Friday, December 5, 2008

Dangerous Plants

Though the plants and trees are considered as gifts of nature providing us with food, shelter and clothing, there are some exceptional plants which are dangerous to eat or even to touch. Nettles sting and other plants, such as euphorbia and poison ivy, may blister our skin. Many quite common plants, including buttercups, are poisonous if eaten, because they contain chemicals called phytotoxins. Strangely, some plant poisons such as curare, digitalis and strychnine, are used in minute quantities to cure illnesses.


Nettles sting plant

Poison ivy plany with seeds


This plant grows upto 3 feet tall producing purple, white or pink, sometimes dotted inside the central stalk. Its Latin name is Digitalis purpurea. If we eat any part of the plants in wild, we would likely get heart problems, after a spell of nausea, vomiting, cramps, diarrhoea and pain in the mouth. If we a doctor, he might administer charcoal to absorb the toxin or pump your stomach, and might also administer drugs to bring your heart rate back to normal. Other names for this plant include fairy bells, rabbit flower, throatwort and witches' thimbles.

Purple Foxglove

White Foxglove

Hydrangea macrophylla are popular yard ornaments that can grow up to 15 feet tall with rose, deep blue or greenish-white flowers that grow in huge clusters and look as edible as cotton candy or a big bun . But those blooms will give us a stomach ache that sets in sometimes hours after eaten. Persons also experience itchy skin, weakness and sweating, and reports also indicate that they can even get into coma, convulsions and a breakdown in the body's blood circulation.

Strychnine comes from the koochla tree, which grows in Mynamar and India. It is one of the most deadly poisons known.

Death Cap Mushrooms
These mushrooms are highly poisonous. It is responsible for almost 90% of deaths from eating fungi. The poison causes severe diarrhoea and vomiting.
Mature and Immature Death cap Mushrooms

Ricin is extracted from the seeds of the castor oil plant and is more poisonous than cyanide or snake venom. Even minute doses of ricin can be fatal.

Ricin Plant

Ricin Seeds

Deadly nightshade
This is also known as the belladonna. It contaoins a poison called atropine. Less than ten milligrams could kill a child.

Opium is extracted from the juice of a poppy and contains morphine. Small quantities of both are used legally as pain-relieving medicines and illegally as drugs. Both can easily cause death.

Opium Flower

Opium Field