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Help! plant poisoning

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 328 views

Colorful flowers, fruits and other parts of plants often invite you to nibble, especially children. This can have unpleasant consequences, because some plants contain substances that can cause symptoms of poisoning. Fortunately, severe damage to health from plant poisoning is very rare. Because many plants do not taste particularly good, so that only a little of it is nibbled on, or the parts are quickly spat out again.

quick overview

  • Which parts of plants can be poisonous? Leaves, brightly colored flowers, fruits, berries, pods
  • What to do in case of plant poisoning? First aid: remove plant remains from mouth, calm patient; If unconscious, call emergency services (112) immediately, check breathing. If the affected person is breathing: stable lateral position. If he doesn’t breathe: CPR.
  • If the symptoms are less severe ( nausea , headache), it is still important to see a doctor!
  • Symptoms : Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache , dizziness, seizures, restlessness, intoxication, impaired consciousness


  • If you are poisoned by plants, do not drink milk – it can encourage the absorption of the poison!
  • Don’t make the victim vomit by giving him salt water, for example. Vomiting should only be forced under medical supervision or on medical advice.

Plant poisoning: triggers

Small children in particular like to put everything in their mouths – including parts of plants. Even adults are not immune to contracting plant poisoning. Every spring, deaths occur due to the poisonous autumn crocus being confused with edible wild garlic.

Toxic parts of a plant can be:

  • leaves
  • brightly colored flowers
  • Fruits such as berries or pods

Basically, plant poisoning is less common than mushroom poisoning.

First aid for plant poisoning

If plant poisoning occurs , initiate the following first aid measures :

  • Remove parts of the plant and berries from the mouth by spitting it out and rinsing it out with water if possible .
  • If the person is conscious, talk to them soothingly and ask them what help they need.
  • In the event of threatening symptoms such as loss of consciousness, immediately call the emergency services (112) .
  • If unconscious : check breathing . If the patient is breathing, place them in the recovery position . If the victim is not breathing, begin CPR .
  • Call your area poison control center. If the emergency services are alerted , they should take over the communication with the poison control center .
  • Keep parts of the plant that the person has eaten and show them to the emergency services or the doctor. Depending on the type of plant, the doctor may adjust the treatment if necessary.

Plant poisoning: symptoms

Plant poisoning is manifested by various symptoms. They always depend on the poison contained in the eaten parts of the plant.

Typical symptoms of plant poisoning are:

  • nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • stomach pain
  • headache
  • dizziness
  • seizures
  • restlessness
  • states of intoxication
  • disturbances of consciousness up to unconsciousness

If the victim is unconscious, call the emergency services immediately (112).

Not every plant poisoning is an emergency. If the person affected shows only slight signs of poisoning and is responsive, you should still consult a doctor.

Poison Control Center – you need to know that

The poison control centers are responsible for all cases of poisoning. Dial the number for your region. You should have the following information ready when calling a poison control center so that help can be provided quickly:

  • Who is calling (caller’s name and phone number)?
  • Who is affected (name and age of the patient and, in the case of children, weight and height)?
  • Does the patient have any underlying medical conditions?
  • When was the possibly poisonous plant recorded?
  • How much of it did the victim eat?
  • Are there any remains of the plant?

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