Poinsettia plant poisoning

Poinsettia is a brightly red-colored plant used as a décor in gardens. Poisoning can occur by accident or intentionally. Luckily, the toxic nature of the plant is generally mild.

Once the plant or any of its parts are ingested, it can lead to poisoning. An exposure might also arise after eye or skin contact. In most cases, the toxic part of the plant is the sap but all parts such as the leaves and stem might be poisonous.

What are the indications?

The signs of poinsettia plant poisoning tend to vary for every individual. In most cases, it might be minor but can be severe in some cases.

Generally, the usual signs of poisoning include:

  • Nausea and vomiting

    Minor irritation of the skin after exposure to the plant or formation of skin rashes.

  • Highly sensitive individuals might end up with an allergic reaction upon exposure to the poinsettia plant.
  • Minor irritation of the skin after exposure to the plant or formation of skin rashes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Eye contact can trigger pain, irritation, redness and watery eyes

Management of poinsettia plant poisoning

  • Call for emergency assistance right away if an individual is suspected with poinsettia plant poisoning. Get in touch with poison control so that instructions on what to do can be given.
  • Check if the airways are clear and if there is a pulse and breathing rate.
  • Clean the mouth to get rid of any leftover pieces of the plant using a wet towel or cloth.
  • If the skin or eye was exposed to the plant, thoroughly wash the area with flowing water for at least 15 minutes.


  • When working in the garden, especially with the poinsettia plant, always wash hands thoroughly after.
  • Avoid eating any wild plants or berries.

More Information / Disclaimer

The information posted on this page on poinsettia plant poisoning is for learning purposes only. Learn to recognize the indications of poisoning by taking a standard first aid course with Edmonton First Aid.


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