Plants without physical means of defence, like bluebells that have neither thorns nor stings, often contain interesting chemicals. It is well documented that bluebells contain compounds that are sugar mimics and may cause death when ingested. However, we now know that it is the complex mixture of compounds that causes the toxicity and the challenge is to chemically break this mixture apart into the individual components as some of these may turn out as future drugs against cancer, TB, HIV or diabetes.