Colchicum autumnale is commonly known as autumn crocus, and as 'gowri gedde' in the southern region of Karnataka State in South India. It contains an alkaloid called colchicine, which blocks the cell division by inhibiting mitosis. We present a sporadic case of suicidal plant poisoning wherein a 24-year-old man consumed 'gowri gedde' to end his life. Initially he presented with severe vomiting, diarrhoea and epigastric pain. He died on the third day of ingestion due to multiorgan failure. Chemical analysis of blood and viscera obtained postmortem confirmed the presence of colchicine. Colchicine poisoning is potentially life threatening because of its high toxicity and unavailability of specific antidotal treatment. It classically presents with gastroenterocolitis, and may result in multiorgan failure in fatal cases.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine