Schoenocaulon officinale (Schltdl. & Cham.) A. Gray - syn. Sabadilla officinale (Cham. et Schlecht.) Brandt; Veratrum officinale Schlechtd. - Liliaceae - sabadilla, Sabadille, Mexikanisches Läusekraut
Perennial herb, native in Central America and northern South America, up to 2m high; stem leafless; leaves forming a basal rosette, up to 1.50m long; flowers small, greenish-yellow.
„Sabadill contains toxic steroid alkaloids in all plant parts, but especially in the „rhizome“ and seeds. They are derived like most veratrum alkaloids (like white hellebore) from C-nor-homo-cholestane. The seeds contain 1 to 5% of the mixture of alkaloids, named veratrine. Therein several veracevin esters were deteted (cevadin, veratridine)… Veratrine is irritant to the mucous membranes in the nose and produces sneezing. When ingested, it can cause vomiting, collapse, unconsciousness and even death. It paralyzes the peripheral nerve endings and striated muscles. In therapeutic doses it temporarily lowers blood pressure.“ http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabadill
The seeds of S.officinale, known as 'lice seeds' have been used since the 18th century against pests. In 1759, the „Mexican lice seeds“ are mentioned in the pharmacist's tax of Strasbourg. The use as worm remedy in form of pills remained limited because of the toxicity of the seeds.
[Lehrbuch der Biologischen Heilmittel, Gerhard Madaus, 1938] http://www.henriettes-herb.com/eclectic/madaus/schoenocaulon.html
„Sabadilla, an insecticide widely used by organic farmers, can be separated into five of its components (veratridine, cevadine, cevine, cevacine, and sabadine)…“
[Method for the determination of veratridine and cevadine, major components of the natural insecticide sabadilla, in lettuce and cucumbers., Zang, X., Fukuda, E.K., Rosen, J.D., Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 45(5), 1997, 1758-1761]