Environment and Ecology Research Vol. 6(5), pp. 487 - 492
DOI: 10.13189/eer.2018.060509
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Toxic Plants: Knowledge, Medicinal Uses and Potential Human Health Risks

Rita Serrano *
Research Institute for Medicines (iMed.ULisboa), Faculty of Pharmacy, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal


A toxic plant is a plant that when touched or ingested in sufficient quantity can be harmful or fatal to man or other animals. When used in small amounts and correct proportions, these plants can be used as herbal drugs with medicinal properties. According to official sources from several countries, injurious and poisonous plants are responsible for many cases of intoxications worldwide. The beauty of these plants hides their toxicity and the unawareness potentiates these situations. Therefore, this bibliographic revision is about examples of some plants associated with poisoning but used for their medicinal properties, focusing on species with anticholinergic poisons (Atropa belladonna L., Datura stramonium L., Hyoscyamus niger L.), with calcium oxalate crystals (Philodendron spp.), with cardiac glycosides (Digitalis purpurea L.), with convulsant poisons and with nicotine-like alkaloids (Conium maculatum L., Nicotiana glauca Graham), with mitotic inhibitors (Catharanthus roseus L., Colchicum autumnale L.), with pyrrolizidine alkaloids (Senecio vulgaris L.), with sodium channel activators (Aconitum napellus L., Rhododendron spp.), with cyanogenic compounds (Hydrangea macrophylla (Thunb.) Ser.), and with toxalbumins (Abrus precatorius L., Ricinus communis L.). The knowledge about toxic plants is still insufficient and makes it so important to characterize some species that cause intoxication and lethality in humans.

Herbal Medicine, Poisonous Plants, Toxic Mechanisms, Toxic Plants, Toxicity

Cite This Paper in IEEE or APA Citation Styles
(a). IEEE Format:
[1] Rita Serrano , "Toxic Plants: Knowledge, Medicinal Uses and Potential Human Health Risks," Environment and Ecology Research, Vol. 6, No. 5, pp. 487 - 492, 2018. DOI: 10.13189/eer.2018.060509.

(b). APA Format:
Rita Serrano (2018). Toxic Plants: Knowledge, Medicinal Uses and Potential Human Health Risks. Environment and Ecology Research, 6(5), 487 - 492. DOI: 10.13189/eer.2018.060509.