Presentation is loading. Please wait.

Presentation is loading. Please wait.


Similar presentations

Presentation on theme: "CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE BOTANICAL KIND"— Presentation transcript:

Donna Lotzer, RPh Certified Specialist in Poison Information UW Hospital Poison Prevention & Education Center February 2007 Developed December 2006 by Donna Lotzer, RPh Certified Specialist in Poison Information, Poison Education Coordinator UW Hospital Poison Prevention and Education Center is an excellent reference and used for selected pictures in this presentation

2 Monkshood Aconitum napellus
Whole plant toxic, esp. roots and leaves Leaves like parsley, roots mistaken for horseradish/celery Ingestion causes local tingling, burning, numbness, thirst Vomiting, diarrhea, visual changes follow Irregular heart beats, low blood pressure lead to fatalities Fatal cases resulted 1½ to 8 hours after eating Management in intensive care if person can get there This plant is found growing wild but is also a very popular garden plant and is easily found at garden centers or through catalogs. The whole plant is toxic, with most exposures occurring when misadventures occur in the wild. Ingestion causes local irritation initially but harmful effects leading to serious symptoms can occur. Burning and tingling of the lips, tongue, fingers and toes may begin within minutes, along with numbness of the throat, and are followed by sweats and chills, then a feeling of intense cold. Violent vomiting and colicky diarrhea, muscle weakness and spasms, weak pulse, breathing paralysis, seizures and potentially death usually occurs within 1-6 hours, but symptoms can occur up to several days later. Topical application of a cream made from the root has caused itching, prickling, redness or even blisters. Management is S&S care Delphiniums, which are also common garden plants, have the potential for similar symptoms if ingested.

3 Monkshood Alternate names include friar’s cap, old wife’s hood, helmet flower (easy to see why!)

4 Poison Ivy Toxicodendron radicans
One of most UNpopular plants Reaction is dual with allergic rxn too Sap is culprit, found in entire plant Skin contact causes symptoms of redness, itching, blisters “progressing” over time Management: Wash affected area well Domeboro®, rubbing alcohol, steroid cream, jewel weed (?) Protect blisters, keep clean Oral antihistamines/steroids Launder clothing separately Poison ivy and sumac as well as poison oak (not found in WI) all contain the same ingredient in the sap of the plants, a compound called urushiol. Skin contact can cause severe skin redness, merciless itching, swelling and blistering following direct or indirect contact (from airborne smoke or pollen). Some people will react within 1-2 hours, while others may take 1-2 days. Remember blister fluid does NOT spread area of reaction; however contact with contaminated boots, clothes and animals (dog fur) can help to spread the oil. 15-30% of people have are genetically more sensitized, resulting in more serious outcomes. Management initially includes thorough washing ASAP, use of products to dry up blisters, and OTC steroid cream (hydrocortisone). More intense symptoms may require Rx treatments and can last for 2-8 weeks (I know) with a burst of decreasing oral steroids, potent topical steroids, oral antihistamines, etc. Jewelweed is a remedy that has a reputation of lessening the intensity of the reaction when used ASAP in soaps and lotions, or even better by rubbing the crushed plant (slice the stem to get the juice out) over affected areas. Make a jewelweed infusion by brewing chopped plant in boiling water until the liquid turns a dark orange. Strain and pour into ice cube trays. Keep frozen – when contact is made take an ice cube and rub it directly on the areas. Effectiveness is maintained up to one year.

5 Poison Ivy

6 Poison Sumac Toxicodendron vernix
Distinguish normal sumac (red fruit) from the toxic version (white fruit). Poison sumac generally grows in swampy areas while non-toxic forms are found in dry areas as a general rule.

