I think the explanation is: Ergot is a fungus the grows on grains, so maybe if you ate spoiled grain it could have had ergot on it?
It can be fatal in chronic poisoning.
1. The accused were not the ones who went mad. The supposedly bewitched accusers went mad. 2. There is no concrete proof there was any poison, but one theory suggests Ergotism, poisoning from ingesting ergot fungus.
Poisoning produced by eating food affected by ergot, resulting in headache, vomiting, and gangrene of the fingers and toes
St. Vitus Dance, "Chorea sancti viti," also known as Sydenham's Chorea. St. Anthony's Fire, or Ergotism, poisoning by the ergot fungus.
1. There were no witches in Salem 2. They were never accused of/ believed to have ingested poison 3. The only mention of poisoning in Salem literature is the theory that the afflicted got that way from Ergotism, poisoning by eating wheat or rye infected with the fungus Ergot.
Ergot is the name of a toxic fungus that affects the rye plant.
Ergot is a kind of fungus that can infect cereal grains.
St. Anthony of Padua died of ergotism. Also known as ergot poisoning, ergotism has been suggested as the cause of symptoms formerly attributed to witchcraft.
Ergot alkaloids are derived from a fungus, Claviceps purpurea, which grows primarily on rye grain. The fungus forms a hard blackish body known as a sclerotium, which contains alkaloid compounds that can be used to treat migraine headache.
Ergot is the common name of a fungus in the genus Claviceps that is parasitic on certain grains and grasses.
it started in 1692 some teenage girls ate rye bread that has a poison in it called ergot. the girls were "bewitched" which has symptoms of convulstions, tingly fingers, and halusinations (sp?). ergot poisoning causes halusinations, convulsions and it constricts arteries and you loose blood flow to the extremities (fingers and toes). and, the power of suggestion caused all of Salem to freakk out.
ergot poisoning. Symptoms include headache, muscle pain, numbness, coldness, and unusually pale fingers and toes. If not treated, the condition can lead to gangrene (tissue death).