Poisonous house plants

Indoor plants or gardens are a great addition that anyone could do to his/her home decor to re-connect their souls with the mother-nature. The plants, not just improve the visual beauty of the place, but also hold many other benefits such as air-purification, medicinal, flavouring, garnishing uses etc. But, to your surprise, plants can even kill you!! Have you ever imagined, how? Well, not by conventional ways but by poisoning you. Yes, you heard it right. Apart from being our benign friends, there are certain plants those are toxic i.e. POISONOUS in nature.


Most of the plants grown indoors are safe but, certain species are dangerous to children, pets, elderly people and others. They can be harmful or fatal to the person touching or ingesting them. So, it becomes utmost necessary to know about such plants beforehand.


How poison from the plants can reach you –

Have you wondered about the ways a plant, yes of course motionless, can poison you? It can be by-
• Eating or touching their leaves,
• Ingesting them,
• Eating their soil,
• Drinking water from plant tray,
• Accidental skin contact with leaves or other parts.


Such contacts with toxic plants may cause many health and skin issues, which sometimes under severe cases cause death too.


NAME OF SOME OF THE POISONOUS HOUSE PLANTS ALONG WITH THEIR DETAILS ARE GIVEN BELOW:


1. Dieffenbachia (Dumb Cane): All the parts of this plant contain raphides that cause stinging, inflammation, swelling and burning sensation to the tongue, digestive tract, mouth, and lips. It was given the name of ‘dumb cane’ because it renders the person dumb if they eat it.


2. Caladium Hortulanum (CALADIUM): It contains insoluble calcium oxalates that is responsible for causing swelling in the mouth and which proves to be painful. Ingestion of caladium causes vomiting and drooling in pets like cats and dogs.


3. Philodendron spp. (Philodendron): Though pieces of evidence say that it is only mildly poisonous, this plant contains raphides which can cause severe burning in the mouth and skin irritation to the person eating it in large quantities. Pets and children are vulnerable to the poison of such kind of plant.

4. Euphorbia milii (Crown of Thorns): This plant is also called as Christ Thorn and all the parts of this plant are toxic or poisonous. The sticky milk sap from the injured stem has caustic chemicals and can cause blistering in throat and mouth, abdominal pain, excessive salivation, diarrhea, dermatitis and swelling.


5. Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily): Also called spathe flower, consists of calcium oxalates just like caladium which is again the reason for drooling, mouth-burning sensation, vomiting, and skin irritation if ingested accidentally.


6. Zantedeschia Rehmannia spp.(Calla lily): This is a beautiful plant that is mildly poisonous as it contains calcium oxalate. Its all parts are toxic and especially the rhizomes. Its ingestion can cause salivating, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, dehydration, loss of appetite.


7. Nerium Oleander (oleander): All the parts of this plant are toxic even the flower nectar. Eating its any part can cause stomach pain, vomiting, rashes, low blood pressure, blurred vision, irregular heartbeats, and even death.


8. Narcissus spp. (Daffodils): Bulb of this plant contains a toxic alkaloid called lycorine. Its ingestion can cause oral irritation, nausea, diarrhea, inflamed and red skin, possibly convulsions and irregular heart-beats.


9. Hyacinthus (HYCINTHS): This plant comes in two varieties i.e. common hyacinth and grape hyacinth. Just like daffodil, the toxic part of this plant is the bulbs that contain lycorine and can cause skin and oral irritation, nausea, diarrhea.

10. Brugmansia (Angel’s trumpet plant): Leaves, seeds, flower, roots etc. every part of this plant is toxic with alkaloids atropine, hyoscymine and scopolamine. Ingestion of any residual may lead to muscle weakness, convulsions, paralysis, fever and hallucinations. To be more severe it can also cause coma or even death.


11. Hedera Helix(English Ivy): Leaves of this plant are highly toxic and liquid from the plant can cause dermatitis, Itchy and red skin, breathing difficulties, vomiting, hallucinations, extreme salivating and diarrhea.

That all covers most of the indoor-plants those may prove to be dangerous to any member in the house if handled carelessly. There are certain precautions those can be followed in order to stay safe from their poison which range from keeping children and pets away to wearing gloves while touching them.

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