7 Water Hemlock Cicuta maculata
Very highly toxic to fatal plant Mistaken for other edible plants (smells like parsnip) Symptoms occur in min. and include vomiting, diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, dilated pupils, violent muscle spasms, seizures, breathing paralysis Person may not survive till medical care can be provided Folk antidote of salmon oil skimmed off salmonhead soup!! Water hemlock is considered to be the most highly toxic plant genus in the US and is found in WI. (I have it growing on my land in Iowa county). It is found in wet areas, including along pond and stream banks or in ditches. It is often mistaken for other plants, based on misidentification of the leaves or roots. It may have some purple streaky coloration on the stem. Roots have been mistaken for parsnip (smells like it), carrot, or artichoke. Leaves resemble celery. There is an oily yellow sap (the toxin) that oozes from cut surfaces. A FATAL dose for an adult is stated to be a root portion the width of a finger. Children using the hollow stems as whistles or peashooters have been poisoned. Toxic chemicals are cicutoxin and cicutol (most toxic to the central nervous system). Symptoms after ingestion occur rapidly (15-60 minutes) and include severe abdominal pain, V, D, frothy salivation, dilated pupils, dizziness, delirium, low heart rate and blood pressure, violent muscle spasms, seizures, breathing paralysis and death. Management is generally S & S in an ICU if the person survives long enough to get there! Fatalities would be expected within the first few hours post exposure. Native Americans had an “antidote” which involved feeding the person salmon oil skimmed from salmonhead soup!!! (I have no supporting evidence for this, nor do I have a recipe.) Do not confuse this plant with poison hemlock… ROOT SECTION

8 Water Hemlock Folk names of beaver poison, death-of-man, children’s bane (HINT!)

9 Poison Hemlock Conium maculatum
Highly toxic plant, common in WI marshes, ditches Mistaken for carrot, parsnip Roots and seeds esp. toxic Symptoms (1-3 hours out) include irritation, salivation, tremors, dilated pupils, muscle spasm, seizures, paralysis Death due to breathing failure Management is supportive, observe 4 hours if no symptoms. Fatal peds cases mistook ID Socrates killed with this plant in liquid prep at 70 ! Dermal contact causes a dermatitis reaction This is an extremely toxic plant, common in WI and elsewhere. (It is found on my property in Iowa county.) It is found at pond edges, marshes, ditches and waste areas. It resembles a carrot or parsnip in some ways, with a white taproot and red-purple blotchy coloration on the stems. Fatal cases have occurred from mistaking the root for wild carrot or parsnip. It has an unpleasant “mousy” odor. Toxicity from the entire plant, especially roots and seeds. Toxins are mixed alkaloids, esp. coniine. It may be mistaken for parsley (leaves) or anise (seeds). Toxicity increases in sunny summer weather conditions. Symptoms of toxicity resemble nicotine with rapid (within 1-3 hours) onset of irritation of the mouth and throat, salivation, V, D, abdominal pain. Headache, muscle spasms, tremors, dilated pupils, thirst, sweats, dizziness can occur. Severe poisoning results in seizures, breathing muscle paralysis, coma and death due to respiratory failure. Skin contact with the plant may cause dermatitis. Case reports of fatalities include a 5 YO girl who mistook the root for carrots. Two small children who ate leafy tops also died within 2 hours of ingestion. This plant is the one used by the Greeks for capital punishment, and is what killed Socrates, the Greek philosopher in 399 B.C. when he was forced to drink a potent liquid preparation. It was considered a “humane method of execution”. Management is S & S care for seizures and breathing support if needed. An observation time of 4 hours is recommended for those with no symptoms.

10 Poison Hemlock Also known as kill cow, poison parsley, spotted hemlock

11 Wild Parsnip Pastinaca sativa
Ditch weed, fields, RR tracks Dermal toxicity dominates No sun – irritation and rash Sun-induced burns Psoralens are culprit Mild: red, sunburn look Moderate: blisters form, area looks scalded (Day 1-3) Sweat enhances reaction Delayed: Blisters rupture, red-brown hyperpigmentation lasting up to 2 years! Burns appear streaky from sap Mistaken for poison ivy Management: Cover up skin Domeboro®, steroid cream Protect blisters, keep clean This plant is a true roadside scourge and is found readily in WI (estimated by DNR to be in 23 counties in 2000), along ditches, in fields, and wherever it can get a roothold. It is a member of the celery family. Main toxic concern is dermatitis (painful irritation/rash reaction) from contact with the sap. This is further complicated by the fact that sun exposure of affected areas (especially arms, legs, torso, face, neck) will cause a phototoxic effect. When exposed to sun the chemical reaction literally destroys cells and tissue. Reactions can range from mild to moderate, and lead to delayed symptoms lasting for months. This is a non-allergic dermatitis, unlike poison ivy, so no one is “immune”. The combination of sap contact with the skin and UV light (even on cloudy days) produces these dramatic results. According to dermatology texts, the most critical time period for UV exposure seems to be minutes post contact with the sap, so an exposure late one day and sun the next may not cause the phototoxic reaction. The painful time period is generally a couple of days unless extensive blistering occurs. Management is to cover the skin ASAP when contact is known, since washing as soon as minutes post exposure has not been shown to be very effective at preventing the phototoxic effects. Once symptoms have developed astringent soaks and steroid creams can help.

