11 Most Poisonous Plants in the World
24
February

By Adem Lewis / in , , /


Number 11 Doll’s Eyes
Actaea pachypoda, commonly known as doll’s eyes, is a flowering plant native to the forests
of North America. In the spring it produces white flowers but
Actaea pachypoda’s most striking feature is its fruit. The plant features a white berry that measures
roughly half an inch in diameter and has a black stigma scar. This is where the name “doll’s eyes”
originates from. The plant as a whole, including its berries,
is considered poisonous to humans. In fact, the berries are the most dangerous
part. This is due to cardiogenic toxins that have
an immediate sedative effect on the human heart muscle. Therefore, ingesting the berries can lead
to death by cardiac arrest. Today’s featured fan shoutout is Instagram
follower @ant1_cini. To appear in our next video, send us your
pic rocking the latest merch from theywillkillyou.com and send it in to us on Instagram today! Number 10 Water Hemlock
Plants from the Cicuta genus, known by their common name as water hemlocks, have been described
as the most violently toxic plants in North America. They’re native to temperate regions of the
Northern Hemisphere, mainly North America and Europe. These large wildflowers belong to the carrot
family and are sometimes confused with celery or edible parsnips. Similar to water parsnips, water hemlocks
have clusters of umbrella-shaped white flowers and they’re found on the shorelines of lakes
and rivers. Unlike water parsnips, however, they’re
infused with a deadly cicutoxin, particularly in their roots, which attacks the central
nervous system. When ingested, intoxication symptoms can take
as little as 15 minutes to manifest. Violent seizure activity is a common side-effect
and its onset can be abrupt. It can lead to respiratory failure, muscle
breakdown, swelling in the brain or kidney failure. In many cases, death has occurred within a
few hours of ingestion. Should the victim survive, seizures may still
persist for up to 96 hours and a possible side effect is retrograde amnesia of the intoxication
or the events leading up to it. Other neurological symptoms may include hallucination,
delirium or coma. Number 9 Rosary Pea
Abrus precatorius, also known as the rosary pea, is a perennial climber that twines around
shrubs, hedges and trees. Humans have spread the rosary pea outside
its native Indonesia and the plant’s ability to invade is quite remarkable. These factors have led to its current pantropical
distribution. The rosary pea grows aggressively, expands
deep roots and produces hard-shelled seeds. It’s extremely difficult to remove once
it’s reached maturity. The plant has brightly-colored seeds, which
present shades of red and black, being reminiscent of a ladybug. The seeds are deadly due to an extremely toxic
component called abrin. It prevents protein synthesis, which is vital
for cell health. In a laboratory setting, abrin has been determined
as being at least 75 times more potent than ricin, another well-known plant toxin. The seed, however, isn’t typically lethal
if its hard shell hasn’t been broken. If chewed and ingested, a single seed can
kill both adults and children. For an average-sized human the lethal dose
of abrin is an estimated 0.1 milligrams. Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and seizures
leading up to multiple organ failure. Death typically occurs after a few days and
there’s currently no antidote to stop the toxins from ravaging the human body. Because of their bright coloration, the seeds
are valued in native jewellery-making. There’ve been reports of workers who’ve
died from pinpricks as they were piercing and threading the seeds. In India, as late as the 19th century, rosary
pea poison was reportedly used as a weapon. Needles were dipped in a paste made from pounded
seeds and then dried in the sun. Afterwards they were mounted on a handle and
used to puncture the skin of humans or animals. Number 8 Lily of the Valley
The lily of the valley is sweetly scented and has bell-shaped flowers which blossom
during springtime. It’s found throughout the cool temperate
Northern Hemisphere and has had a significant cultural impact. It was fashion icon Christian Dior’s favorite
flower and has formed the basis of several classic perfumes. In Christian tradition it’s said to have
been sprung from the tears of the Virgin Mary, during the crucifixion of Jesus. The lily of the valley also lends its name
to a song from rock band Queen, on an album entitled “Sheer Heart Attack”. The album title only seems fitting, since
ingesting the lily of the valley essentially wreaks havoc on the human heart. All parts of the plant are highly poisonous. It contains a toxic amino acid as well as
around 38 different cardiac glycosides. These organic compounds increase the output
force of the heart and its rate of contractions. To make matters worse, the lily of the valley
produces bright-red berries, which may be attractive to children. Any part of the plant, even ingested in small
amounts, can cause vomiting, abdominal pain, blurred vision or reduced heart rate. The lily of the valley’s deadly power was
