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  • The calabar bean is the seed of a plant known as Physostigma venenosum, which is native to tropical Africa. The active ingredient, the alkaloid physostigmine, was isolated in 1864. It was first used to reduce pressure in the eye in some types of glaucoma. It is still used to some extent today for glaucoma and other purposes, including treatment of myasthenia gravis (an autoimmune disorder).

    February 27, 2015