12 Wild Parsnip

13 Queen Anne’s Lace Daucus carota
Commonly referred to as wild carrot Compare look to hemlock!! Toxic because of skin irritation from sap, combined with sunlight (like parsnip). Some parts are potentially edible so must be sure of ID. Management for dermal exposure is repeated washing and sun avoidance This plant is commonly found in the same general areas as hemlock, and in fact the flat white flower heads of hemlock may be confused with this plant. It is also called “wild carrot”. It readily grows in pastures, ditches, and in fields. The toxic chemical (psoralen) is found in the sap and causes a photodermatitis, like wild parsnip. Edible parts may include leaves in the early spring and flowers during the summer months. Recipes recommend thorough washing of the leaves, and then they can be parboiled, and cooked till tender in fresh water. First year roots (white in color) are said to be tender and can be used like carrots. Flower heads are battered and fried or can be used to make jelly.

14 Wild Plant Guessing Game
IS THIS PLANT… Wild Carrot ? Wild Parsnip ? Poison Hemlock ? WOULD YOU EAT IT TO FIND OUT THE RESULTS? The Poison Center phone number is !!!! The fleshy taproot of first-year wild parsnip plants is allegedly edible but can be confused with wild carrot or poison hemlock (Conium maculatum) with fatal results so not recommended!

15 Foxglove Digitalis purpurea
Active principle is digitalis, used since 1700’s in medical practice “Mistaken ID” leads to ingestion and some poisonings Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, visual changes, slow irregular pulse, tremors, seizures Management includes medical observation for 12 hours, with intensive care if problems develop, using pacemaker, special drugs Used in folk medicine for hundreds of years – known to have an effect on the heart to improve poor heart function in the 1700’s. Slows heart rate, improves general circulation, reduces fluid buildup, but has very close therapeutic and toxic doses. Source of digitoxin. Amounts of toxin in the plant are quite variable. Human poisonings have been reported when people made “tea” with plant stems/leaves/flowers. Possible to mistake the leaves for comfrey and so make tea from wrong plant! Case report of tea made with foxglove which caused hospitalization for 4 days and recovery in 6 days. Plant remains pharmacologically active even when dried or boiled. Symptoms of toxicity include V, D, abdominal pain, severe headache, visual changes (blurred, yellow-green color changes), slowed irregular HR, tremors and seizures. Management could involve ICU management for regulation of heart function and/or seizures. Must monitor potassium levels closely till sxs resolve (would be elevated). Overdoses sometimes require atropine, phenytoin, pacemaker and Fab fragments but generally not expected in most accidental plant poisonings. Minimal monitored observation period is 12 hours.

16 Foxglove Common names include fairy bells, witches’ thimble, rabbit flower, lion’s mouth

17 Lily of the Valley Convallaria majalis
Plant contains convallarin, convallotoxin, convallamarin (digitalis-like compounds) Multiple reasons to eat by kids/adults Symptoms like foxglove (affects the heart) Management like foxglove This plant has been used historically as a source of cardioactive compounds, which are closely related to digitalis. Reputed to be toxic even from the water plants are put into when cut(!). Case report of using leaves in soup by mistake for wild garlic and adults becoming toxic with headaches and hallucinations. All parts (leaves, flowers, berries, roots) are considered toxic. Symptoms just like foxglove with V, D, burning pain in mouth and throat, abdominal pain, headache, slowed irregular HR, visual changes. Management involves observation period for any sxs, then possibly ICU care for atropine, phenytoin, pacer.

