Poisonous Plants and Plant Parts

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by melbo, Mar 12, 2006.


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  1. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Vegetation helps sustain life. We eat many plants, herbs and so forth in our daily diet. But, we must remember to be choosy. Some plants, trees or shrubs are potential killers of man. Some part of the ornamental plants or flowers in your yard may contain deadly poison. Many poisonous plants are so common and seemingly innocuous you do not suspect their toxic qualities.

    For example, who would expect that the beautiful oleander bush-grown indoors and outdoors all over the country-contains a deadly heart stimulant, similar to the drug digitalis? So powerful is this poison that a single leaf of an oleander can kill a child. And, many people have died merely from eating steaks speared on oleander twigs and roasted over a fire.

    It is easy to be deceived by plants. . .one part may be edible while another is poisonous. The following chart lists some of the more common poisonous plants.

    PLANT TOXIC PART SYMPTOMS
    HOUSE PLANTS
    Hyacinth, Narcissus, Daffodil Bulbs Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea. May be fatal.
    Oleander Leaves, branches Extremely poisonous. Affects the heart, produces severe digestive upset and has caused death.
    Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane), Elephant Ear All parts Intense burning and irritation of the mouth and tongue. Death can occur if base of the tongue swells enough to block the air passage of the throat.
    Rosary Pea, Castor Bean Seeds Fatal. A single Rosary Pea seed has caused death. One or two Castor Bean seeds are near the lethal dose for adults.
    FLOWER GARDEN PLANTS
    Larkspur Young plant, seeds Digestive upset, nervous excitement, depression. May be fatal.
    Monkshood Fleshy roots Digestive upset and nervous excitement.
    Autumn Crocus, Star of Bethlehem Bulbs Vomiting and nervous excitement.
    Lily-of-the-Valley Leaves, flowers Irregular heart beat and pulse, usually accompanied by digestive upset and mental confusion.
    Iris Underground stems Severe-but not usually serious-digestive upset.
    Foxglove Leaves Large amounts cause dangerously irregular heartbeat and pulse, usually digestive upset and mental confusion. May be fatal.
    Bleeding Heart Foliage, roots May be poisonous in large amounts. Has proved fatal to cattle.
    VEGETABLE GARDEN PLANTS
    Rhubarb Leaf blade Fatal. Large amounts of raw or cooked leaves can cause convulsions, coma, followed rapidly by death.
    ORNAMENTAL PLANTS
    Daphne Berries Fatal. A few berries can kill a child.
    Wisteria Seeds, pods Mild to severe digestive upset. Many children are poisoned by this plant.
    Golden Chain Bean-like capsules in which the seeds are suspended Severe poisoning. Excitement, staggering, convulsions and coma. May be fatal.
    Laurels, Rhododendrons, Azaleas All parts Fatal. Produces nausea and vomiting, depression, difficult breathing, prostration and coma.
    Jasmine Berries Fatal. Digestive disturbance and nervous symptoms.
    Lantana Camara (Red Sage) Green berries Fatal. Affects lungs, kidneys, heart and nervous system. Grows in the southern U.S. And in moderate climates.
    Yew Berries, foliage Fatal. Foliage more toxic than berries. Death is usually sudden without warning symptoms.
    TREES AND SHRUBS
    Wild and cultivated cherries Twigs, foliage Fatal. Contains a compound that releases cyanide when eaten. Gasping, excitement and prostration are common symptoms.
    Oaks Foliage, acorns Affects kidneys gradually. Symptoms appear only after several days or weeks. Takes a large amount for poisoning.
    Elderberry All parts, especially roots Children have been poisoned by using pieces of the pithy stems for blowguns. Nausea and digestive upset.
    Black Locust Bark, sprouts, foliage Children have suffered nausea, weakness and depression after chewing the bark and seeds.
    PLANTS IN WOODED AREAS
    Jack-in-the-Pulpit All parts, especially roots Like Dumb Cane, contains small needle-like crystals of calcium oxalate that cause intense irritation and burning of the mouth and tongue.
    Moonseed Berries Blue, purple color, resembling wild grapes. May be fatal.
    Mayapple Apple, foliage, roots Contains at least 16 active toxic principles, primarily in the roots. Children often eat the apple with no ill effects, but several apples may cause diarrhea.
    Mistletoe Berries Fatal. Both children and adults have died from eating the berries.
    PLANTS IN SWAMP OR MOIST AREAS
    Water Hemlock All parts Fatal. Violent and painful convulsions. A number of people have died from hemlock.
    PLANTS IN FIELDS
    Buttercups All parts Irritant juices may severely injure the digestive system.
    Nightshade All parts, especially the unripened berry Fatal. Intense digestive disturbance and nervous symptoms.
    Poison Hemlock All parts Fatal. Resembles a large wild carrot.
    Jimson Weed (Thorn Apple) All parts Abnormal thirst, distorted sight, delirium, incoherence and coma. Common cause of poisoning. Has proved fatal.

    Treat unknown plants with respect, and teach your children to do the same.

    Chart reprinted from materials provided by the Texas State Department of Health and the National Safety Council
    Poisonous Plants and Plant Parts
     
  2. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    [bestpost] Thanks. I had my wife read it, as the baby is always looking for stuff to put in her mouth. Great post. We need more of this kind of stuff on the board. Too many jokes, not enough survival.
     
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    More survival is not a bad idea, that is what got us here. But, gee, to reduce the jokes, well that seems sorta unfun. (We are here for fun, too, not so?) :dunno: :D
     
  4. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    The jokes are fine, but I would like to see more survival stuff, maybe that's just me though. The survival part of the survival monkey doesn't seem to be addressed enough. I plan on working on that during my week off. Hopefully posts and pics to follow time permitting.
     
  5. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    I would question the accuracy of some of the statments given. I see they say all parts of the elderberry are poison but I have had elderberry jam many times and know elderberry wine is popular and so on. The blanket statment though is very true in that if you are not positive as to what a plant is and that it is safe it is a bad idea to try eating it. Also I had never heard about the cherry tree stuff releasing cyanide but I do know the roots have been used in the past to regulate minstration in wemoan as well as to induce miscarage but it is rather delicate as to much will cause hemerageing to a point of bleeding out. Many of the poisonous plants mentioned in fack I am not familiar enouph with to administer but do know they are used medicinaly.
     
  6. RightHand

    RightHand Pioneer in a New World Moderator Founding Member

    I was curious about the Elderberries as well mm. We have always made elderberry wind (as well as dandelion wine). Both have, on occasion, made me sick but that had more to do with the volume consumed than the wine itself [LMAO]
     
  7. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    I think that the chart was talking about plants that are eaten raw as in the stalks, stems leaves. Elderberry extracts and wine undergo a process that is different than eating the plant and root right from the ground.

    On teh Cyanide thing from Cherry trees. I consume cyanide daily.
    YMMV
    I forgot to add the link to the source:
    http://plantanswers.tamu.edu/publications/poison/poison.html
     
  8. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Also, I love the entertainment side of the Monkey... but, I too, would like to see us attract some more members to the survivalo side of things as well.
     
  9. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    tamu.edu

    Gig Em' Aggies!
     
  10. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    ;) :D
     
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