also shown on the TV series Breaking Bad. The show’s main character used it as a poison
as he plotted to assassinate an adversary. Number 7 Oleander
The oleander is the only plant species in the Nerium genus and one of the most poisonous
commonly grown garden plants. Oleander is so widespread that its point of
origin is no longer known, although some suggest that it comes from Southeast Asia. It can grow to be nearly 20 feet tall with
thick and leathery dark-green leaves. Each branch ends in a cluster of flowers,
which are white or pink to red. According to one theory the name “oleander”
was derived from a combination of Greek nouns that would roughly translate as “I kill
man”. It’s a name that rings true when considering
the plant’s notorious toxicity. Every part of the oleander is poisonous. Ingesting it can affect the heart, the gastrointestinal
system and the central nervous system. It can lead to muscle tremors, seizures, coma
and death. Even contact with the leaves can lead to skin
rashes for some people. Its toxicity and wide distribution have turned
the oleander into an urban legend across many cultures. While versions vary, the overarching narrative
is that people died after eating food roasted over a campfire made from oleander stick. Some legends claim that this happened to the
soldiers of Napoleon Bonaparte or Alexander the Great. Number 6 White Snakeroot
Ageratina altissima, also known as white snakeroot, is a poisonous plant native to eastern and
central North America. It grows up to 5 feet tall and is topped by
clusters of small white flowers. While most of the killer plants on our list
are rather direct in their attack on the human body, white snakeroot takes a different approach. It contains a toxic alcohol called tremetol. When the plants are consumed by cattle, the
toxin spreads to their milk and meat. Then, as humans drink milk or eat beef, they
can suffer from tremetol poisoning. It’s a disease commonly referred to as milk
sickness. While farmers today are aware of the dangers
associated with white snakeroot, the plant claimed many lives in the past. At the dawn of the 19th century, European
Americans settling in the Upper South or Midwest, found themselves in the plant’s natural
habitat. Thousands succumbed to milk sickness and it
took several decades for them to identify white snakeroot as the culprit. It may have also been the cause of death for
Nancy Hanks Lincoln, US President Abraham Lincoln’s mother. Number 5 Suicide Tree
Cerbera odollam, commonly known as the suicide tree, is a plant that bears some resemblance
to oleander. It’s native to India and other parts of
Southern Asia, where it grows in marshy areas and coastal salt swamps. The suicide tree’s flowers are white and
its fruit, when still green, resembles a small mango. The fruit’s fibrous shell encases an oval
kernel that’s highly toxic. It contains cardiac glycosides and a proprietary
toxin, called cerberin, which block calcium ion channels in the heart muscles. It basically disrupts the heartbeat, often
to a fatal degree. Upon ingestion of the kernel, the most common
poisoning symptom is vomiting, and death may occur within two days. Cerberin is hard to detect in an autopsy. Strong spices also have the ability of masking
its taste. This, much like its common name would indicate,
has made it an agent of suicides and homicides in India. Between 1989 and 1999, there were over 500
cases of fatal Cerbera poisoning in the Indian state of Kerala. Number 4 Deadly Nightshade
As the legend goes, when Macbeth was still a lieutenant and before he became King of
Scotland, he was faced with invading English forces. Under the guise of a truce, he poisoned them
with wine made from the sweet fruit of the deadly nightshade. Augustus, Rome’s first emperor, was said
to have been poisoned by his wife with a deadly nightshade mixture. Known by its scientific name as Atropa belladonna,
extracts from this plant have been in use since at least the 4th century BC. It’s a perennial herbaceous plant that produces
purple, bell-shaped flowers and berries which ripen to a shiny black and are about half
an inch in diameter. It’s native to Central and Eastern Europe,
Turkey, Iran, the Caucasus, and North Africa. It has, however, been cultivated outside its
range. Throughout history, belladonna has found a
place in medicine and as a cosmetic but also as a poison and in ceremonial rituals. Women in the past, including Egyptian Queen
Cleopatra, would reportedly use belladonna drops to dilate their pupils. This feature was considered attractive at
the time. Belladonna has also occasionally been used
as a recreational drug due to the vivid hallucinations and delirium it produces. The state can last for several days. Recreational use, however, is considered extremely
dangerous since there’s a high risk of unintentional overdose. Much like its common name would suggest, the
deadly nightshade is one of the most toxic plants in existence. Every part of it contains tropane alkaloids