18 Lily of the Valley

19 Castor Bean Plant Ricinus communis
Grown as an ornamental in WI Beans common in imported jewelry Ricin – poison for spy stories and bioterrorism concerns One of most potent natural toxins (also contains ricinus) If chewed, expect burning mouth and throat, vomiting, sweats, seizures and death Management in intensive care for kidney, breathing and heart failure from ingestion or injection Castor bean is often thought of as not found in WI but in fact it is grown as an ornamental, at least in the southern part of the state. Also, visitors to Mexico, South America and Africa can bring home the seeds as decorative necklaces. This has lead to children ingesting the “beads” as they chew on them. All parts of the plant are toxic, but most exposures are to the seeds. As few as 4-8 seeds are potentially fatal to an adult. Historically, ricin, the active compound in castor beans, was used to kill a Bulgarian defector named Georgi Markov in 1978 when he was “injected” with a platinum pellet filled with ricin. It is often a featured toxin in spy novels, and bioterrorism management protocols have been written for ricin. Symptoms include burning irritation of the mouth and throat, V, abdominal pain, bloody diarrhea, trembling, sweating, internal bleeding, seizures, coma, kidney and breathing failure, and death. Time interval between exposure and symptoms can range from less than one hour to 12 hours, with 2-3 hours common. Dermal contact with broken seeds can cause dermatitis and allergic reactions. Management is supportive in an ICU.

20 Castor Bean Plant

21 Jimsonweed Datura stramonium
Good-looking, ill-smelling weed Poisoning from honey, making tea, eating seeds or leaves Abusable by eating, smoking “Good” symptom=hallucinations “Bad” symptoms=flushed & dry skin/mouth, dilated pupils, high pulse, fever, delirium, seizures Symptoms may last hours Management is to monitor body temp and mental status, antidote drug for severe cases Common weed in ditches, pastures and roadsides, usually in southern US, but can also be found in WI including as landscaped plants (sold at Madison farmer’s markets as Devil’s Trumpet!). Name comes from “Jamestown” Virginia when soldiers in 1676 were poisoned from eating this plant. It has been used since ancient times as a folk remedy/hallucinogen. Could be found in OTC asthma remedies until abuse forced removal in 1968. Toxic compounds are belladonna alkaloids (hyoscyamine, scopolamine). Accidental poisonings can happen from making tea, ingesting the “honey” inside the flowers, or eating seeds or leaves. This plant is frequently abused, which is a most common complaint in “poisonings”. Seeds and/or dried leaves are smoked for effect. WI cases in Waukesha, Dane and Dodge counties last year. Symptoms of ingestion or smoking mimic atropine, and include hot dry flushed skin, dry mouth, dilated pupils, headache, rapid weak pulse, and hallucinations, which may progress to delirium, seizures, and coma. Some concerns about elevated body temperature as well, especially in accidental poisoning in children. Can also cause urinary retention. Handling the plant may also cause skin irritation in some people. This plant is toxic to livestock – can cause fatal outcomes in horses, cattle, and poultry Management for abuse situations is mainly S & S care, with attention being paid to maintain body temp within normal range, and to prevent self-harm. For severe hallucinations a trial of physostigmine can be tried, repeated as needed. Symptoms will persist for hours before resolving, and additional medical management may be needed over this time.

