Poison is a natural or synthetic substance that causes damage to living tissues. It has a fatal or injurious effect on the body. It can be ingested, injected, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin.

Poisons are classified on the basis of action, symptoms, based on their chemistry, intention, nature, use, etc. Every poison affects different organs of a body and shows different symptoms with varied fatality rate.

Here, In this article, I have mentioned the classification of Poisons based on the nature of their poisoning.

Classification of Poison on the Basis of Nature


Features of an ideal homicidal poison are colorless, tasteless, and odorless. It’s cost should be cheap and readily available. Homicidal poisons should mimic any natural disease. To avoid doubt, Symptoms should occur late. After the appearance of symptoms, the fatal period should be less. No antidote is available for an ideal homicidal poison. Homicidal poisons are natural substances or components of the human body. Some examples are Arsenic, Aconite, sodium nitrate, KCl, etc. Sometimes, germs can also be used to commit homicide.


Qualities of an ideal suicidal poison are to cause an easy death, and this category includes barbiturates and opium. It is readily available, and some examples are aluminum phosphide and organophosphorus. It should have the ability to take in food or drink. It can be of any color, taste, and odor, as dying people will not worry about it. Finally, the fatal period of poison should be significantly less to give a quick and easy death. 


In Parasuicide, ‘para‘ means “near” or “resembling.” It is also known as pseudocide. It refers to self-harm and suicide attempts or gestures where there is no actual intention to die. In most cases, people use it to threaten others by taking a sublethal dose of poison. It includes a few sleeping pills. It is primarily seen in youngsters and also in psychologically disturbed people. 


Accidental poisoning can happen due to ingestion of harmful substances by mistake, and harmful substances include acid as it appears like water. E.g., Sulphuric acid. Accidentally inhalation of harmful vapors that happened in Bhopal gas tragedy in which MIC vapors were inhaled. It involves the preparation of medicine incorrectly, which somehow contains poisons. Drug addiction and infected food can also result in accidental poisoning. 


The most irritant poisons can cause abortion. It happens due to the irritation in the uterus resulting in a contract. The poisons included in abortion are Arsenic, Aconite, Pb, Hg, Calotropis, Oleander, Potassium permanganate, Ergot, etc. 


An Aphrodisiac term derived from the Greek word ‘Aphrodite‘ means the goddess of sexual love and beauty. It is a substance that helps to increase sexual desire. Aphrodisiac substances include As, Opium, Cannabis, Cocaine, Cantharides, and Strychnine. 


These poisons are used at the tip of arrows to kill enemies and for hunting. Curare is a generic term used for arrow poisons, and it contains tubocurarine, quinine, curarine, protocurarine, and related alkaloids. These poisons have been used by native peoples worldwide and are still in use in South America, Asia, and Africa. 


These are the poisons that are used to kill the cattle of enemies and to obtain hides. The poison used for it is Aconite, Arsenic, Oleander, Zinc phosphide, Organophosphorus, etc. Lead is one of the most common causes of cattle poisoning. Due to accidental lead poisoning, many animals die or perform very poorly.


In traditional culture, ordeal poisons were used to prove or disprove the innocence or guilt of a suspect. Examples of ordeal poisons are Cerbera odollam, croton seed, etc. These poisons were given to suspects accused of the crime. If he died, he was guilty, and if he survived, he was innocent. 


These poisons cause someone to be unable to think clearly or be sensitive to their surroundings. Usually, it is used to stupefy travelers for robbery and women for sexual assault. Stupefying poisons involve Datura, Cannabis, Chloral hydrate. 


Other than homicide, poisons can be used with various criminal intentions to harm any individual. It includes throwing acid towards the face of anyone to cause serious injuries. Poison can also be used to facilitate a crime like a robbery and rape. Lead can be used as a poison to procure criminal abortion.

Categories: Toxicology


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *