I had an idea to do a series based loosely on natural poisons in the middle of a biochemistry lecture (possibly, as they mentioned alpha-amanitin) so here's the first one, Opium, from the Opium poppy.
<- Wikipedia article on Opium
Opium comes from the latex which is released by opium seed pods and contains up to 16% morphine as well as other weaker/ non-narcotic alkoliods.
Morphine from the opium poppy is the most powerful pain killer in nature and has been used by people for many thousands of years for medicinal purposes. It is however, lethal in high doses as morphine binds to and activates μ-opioid receptors in the brain, spinal cord, stomach and intestine.
Records of opium use as a recreational drug began in China in the 15th century and later the British grew opium poppies in India and shipped the opium to China... the Chinese imperial government in the 19th century carried out a mass confiscation of opium which lead to the Opium Wars between China and Britain in both 1840 and 1858.
The picture itself draws influences from Chinese landscape ink paintings, Michael Hussar's painting "Morphine" (appropriate!) and Mucha's decorative illustrations.
Photoshop, Painter X, Wacom Intuos 2
Download the Wallpaper at [link]