22 Jimsonweed Also called mad apple, Devil’s trumpet, stink weed
(Close relative is Angel’s trumpet)

23 Lupine Lupinus spp. Member of the legume family
Forms seed pods like peas Contains multiple toxins under variable growing conditions Seed pods and leaves/stems most toxic in spring Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, slowed breathing, death (rare) Management is supportive care Member of the legume or bean family so flowers and seed pods look like peas. Over 200 species exist, mostly in N. America. Planted along roadsides for stabilization (seen in northern WI) as well as landscaped in home gardens. Contains a large number of potent chemicals which act on the central nervous system, along with other toxins. Toxicity varies with species, time of year, and part of the plant involved. Most toxic are seeds and pods and young leaves and stems in spring. Livestock can be fatally poisoned. In humans, eating the green unripe seeds or pods (mistaken for peas or beans) causes toxic effects. Potential symptoms from ingestion include vomiting, abdominal pain, salivation, dizziness, headache, slowed breathing and heart rate, and in extreme cases seizures, breathing failure and death. In one human exposure in Spain, the seeds were soaked in water and then a person drank the water and became ill with dilated pupils, increased heart rate and irregular heart rhythms but survived. See case in New York! Management is symptomatic and supportive care because sxs are generally mild and require no intervention. Symptoms in animals: difficult breathing, nervousness, depression, twitching leg muscles, loss of all muscular control, snoring, frothing of the mouth, convulsion, coma. Death results from breathing paralysis. Symptoms usually appear within one hour after ingestion and death may follow within a day. Sometimes symptoms do not develop for a day and death follows several days later. Toxicity is not lost with drying, so if mixed in forage animals can be poisoned on a delayed basis.

24 Tobacco Nicotiana tabacum
Garden ornamental, grown for smoking tobacco in WI Whole plant is toxic, usually eating or skin exposures cause problems Harvest time leads to occupational exposures Symptoms include salivation, vomiting, diarrhea, pulse and blood pressure changes, seizures, breathing failure Management is washing, supportive care (ICU ?), possibly antidote drug in severe cases Tobacco is grown in a variety of forms, some for ornamental use and others for smoking/chewing tobacco. All forms are toxic and all parts of the plant are toxic. It is generally considered toxic by skin contact as well as ingestion because the highly toxic nicotine and other chemicals are readily absorbed through the skin, especially during commercial harvesting operations. Case reports include using tobacco as a salad green, leading to fatal results. Symptoms of exposure can include V, D, abdominal pain, headache, dizziness, sweating, salivation, rapid irregular heart rate, fluctuations in blood pressure, seizures, collapse and breathing failure. Management is mostly S & S care.

25 Indian Tobacco Lobelia inflata
Common names include pukeweed, gagroot, vomitroot, asthma weed Has breathing stimulant, muscle relaxant properties Native Americans smoked or chewed for lung diseases (asthma, bronchitis) Toxicity includes vomiting, seizures, breathing failure from muscle paralysis (like curare!) and death Management is supportive in intensive care May find in stop-smoking products to help with nicotine withdrawal sxs Indian tobacco has blue flowers while the related Cardinal flower has red flowers – lobelia has over 200 species worldwide Used historically by Native American tribes for a wide range of conditions including stimulating breathing in newborns, narcotic overdose, asthma, pneumonia, bronchitis, and muscle relaxation in childbirth. Externally used to treat rheumatism, tennis elbow, whiplash injuries, boils and ulcers. Teas were used to cause vomiting and a laxative effect. Excessive doses cause V, drowsiness and breathing failure. Other symptoms include dizziness, tremors, seizures, paralysis, coma and death. Used to help break the smoking habit because lobeline is chemically similar to nicotine, so it works as a substitute in small doses. It is chewed to relieve symptoms as needed. Thomas G. USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database Barnes, T.G. & S.W. Francis

26 Indian Tobacco Cardinal Flower
Found along WI river banks

27 Yew Taxus spp. Several varieties, all toxic
Foliage will kill cows, horses Seeds commonly ingested by children Symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, dilated pupils, slow pulse, seizures, coma and rarely death Management ranges from observation to support in an intensive care setting (rare) The yew is a common and popular ornamental evergreen, which can also be found growing wild in some areas. It contains several chemicals with diverse adverse effects. All parts of the bush are toxic with the notable exception of the sticky red outer part of the seed. This red covering is soft and squishy and tastes sweet. If the seed inside is swallowed intact, it generally will pass in the stools uneventfully, but the problem is that most exposures in humans are bychildren who pick and chew the “fruits” including the seed. In cases of potential exposure ALWAYS check the area and see if the seed has been spit out by the child, which actually happens frequently because children are taught not to eat seeds of other fruits. This inspection step has saved many a trip to an ER for medical intervention! Symptoms of ingestion in humans can include trembling, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, dilated pupils, slow heart rate and seizures. There are reports that a person’s lips can turn blue-purple in color, and a rash may appear as well. Coma is possible and death would be due to heart or breathing failure. Management is S&S care, but if only a small confirmed exposure then observation for 30 minutes to 2 hours is sufficient.

