Conium maculatum

Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany

Conium maculatum L.

Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)

  • Conium maculatum L. var. leiocarpum Boiss.
  • Hemlock
  • Mother Die
  • shokaran شوكران
  • shonkaran شنكران
  • shuqran شقرون
  • rosh 'aqod
  • רוֹשׁ עָקֹד


  • Nutrient-rich soils
  • ruderal
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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Conium maculatum L.

System/State Traditional
Activity / Interpretation
Preparation/ Administration
Parts Used



Decoct aerial parts & drink x1 cup/day until healed.

Aerial parts B



Use aerial parts externally for haemorrhoids. (Further details of Preparation /Admin not specified).

Aerial parts B
Nervous system

Convulsions /spasms including tetanus, epilepsy, chorea (abnormal involuntary movement disorder) & laryngeal spasms

Anti-convulsant, Anti-spasmodic

Preparation /Admin. not specified. (See NOTES) (TOXIC See CAUTIONS)

Not specified Z


Preparation/ Admin.not specified. (See NOTES) (TOXIC See CAUTIONS)

Not specified Z


Anti-spasmodic? (see effect of this plant on Nervous system).

Preparation/ Admin. not specified.(See NOTES) (TOXIC See CAUTIONS)

Not specified Z

The authors of FLORAPALE, (Flora Palaestina Ethnobotanical) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes. See DISCLAIMER.


1. Z quotesan unknown source that Conium maculatum depresses medullary nerve endings & those causing respiratory arres (see Cautions) & that it was used in the death penalty to execute Socrates.
2. Z also quotes a case of cattle poisoning 20 years ago in the American Colony (hotel) in Jerusalem caused by eating large amounts of Conium maculatum, the plant being identified on examination of gastric contents.
3. In the recipe for weak eyesight, "khol" or "kohol" is an ancient eye cosmetic used in mascara as eyeliner & to protect the eyes from the harmful effects of the sun. Composed of Lead sulphide (PbS or Galena) it was applied especially amongst populations living in desert conditions. "Kohl " often had other ingredients.


Conium maculatum is considered unsafe by the FDA as it contains "coniin", a poisonous piperidine alkaloid & other related alkaloids that are present in all parts of plant with high concentrations in fruit that affect the Central Nervous System. Contact can cause dermatosis. Numerous adverse affects on ingestion including nausea, bradycardia, tingling, oral numbness, debility, drowsiness, difficulty breathing, paralysis, asphxia & death. Animals also rapidly show symptoms following ingestion of lethal dose with tongue paralysis, giddiness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea & collapse. Death can occur through central respiratory paralysis with increasing dyspnoea & cyanosis.