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Old 12-07-2009, 05:18 PM   #1
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reminder The Toxic Four Holiday Plants and the poinsettia is not one of them.

The Toxic Four Holiday Plants
And the poinsettia is not one of them.
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Published: Dec 9, 2008

The Toxic Four Holiday Plants - The Farmer
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Holly, mistletoe, Jerusalem cherry and bittersweet are poisonous plants that are often included in holiday décor. When they are used, care must be taken so that they are not placed where they can be reached by children or pets. Although the berries and other plant parts of these plants do not taste good, small children will often put anything in their mouths regardless of its taste.
The berries are significantly poisonous and ingestion of 20 berries could mean death to a child...
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Old 12-15-2009, 04:49 PM   #2
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Default True or False: Is Mistletoe the "Kiss of Death?"

True or False: Is Mistletoe the "Kiss of Death?"
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There is a myth about American Mistletoe, the green-berried parasitic plant often hung in doorways during the holiday season to elicit kisses from those standing beneath it. Reputed to be the "kiss of death," it is said to be so poisonous that humans can be killed if they ingest the leaves or berries. This myth has been endlessly repeated throughout the years, reappearing every December in countless holiday safety reports on television and in print.

Is it true? Is American Mistletoe (Phoradendron species), a holiday killer? Two physicians and researchers from Pittsburgh decided to find out...
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Old 12-15-2009, 08:54 PM   #3
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Causing at most only minor discomfort, American Mistletoe does not seem to have earned its reputation as the "kiss of death." Its European cousin, Viscum album, sometimes used in herbal remedies, is more toxic, but is not sold commercially in North America and is thus rarely encountered.
Native plants such as American mistletoe and bittersweet American shouldn't be used as Christmas decoration, not because of intoxicant, but because they are becoming so rare in the wild.
My parents have an American bittersweet. My mother's cousin would come out every year and harvest it until it disappeared.
The bittersweet didn't return until 8-10 years after she passed away.
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Old 12-15-2009, 09:04 PM   #4
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We have winterberry holly. I put them in the front yard because I had read they cause mild stomach upset.
When my son was 2 or 3, he put some berries in his mouth and proceeded to gag, spit cry because they tasted so bad.
I was curious. So I squished one of the berries and tentatively tasted the juice.
It was bad.
He never tried them again.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:37 PM   #5
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dragonfly01 Poisonous Poinsettias

The most toxic holiday plant is the poinsettia. It kills dona-hey cats every year & makes lots of children vomit &/or get diarrhea. If you must have them, maybe they should be in a case or on a shelf nothing but really tall humans can get to..

As for holly - if you have a heart condition, it's more dangerous than if you don't, but I don't think there's any record of fatalities from it anywhere on Turtle Island. Europe's holly is different from Turtle Island's holly, but their plant isn't imported here.

Mistletoe will clean you out, but it's tough to kill an adult human with it - although the upset to your innards may make you wish you'd just died & been done with it.. Kids & pets are smaller, so more susceptible, of course.

I wouldn't know a "Jerusalem cherry" if it bit me.. Has it got another name?

I'm glad we Traditional Indns don't have these plants to contend with when we celebrate Solstice.
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Old 12-16-2009, 12:47 PM   #6
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Actually, the article says...
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...our favorite holiday plant the poinsettia. Although falsely accused of being poisonous for years, research has shown that this plant is not poisonous. Contact with the latex sap may cause an irritation in sensitive people and a large number of ingested leaves could certainly cause stomach upset in children and pets.
I think the author is trying to dispel the myth that the poinsettia is lethal to pets.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:38 PM   #7
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I was of the belief that poinsettias were poisonous too. Everything I'm finding, now that I'm looking, says NO WAY. A 50 pound child would have to eat 500-600 leaves. Contact dermatitis is a different story, however. And don't touch your eyes after handling them.

snopes.com: Poisonous Poinsettias

And guess what - they're safe to put in your compost too.
Are Poinsettias Poisonous?
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Old 12-17-2009, 01:52 PM   #8
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dragonfly01 Poinsettias

I lost a cat to them, & had a dog barf all over the house after eating part of a leaf.. close enough to poisonous for me.

I've composted them for years, bcuz they always die during the summer. (Handy time for them to die, though.. so they can be composted). I run everything thru the lawnmower in the summer, then dump the bag in the tumbler. Well, used to dump it on the pile & then turn the pile. But I'm getting away from that; the tumbler does a more thorough job.

In the winter, I run most everything thru a blender kept just for that purpose, or sometimes a food-processor (also kept just for that purpose). (Lo-ove those yard sales & 2nd-hand stores! )

I have noticed that when I put poinsettia leaves on a pile of compost, in the past, there was less evidence of worm activity for awhile. I wonder about that.. Now if they just worked to keep mice outside!
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Old 12-17-2009, 06:22 PM   #9
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My understanding is anything with a milky white sap has the tendency to be poisonous; milkweeds, poinsettias, rubber plants etc.
When I say poisonous, I don't mean you'll drop dead instantly. But it could cause skin irritation, stomachache etc.
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:35 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Pahinh Winh View Post
I run most everything thru a blender kept just for that purpose, or sometimes a food-processor
We had discussions a while back about blending bugs to use in a homemade pesticide. And mention was made about not mixing your stinkbug blender with your margarita blender. Good idea to have extras for the garden.
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