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Frequently (and not so frequently) Asked Questions

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BRIEF: Are these plants really poisonous?


QUESTION:
Just went through your list of Poisonous plants......I should be dead because I use a great majority of these plants......some for their medicinal properties and some as simple salad ingredients.....flax, goosefoot, stinging nettle,St Johns Wort, rhubarb, and many more. While I know that the leaves of the rhubarb are poisonous, both the stem and the roots are edible are they not?

ANSWER:

The dose, the part, and the condition of these plants as well as which species of animal eat them have a lot to do with their ultimate toxicity. St. Johns Wort, whatever its value to humans as an anti-anxiety drug at very small doses, certainly killed thousands of sheep in Northwestern US years ago. The rhubarb stem is edible.