Did you know the plants in your garden can kill you?!?!
As many of you know eating the wrong mushroom can cause hallucinations or even death. But did you know many other common garden plants can poison you to!
Lets start with a nut you are probably familiar with Almonds. Almonds hold a special place in many cultures and did you know… they contain poison?
Almonds contain a toxin that is called Hydrogen Cyanide that in large enough doses can prove to be fatal. Most almonds in North America are heat treated prior to sale to removed the toxin.
Members of the night shade family like tomatoes and potatoes have a nasty little surprise in the leaves. They contain a chemical called Glycoalkaloid that can cause irritation in your GI tract and has been associated with nervous system complications.
The toxin is commonly found in the leaves of the plants and although used in some cooking traditions the leaves are removed prior to consumption. It is also found in green potatoes and in some cases if consumed in large enough concentrations can cause death.
The pits and leaves of many stone fruit family plants contain cyanide. Fruits like apples, apricots, cherries, peaches and plumbs have these toxins in them.
In order for the cyanide to cause issues they must be consumed in high enough doses that your likely not going to be able to eat enough apple seeds to cause anything but mild irritation.
Rhubarb is a staple in many western gardens and the stalks have a wide variety of cherished uses from fresh eating to pie and even my preferred use in wine production.
Their leaves however contain a neurotoxin called Oxalic acid that when consumed can cause a variety of issues. According to the journal of biological chemistry one would have to eat nearly 5kg or 11lbs of these bitter leaves to cause sever issues.
Generally speaking anything including oxygen and water can become toxic if consumed in high enough concentrations. There are even some things that are praised in popular culture as having amazing health benefits that are toxic or harmful in low doses such as Goji Berries or Grape Fruit that can interact with prescription medication.
The rule of thumb is eating a balanced diet will help you avoid any of these extreme issues