Poisonous Plants - Wild
|Mon, 15 Feb 2010 21:43
Foxglove is possibly one of the more common and recognisable plants that is poisonous. Of course, digitalis, which is derived frrom the plant, can have remarkable effects as a drug for treating cardiac complaints. However, the plant is seriously poisonous in the wrong hands. The symptoms of poisoning are increased heart rate, leading to heart failure in the case of overdose. There are other symptoms including stomach upset, mental confusion, and convulsions.
It has been reported that the leaves of the plant are sometimes confused with those of comfrey, from which a tea is sometimes made.
Thanks to Derek Harper for some good images. Derek posted one image earlier in this list:
|Mon, 15 Feb 2010 21:57
The plant is deadly poisonous (all parts). The symptoms of poisoning appear gradually after 3 to 6 hours. The symptoms include "nausea, excessive vomiting and bloody diarrhoea, abdominal pain, weak arrhythmic pulse, low body temperature, shortage of breath and, eventually, death." http://www.btinternet.com/~micka.wffps/poisonous.html
|Mon, 15 Mar 2010 21:01
All parts of the laurel are poisonous, though there are few reported cases of serious illness. The berries are the most likely to attract children. A case in Bolton in 2000 involved a child being taken to hospital with drowsiness which was diagnosed as having been caused by eating or chewing a laurel berry. However, there is no doubt it is extremely dangerous if very much is eaten as it contains cyanide.
The leaves and stems contain small quantities of cyanide. Bundles of crushed leaves were used in ancient times to poison wells. Emperor Nero used laurel water to poison the wells of his enemies in Rome.
Laurel water (distilled from the fresh leaves of the laurel) was used in Victorian times as a medicine. However, there is a case of a death reported when it was mistaken for an alcoholic spirit and drunk by a chemist's cleaner. Effectively, it contains hydrogen cyanide.
Crushed leaves were used by butterfly collectors (in a closed jar) to kill the butterflies.
Commentators advise against burning the leaves and clippings as they also give off cyanide. It would be wise not to do so or to keep well away from the smoke.
There are cases, however, where people have become ill through inhaling the vapours from the shredded leaves, including professional gardeners who have transported the shredded leaves and branches in an enclosed van. It would be advisable not to shred laurel leaves.
Portuguese Laurel is supposed to be more toxic than the more usual "Cherry"variety.