Plants – Poinsettia

SOURCE (3)

  • Poinsettias are indigenous to Mexico and Central America and have large red leaves. 
  • Poinsettias are a prevalent plant during the holidays, especially at Christmas. Alternate names for Poinsettias ar:
    • Euphorbia
    • lobster flower
    • flame leaf flower
    • Flower of the Holy Night 
    • flower of Christmas Eve
    • Crown of the Andes
    • Easter flower

Picture from https://www.gardenmyths.com/poinsettia-poisonous/

 

UNIQUE EXPOSURES (4)

  • Most people grow up believing that Poinsettias are poisons plants most likely due to a false theory of a young child found dead clutching a Poinsettia leaf in her hand back in 1919. A study conducted at Ohio State University has proven that Poinsettias are not poisonous to humans to pets.

Picture from https://www.bionity.com/en/infographics/178/the-chemistry-of-poinsettia-plants.html

 

TOXICOKINETICS (1)

  • Toxicity of poinsettias have been studied using animal models and these studies have revealed little to no toxicity. 
  • one study could not find a lethal dose 50 in rats
  • at the highest dose orally administered, there was no evidence of any symptoms during a 14-day observation. 
  • there was minor skin irritation with repeated dose exposure in rabbits. 

 

TREATMENT (1)

  • Nearly all patients do not require any therapy and can be treated without going to the hospital. 
  • When coming in contact with poinsettia it is not recommended to vomit, decontaminate and the use of dilution. 
  • Supportive care through symptomatic management, such as antiemetics, is the only recommendation. 

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TOXICITY (2)

    • Mild, itchy rash with contact with the sap of a poinsettia
    • A mild stomachache, vomiting or diarrhea after eating part of a Poinsettia
    • Eye irritation if the sap of a Poinsettia comes in contact with the eye
    • Allergic reaction. more common with people with latex allergy but differs from person to person.

 

 

Resources:

  1. Evens Z., Stellpflug S. (20120. Holiday Plant with Toxic Misconceptions. Regions Hospital Toxicology Education and Clinical Services. Retrieved from: https://www-ncbi-nlm-nih-gov.proxy.lib.ohio-state.edu/pmc/articles/PMC3555592/
  2. Jay L. Hoecker, M.D. “Poinsettia Plants: Are They Poisonous?” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 8 Oct. 2019, www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/infant-and-toddler-health/expert-answers/poinsettia-plants/faq-20058304.
  3. “Poinsettia Are Toxic To Pets.” Pet Poison Helpline, www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/poinsettia/.
  4. “Poison Poinsettias, Are They Toxic? Myth or Fact?” Fresh Flower Delivery, www.growerdirect.com/poinsettia-toxicity.

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