Poison Plants for Alchemy

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As any alchemist or herbalist should know, there are many different plants one should be wary of. However, for those starting out, you may lack the tools and knowledge to keep yourself safe. I've compiled a list of, "no no plants" along with chemical affects and smarter alternatives. Special thanks to SilentSyren for her contributions/support towards this article.

Bestill- Bestill is used in Sri Lanka. The seeds are sewen onto clothing and jewelry. It's used mostly due to it's lucky properties. It Contains a cardiotoxin, and can effect you. Even if the sap touches your skin, Just a few drops will kill you.


Alternatives: Aloe, Cotton.



Belladonna- This is a plant that was used in a bygone age. Now a days, it has little use. It is, however, one of the most venomous and toxic plants on the face of the planet. It contains a concoction of toxious alkaloids such as atropine, scopolamine and hyoscyamine. Just ten berries is enough to kill an adult, and it only takes two or three to kill a child. And while it is also toxic to domestic animals, it is, oddly enough, fine for cattle and rabbits. Regardless, do not use this plant, the only use for it is death.



Bittersweet- Considered an evasive weed in the US, bittersweet is used for it's protective and healing properties. The berries that it grows are very deadly to humans and livestock. Invest in some Dill or Dock if you want an increase in protection. This plant isn't worth the sideeffects.



Blueflag- A plant used for fiscal gain and luck in business, many carry the roots to obtain wealth. It's a common plant in North America, but it also has cucurbitacin glycocides and iridin throughout. While not as poisonous as some on this list, it's still a threat to any who ingest it.


Alternatives: If your looking to do a wealth oil or incense, try good old fashion All-Spice and Almond.



Broom- This is an herb often used for exorcising large areas, such as the home, and can be hung in your house to ward off evil spells. It was once used as a drink to increase psychic powers, though this is now discouraged due to the discovery of toxic alkaloids that depress the heart and nervous system. While it is only mildly toxic, any type of poison should be handled with caution.


Alternatives: if you want to increase your third eye without risking death, try LemonGrass. If you want to protect your home or purify it, try Sage/Rosemary or Parsley. All are widely available at your local supermarket and safer to use.




Cactus- This is an odd entry, as not ALL cacti are poisonous. Some are sold in stores as a snack or side dish. However, the liquid of certain Barrel cacti along with the Peyote and San Pedro have been known to make many ill.


Alternatives: Much like Broom, Cacti is used as a source of protection. You can always use the tried and true method of Sage/Rosemary as an alternative, or, if you're feeling exotic, try Buckwheat or Burdock.



Castor- Imagine dying in a puddle of your own vomit, urine and fecal matter. That's what usually happens to those who die of Risin, a very deadly toxin found in the Castor bean. Risin is one of the most terrfying poisons in existence. The plant itself, like Cacti and Broom, is used for protection. Just go to any alternatives listed above.



Celadine- This is a nasty one. Celandine is usually used as a way to escape entrapment or impart good spirit. Some have even used this as an aid to help depression. However, this herb also contains various poisons, such as protopine and sanguinarine, the ladder of which will eat away healthy cells if applied to the skin. Yuck!


Alternitives: If you want luck, try Aloe instead. If you want happieness, try the peacefull tranquility of fresh mint and chamomile tea. Or, try both in an insence or oil.




Columbine- A plant that is supposed to bring love will only cause death. Columbine is kept for those requesting luck in love or courage. It is also responsible for gastrointestinal distress and heart palpitations. If you want love, stick with Black Snap Dragon and Cherries. Sweet Pea plants are perfect for insighting courage if that is what you seek.




Eucalyptus- My favorite kind of cough drop ....in truth, so long as a large amount isn't consumed, Eucalyptus is usually harmless to adults. Overdosing can cause naseua, vomiting and stomach cramps. But , for those with small children, do not give any Eucelyptus based products to your children unless adviced by a doctor. If you fear keeping it in your home, try the ever safe Maize (corn plant) for all of your protection needs and try the easily affordable Majoram for any healing spells.



Foxglove- One of many herbs used for protection, anyone unfortunate enough to suck on the leaves/stem or eat the seeds of this plant will regret it. Low Blood Pressure and Irregular/slow heartrate are most common. Lethargy, Loss of appetite, Hives, Vomiting, Diarrhea and Blurred vision are also possible side effects.


