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Any of about 50 species of fungus in genus Claviceps, which grow on rye or wheat, and some other grains. Ingestion of ergot by humans may cause ergotism, called "St. Anthony's Fire." In extreme cases limbs may become gangrenous or require amputation. Some theorize that ergot may be the cause of certain notorious incidences of mass hysteria, including the panic surrounding the Salem Witch Trials.

Frank James Bové. The Story of Ergot. S. Karger. 1970. 297pp.

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