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Non-Lethal Poison From Natural Source


Hello Everyone!

I'm new here (already posted my intro in the Chat area) and looking forward to being a part of this forum!

I'm currently working on a historical thriller set in WWI Paris. My story involves a secret society on a ritualistic killing spree. Their method is to track down the intended victim and incapacitate him/her with the use of a tainted arrow. I'm looking for a naturally-derived substance that will paralyze or knock out the victim on entry into the bloodstream, but not kill them. The victims are taken alive to be killed later in a ceremonial context. It should be detectable in the victim's blood after death, but be eventually dismissed as a possible cause of death. Anything with ties to the ancient world or historical/mythological contexts would be particularly useful.

I've been looking into various plant-based poisons, but I can't quite find anything that fits my requirements (most of the things I've been turning up result in multiple organ failure pretty quickly). I'm hoping to get feedback from someone with expertise in this area.

A huge thanks in advance to anyone who takes the time to reply. :-)

Dave Freas:
Curare would be the logical choice.  In low doses, it causes muscle weakness/paralysis by blocking nerve impulses.  In higher doses, it causes death by paralyzing the diaphragm, stopping breathing.

I can't say for sure, but I would think testing the blood of a victim specifically for curare would show its presence.

You may want to research it on-line for more information.

Thanks! Curare is in my shortlist but everything I seemed to find was about fatal poisoning so I wasn't sure if it was so toxic that it could be used to induce temporary paralysis. Muscle weakness and temporary blockage of nerve impulses is exactly what I'm going for. It does sound like the best choice at the moment.


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