Poinsettias are SUPER POISONOUS!! Right? Wrong.
Over the past few decades, a few myths and stories about the toxicity of poinsettias and other plants has led to the ban on poinsettias and other decorative natural plants in many families.
Although many of us preppers like the idea of using natural plants and decorations rather than fake plants, the possible safety risks have prevented many from actually switching to live plants. But are the stories about toxic holiday plants actually true?
It turns out, that although there is some truth to the toxicity report of poinsettias and other plants, for the most part, the toxicity rating of each plant is highly exaggerated. In fact, there is little risk at all to children or pets if you use natural holiday plants in your home.
The Toxicity of Poinsettias
For some reason, poinsettias have a reputation for being incredibly toxic if ingested. This is not the case. While you can become sick from eating multiple leaves of the poinsettia plant (like half the plant), the risks from eating just one or two leaves are mild.
Common side effects of poinsettia ingestion include mild stomach aches and cramping. Some people with sensitive skin may see a mild rash from the plant’s sap.
Are Pine Trees Safe?
Pine products are another plant brought into the home during the Christmas season. There is nothing quite like the look or smell of a fresh pine tree. For the most part, pine trees are completely non-toxic. However, some people have sensitivities to pine sap, pollen, or the mold that can sometimes grow on a pine tree.
Eating pine needles won’t hurt anyone, but if someone in your family suffers from pine allergies, the best way to keep them healthy is to spray the tree down with water to remove any sap, pollen, or mold from the tree.
The Risks of Holly
In this list, Holly is more toxic than poinsettias or pine trees, but less toxic than mistletoe. If a child or pet consumes a few berries, they are likely to have no side effects. However, consuming a handful or more of the berries can cause upset stomach, vomiting, and diarrhea.
In most cases, though, it is not necessary to hospitalize someone who has ingested holly berries.
Is Mistletoe Poisonous?
Mistletoe is the most toxic holiday plant that most people bring into their homes. All parts of the mistletoe plant have poison in them. Ingesting mistletoe can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. If a child or pet eats more than one or two berries or leaves, then a hospital visit may be necessary.
The best way to prevent mistletoe poisoning is to place the plant inside a net bag so children cannot break off any berries or leaves.
Holiday Decoration Safety
If you have worried about the safety of your children and pet around live holiday plants, then you can ease your mind. There are few plants that will seriously harm humans or pets, and as long as you use common sense and monitor children while around the plants or place them out of the reach of children and pets, you can feel safe while using live plants in your home.
What safety precautions do you take with holiday plants?