28 Milkweed Asclepius spp.
Food source for Monarch butterflies Selected varieties edible young Toxic part is white latex (sap) found inside entire plant Mixed toxic chemicals found Topical exposure can cause skin irritation Management is washing Folk medicines use milkweed Animals poisoned by ingestion The milkweed plant is the only food source for the Monarch caterpillar and butterflies so even though it can be considered a noxious weed in some respects it has redeeming value! There are over 20 species in N. America alone. The white milky latex or sap has a variety of chemicals. The only component expected to cause symptoms is the latex resin. With skin contact one can expect skin irritation, managed with washing In animals ingestion causes depression, weakness, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, staggering, labored breathing, seizures, fever, liver and kidney damage, coma and death. Supposedly Asclepius speciosa and syriaca can be eaten young, and shoots, flowers and green pods can be cooked in several changes of water to remove the bitter, poisonous chemicals which will leach out into the water. There is some evidence that Native Americans used milkweed as a medicinal product

29 Milkweed

30 Skunk Cabbage Symplocarpus foetidus
Called polecat weed because of odor Toxic chemical is calcium oxalate Symptoms are mouth pain and swelling if eaten Management is supportive care (ice cream works well) Claims for edibility, but… Common names include polecat weed because their large fleshy leaves give off a pungent, skunk-like odor when bruised (note botanical name!). Toxic compound found in the entire plant is insoluble calcium oxalate crystals, causing immediate pain in the mouth, lips and throat if eaten. Management: cool liquids, demulcents, (ice cream!) Recipes claim that young uncurled leaves and roots may be edible in early spring. Supposedly the unpleasant odor disappears with cooking. Cook for 20 minutes in boiling salted water, changing water frequently, and serve like greens. Roots are very bitter when raw, but can be peeled and roasted for an hour or more and then ground into a type of flour and mixed with bread dough or muffin batter. (WHY would someone want to do this?!?!?) William S. USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database

31 Jack-in-the-pulpit Arisaema spp.
Cultivated or wild woodland plant, attractive fruits Toxic chemical is calcium oxalate Symptoms are localized painful burning, and swelling of mouth, throat and tongue Management includes ice cream, milk or any cool liquid Seeds mistaken for pomegranate! Popular woodland plant, grows well in thickets, bogs and swamps, as well as shaded garden areas. Toxin is insoluble needle-shaped crystals of calcium oxalate Ingestion causes severe burning to the mouth, tongue and throat, and skin contact can cause significant discomfort as well. It is possible to develop localized swelling and inflammation with large exposures. Management involves cool liquids (milk or ice cream are ideal) and thorough washing of any skin contact sites, and usually symptoms will resolve within a couple of hours. Case report – woman brought seed heads to work for a co-worker, and others thought they were pomegranate fruits and chewed several of seeds with substantial local pain and swelling, managed with ice cream. Edibility of roots?? Says they can be dried for 6 months, peeled, ground into “flour” and added to bread dough or muffin batter (why would anyone want to do this?!?). Also says thin dried slices can be eaten as potato chips.

32 Jack-in-the-pulpit Fruiting bodies (seed head)

33 Mayapple Podophyllum peltatum
Common woodland plant Ripe fruit possibly edible but stay away from the rest ! Symptoms after eating include explosive diarrhea Liver and kidney damage possible, mutagen Management is antiemetics and supportive care Common woodland plant, also found in shaded garden areas of home perennial beds. Entire plant is toxic with possible exception of ripe (yellow, soft) fruit which apparently is edible in jams and jellies, and has a lemon-like flavor, but which can cause diarrhea in some persons. Ingestion of leaves, flowers, roots, and unripe fruit will cause salivation, vomiting, explosive diarrhea and fever, and skin absorption of the resin found in the plant (podophyllin) can cause internal toxicity including kidney and liver damage, and coma. The chemical is also known to be a capable of causing birth defects. A pharmaceutical prep of podophyllin is used for removing certain warts. Management is S & S care to avoid dehydration.