and the active agents are atropine, hyoscyamine and hyoscine. They disrupt the regulation of involuntary
activities by the nervous system. Initial symptoms may include dry mouth and
throat, headaches, loss of balance, slurred speech, delirium and convulsions. Since it basically paralyzes nerve endings
in the body’s involuntary muscles, death occurs due to breathing or heart complications. Number 3 Wolf’s Bane
The Aconitum genus contains numerous plants commonly known as aconite, wolf’s bane,
monkshood, or devil’s helmet. Wolf’s bane is a plant that people have
known to be extremely toxic since Ancient times. In Greek mythology, it’s said to have come
from the slavering mouth of Cerberus, the monstrous three-headed dog that guarded the
entrance to the underworld. In legends related to lycanthropy, it’s
said to either cure people of being werewolves or to induce it when consumed. The indigenous Ainu of Japan used arrows laced
with wolf’s bane to hunt bears. The plant is so toxic that indigenous people
of Alaska used it for whale-hunting. A poison-tipped lance would be used in the
hunt and it would paralyze the whale causing it to drown. Wolf’s bane, especially in its roots and
tubers, contains a highly potent cardiotoxin and neurotoxin called aconitine. It damages sodium channels, thus disrupting
the proper communication of signals to neurons, skeletal or cardiac muscles. The first symptoms of aconitine poisoning
occur 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingestion. In fatal poisoning death occurs within six
hours and it’s usually the result of respiratory paralysis or cardiac arrest. The only post-mortem indications that poisoning
has occurred are those related to asphyxia. Treatment is mainly supportive and atropine
had been cited as an effective antidote for the physiological symptoms. Today’s video was request by Ninja Productions,
if you have any other topics you’d like to learn about, subscribe and let us know
in the comments section below. Number 2 Castor Bean
We’ve previously mentioned ricin on our list and alluded to its renowned toxicity. It’s found in the seeds of the castor oil
plant, Ricinus communis, which is listed by Guinness World Records as the world’s most
poisonous common plant. While castor oil itself has uses in medicine
and other applications, ricin is notoriously deadly. It’s found in the pulp of the raw castor
bean and the process of extracting it is similar to that of removing cyanide from almonds. Despite their name, the seeds are not true
beans but merely resemble them in appearance. They are contained by spiked, greenish capsules. Ingesting broken seeds or breaking them by
chewing is what causes poisoning in humans. Intact seeds, when swallowed, may pass through
the digestive tract without releasing ricin. Symptoms of intoxication include a burning
sensation in the mouth and throat, bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain. After a few days, the victim will likely experience
extreme dehydration, decreased urine production and a drop in blood pressure. Unless treated, death occurs within a week. Ricin is so toxic that it has been researched
as a chemical or biological warfare agent in both World Wars. In this context, ricin is considered to be
a schedule 1 controlled substance. It was used in the 1978 assassination of Georgi
Markov, a journalist who spoke out against the communist Bulgarian regime. The hitman fired a pellet containing ricin
into his leg from a modified umbrella and Markov later succumbed to the poison. Number 1 Tobacco
Tobacco is the common name of over 70 plant species in the Nicotiana genus, which are
indigenous to the Americas and Australia, as well as parts of Africa and the South Pacific. They’re part of the nightshade family and
contain various amounts of nicotine. Some tobacco cultivations sites in Mexico
date back to 1400-1000 BC and in some native cultures it was seen as a gift from the Creator. Smoking tobacco, as a ceremonial ritual, was
believed to carry thoughts and prayers to the divine. Nowadays, tobacco smoking and consumption
account for a global industry trending towards $1 trillion. In 2017, in the US alone, tobacco companies
spent an estimated $1 million every hour towards marketing their products. The risks associated with smoking tobacco
are well-established. The inhalation of carcinogens and poisonous
chemicals, such as carbon monoxide is devastating to overall health. There are thousands of different substances
in cigarette smoke which contribute to its harmful effects. These may include arsenic, nickel or formaldehyde. Smoking has been identified as a major risk
factor in heart attacks, emphysema, strokes as well as several types of cancer. It’s highly addictive and even secondhand
smoke exposure claims thousands of lives each year. There are over 1 billion tobacco smokers worldwide
and the practice itself has been identified by the World Health Organization as the number
one cause of preventable death. Thanks for watching! Would you rather consume a poisonous plant
from this list once or give up your favorite food forever? Let us know in the comments section below!


