Hallucinations and House plants

guest123February 21, 2009

There are a number of plants that are generally listed as poisonous for pets and for humans. Typically, the reaction expected in humans is an allergic one, I understand. However, has anyone ever heard of someone experiencing either hallucinations, motor skills problems, or mental perception problems in the presence of a particular house plant?

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If you are someone you know is having a reaction to chemicals found in a plant, PLEASE call poison control!

And the answer is YES. Many plants contain chemicals that react badly with our metabolic system, and sometimes even our nervous system.

Angels trumpets (datura and brugmansia) are famous as the source of atropine, the sarin gas antidote, and scopalamine - a dangerous druggie drug.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 2:20AM
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One would have to be actually in contact with the plant: I'm not familiar with any plants, house-, garden-, or otherwise, that can cause hallucinations merely by being nearby. But yes, some plants (particularly Datura and Brugmansia, as erict mentioned) can cause hallucinations if ingested or in the case of skin contact.

I've actually been looking into plant toxicity a lot lately, because I'm trying to write a decent, accurate list for my blog. Most plants are safe enough to handle, but Datura, Brugmansia, and some in the Apocynaceae (Pachypodium geayi and lamerei, Adenium obesum, Plumeria spp., Mandevilla, Nerium oleander, etc.) are serious enough that they can poison you merely through skin contact (though this is mainly a concern for people in the industry, who might have to do things like repot 1000 Adenium obesum in a day; it's not likely to affect you, dealing with your own personal plant at home). For most other plants, you have to do more than just touch them, and they won't do anything much unless you come into direct contact with the sap, and even then nothing much happens unless you touch your eyes, mouth, etc. with the sap, or ingest some of it.

Those are the only ones I could think of as being semi-common as houseplants, that might cause neurological problems just from touch.

Can I ask what "particular house plant" we're talking about?

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 7:31AM
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Guest, because we have birds, (and a dog who loves the taste of leaves,) researching toxic plants, on the net and via the magazine, Bird Talk, was important.
So far, here are a few plants I found, when ingested, cause hallucination. As far as I know, none of these plants are harmful by touch, in other words, through pores.

Cactus: Lophophora, Peruvian Torch...Cactus: Trichocereus sp.

This group is questionable...Acacia, Cestrum, Justicia pectoralis, Mimosa/bark, Passionvine, (some types) and get this, large quantities of the spice, Nutmeg..lol
One person wrote an online article about D. marginata..he/she explained, in expicit detail, how to prepare D. marginata leaves..sheesh!

If you sow seeds: Morning Gloriy, especially Heavenly Blue and Coleus cause halluciniation.

There are additional plants, but none, the average grower would keep as a house plant.. Toni

PS. Datura and Brugmansia..bad news. Datura is invasive here in IL, goes by the name Jimsim Weed. In the late 90's early 2000's, getting 'high' on Datura was popular among teens..Many ended up in Intensive Care, a couple/few died. One teen went into a coma, woke, but will never ever walk. It's a very sad situation.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 1:04PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Don't forget Euphorbia, it can cause rashes and if injested can cause motor skill problems. Oleander (along with it's cousins Adenium) is highly toxic.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 1:47PM
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Thanks everybody. The plant in question is the Rubber Plant. I cannot tell whether the cause is definetively the plant - it may be some mold in the soil that becomes airborne - but the Rubber Plant is the plant in question. I am aware of the rubber/latex allergy, but was not aware that the plant (or mold, notwithstanding that the plant has been watered but once with very little water??) could cause this type of reaction.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 3:04PM
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greenman28 NorCal 7b/8a

I've heard that Azalea is usually the most poisonous plant in the yard.


    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 4:05PM
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Josh, yes, Azalea/Rhododendrons are poisonous.

Guest, did you have some type of reaction from your Rubber Tree? If so, that's terrible! Allergies can be mild to severe, so if you're feeling 'something' and suspect it has to do with your plant, well, you have a few options.
As far as the rubber/latex, only when a leaf/stem tears/breaks should you see it. You know how it bleeds after removing a leaf or if a stem breaks?
Mold? Are you seeing mold on the soil? Is your tree new?
You said it was watered once, with little water?
Not to change the subject, but when a plant is watered, sips shouldn't be offered, if that what you meant. Soil needs a hearty drink, all parts of rootball moistened. I water until water drips from drainage holes, in a circular motion.
There is no right or wrong way to water, but fact is, the entire rootball should be watered. The rotating is something I do..it's not written in stone..lol

Is your house overly humid?
Since you didn't mention where you live, this is conjecture. Is it possible outdoor trees are budding? Pollen in the air? Many people suffer with allergies due to pollen.
Dust is another possibility.

I hope you're okay. God, that's strange. Since allergies/sinus effect the head, some people complain of a 'Euphoric' feeling. But hallucination? Nothing's impossible. IF this continues, see a doctor..Toni

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 6:58PM
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I think it is extremely unlikely that a rubber plant would cause hallucinations. It's fairly unlikely that mold would either, as far as that goes, though I'd believe it was mold before I believed it was the plant.

Even then, though: if your plant had enough mold in the soil to be causing you serious neurological problems, it'd be pretty obvious, I'd think, that there was something wrong with the plant. I mean, soil won't normally support the growth of mold unless something fairly unusual is going on, like serious overwatering or whatever. In which case the plant would also be suffering.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 8:43PM
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toni, mr. subjunctive,

thanks. I'm not sure what exactly it is - but I appreciate all the responses.

Thanks again.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2009 at 9:52PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

To quote what was said in the opening paragraph:

"experiencing either hallucinations, motor skills problems, or mental perception problems"

Is it really adviseable to play doctor about such things? Wouldn't a hospital &/or a neurologist be more in order?

    Bookmark   February 22, 2009 at 12:29AM
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