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Plants with Known Toxicity

List of toxic plants

While there might be a increasing movement away from synthetic prescription pharmaceuticals because of cost, toxicities, or plain distrust of 'big pharma, the shift towards the use of herbal medicinal plants, is fraught with the same shortcomings: misinformation and lack of comprehensible knowledge. Even on the grass roots level, the average barangay health worker (BHW) is woefully ignorant on what and how to disseminate herbal medicinal information. A treaure trove of plant information lies unused while word-of-mouth dissemination of old folkloric use continues to decline, slowly disappearing from the rural culture.

This is a list in progress, far from complete, added on as I do the updating of the medicinal plants for scientifc studies. While some are well known in the rural grapevine for their toxicity, many, surprisingly, are not. The toxicities are quite varied: fish poison and arrow poison uses, abortifacient properties, hallucinogenic effects, liver, renal, and other organ toxicities. Many have short-term gastrointestinal effects. Some toxicities are dose-dependent; some are toxic simply because of over-consumption of certain plant parts. Sometimes toxicity is brought about by herb-drug interactions. Fruits may be toxic when unripe, but safely edible when ripe. Some have caused accidental deaths, while some have been used with suicidal or homicidal intent.

Patients may be well-advised to discuss their alternative herbal plant regimens with their physicians. But, alas, invariably, there is never enough time for this in the limited time and hurried consultations given to patients. Furthermore, rare is the physician with the medicinal plant knowledge to advise patients on drug-herb interactions.

Abuab / Lophopetalum toxicum, Bali-bali
Adelfa / Oleander
Algaroba / Mesquite aroma
Anataw / White kopsia
Apanang-gubat / Japanese boneset (?)
Apple of Sodom / Dead sea apple
Arnica / Mountain tobacco
Arrow leaf
Asi-asiman / Aganope heptaphylla
Ayangile / Small Philippines acacia
Baket / Japanese false blueberry
Balaniog / Java brucea
Balatong-aso / Coffee senna
Baraibai / Sea mango
Belladona / Atropa bella dona
Bias-biasan (Paspalum scrobiculatum)
Binahian / Star gooseberry
Bitter apple / Colocynth / Citrullus colocynthis
Buddha belly plant / Jatropha podagrica
Buta-buta / Blinding tree / Excoecaria agallocha
Calico flower (Dutchman’s pipe)
Campanero / Yellow bell / Cascabela thevetia
Candelabra plant / False cactus
Castor plants
Cujete / Calabash / Crescentia cujete
Dita / Devil/s tree
English rubber vine
Estrella / Star of Bethlehem
Gabing-nuno / Typhonium trilobatum
Granadilla / Passion fruit
Jerusalem cherry / Solanum pseudo-capsicum
Kalapinai / Hop bush / Dodonaea viscosa
Komprey (Comfrey)
Lagtang / Fish berry
Lanot (Senecio scandena)
Laurel / Scarlet leadwort
Luhang dalaga / Zig-zag plant / Euphorbia tithylamoides
Maraotong / Indian acalypha
Nami (Intoxicating yam)
Nandina / Sacred bamboo
Paraiso (Bead tree)
Plumbago (Cape leadwort / Plumbago auriculata)
Pong-pong / Cerebra odollam
Purple milletia / Chittagong-balok?
Putat / Fish killer tree
Saga / Rosary bead
Sedang-dahon (Wooly morning glory)
Shanghai beauty / Fiddlehead jatropha
Silk tree / Mimosa
Sirit-sirit / African tulip tree
Soapberry / Soldier's soap
Talong-talongan / Bitter apple
Talumpunay / Thorn apple
Tangan-tangan (castor oil plant)
Thailand shower / Robles / Kassod tree
Tigau / Malabar hoary
Timbangan / Dutchman's pipe
Trompeta / Brugmasia suaveolens
Tubang-bakod / Purging nut tree
Tubli / Poison vine
Saga / Rosary beads
Wolfsbane / devil’s helmet / Aconitum spp.


Last Updated August 2023
If you are aware of a plant in the medicinal plant compilation with known toxicity not included in the above list. please send the name to: <godofredo.stuart@yahoo.com>
Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Beware, These Philippine Plants Could Kill You / Pinoy Top Tens
New plant names needed The compilation now contain more than 1,100 medicinal plants.The last 100 plants came with great difficulty, many by happenstance, a few contributed to or suggested by site visitors. I believe there are hundreds more that can be added to this compilation. Please send suggestions for inclusion with as much of the following information: local plant name, scientific name, known folkloric medicinal use, and a photo.
© Godofredo U. Stuart Jr., M.D. / StuartXchange

Updated March 2023

DOI: It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page. (Citing and Using a (DOI) Digital Object Identifier)

                                                            List of Understudied Philippine Medicinal Plants

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