Overview

Ergot is a fungus that grows on rye and less commonly on other grasses such as wheat.

Ergot has an interesting history. During the Middle Ages, ergotism, a severe reaction to ergot-contaminated food (such as rye bread), was common and was known as St. Anthony's fire. Also, some historians believe that ergot played a role in the Salem witch hunt of 1692. They think that some women in Salem developed peculiar behaviors and accused other women of being witches as a result of eating ergot-contaminated food.

Despite serious safety concerns, ergot has been used as medicine. People use ergot for excessive bleeding during menstrual periods, to expel placenta after childbirth, and many other conditions, but there is no good scientific evidence to support these uses.

Certain chemicals in ergot are used in prescription medicines.

How does it work ?

Ergot contains chemicals that can help reduce bleeding by causing a narrowing of the blood vessels.

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