Like all urban myths it's not easy to kill the always present stories that surface every year that say Poinsettias are poisonous. But study after study has shown that they offer only mild problems if any at all and certainly can't be called even troublesome much less poisonous. So help kill a rumor and save people unnecessary concern by sharing the facts about Poinsettias and telling people that they are perfectly safe.
But mistletoe as this story goes on to point is somewhat dangerous and should be handled accordingly. You might want to mention that to your friends and family as well.
Are poinsettias poisonous?
Pity the poor poinsettia. All it ever wanted was to be a nice
emblem for the holidays: To be patiently wrapped in red foil and
hoisted on hostesses, to festoon festive Christmas sweaters, and to
be eternally mimicked in plastic. But somewhere along the way it
picked up a bad-girl reputation as a lethal beauty -- lovely to
look at and terribly toxic if tasted!
But are the rumors true? Are pretty poinsettias potentially
poisonous? About 70 percent of the population will answer yes, and
although every year there is a bumper crop of stories explaining
otherwise -- the myth persists. And myth it is. Poinsettia's
are not poisonous, merely the victim of a popularly enduring urban
It all started back in the early part of the 20th century when
the young child of a U.S. Army officer was alleged to have died
from consuming a poinsettia leaf -- a story which was later
But, as these things have a habit of doing, the toxic potential
of the poinsettia took on a life of its own. Now many people treat
poinsettias as persona non grata (or poinsettia non grata, as the
case may be) in their households.
According to the American Medical Association's Handbook
of Poisonous and Injurious Plants, other than occasional cases
of vomiting, ingestion of the poinsettia plant has been found to
produce no ill effect. And other experts have weighed in as
The Society of American Florists worked with the academic
faculty of entomology at Ohio State University to thoroughly test
all parts of the poinsettia and conclusively established that there
were no adverse effects. In 1975, the United States Consumer
Product Safety Commission denied a petition to require warning
labels for poinsettia plants.
As for your pets, the American Veterinary Medicine Association
of America does not include poinsettias on its list of plants that
are a threat to animals. The American Society for the Prevention of
Cruelty to Animals states that ingestion of poinsettias may cause
mild to moderate gastrointestinal tract irritation, which may
include drooling, vomiting, and/or diarrhea -- but nothing severe
In pets, mistletoe may cause gastrointestinal disorders,
cardiovascular collapse, dyspnea, bradycardia, erratic behavior,
vomiting, diarrhea, and low blood pressure. Yikes!
So keep the mistletoe securely fastened above your door, but
fear the poinsettia no more.
Mistletoe, on the otherRead more at shine.yahoo.com
hand? Not so innocent. Along with inspiring smooching if stood
underneath, mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal distress, a slowed
heartbeat, and other reactions if ingested, due to the presence of
harmful chemicals like viscotoxins. Although not thought to be
fatal, it can cause severe reactions.