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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                      Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

                      Science Says Silence Is Much More Important To Our Brains Than We Think

                      In 2011, the Finnish Tourist Board ran a campaign that used silence as a marketing ‘product’. They sought to entice people to visit Finland and experience the beauty of this silent land. They released a series of photographs of single figures in the nature and used the slogan “Silence, Please”. A tag line was added by Simon Anholt, an international country branding consultant, “No talking, but action.”

                      Eva Kiviranta the manager of the social media for said: “We decided, instead of saying that it’s really empty and really quiet and nobody is talking about anything here, let’s embrace it and make it a good thing”.

                      Finland may be on to something very big. You could be seeing the very beginnings of using silence as a selling point as silence may be becoming more and more attractive. As the world around becomes increasingly loud and cluttered you may find yourself seeking out the reprieve that silent places and silence have to offer. This may be a wise move as studies are showing that silence is much more important to your brains than you might think.

                      Regenerated brain cells may be just a matter of silence.


                         A 2013 study on mice published in the journal Brain, Structure and Function used differed types of noise and silence and monitored the effect the sound and silence had on the brains of the mice.[1] The silence was intended to be the control in the study but what they found was surprising. The scientists discovered that when the mice were exposed to two hours of silence per day they developed new cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is a region of the brain associated with memory, emotion and learning.


                        The growth of new cells in the brain does not necessarily translate to tangible health benefits. However, in this instance, researcher Imke Kirste says that the cells appeared to become functioning neurons.

                        “We saw that silence is really helping the new generated cells to differentiate into neurons, and integrate into the system.”

                        In this sense silence can quite literally grow your brain.

                        The brain is actively internalizing and evaluating information during silence


                          A 2001 study defined a “default mode” of brain function that showed that even when the brain was “resting” it was perpetually active internalizing and evaluating information.


                          Follow-up research found that the default mode is also used during the process of self-reflection. In 2013, in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Joseph Moran et al. wrote, the brain’s default mode network “is observed most closely during the psychological task of reflecting on one’s personalities and characteristics (self-reflection), rather than during self-recognition, thinking of the self-concept, or thinking about self-esteem, for example.

                          “When the brain rests it is able to integrate internal and external information into “a conscious workspace,” said Moran and colleagues.

                          When you are not distracted by noise or goal-orientated tasks, there appears to be a quiet time that allows your conscious workspace to process things. During these periods of silence, your brain has the freedom it needs to discover its place in your internal and external world.

                          The default mode helps you think about profound things in an imaginative way.

                          As Herman Melville once wrote,[2]


                          “All profound things and emotions of things are preceded and attended by silence.”

                          Silence relieves stress and tension.


                            It has been found that noise can have a pronounced physical effect on our brains resulting in elevated levels of stress hormones. The sound waves reach the brain as electrical signals via the ear. The body reacts to these signals even if it is sleeping. It is thought that the amygdalae (located in the temporal lobes of the brain) which is associated with memory formation and emotion is activated and this causes a release of stress hormones. If you live in a consistently noisy environment that you are likely to experience chronically elevated levels of stress hormones.

                            A study that was published in 2002 in Psychological Science (Vol. 13, No. 9) examined the effects that the relocation of Munich’s airport had on children’s health and cognition. Gary W. Evans, a professor of human ecology at Cornell University notes that children who are exposed to noise develop a stress response that causes them to ignore the noise. What is of interest is that these children not only ignored harmful stimuli they also ignored stimuli that they should be paying attention to such as speech. 

                            “This study is among the strongest, probably the most definitive proof that noise – even at levels that do not produce any hearing damage – causes stress and is harmful to humans,” Evans says.[3]

                            Silence seems to have the opposite effect of the brain to noise. While noise may cause stress and tension silence releases tension in the brain and body. A study published in the journal Heart discovered that two minutes of silence can prove to be even more relaxing than listening to “relaxing” music. They based these findings of changes they noticed in blood pressure and blood circulation in the brain.[4]

                            Silence replenishes our cognitive resources.


                              The effect that noise pollution can have on cognitive task performance has been extensively studied. It has been found that noise harms task performance at work and school. It can also be the cause of decreased motivation and an increase in error making.  The cognitive functions most strongly affected by noise are reading attention, memory and problem solving.

                              Studies have also concluded that children exposed to households or classrooms near airplane flight paths, railways or highways have lower reading scores and are slower in their development of cognitive and language skills.

                              But it is not all bad news. It is possible for the brain to restore its finite cognitive resources. According to the attention restoration theory when you are in an environment with lower levels of sensory input the brain can ‘recover’ some of its cognitive abilities. In silence the brain is able to let down its sensory guard and restore some of what has been ‘lost’ through excess noise.[5]



                              Traveling to Finland may just well be on your list of things to do. There you may find the silence you need to help your brain. Or, if Finland is a bit out of reach for now, you could simply take a quiet walk in a peaceful place in your neighborhood. This might prove to do you and your brain a world of good.

                              Featured photo credit: Angelina Litvin via


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