35 Nightshade Solanum spp.
Climbing Nightshade Nightshade Solanum spp. NOT “DEADLY” plant Vine, related to tomatoes Attractive but inedible weed Several common variations, bad reputation exaggerated Symptoms potentially could include vomiting, weakness Management is generally not needed, but would be supportive care Nightshade is a common name for various viney plants of the Solanum species. They are sometimes misnamed “deadly nightshade”, and the same common name is sometimes used for similar plants (not found in WI) that contain atropine as the active toxic principle. They are also confused with another common landscaping vine called bittersweet with the botanical name Celestrus. Solanine is the chemical found in nightshade, and is the same compound found in tomatoes and potatoes. Depending on the variety nightshade flowers are white or purple, and the resulting fruits are black or red, with loads of tiny white seeds (look like tomatoes). The foliage is toxic, and the fruit has toxic potential when green, but even children tend to take a bite or taste and spit the berry out again due to the foul taste. A child found with this plant will likely be wearing spit out material on themselves rather than consuming any appreciable amount. Potential symptoms include V, D, weakness, but fatalities would NOT be expected

36 Nightshade Black Nightshade

37 Baneberry Actea rubra Toxic woodland plant with unidentified chemicals
Symptoms include mouth burning and swelling, headache, abdominal pain, salivation Management is supportive care Used historically in Native American medicine Baneberry is a very common woods plant, and is also used in shady perennial gardens. It has two variations with red or white fruit, but both varieties are equally toxic, especially the roots and berries. Common names include doll’s eyes (white variety looks like eyeball/pupil), snakeberry. Toxic amounts have been stated as 6 berries. Eating leaves as a salad has also caused illness. Symptoms of eating any parts of the plant include mouth irritation and burning, severe stomach cramps, headache, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and dizziness. Reports also include possible high heart rate, visual hallucinations, incoherence, and blood in the urine. Roots once used in Native American and folk remedies for various illnesses, presumably in very small amounts. Severe effects have been noted with use of the plant topically as a compress – the juice causes an irritant and vesicant effect (blister formation) Management is S & S care as symptoms occur in 30 minutes and resolve within 3 hours.

38 Commonly known as doll’s eyes or snakeberry
Baneberry Commonly known as doll’s eyes or snakeberry

39 Bloodroot Sanguinaria canadensis
Member of the poppy family Named for red-orange juice in roots and stems Most toxic part is roots Multiple toxic compounds Symptoms might include vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, fainting, dilated pupils Management is supportive care Found in some herbal preparations – potentially toxic in natural or herbal preps. Toxic part is rhizome (thickened roots) of plant. Multiple toxic chemicals. Symptoms after ingestion could include V, D, dizziness, fainting, shock, coma, heart failure, dilated pupils and potentially death (but no human poisoning cases reported) Sap has been used to induce glaucoma in laboratory experiments in animals One alkaloid was used in small concentrations in Viadent mouth rinse and toothpaste to prevent or slow development of gingivitis! These products have since been removed from the market. Native Americans used it for rheumatism and other folk used include bronchitis, asthma, croup.

40 Stinging Nettle Urtica dioica
Weed found in open areas Some sources say edible, BUT… Toxicity: painful burning skin irritation upon contact Management is supportive, with hot water to wash skin, steroid cream and oral antihistamines This weed can be found mostly in open areas, including my garden in Madison!! Prefers sunny habitat, so found in fields, along wood lines, and in ditches and roadsides. Toxicity comes from the stinging hairs on stems & leaves. Symptoms: intense burning, itching & inflammation of the skin. These may lead to secondary infections. Severity usually depends on individual sensitivity area of exposure. The stinging hairs have a hypodermic type mechanism. Each hair has a bladder-like base which is filled with the irritant, and a protruding capillary tube. Upon contact with the hair the minute tip at the top of the tube breaks off and penetrates the skin. The chemical is pressed into the skin as the hair bends, constricting the bladder-like base, forcing the chemical irritant up the tube. The stinging sensation may last up to 12 hours. It is believed that histamine, acetylcholine, and 5-hydroxytryptamine are found in the special injector cells. Recipes claim that if young shoots are harvested (while wearing heavy gloves!!!) and they are soaked in water, then boiled in salted water for 5 minutes (handle with tongs) they can be used as a cooked vegetable or in soup, and the stinging quality goes away. Management is mainly symptomatic and supportive but since hot water appears to inactivate the chemicals this might be a good first choice if convenient. Other options would include hydrocortisone cream and antihistamines like Benadryl.

