10 Most Poisonous Plants That You Need to Stay Away From!

10 Most Poisonous Plants That You Need to Stay Away From!

If you’re going hiking, or plan on camping this year, you might want to read this list. Several of these plants you could even find in your back yard, or someone’s garden. You will not want to ingest any part of the plants on this list. They are all deadly! So watch out for these 10 poisonous plants, and know how they could harm or even kill you.

10. Water Hemlock (Cicuta maculata)


    This plant can grow up to 8 feet tall and displays small white or green flowers which grow in an umbrella form. It can be found in North America and Europe and grows near lakes, ponds, swamps or marshes. It boasts high concentrations of a chemical called cicutoxin. This toxin, when ingested can cause symptoms that include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and death.

    9. Nightshade (Atropa belladonna)



      This plant, commonly known as Belladonna or Deadly Nightshade, belongs to the Solanaceae family of plants. It’s native to Europe, North Africa, Western Asia, and some parts of Canada and the United States. The toxicity of the plant is due to the naturally occurring tropane alkaloids. The nasty part is that any part of the plant can be lethal, from its berries and leaves right down to the roots.

      8. Oleander (Nerium oleander)


        This shrub or small tree is widely cultivated, and can be found anywhere. Every part of it is poisonous due to the naturally occurring toxins.  Symptoms of the poison include tremors, seizures, and coma that can lead to death.

        7. White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)



          This plant can be found almost anywhere in North America. It can grow in forest and thickets, as well as grassy areas or just bare ground. You might call it a weed, and its unassuming white flowers are as dangerous as they are pretty. Livestock can consume this plant and become contaminated by the temetol within it. It happened so much that the term “milk sickness” arose from people drinking the milk from cows that would graze on them. Thousands died of this cause in the 1800s.

          6. Manchineel Tree (Hippomane mancinella)

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            This tree can be found along the coasts of South America, Central America, the Bahamas, and Southern North America. Its fruit is similar in appearance to a small apple and has a unique name in Spanish manzanilla de la muerte or “little apple of death.” There’s more than one poison in this tree; the leaves, sap, and fruit of the Manchineel tree are all poisonous. While eating the apple could prove fatal, the sap has also been used in poison-tipped arrows. And burning this tree could prove harmful; if the smoke were to reach your eyes, it could cause you to go blind!

            5. Angel’s Trumpet (Brugmansia)



              This plant can be found almost anywhere. Its hanging bell flowers are beautiful, but deadly if ingested. Because of its beauty, the flower is coveted and cultivated. This is what makes it all the more dangerous.

              4. Castor Bean (Ricinus communis)


                This plant is widespread throughout tropical regions, East Africa and India. The shrub-like plant is usually moderate in size, but can reach the size of a small tree. Its general appearance can differ from habitat to habitat. While there are beneficial uses of the castor bean, which is not really a bean, the raw fruit of the plant contains the toxic substance ricin. Exposure to this chemical can cause nausea, tachycardia, and seizures for a week. Writer Georgi Markov was infamously assassinated on the streets of London by a ricin pellet fired from an umbrella. It can be deadly if not treated properly, a poisonous plant indeed.

                3. Rosary Pea (Abrus precatorius)



                  The plant is known by many names, like crab eye or Inidan licorice. It’s native to India and is invasive, taking root in many countries across the globe. The seed is often used in musical instruments as percussion and is toxic because of the presence of the chemical abrin.The symptoms are like that of ricin but much more concentrated. It can cause liver failure and eventually death over several days. The seeds have been used in jewelry and if ingested will cause a painful death.

                  2. Aconite or Wolf’s bane (Aconitum napellus)


                    Cleopatra is said to have used aconite to kill her brother. This is another plant known to have rather harmful effects dating back to antiquity. Its poison is fast acting. Within minutes a large dose will kill you by paralyzing your heart muscles. Simply picking its leaves could send you to the morgue.

                    1. The Suicide Tree (Cerbera odollam)



                      This leafy green plant is native to India and Southern Asia. It can grow in coastal marshes but unnervingly is used as a hedge plant. This one has a toxin called cerberin that disrupts your pulse, most often resulting in death. The scary part is that is wont likely show up in an autopsy. A study from the late 90s done in India stated this little plant contributed to over 500 deaths in a single year.

                      There’s a look a the most poisonous plants out there! I hope when you run across one, you’ll know to stay away.

