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Know About Toxic plants or poisonous plants

Know About Toxic plants or poisonous plants

Toxic plants (poisonous plants) also called poisonous plants, are plant species that contain toxic substances. These substances can be found in all the plant or only in some parts of this one. Some poisonous plants are deadly while others are not. Ingestion of these species can be dangerous for both humans and pets. However, infections are rare in animals that very often avoid touching these plants because of their instinct. The toxic substances contained in these plants constitute defenses for these plants. They are sought after in the medicinal field.

Nature of toxic substances in plants (poisonous plants)

Toxic substances in plants (poisonous plants) are organic compounds and rarely minerals. For example, tannins are a powerful poison for men and ruminants. Several plants also contain alkaloids whose bitter taste and high toxicity often hunt herbivores. A variety of glycosides – such as saponins, glucosinolates, and coumarins – is further contained in plants, as well as oxalic acid and nitrates, substances that contribute to the toxicity of plants.

Toxicity level of a plant (poisonous plants)

The level of toxicity of a species poisonous plants depends on several factors. For example, the part of the plant containing the toxic substance (s), the way in which the organism is intoxicated by the plant and the doses from which the symptoms of intoxication appear.

In addition, poisonous plants are classified according to the nature of the effects they cause. Also, we take into account that it is after ingestion that some species intoxicate while others do it by simple contact. It must be remembered that the toxicity of a plant can be acute or chronic.

Effects of toxic plants on the human body (poisonous plants)

The effects of these poisonous plants on the human body depend on the mode of intoxication. It must be said that a person intoxicated by simple contact with a toxic species will not have the same symptoms as another who has ingested the plant.  In general, contact poisoning is manifested by different skin conditions that are more like allergic reactions.

If ingested, the subject may have intestinal and gastric disorders that can lead to vomiting. It is not uncommon for muscle problems such as cramps and heart problems to appear. Many of the toxic substances in poisonous plants have psychotropic effects and thus cause changes in thinking, mood and perception. This is the case with species composed of nitrogen constituents.

Prevention of poisoning by plants (poisonous plants)

To avoid poisoning poisonous plants, we must first try to know them in order to identify them. Then, avoid installing them on a balcony or terrace, especially if you have children and pets. And if you still want to dispose of these plants, you must absolutely put them out of reach. It is also necessary to make children understand that certain plants are dangerous and that they must avoid consuming any berry, fruit or leaf collected around the garden.

Some toxic food plants (poisonous plants)

Some food plants are toxic (poisonous plants). It must however be known that the toxicity of these disappears totally or becomes very low after cooking. This is the case of cassava whose roots and leaves contain linamarin and lotaustraline, two cyanogenic glycosides that release hydrogen cyanide. Others, although toxic, can be consumed directly without posing a real danger. This is the case of the apple that contains in its seeds a small amount of amygdalin, a cyanogenic glucoside.


However, ingestion of several seeds may be a lethal dose. Livestock and domestic animals, such as dogs and cats, need to avoid consuming large quantities of onions and garlic, plants that contain thiosulphate. It is also good to be wary of wild potatoes in which there is a good concentration of toxic compounds called glycoalkaloids.

Pharmaceutical use of toxic plants

The toxic substances contained in these plants are highly sought after by the allopathic industry, in which the pharmaceutical laboratories are gathered. From these plants are extracted molecules that are incorporated into the drugs. This is the case, for example, of digitalis extracted from the woolly foxglove. In the world of phytotherapy, the plant is rather used as it is for the manufacture of remedies.


poisonous plants

poisonous plants


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