Fast Five Quiz: Toxic Plants

Richard H. Sinert, DO


November 23, 2021

Figure 2. Asian ginseng.

The most well-known plants having hypoglycemic potential include:

  • Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)

  • Bitter melon gourd (Momordica charantia)

  • Climbing ivy gourd (Coccinia indica)

  • Mamijava (Enicostemma littorale)

  • Asian ginseng (P ginseng) (See image above.)

  • American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius)

  • Siberian ginseng (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

  • Ackee (Blighia sapida)

  • Prickly pear (Opuntia robusta)

  • Yellow bells (Tecoma stans [family Bignoniaceae])

Hypoglycemia due to the ingestion of ginseng in patients with type 2 diabetes has been reported. Peace lilies and poinsettias have toxic properties, whereas the Christmas cactus is considered nontoxic.

Learn more about hypoglycemic plant poisoning.


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