Be Careful: These Herbs Are Healing But Also Poisonous

How can a herb be both healing and poisonous? The secret is in the way you consume it, and the dosing as well. Here is a list of herbs you should be careful about, because of their poisonous effect.

Some herbs are poisonous when they are fresh. Therefore, you should be especially careful when collecting these herbs, preferably with some gloves on, and be careful not to touch your face, mouth and eyes.


Sometimes even a single contact with the herb can cause an allergic reaction. Drying or thermal processing significantly reduce the poisonous effect, but in case of overdosing, the plant may also turn into a poison.

It does not necessarily mean that the whole plant is poisonous, but some of its parts -- roots, leaves, fruits, etc.

Sometimes the power of the toxic effect depends on how young the plant is or the phase of its development (before, during and after the flowering, etc.). Same as for mushrooms, it is important to know which herbs should be collected, and which should not.

The symptoms of poisoning include vomiting, acute abdominal pain, skin problems, fatigue, dizziness, abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache, dry mouth, fever, rapid pulse…

In cases of poisoning, the first thing you should do is induce vomiting. The therapy includes gastric lavage, charcoal, and antidote.

St John’s wort -- In combination with sun exposure it can cause pigment spots and skin inflammation

Opium poppy -- Large amounts can cause poisoning, due to the narcotic substances contained in the plant

Atropa belladonna (Belladonna) -- The whole plant is poisonous, but mostly its root, due to the high content of atropine alkaloid

Datura -- Contains alkaloids that may cause hallucinations, and the overdose may have fatal effect.

Milk Snake -- Large doses of this herb have poisonous effect.

The poisonous effect of arnica, anemone, sumac, motherwort and other herbs is as extreme as their healing power.