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«Everything about herbs!»

Poisonous Plants and Herbs I Part 1

There are many ornamental and medicinal herbs and plants in the Greek countryside, some of which are poisonous. It is not necessarily bad poisonous plants to exist, mainly due to their many pharmaceutical applications.

It is necessary, however, to know which herbs are, so that we can be protected. Since ancient times, their use has been known, as well as the properties of every plant. The direct effect of poisonous herbs on the body makes them different from herbal remedies with properties that take time to see the positive effects of a treatment. As a general rule, poisonous herbs cause diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness and convulsions. In more severe cases, they cause dyspnoea, arrhythmias, paralysis and many other symptoms that require immediate treatment.

Below are some of the most famous poisonous plants, which can be found in the Greek countryside but also in gardens for decorative purposes.

Scientific name Common name Toxic parts Symptoms
Acer rubrum Red maple Leaves Jaundice, lethargy, coma
Aconitum Wolf’s bane The whole plant It is considered the most toxic, lethal plant, while causing poisoning and through contact with the skin.
Actaea spicata Actaea spicata Fruit It affects the human heart muscle, it can cause heart attack.
Agave Agave Juice Severe skin disorders
Alocasia Alocasia Leaves & branches Irritation of mucous membranes, swelling of lips, tongue and palate
Anthurium Laceleaf The whole plant Irritation of mucous membranes, swelling of lips, tongue and palate
Asparagus densiflorus Plant from asparagus family Fruit Skin irritation, redness, swelling, blistering
Atropa Belladona Belladonna The whole plant Dry mouth, burning sensation, nausea, confusion, delirium
Caladium Heart of Jesus The whole plant Irritation of mucous membranes, swelling of lips, tongue and palate
Chrysanthemum indicum Indian chrysanthemum Leaves & stamens Dermatitis
Clivia Clivia The whole plant Nausea and diarrhea
Codiaeum variegatum croton Garden croton Leaves & juice Burning in the mouth, in contact with the skin causes eczema
Colchicum byzantinum Byzantine meadow saffron The whole plant heart failure
Conium maculatum Hemlock The whole plant Nausea, vomiting, salivation, fever, progressive muscle weakness, muscle paralysis and respiratory disorder that can lead to death.
Cyclamen persicum Persian cyclamen Bulbs Stomach cramps, nausea, diarrhea
Cytisus scoparius Scotch broom The whole plant Mucosal irritation, increase in pressure, increase of diuresis and tachycardia, gastric pain and diarrhea.
Datura innoxia Angel’s trumpet The whole plant Agitation, intense nausea, poor focus, rapid heart beat, intense disorientation, memory loss, loss of time, delirium, sensitivity to light and noise, nosebleed, loss of body control, coma, drowsiness, illusion, temperature increase.
Datura stramonium Jimsonweed The whole plant Nausea, hallucinations, taken in large amounts can cause death.
Dieffenbachia Dumb canes The whole plant Irritation of mucous membranes, swelling of lips, tongue and palate
Dracunculus vulgaris Dragon lily The whole plant It is toxic but after boiling or drying it is harmless
Ecballium elaterium Ecballium Mostly the fruits Laxative, analgesic, has been used in ancient times as a medicine
Epipremnum syn.Scindapsus Devil’s ivy The whole plant Irritation of mucous membranes, swelling of lips, tongue and palate
Euonymus Spindle tree Fruit, leaves, flowers, bark Emetic, laxative, anthelmintic, abdominal pain, dermatitis.
Euphorbia Spurges Juice, leaves Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and irritation. Contact with skin causes dermal irritation.

The toxic parts differ in each plant as well as their effects on humans. It always depends on the age, weight and sensitivity of each organism. Toxic substances contained in plants can cause dermatitis, allergies and poisoning depending on use (ingestion or contact). It is important to note that many of the aforementioned plants are used in pharmaceutical and homeopathy precisely because of the existence of the particular substances, their analgesic, antiinflammatory or particular therapeutic effect. Nevertheless, they should never be used without the advice of a specialist.

herb poisoning, herbs, herbs allergies, poisonous herbs

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