Economic Botany

, Volume 1, Issue 4, pp 372–380 | Cite as

Ergot—a blessing and a scourge

  • H. W. Youngken


Ergot, the black mass of a particular fungus on cereal grains, especially rye, was the cause of frightful epidemics in Europe more than a thousand years ago, and the ingested contaminated grain has occasioned disease in Russia as late as 1927 and in the United States a generation earlier. Medicinally administered, however, it provides a very important drug in the science of obstetrics.


Economic Botany Ergot Alkaloid Domestic Supply Claviceps Agropyron Repens 
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Copyright information

© The New York Botanical Garden 1947

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. W. Youngken
    • 1
  1. 1.College of PharmacyUniversity of WashingtonSeattle

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