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                      Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

                      Overcoming The Pain Of A Breakup: 3 Suggestions Based On Science

                      We thought that the expression ‘broken heart’ was just a metaphor, but science is telling us that it is not: breakups and rejections do cause physical pain. When a group of psychologists asked research participants to look at images of their ex-partners who broke up with them, researchers found that the same brain areas that are activated by physical pain are also activated by looking at images of ex-partners. Looking at images of our ex is a painful experience, literally.[1].

                      Given that the effect of rejections and breakups is the same as the effect of physical pain, scientists have speculated on whether the practices that reduce physical pain could be used to reduce the emotional pain that follows from breakups and rejections. In a study on whether painkillers reduce the emotional pain caused by a breakup, researchers found that painkillers did help. Individuals who took painkillers were better able to deal with their breakup. Tamar Cohen wrote that “A simple dose of paracetamol could help ease the pain of a broken heart.”[2]


                      Just like painkillers can be used to ease the pain of a broken heart, other practices that ease physical pain can also be used to ease the pain of rejections and breakups. Three of these scientifically validated practices are presented in this article.

                      Looking at images of loved ones

                      While images of ex-partners stimulate the pain neuro-circuitry in our brain, images of loved ones activate a different circuitry. Looking at images of people who care about us increases the release of oxytocin in our body. Oxytocin, or the “cuddle hormone,” is the hormone that our body relies on to induce in us a soothing feeling of tranquility, even when we are under high stress and pain.


                      In fact, oxytocin was found to have a crucial role as a mother is giving birth to her baby. Despite the extreme pain that a mother has to endure during delivery, the high level of oxytocin secreted by her body transforms pain into pleasure. Mariem Melainine notes that, “Oxytocin levels are usually at their peak during delivery, which promotes a sense of euphoria in the mother and helps her develop a stronger bond with her baby.”[3]

                      Whenever you feel tempted to look at images of your ex-partner, log into your Facebook page and start browsing images of your loved ones. As Eva Ritvo, M.D. notes, “Facebook fools our brain into believing that loved ones surround us, which historically was essential to our survival. The human brain, because it evolved thousands of years before photography, fails on many levels to recognize the difference between pictures and people”[4]



                      Endorphins are neurotransmitters that reduce our perception of pain. When our body is high on endorphins, painful sensations are kept outside of conscious awareness. It was found that exercise causes endorphins to be secreted in the brain and as a result produce a feeling of power, as psychologist Alex Korb noted in his book: “Exercise causes your brain to release endorphins, neurotransmitters that act on your neurons like opiates (such as morphine or Vicodin) by sending a neural signal to reduce pain and provide anxiety relief.”[5] By inhibiting pain from being transmitted to our brain, exercise acts as a powerful antidote to the pain caused by rejections and breakups.


                      Jon Kabat Zinn, a doctor who pioneered the use of mindfulness meditation therapy for patients with chronic pain, has argued that it is not pain itself that is harmful to our mental health, rather, it is the way we react to pain. When we react to pain with irritation, frustration, and self-pity, more pain is generated, and we enter a never ending spiral of painful thoughts and sensations.


                      In order to disrupt the domino effect caused by reacting to pain with pain, Kabat Zinn and other proponents of mindfulness meditation therapy have suggested reacting to pain through nonjudgmental contemplation and acceptance. By practicing meditation on a daily basis and getting used to the habit of paying attention to the sensations generated by our body (including the painful ones and by observing these sensations nonjudgmentally and with compassion) our brain develops the habit of reacting to pain with grace and patience.

                      When you find yourself thinking about a recent breakup or a recent rejection, close your eyes and pay attention to the sensations produced by your body. Take deep breaths and as you are feeling the sensations produced by your body, distance yourself from them, and observe them without judgment and with compassion. If your brain starts wandering and gets distracted, gently bring back your compassionate nonjudgmental attention to your body. Try to do this exercise for one minute and gradually increase its duration.


                      With consistent practice, nonjudgmental acceptance will become our default reaction to breakups, rejections, and other disappointments that we experience in life. Every rejection and every breakup teaches us great lessons about relationships and about ourselves.

                      Featured photo credit: condesign via


                      [1] US National Library of Medicine: Social rejection shares somatosensory representations with physical pain
                      [2] Daily Mail: Nursing a broken heart? How taking a paracetamol could dull the pain of rejection
                      [3] Mother For Life: Oxytocin’s Role
                      [4] Psychology Today: Facebook and Your Brain
                      [5] Alex Korb: The Upward Spiral

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