STEROIDAL SAPONINS and SPIROSTANOLs
The whole plant is toxic, the berries highly so.
Some older sources claim it contains the steroidal compound called
Ecdysterone which is a steroidal hormone active in insects and crustaceans! Ecdysterone now seems to be sold as a body-building steroid. The same source claims Herb-paris also contains the steroidal saponins
α-paristyphnine, but the structural formulae for these three compounds is not to be found on the internet (they may have different common names now). α-paristyphnine is both a respiratory and a myocardial depressant.
Ecdysterone is notably different to most other plant steroidal compounds. The Author has re-drawn it using the same skeletal framework as Pannogenin below so that the reader can compare them directly. Ecdysterone is an analgesic and is an immnunostimulant.
More recent studies claim Herb-paris contains the spirostanol
Pannogenin, which is structurally almost identical to the aglycone of Saponoside A but with the addition of an -OH group. The same researchers have also discovered several other compounds structurally related to Pannogenin in Herb-paris, but they lack common names so your Author has not drawn them. This is a much more believable source.
One is structurally very unusual:
(23S,24S)-spirosta-5,25(27)-diene-1β,3β,21,23,24-pentol- 1-O-β-D -apiofuranosyl- (1-->3)- α-L-rhamnopyranosyl- (1-->2)-[β-D- xylopyranosyl- (1-->3)]-β- D-glucopyranoside 21-O-β-D- apiofuranoside 24-O-β- D-fucopyranoside
This same modern source also claims Herb-paris contains
20-HydroxyEcdysone, so it may well contain Ecdysterone too.