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Plant and Shrub Poisoning...medical consulting

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In this page talks about ( Plant and Shrub Poisoning...medical consulting ) It was sent to us on 05/08/2021 and was presented on 05/08/2021 and the last update on this page on 05/08/2021

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American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222





simple explanation



A few commonly grown plants are poisonous. Generally poisoning is unlikely unless large quantities are ingested (for example if the leaves and other components are concentrated into a paste or brewed into a tea) or the plant is highly toxic. Highly toxic and potentially fatal plants include castor beans jequirity beans poison hemlock and water hemlock as well as oleander and foxglove which contain digitalis glycosides. Few plant poisonings can be cured by specific antidotes. (See also Overview of Poisoning.)


Many other plants cause less serious toxic effects (see table Moderately Poisonous Plants).


Castor beans contain ricin an extremely concentrated poison. Ricin has been used in assassination attempts and as a mass-casualty weapon. Castor bean seeds have a very tough shell so the bean must be chewed to release the poison.


Jequirity beans contain abrin a related and more potent toxin than ricin. They can cause death after swallowing. Children can die after chewing only one bean.


Poisoning from castor beans or jequirity beans may cause severe vomiting and diarrhea (often bloody) after a delayed period. People later become delirious and have seizures. They may become comatose and die. Doctors sometimes try to flush the beans out of the stomach and intestines before they are absorbed.


Hemlock poisoning can cause symptoms within 15 minutes. People develop a dry mouth and later a rapid heartbeat tremors sweating seizures and muscle weakness. Water hemlock may cause vomiting and diarrhea delirium seizures and coma.


Oleander foxglove and the similar but less toxic lily of the valley can cause vomiting and diarrhea confusion irregular heartbeat and high levels of potassium in the bloodstream. These plants contain a substance very similar to the heart drug digoxin. Doctors sometimes treat people who are poisoned by these plants with a drug used to treat digoxin overdose.


Plant


Symptoms


Treatment


Aloe and related plants


Gastroenteritis kidney inflammation and skin irritation


Supportive care* if the plant is swallowed and flushing (irrigation) with soap and water if the skin is irritated


Apricot wild cherry and peach pits and apple and other seeds (Prunus and Malus species) usually only if many seeds are chewed and swallowed


Symptoms of oxygen deprivation such as nausea dizziness difficulty concentrating headache vomiting drowsiness and poor coordination (similar to those of carbon monoxide poisoning)


For serious poisoning hydroxocobalamin given by vein and use of a cyanide antidote kit (including amyl nitrate given by inhalation and sodium nitrite and sodium thiosulfate given intravenously)


Aristolochia (also called birthworts or pipevines)


Formation of scar tissue in the kidneys


Supportive care*


Azalea


Cholinergic† symptoms


Supportive care* and atropine


Caladium (also called elephant ear or angel's wings) and related plants


Irritation of the mouth due to calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves


Supportive care* and use of milk or ice cream to help dissolve the irritant


Capsicum and related plants (peppers)


Irritation of the skin and mucous membranes


Supportive care* and flooding the affected area with water to wash the substance away (irrigation)


Colchicine (autumn crocus meadow saffron or glory lily)


Delayed gastroenteritis and malfunction (failure) of many organ systems


Interference with the bone marrow's ability to produce blood cells and platelets possibly causing anemia infection and/or bleeding


Supportive care*


Deadly nightshade


Anticholinergic‡ symptoms a high body temperature seizures and hallucinations


Supportive care*


For a very high body temperature or seizures possibly physostigmine


Dumbcane (dieffenbachia)


Damage to the mouth due to calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves


Supportive care* and use of milk or ice cream to help dissolve the crystals


Fava beans


In people with a deficiency of the enzyme G6PD (which protects red blood cells) gastroenteritis fever headache and hemolytic anemia


Supportive care*


For severe anemia and poisoning gradual removal and replacement of blood with equal volumes of fresh donor blood (exchange transfusion) considered


Green potatoes and potato sprouts


Gastroenteritis hallucinations and delirium


Supportive care*


Holly berries


Gastroenteritis


Supportive care*


Jimsonweed


Anticholinergic‡ symptoms a high body temperature seizures and hallucinations


Supportive care*


For a very high body temperature or seizures possibly physostigmine


Licorice (raw plant)


Too little potassium in the blood high blood pressure and swelling due to retention of fluid (edema)


Supportive care*


Lily of the valley


Too much potassium in blood and abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)


Supportive care* and antibodies against digitalis


Mistletoe


Gastroenteritis


Supportive care*


Monkshood


A low heart rate abnormal heart rhythms numbness and tingling and weakness


Supportive care*


Sometimes sodium bicarbonate given intravenously


Nettle


Stinging and burning of the skin


Supportive care*


Nightshade common or woody


Gastroenteritis hallucinations and delirium


Supportive care*


Nightshade deadly


Anticholinergic‡ symptoms a high body temperature seizures and hallucinations


Supportive care*


For a very high body temperature or seizures possibly physostigmine


Pennyroyal


Damage to the liver (when severe causing jaundice confusion and a tendency to bleed)


Acetylcysteine


Philodendron and related plants


Damage to the mouth due to calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves


Supportive care* and use of milk or ice cream to help dissolve the crystals


Poinsettia


Mild irritation if it touches the mucous membranes of the mouth nasal passages vagina or urethra


Unnecessary


Poison ivy


Inflammation of the skin (dermatitis) or mucous membranes


Avoidance of known irritants; treatment of specific symptoms


Pokeweed


Gastroenteritis


Irritation if it touches the mucous membranes of the mouth nasal passages vagina or urethra


Supportive care*


Pothos


Damage to the mouth due to calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves


Supportive care* and use of milk or ice cream to help dissolve the crystals


Yew


Gastroenteritis


Rarely seizures abnormal heart rhythms and coma


Supportive care*


* Supportive care may include fluids given by vein (intravenously) treatments to maintain body functions (such as drugs to lower fever) drugs to increase blood pressure if it drops and a ventilator.


† Cholinergic symptoms include a slow heart rate weakened contraction of the heart dangerously low blood pressure difficulty breathing (because airways are constricted) flushing abdominal cramps diarrhea increased urination and salivation watery eyes increased sweating and muscle cramping.


‡ Anticholinergic symptoms include confusion blurred vision constipation dry mouth light-headedness difficulty starting and continuing to urinate and loss of bladder control.


G6PD = glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase.


American Association of Poison Control Centers: 1-800-222-1222
  • The Author: wikbe
 
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