100 thoughts on “11 Most Poisonous Plants in the World

  1. Oleander was something some woman was told by her psychic to give to her husband in his tea. I think she was jailed but he didn’t die – because when he got sick she felt bad and nursed him back to health. Well that’s how the story was told to me 🤷🏼‍♀️ Sounds pretty sinister.
    I used to joke that I’d make my husband oleander tea one day 😂 of course I never would…. but I could …. I do have oleander in the yard 😂 (Australia ✌️)

  2. Can you do when public gatherings go wrong? Such as 'the crush' in Hillsborough stadium & other accidental catastrophes?

  3. What about jimsonweed……I know it used in floral dryer the seeds are death I think…..also the oracle …..would sit in the bazarr e and inhale the fumes and to see the furture….thank you to worn people how bad the plant is in Indiana we had some death when teens try get high so think warning might sink in👵🌵

  4. Except tobacco isn’t tobacco in today’s world. And the thing that kills with tobacco is inhalation of the combustible materials in to the lungs and not specifically any toxin within the tobacco itself.

  5. Tobacco as number one !! Seem a little political and discriminatory to smokers. Unlike all the other plants on the like tobacco take years and years to 'kill you', while the rest kill you in hour to days.

  6. where is manchineel on your list. It was listed in the guiness book of record as the most poisonous plant/tree in the world

  7. Lol here in Philippines that beads with red with color black circle from Indonesia we use that as bullet wooden straw put it in our mouth and blow it when we are in grade school @2:58

  8. To date, "When Paragliding Goes Wrong" was published on August 23, 2019, "When Wingsuit Flying Goes Wrong" was published on January 31, 2020, and "When Parachuting Goes Wrong" was published on February 15, 2020.

    I think it would be a good idea to continue the concept with a video titled "When Hang Gliding Goes Wrong."

  9. Poison hemlock is a bad motherf#*@er. Stem, leaves, flower, even the juices can bring you down in as little as 3 to 30 minutes. It ultimate cost is of its paralysis inducing properties.

  10. Very good but I can think of two exceptionally poisonous plants that should've made the list: Manchineel, a.k.a Little Apple of Death and Brugmansia, a.k.a Angel's Trumpet.

  11. Milk poisoning? I'm lactose intolerant, a bowl of cereal for breakfast,mam im driving the porcelain bus by lunch time!

  12. This makes it very hard to be a nature lover 💕 walking 🚶 around without very good knowledge, you could find yourself in a very dangerous situation. These plants 🌱 can rub against your flesh and poison ☠️ you just from touch alone. Reason i say this is because I see so many silly 😜 people hiking though the forest 🌳 with thigh high shorts 🩳 as if they are tougher than nature.

  13. 4:04 i have swallowed those seeds, all my life, good thing i didn't bite them, i even eat there leaves, no one has ever told me they are this deadly.
    i clicked cause it's a click bait

  14. I picked the seeds of Cicuta virosa for my collection, but within 15 minutes I had severe pain all the way up to my shoulder because of the juice from the plant passing through the skin on my hands.

  15. Tobacco is the #1 on the list. However, as has recently been ordered by the courts, the manufacturers of cigarettes have been ordered to let the public know that they are putting additives in the tobacco to make it more addicting. This of course makes it even more deadly through human interaction and greed.

  16. Shit everything will kill you these days , if you stay inside and dont go out you don't get enough sun , you go out and eat a salad provided by mother nat , and youll get poisoned smh this is a scary world we livein !!

  17. Yeah so I used to play with oliander leaves all the time as a kid, like cutting them into the shape of little people. I can't believe it never made me sick.

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