December 23, 2016

The Holiday Poinsettia Myth

As the season blooms, and beautiful things abound, so do the long-held beliefs about the dangers of Poinsettias.

Poinsettias (Euphorbia pulcherrima) have long been accused of being highly toxic if ingested. Studies performed at Ohio State University refuted this claim once and for all, the findings indicating that, to be lethal, a 50-pound child would have to eat 500 to 600 leaves to exceed the experimental dose that revealed no toxicity danger. Another study at Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University substantiated these findings. Poinsettias are not meant to be eaten, so ingestion could cause stomach distress, but nothing life-threatening. If you have a pet or youngster who nibbles things, keep the plant up where they can't reach it. Poinsettia sap has a very slight chance of irritating the skin of people with latex allergy.

So buy those beautiful plants and fill your home with their glory. Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukka, and every other warm wish for the season!

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