The psychic effect produced by the ground seeds have been ascribed to the presence of ergot-type alkaloids (up to 0.07%) found in embryo. Among the principal alkaloids identified in the seeds are: ergine, isoergine, elymo-clavine, lysergol and chanoclavine. Er-gometrine, clymoclavine, penniclavine and ergometrinine have also been reported. Ergine has been reported to be the most and lysergol the least effective.
A glucoside, turbicoryn, isolated from the seeds, was found to have a CNS stimulant action. (Doses exceeding 31.6 mg/kg proved fatal to test animals in 5-10 min.)
Ergine and isoergine are present in the leaves (0.03%, dry basis) and stems (0.01%, dry basis) but not in the roots.
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