Q:

Is mistletoe poisonous?

A:

Quick Answer

Mistletoe contains a substance called phoratoxin that is poisonous to humans. Eating any part of the mistletoe plant can cause severe illness and even death in some cases.

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Full Answer

Symptoms of mistletoe poisoning include blurred vision and gastric distress, such as severe cramping, diarrhea, vomiting and nausea. Anyone who ingests mistletoe should be taken to the emergency room immediately so that vital signs can be monitored and so medications may be given. Treatment depends on the individual characteristics of the person who ingested the toxic substance, such as height, weight, age and health conditions. Domestic pets are also at risk of becoming seriously ill or dying if they eat mistletoe and should receive emergency care at their regular veterinarian's office or from the local emergency vet.

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