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Hello All,

Maybe some of you are already awhere of this, but I thought this was very fascinating. PBS aired a program two weeks ago, titled "Secrets of the Dead" in which some scholars researched the possibility of a "sickness" during the medieval times that caused people to hallucinate, go into convulsions, and feel a terrible stinging and burning sensation throughout their bodies and led to an eventual death. No one knew what caused these these things, so physicians attributed these odd occurrances to witchcraft, which resulted in the execution of hundreds of innocent women, men, and children.

Studies now show that a fungus which grows on rye crops during very wet and humid summers is the cause of these strange outbreaks. Of particular interest was what occured during the Salem Witch Trials. Another instance occurred in France during the 1950s in which a whole town went mad. The cause? Contaminated rye bread. It was found that during the time of the Salem Witch Trials, rye bread was an important staple of the Puritan diet, AND, also during that time, there were 3 years of wet and humid summers in which farmers grew rye crops in very wet, sometimes marshy soil.

On closer examination of the fungus (Ergot) it was found that the chemical substance that makes up Ergot is the base chemical in the drug LSD, Ergotomine, which as most of know causes hallucinations, and under severe cases, causes convulsions and a stinging and burning sensation which can lead to death.

So now we be rest assured that witchcraft played no part at all during the witch trials, but an outbreak of food poisoning from eating contaminated rye. If only they had known, hundreds of innocent people wouldn't have died.

What are your thoughts?

kind regards, Kim

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Subject Views Written By Posted
Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 587 Kboldt 09-Nov-04 15:19
Here's the PBS link.... 179 Kboldt 09-Nov-04 15:28
Re: Here's the PBS link.... 122 marduk 09-Nov-04 15:59
Re: Here's the PBS link.... 186 Kboldt 09-Nov-04 16:09
Re: Here's the PBS link.... 182 Joyeuse 09-Nov-04 17:44
Re: Here's the PBS link.... 147 marduk 09-Nov-04 18:19
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 178 Joyeuse 09-Nov-04 17:42
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 112 Spiegel 09-Nov-04 20:27
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 110 Spiegel 09-Nov-04 20:15
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 112 Joyeuse 09-Nov-04 22:07
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 107 Spiegel 13-Nov-04 19:50
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 106 Joyeuse 13-Nov-04 21:32
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 112 Spiegel 13-Nov-04 23:18
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 134 Joyeuse 14-Nov-04 00:19
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 120 Spiegel 14-Nov-04 00:36
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 89 Elfstone 11-Nov-04 02:14
Yep, Ergot: 113 P_Falcon 13-Nov-04 05:49
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 119 Ima Sumac 14-Nov-04 12:49
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 86 Spiegel 14-Nov-04 21:55
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 175 Joyeuse 15-Nov-04 12:16
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 123 Ima Sumac 15-Nov-04 18:28
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 100 Joyeuse 15-Nov-04 21:20
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 151 Spiegel 15-Nov-04 22:08
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 85 Ima Sumac 19-Nov-04 13:39
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 78 Joyeuse 20-Nov-04 01:26
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 70 Ima Sumac 20-Nov-04 11:12
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 81 Joyeuse 20-Nov-04 16:01
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 105 Spiegel 24-Nov-04 21:47
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 120 Joyeuse 24-Nov-04 22:28
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 111 Spiegel 01-Dec-04 07:03
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 127 Spiegel 01-Dec-04 20:02
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 124 Joyeuse 01-Dec-04 22:14
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 172 Spiegel 02-Dec-04 19:53
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 88 Joyeuse 03-Dec-04 01:50
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 135 Spiegel 03-Dec-04 20:14
Mod Remark 119 Kees 03-Dec-04 21:34
Re: Mod Remark 116 Spiegel 07-Dec-04 20:02
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 68 Spiegel 04-Dec-04 23:53
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 119 Joyeuse 05-Dec-04 02:07
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 110 Spiegel 06-Dec-04 00:08
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 107 Joyeuse 06-Dec-04 01:11
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 77 Spiegel 21-Dec-04 06:33
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 103 Joyeuse 21-Dec-04 16:07
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 145 fisherman 21-Dec-04 22:54
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 141 fisherman 30-Dec-04 14:51
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 105 Nolondil 30-Dec-04 16:33
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 153 Lee McGiffen 16-Nov-04 12:42
Re: Medieval Witchcraft Now Attributed to a Rye Fungus 103 Spiegel 07-Dec-04 19:23


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