Are yew berries poisonous?


Quick Answer

While the flesh of the yew berry is not poisonous, the seeds contained inside the flesh are toxic. If the flesh of the berry is eaten without the seeds being chewed, the seeds pass through the body undigested without causing poisoning, explains The Poison Garden.

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Are yew berries poisonous?
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Full Answer

All parts of the yew tree are poisonous except for the flesh of the berries. If the seeds are chewed, as few as three berries are enough to cause poisoning. Unlike most plant poisons, the yew retains its toxicity even after the tree has died. Trimmings remain poisonous, often causing death in animals that ingest them. Poisoning can cause death in people and animals within a few hours of ingestion, usually without visible symptoms. If symptoms are present, they generally include coldness, weak pulse and trembling.

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