Living in an atmosphere with greenery everywhere gives pleasure to the body as well as to the soul. This greenery symbolizes peacefulness. The word 'Plants' brings a beautiful scenery in our mind. In the ancient times, people lived in the forest where they use to nurture different kind of plants around their place. They were worshiping nature as God. They were spending their time in growing different kind of plants. Some of the plants were toxic and caused health hazards. Despite knowing about the toxic property of such plants, they used to consume them and fall sick. Gradually they came to know about toxic plants and stayed away from them.
Today let us discuss about some most of the dangerous plants found across the world. Most of them are seen in dense forests but some are unknowingly grown as decorative plants at home.
1. Dieffenbachia or Dumb canes:
Dieffenbachia or commonly called as the Dumb cane is one of the common houseplant grown for decorative purpose. Dieffenbachia is a perennial plant with a straight stem and big leaves containing white spots. It is native to the New World Tropics from Mexico and the West Indies south to Argentina. Some species are widely cultivated as ornamental plants and have become naturalized on a few tropical islands. The white spots on the plants make it attractive as an indoor plant. The Dieffenbachia plant contains small needle-shaped calcium oxalate crystals called raphides. These crystals can cause a temporary burning sensation in the mouth, throat and irritation if consumed. If prolonged contact is made with the throat, it causes severe swelling and affects breathing. In some cases the tissues become so swollen that the airways are blocked, leading to death.
2. Hippomane Mancinella or Manchineel:
Hippomane Mancinella or Manchineel is considered as one of the poisonous trees in the world. Each and every part of the tree, from the root to the leaf contains toxins. It is found in tropical southern North America and South America. It is also called as 'Manzanilla de la Muerte' which means 'The Apple of death' in the Spanish language. The liquid secreted from the tree causes allergic reactions and blisters on the skin. If the wood of this tree is burned, it produces toxic fumes which cause respiratory problems. It may be fatal with continuous inhalation and if the smoke reaches the eyes, it causes blindness. Consumption of the leaves may also be fatal and cause death. Its fruits taste sweet at first and start burning the mouth and throat gradually causing death.
3. Cicuta maculata or Poison Hemlock
Cicuta maculata or Poison Hemlock is the extremely poisonous plant in the world. it is said to be the reason for the death of famous philosopher Socrates. In ancient Greece, the philosopher Socrates died in 399 BC after drinking a potion solution of poison hemlock. Water hemlock contains a deadly toxin, especially in its roots, and will rapidly generate potentially fatal symptoms if consumed. This species of poisonous plant is found in all parts of North America, from northern Canada to southern Mexico. Cicuta causes violent and painful convulsions and becomes fatal when swallowed. It may cause death within 15 minutes of consumption. Hence hemlock is considered to be North America's most toxic plant. Painful convulsions, abdominal cramps, nausea, and death are common causes found after eating this plant. Those who survive are often afflicted with amnesia or lasting tremors.
4. Ricinus communis or Castor Beans
Ricinus communis or Castor Beans is a common plant which we see around us. They naturally contain the poison ricin and are deadly. Just two seeds would be enough to kill a child and up to eight to kill an adult. The castor oil is used to aid in digestion although the harmful compound called ricin is removed from the beans before making oil. Ricin inhibits the synthesis of proteins within cells and can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. Its leaves resemble Papaya leaves so it is confused to be Papaya plant. Castor bean seeds have thorn-like structures on their body which differentiate them from Papaya plant. These plants are grown as ornamental plants in southeastern Mediterranean Basin, Eastern Africa, and India, but is widespread throughout tropical regions.
Disclaimer: Our intention was to create awareness in our readers and not to create any negative impact on the readers.
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