Definition of Epidemic Dropsy

In this article, we will discuss the Definition of Epidemic Dropsy. So, let’s get started.

Definition

It is defined as edema occurring in epidemic form due to consumption of contaminated edible oil (mustard oil) with argemone oil- a toxic ingredient.

It is known to occur in epidemics in India, and recent epidemic of this poisoning has been reported from Delhi and the adjoining areas in 1990.

Mode of Poisoning

It is ingestional. Mustard oil is used as a cooking oil in certain parts of India especially West Bengal from where first epidemic broke. Mustard, sometimes gets contaminated with Mexican poppy (Argemone mexicana) seeds (in India, it is known as Sialkanta, Daurdy, Satyanshi, Brahmdandi or Pila Datura). Consumption of this contaminated oil leads to poisoning called epidemic dropsy. The toxic ingredients of argemone oil are sanguinarine and disanguinarine.

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