Some science behind the scenes

Grayanotoxin

Grayanotoxin is a toxin found in rhododendrons and other plants of the family Ericaceae. It is unique to this family and is a tetracyclic diterpene.[terpenes are major components of resin, and of the turpentine produced from resin].  The toxin is also known as andromedotoxin, acetylandromedol, or rhodotoxin.

It ‘works’ via Poisoning. 

Technically Grayanotoxin binds to specific sodium ion channels in cell membranes, the receptor sites involved in activation and inactivation. The grayanotoxin prevents inactivation, leaving excitable cells depolarized.

Symptoms occur after a dose-dependent latent period of minutes to three hours or so. Initial symptoms are excessive salivation, perspiration, vomiting, dizziness, weakness and , low blood pressure. In higher doses symptoms can include loss of coordination, severe and progressive muscular weakness, bradycardia and ventricular tachycardia.

Thus grayanotoxin ‘works’ by giving you a near death experience caused by toxic reactions.  The final experience – if experience there is - will probably be caused by the heart problems and hypoxia [see hypoxia], although cell death can have its effects.