Definition of Calabar bean

1. Noun. Dark brown highly poisonous seed of the calabar-bean vine; source of physostigmine and used in native witchcraft.

Exact synonyms: Ordeal Bean
Group relationships: Calabar-bean Vine, Physostigma Venenosum
Generic synonyms: Bean

Definition of Calabar bean

1. Noun. The seed of a tropical leguminous plant, ''Physostigma venenosum'', poisonous to humans. ¹

¹ Source:

Medical Definition of Calabar bean

1. The dried seed of Physostigma venenosum (family Leguminosae), a vine of western Africa; it contains the alkaloids physostigmine (eserine), eseramine, eseridine (geneserine) and physovenine; in toxic doses it causes vomiting, colic, salivation, diarrhoea, convulsions, sweating, dyspnea, vertigo, slow pulse, and extreme prostration. Synonym: Calabar bean, ordeal bean. Origin: G. Physa, bellows, + stigma, a mark, spot; so called because of the shape of the stigma (05 Mar 2000)

Calabar Bean Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Calabar Bean

Cajanus cajan
Cajun English
Cajun French
Cakile maritima
Cal Tech
Calabar bean (current term)
Calabar swelling
Caladenia cairnsiana
Caladium bicolor
Calamagrostic quadriseta
Calamagrostis acutiflora
Calamintha grandiflora
Calamintha nepeta
Calamintha nepeta glantulosa

Literary usage of Calabar bean

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The American Journal of the Medical Sciences by Southern Society for Clinical Investigation (U.S.) (1875)
"Antagonism between hydrate of chloral and Calabar bean.—From the experiments made, it is evident that, in the action of chloral hydrate and extract of ..."

2. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease by American Neurological Association, Philadelphia Neurological Society, Chicago Neurological Society, New York Neurological Association, Boston Society of Psychiatry and Neurology (1875)
"... action of calabar bean. (2.) The area of antagonism is even mure limited than Dr. Kramer has indicated in the paper already referred to. ..."

3. The Practitioner by Gale Group, ProQuest Information and Learning Company (1878)
"Traumatic Tetanus successfully treated by Calabar bean and Whisky.—Dr. Burke reports two cases which occurred under his control in New York. ..."

4. Journal of Anatomy and Physiology (1867)
"THE peculiar actions of Calabar bean on the pupil and on vision have been ... The leading results obtained at that time were that Calabar bean causes death ..."

5. Therapeutics: Its Principles and Practice by Horatio Charles Wood (1900)
"PHYSOSTIGMA—Calabar bean. US An irregular, kidney-shaped bean, about an inch in ... When an animal receives a small fatal dose of Calabar bean, after a time ..."

6. Edinburgh Medical Journal (1875)
"As to the Antagonism between Hydrate of Chloral and Calabar bean. 1. Hydrate of chloral modifies, to a great extent, the action of a fatal dose of extract ..."

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