Cyanogenic Glycosides: (S)-Sambunigrin, Amygdalin, Linamarin, Cycasin

Cyanogenic glycosides yield hydrogen cyanide on complete hydrolysis. These glycosides are represented in a broad range of taxa and in about 2500 plant species. The species that are most important to humans are cassava (Manihot esculenta), which contains linamarin, and Prunus species, which contain amygdalin (Table 114-7).

Many North American species of plants contain consequential amounts of cyanogenic compounds. While the fleshy fruit of Prunus species in the Rosacea are nontoxic (apricots, peaches, pears, apples, and plums), the leaves, bark, and seed kernels contain amygdalin, which is metabolized to cyanide. The hallmarks of cyanide toxicity include a severe metabolic acidosis (lactate) with multiorgan

TABLE 114-6. Plants Containing Cardioactive Steroids



Nerium oleander (oleander)

Convallaria majalis (lily of the valley)

Strophanthus (dogbane)

Urginea maritima


Thevetia peruviana spp (yellow oleander)

Urginea indica J


Asclepias (milkweed) Calotropis (crown flower)



Euonymus europaeus (spindle tree)

Helleborus niger (henbane)



Cheiranthus 1 (wall flower) Erysimum )

Digitalis purpurea Digitalis lanata |

. (foxglove)

TABLE 144-7. Plants Containing a Cyanogenic Glycoside

Apple (seeds)

Jetberry bush (jet bead)


Lima beans

Bamboo (sprouts of some species)

Mountain mahogany

Bitter almond


Cassava (beans and roots)

Pear (seeds)

Cherry laurel

Pin cherry

Christmas berry


Crab apple (seeds)

Western choke cherry

Choke cherry (stone fruit) Elderberry (leaves and shoots) Hydrangea (leaves and buds)

Wild black cherry

Failure (Chap. 121 and Antidotes in Brief: Sodium Thiosulfate; Antidotes in Brief: Sodium and Amyl Nitrites; and Antidotes in Brief: Hydroxocobalamin).

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