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Are poinsettias really as poisonous to people and their beloved pets as many claim, or is it just scare tactics? This is the theme of the ghosts. Even those who once on the Internet in search of the answer to this question, there are many contradictory articles and opinions. On the one hand, one reads that poinsettias for children and animals are highly toxic and therefore have no place in an animal or children's household. The next article is the exact opposite. After an online search, you are usually not really smarter than before. But what is right? Is the poinsettia poisonous or not?
The fact is: The Poinsettia (Euphorbia pulcherrima), also known as Poinsettia, is one of the spurge plants (Euphorbiaceae) and many types of milkweed plants contain a latex, which serves the plants as wound closure and contains the skin-irritant substances diterpenes and terpenes. Above all, the wild form of the poinsettia is known for its high toxic concentration. The commercially available Christmas star hybrids, on the other hand, are described as having hardly any toxicity since they show only slight traces of diterpenes.
Newer varieties of the Poinsettia should contain less toxic substances than the wild form
Although the Christmas Star is described as hardly toxic, poisonous phenomena in the form of skin irritation, vomiting or diarrhea may nevertheless occur when consuming parts of plants in children. In such cases, of course, take immediate action: Rinse mouth or skin thoroughly and seek medical advice, for example, the Poison Control Center (better known as poison emergency).
The situation is similar with cats, dogs and other pets. They are much smaller than humans and accordingly also more sensitive to toxic substances. For pets, therefore, all plant parts of the poinsettia are poisonous. If it comes to the consumption, a vet visit is inevitable. As a precaution, if you want to avoid such incidents, you should do without poinsettias - because there are enough other plants that can provide color in the home during Christmas time.
Further links to the topic
- Toxic and non-toxic plants for cats