While the madness Game of Thrones "Seized the media and social networks, our colleagues from Science-et-vie.com have just proposed an article as unusual as it is worrying which parallels nicotine with the famous poison" strangler "which killed the Joffrey's character in the series. So ? Myth or reality ?
« I wouldn't want to die like that, scratching my neck, my mouth foaming with drool and gall, my eyes blood red, skin purplish… »CLady Olenna, a person from the famous hit series.
So it's no surprise that some specialists wondered if there was an equivalent to this poison "strangler" in the real world. Poisons are dirty weapons with more or less immediate effect. The one Joffrey ingests at his wedding, baptized "the strangler", is the dazzling type. It would be a powder extracted by acid-base reaction from the leaves of a plant in the Jade Sea islands, two years from Westeros.
A concoction that looks like… what? Hemlock? Ricin? Cyanide? There is no shortage of candidates. However, Jérôme Langrand, head of the AP-HP poison control department prefers to bet on nicotine! he declares : " The reality of this poison is the subject of great debates between specialists! But I think the prime suspect is the nicotine extracted from tobacco leaves.«
Pure nicotine is indeed fatal from 50 mg. In powder form, pure to 75%, 4 grams are enough to kill a king. " It is then taken from contraction of soft muscles, such as the trachea or the lungs. A sensation close to a strangulation doubled by a blow to the stomach“, Specifies Jérôme Langrand. Lack of oxygen would turn the face purple, eyes red, and the victim would vomit reflexively.
A real topic of debate that you can find in the Science & Vie Collector « Game of thrones & science« .