraceae Distribution: South America. It has not attracted attention as a medicinal or toxic plant but members of the genus Senecio contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are toxic to the liver and may cause liver cancer. A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) product, Qianbai Biyan Pian, contains Senecio scandens which contains the unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids, senecionine and seneciphylline. This is now a banned drug. (Safety of Herbal Medicinal Products, July 2002, Medicines Control Agency). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Dr Henry Oakeley

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view Senecio pulcher Hook.&Arn. Asteraceae Distribution: South America. It has not attracted attention as a medicinal or toxic plant but members of the genus Senecio contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are toxic to the liver and may cause liver cancer. A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) product, Qianbai Biyan Pian, contains Senecio scandens which contains the unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids, senecionine and seneciphylline. This is now a banned drug. (Safety of Herbal Medicinal Products, July 2002, Medicines Control Agency). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

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Credit: Senecio pulcher Hook.&Arn. Asteraceae Distribution: South America. It has not attracted attention as a medicinal or toxic plant but members of the genus Senecio contain pyrrolizidine alkaloids that are toxic to the liver and may cause liver cancer. A traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) product, Qianbai Biyan Pian, contains Senecio scandens which contains the unsaturated pyrrolizidine alkaloids, senecionine and seneciphylline. This is now a banned drug. (Safety of Herbal Medicinal Products, July 2002, Medicines Control Agency). Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London. Credit: Dr Henry Oakeley. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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