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Veratrum album has a paralyzing effect on the nervous system, and is scarcely if ever used internally, though the alkaloids it contains are used in the pharmaceutical industry. Though all parts of the plant are highly poisonous, it is the rhizome that is used mostly. The dried root, as it occurs in pharmacy, has a faint, unpleasant odor, and a sweetish, bitter, and then intensely disagreeable, and permanently acrid taste, leaving the tongue tingling and numb. It serves occasionally externally as a local analgesic, but even this is not without its dangers since it can be absorbed through broken skin.
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