Senecionine is a toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloid isolated from various botanical sources. It takes its name from the Senecio genus and is produced by many different plants in that genus, including Jacobaea vulgaris (Senecio jacobaea). It has also been isolated from several other plants, including Brachyglottis repanda, Emilia, Erechtites hieraciifolius, Petasites, Syneilesis, Crotalaria, Caltha leptosepala, and Castilleja.
The compound is toxic and consumption can lead to liver damage, cancer, and pyrrolizidine alkaloidosis. Because of this, consumption of plants that produce it has resulted in poisonings, both in humans and in animals.
Like other pyrrolizidine alkaloids, senecionine is toxic when ingested. The ingested molecule is a protoxin that is metabolized to its active form.
In large quantities, ingestion can lead to critical illness, including convulsions and death. Studies in rodents have shown an LD50 of 65 mg/kg. In smaller, non-lethal quantities, inge