10 Most Poisonous Plants In The World
Plants are beneficial in many ways as they provide more than half of the products we use in our every day lives. However, while there are plants friendly to look at and use, there are others that are toxic enough that one small touch or even just standing underneath them or inhaling them could drag your life onto an edge. Here are some least expected deadly plants:
1. Manchineel Tree
According to Guinness World Records, the Manchineel tree is the most toxic tree in the world. Any small interaction with this tree can be lethal. The tree produces a milky sap which is found on every part of three such as the leaves, fruit, and bark which, if touched, can cause severe blistering, burning, and severe irritation. Many people had been poisoned just by standing underneath this tree when it rained as the toxic sap dripped down mixed in with the rain droplets. There are even stories of Caribbean Tribes using the sap as a torture device. After tying their captives to the tree, they would wait for the rain to was the tree’s sap onto the victim’s body.
2. Atropa Belladonna (aka Deadly Nightshades)
Every part of this plant contains tropane alkaloids that are toxic enough to kill a human being. The fruits of this plant can easily be mistaken as blueberries and if one consumes two or more than two of these berries, the results will be fatal. However, along with the dangers, there are benefits that come along from this berry too as they are used for multiple medicinal purposes to treat diarrheal sickness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps associated with menstruation, and to reduce nighttime urination.
3. Toxic tree of Nerium Oleander
These are really beautiful flowers and they give off a beautiful scent but every part of them is poisonous. So much so that honey made from its nectar is poisonous for human consumption. 500 per 100,000 poisons from this tree occur each year in Sri Lanka. But despite all the bad sides of this tree, there is a good side to this plant too as their seeds and petals are used for medicines to treat heart conditions, cancer, epilepsy, leprosy, asthma, malaria, ringworms, and indigestion.
4. Rosary Pea
The name “Rosary Pea” makes this plant sound harmless. It is deadly. The poison contained in the seed is called abrin which is a close relative of ricin and one of the most fatal toxins on the planet. These seeds are only dangerous when the top layer of the seeds is broken, swallowed whole, or even as small as to a scratch on the seed’s surface can make it deadly.
5. White Snakeroot
This plant was responsible for Abraham Lincolns Mother’s death. Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln’s mother, got poisoned after drinking the milk from her cow that had been poisoned by this plant. The symptoms of the plant poison include weakness, loss of appetite, reddened tongue, nausea, abnormal acidity of the blood, and eventually death.
6. Giant Hogweed
The Giant Hogweed is a type of plant which belongs to the family of carrots. It originates from the Caucasus and Central Asia and is classified as an obnoxious weed in most European and American countries because it spreads quickly, disturbs native species and negatively affects human health. The sap of this plant combined with the sun and moisture can cause severe skin and eye irritation, blistering, scarring, and even blindness if it gets into the eye. Touching the plant can cause painful blisters to form within 48 hours.
Wolfsbane is another word for Aconitum which is a group of plants that are all poisonous. Despite its poison which just by inhaling or ingesting wolfsbane could kill you, people still plant this in their garden unaware of its danger. Aconite was used as a poison for arrowheads when hunting wolves (hence given the name wolfsbane). Because of the toxicity of this plant, the wolves that were being hunted down were killed without a problem.
8. Gympie Gympie
As cheerful as the name sounds, this plant is not. If you touch this plant even as gently as you possibly can, it will leave you in agonizing pain. The respected entomologist and ecologist Marina Hurley’s first encounter with the Gympie Gympie started off with a sneezing fit and her nose and eyes were running vigorously for hours. Even encountering the plant with a mask and welding gloves could not protect her. “Being stung is the worst kind of pain you can ever imagine – like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time,” said Mariana. “The allergic reaction developed over time, causing extreme itching and huge hives that eventually required steroid treatment. At that point, my doctor advised that I should have no further contact with the plant and I didn’t object.”
Oleander grows as either a distinct a shrub or a small tree. In 1989, the Western Journal of Medicine reported a case of an 83-year-old who attempted suicide by drinking a tea made of an infusion of Oleander leaves. She suffered severe bradycardia with a pulse rate of 40 and was treated with atropine to counteract this. And during the Peninsular Wars, some of the Wellington’s soldiers were alleged to have died after sleeping on Oleander branches according to the Gardeners Chronicle in 1880. There are many reports on animal poisoning featuring cattle, horses, birds, monkeys, sloths, bears, and sheep.
This plant contains aristolochic acid which is known to be one of the most deadly poisons on the planet and shown to cause complete kidney failure. If just a tiny amount is ingested regularly, it can quickly result in end-stage renal disease and urinary tract cancer. The customers purchasing herbal medicine by the source of this plant have been warned by the FDA in 2001 to immediately stop taking any of those medicines. This plant has been and continues to treat a wide range of conditions, especially in Chinese medicine. In Europe, it was thought to have anti-inflammatory effects on gout and rheumatism. But since 1965, evidence has shown that far from bringing relief from disease and suffering, plants in the Aristolochia genus have caused many deaths and, if it weren’t for advanced medical procedures like kidney dialysis and transplantation, it would have caused many more.