These are some of the most dangerous plants that maybe you have them in your home.
Water Hemlock (Cicuta Maculata)
Water hemlock is the most toxic plant in North America and is related to poison hemlock, famous plant that killed Socrates.
This plant has a large wildflower and very often is confused with edible celery and parsnips.
The whole plant, especially the roots are full with deadly cicutoxin, which, if it is unlucky eaten causes abdominal cramps, painful convulsions, nausea and even death. Those who survive suffer from amnesia and lasting tremors.
Deadly Nightshade (Atropa Belladonna)
Macbeth’s soldiers, according to legend, used wine made from fruits of deadly nightshade to poison the invading Danes. These sweet berries often lure people to eat them. This plant with dull green leaves has shiny black berries the same size as cherries. In its leaves, stems, berries and also roots, nightshade contain scopolamine and atropine that cause paralysis of the muscles of the body, even heart too. Only physical contact with this plant can cause skin irritation.
White Snakeroot (Ageratina Altissima)
White snakeroot is the plant that was responsible for the death of Nancy Hanks, Abraham Lincoln’s mother. This North American herb contains a toxic alcohol named trematol. This poison can pass to people even through the milk and meat from poisoned livestock.
Symptoms are appetite loss, weakness, nausea, reddened tongue, abdominal discomfort, the abnormal acidity of the blood and even death. Luckily, white snakeroot is removed from animal pastures.
Castor Bean (Ricinus Communis)
Castor bean is a plant native to Africa and is grown as an ornamental. Processed seeds of this plant are the source of castor oil, while the natural ones contain the deadly poison ricin. It takes just one or two of these seeds to kill a child and eight to kill a grown man. When its consumed, ricin inhibits the synthesis of proteins inside of cells and symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, seizures and sometimes even death.
Rosary Pea (Abrus Precatorius)
These seeds, also called jequirity beans, contain abrin, a ribosome inhibiting protein that is extremely deadly. Rosary peas grow in tropical areas and are used in prayer rosaries and jewelry. The intact seed are not poisonous, while the scratched, broken or chewed ones can be deadly. It takes only 3 micrograms to kill an adult. Abrin also prevents protein synthesis in the cells.
Oleander (Nerium Oleander)
Oleander is a beautiful plant with striking flowers. All the parts of this plant are deadly, because they are full with lethal cardiac glycosides – oleandrin and neriline. If it is consumed, this plant can cause diarrhea, vomiting, seizures, erratic pulse, coma and at the end death.
Poison from the oleander is so strong that some people have become sick after eating honey from bees that visited oleander flowers. Fortunately, this plant is very bitter, so the poisoning is very rare.
Tobacco (Nicotiana Tabacum)
Tobacco is the most grown commercial plant in the world. All the parts of the tobacco, especially the leaves, contain nicotine and anabasine, the toxic alkaloids that can be fatal if they are eaten. Despite the fact that is labeled as a cardiac poison, nicotine is consumed around the world. Tobacco is perhaps most deadly plant because it causes 5 million deaths every year in the world.
The Angel Trumpet is native to South America’s forests and it is full with atropine, hyoscyamine, and scopoalamine that is mind altering. This plant is less dangerous itself, but can be turned in a biological weapon by humans. The documentary “Colombian Devil’s Breath” from 2007 screened the stories where the Angel Trumpet was used by criminal gangs to make living zombies from the victims –literally. They refined scopolamine, which acts like “hypnotizing herb” and makes the victims to be unaware of their actions, but completely conscious at the same time. People that volunteer in some experiments injured themselves due to their psychotic state.
Spurge Laurel is related to the Bay Leaf, and can be found in public grounds and ornamental gardens. This plant contains powerful biocides that cause irritation and blistering if the plant is cut. But if its berries are consumed it will cause major internal bleeding and of course organ failure and death after several hours.
Some tribes have used this plant as a drug for seriously ill patients.
In the Oak woodlands of Western North America, there are edible bulbs also known as Camas. But, there is Toxicoscordion venenosum, the most toxic plant that looks similar to edible Camas. The Death Camas has different coloration. Consuming the smallest amount can result with organ failure, blood disturbance and unfortunately, death.