195. Nicotiana


In 1559, Jean Nicot, a young French scholar and diplomat was sent on an important mission to Portugal. He was supposed to negotiate and arrange the marriage of Marguerite de Valois – the six old year princess, with the five year old king Sebastian of Portugal!

His mission failed utterly. When he went back to France, he took with him the tobacco plants which had arrived from Florida.

Jean Nicot’s name got associated with the tobacco plant inseparably. The plant was named as Nicotiana. By the 19th Century, the poisonous substance present in tobacco had been identified.

Now Nicotine means exclusively the poisonous substance present in the tobacco leaves.

Visalakshi Ramani

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