41 Virginia Creeper Parthenocissus quinquefolia
Common cultivated woody vine on buildings or a weed in woods wrapped around trees Toxic chemical is calcium oxalate in fruit, sap Symptoms of local irritation expected on skin and in mouth Management is washing skin, ice cream, milk or any cool liquid This plant has fruit (dark blue so looks like grapes) that in the fall is attractive to both adults and small children. The potential toxic chemical is calcium oxalate, which means that if the plant is chewed the needle-shaped microscopic crystals can cause local pain and irritation.

42 Burdock Arctium minus Commonly mistaken for rhubarb when young
Leaves are “fuzzy” and stems inedible but not toxic Burs cause mechanical injury Management not required unless for stuck burs Very popular herbal preps from root, seeds This plant generates many calls to the poison center every spring because it resembles rhubarb when young. A way to distinguish is that burdock is furry or fuzzy on the stems and leaves, while rhubarb is smooth. The color of the burdock stems is generally green with some purple or red color possible. It is sometimes mixed with regular rhubarb and baked/cooked and while it is not toxic it does not add good flavor to the food, so it is not very desirable. Eaten raw the taste is unpleasant (bitter). Once the burs form it is no longer misidentified, and then the only harm is from the burs which can cause mechanical damage and are distinctly nasty if gotten in the hair. In herbal/folk medicine the roots and seeds are reputed to be a “blood purifier” and diuretic. Preparations are listed for everything from snakebite and dog bite to sciatica and bladder pain and even topical poultices for bruises and inflammation.

43 Elderberry Sambucus spp.
Flowers and fruits used to make wine, jelly Potential toxicity of fruit, leaves, bark, roots Symptoms potentially vomiting, diarrhea Native Americans used stems and roots as emetic and cathartic agents Management is supportive care Elderberries (red, black) are used to make delicious jellies from the ripe fruits, and wine from the fruits and flowers. There is some evidence to suggest that unripe fruits as well as the bark, roots, stems and leaves can cause diarrhea, and the unripe fruit may also cause nausea and vomiting. This is due to a series of chemicals found in all parts of the plant. It is also possible to be poisoned from making “tea” from the leaves and bark. Recipes indicate that flower blossoms are edible dipped in pancake batter and deep-fried like fritters.

44 Oak acorns Quercus spp. Essential food for wild critters, not humans
Contains bitter tannins Symptoms not expected Management usually not needed Foliage can be toxic to animals Oak trees produce prolific amounts of nuts in the fall, which are of course highly prized by multiple species of animals including squirrels, turkeys and deer. However to humans the acorns are usually considered inedible. In spite of this however, children tend to try to sample them, imitating wild critters, at least until they find out that the nuts are actually not tasty at all! If the nuts are soaked in water to remove their bitter tannins they can be ground into meal, and would be considered edible. Red and black oaks require this soaking while reportedly sweeter white oak acorns may not. Oak foliage and buds can be toxic to livestock causing liver and kidney damage

45 Bracken Fern Pteridium aquilinum
Reputation as edible but numerous toxic compounds including cyanide, carcinogens Linked to stomach cancer in Japan Fiddleheads most likely to be consumed by humans, animals Acute toxic effects not generally expected Recipes say to cook 20 minutes (unknown if this eliminates toxins) This plant can resemble other, edible ferns when found in the wild, so caution is advised. Cancer risk in animals and humans is diverse and ranges from esophageal and stomach cancer to bladder cancer from fresh, cooked or canned braken. Acute ingestion generally causes no symptoms, so no management is indicated, even though one source mentions fever, weakness, seizures may occur

46 For More Information… This presentation is on the web at Look under educational programs Common Plants book also on my website or call is an excellent reference and used for selected pictures in this presentation Call the Wisconsin Poison Center for questions and exposures anytime!!


Similar presentations

Ads by Google