Alternitives: Say it with me: Parsley. Parsley is your friend.



Heliotrope- The goodnews is Sage works well for Exorsisms and Marigolds are wonderful for encouraging prophetic dreams. The bad news is Heliotrope will make you very sick. While most deaths due to this herb are found in cattle, a human can still get sick if they ingest large amounts. And, even if you don't eat this plant, it can still get you. If a cow finds a tasty looking Heliotrope plant and produces milk, and then you buy that milk...diarreha city.


This herb contains a slow acting liver toxin. So woe be to the animal that eats it. Their death will be drawn out, and painful.



Hellebore, Black- This plant is beautiful. But like a siren calling a ship of sailors to their doom, this flower will leave you six feet under. It contains Ranunculin, which causes oral ulceration, gastroenteritis and hematemesis. In other words, you'll get mouth ulcers, have severe diarrhea and vomit blood...and then you'll die. Much like Belladonna, this plant is all but forgotten. It was once used for exorsisms, but there are much better alternatives now.



Hemlock- I was surprised to find an abundance of this plant in my home town.Growing up, I use to take walks by the railroad tracks and I would see these plants growing along the road. These plants are hideously venemous. They cause a concoction of symptoms, such as: Abdominal Pain, Nausea, vomiting, Diarrhea, Headache, Weakness in limbs, tremors, Weak pulse, Dilated pupils, nervousness, convulsions and eventually death. The scary thing about Hemlock is it looks so harmless. It looks like a pretty white garden weed. Much like Hellebor and Belladonna, this plant is no longer used. And rightfully so.



High John the Conqueror- John the conqueror was a ficticious folk hero of African lore. As for the root....I wasn't able to find much about it. It's heavily steeped in Wicca culture and is used for Success spells and those looking for love and happieness. It's thought to inhance male sexual energy as well. I was able to dig up that the root, if ingested, can cause severe diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration. So, if you want to use this plant for all of your Success needs, tread softly. I'm sticking with Clover.




Mahogany, Mountain- Before you start swinging an axe at the tree in your back yard, this is unrelated to actual Mahoganys. It's actually a small shrub and is related to the rose family. It also contains cyanogenic glycosides, which is a fancy way of saying Look at the symptoms I listed for Hemlock. These only grow in Texas, but that doesn't make them any less dangerous.




Male Fern- Who knew plants were gender specific. Like I said earlier, if you want luck or love, take some Allspice or Aloe. Poppy is an herb that covers both. But for the love of everything decent, stay AWAY from male fern. How do convulsions, coma and blindness sound? How about Heart and Lung Failure?


Yeah. Stay away from this.



Mandrake- Harry Potter lied. You need more than Ear Muffs for these. I'm not going to list all the poisons in this plant because it would fill up the page. Just know this will likely cause you to suffocate. You'll also hallucinate, suffer from rapid heart rate and have trouble expelling fecal matter and urine from your body.


Alternitives: Dock and Daffodil work much better for the Fertility aspect. Nutmeg will enhance any health brews or spells.



May Apple- Don't make pies out of these.


While the chemicles in this plant have been used for toppical creams, the podophylloctoxin can cause Central Nervous System Depression, resulting in impared breathing and possible coma. It also causes Enteritis, or inflammation of the small intestine. So, stick with a bag of Golden Delicious Apples for Thanksgiving. Save yourself the trauma.


Alternatives: Honeysuckle, Mint, Moss.




Morning Glory- Stick with Chamomile.


If you love Cat's and Dogs, don't let them eat these. Nothing's sadder than losing a four legged friend to something that can be avoided. And, on a personal note, I lost a cat to liver failure. It was a slow, agonizing death and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. These flowers can also cause hallucinations and death in humans as well, so no one gets out of this unscathed. Like I said, Stick with Chamomile.





Oleander- Digitoxigenin, Neriin, Oleandrin, Oleondroside. Do these sound fun?


Italian Magical Theory views this herb as evil. If you keep one in your home, it could bring sickness, disgrace and misfortune. Now a days, people use it in love spells. Though it is never used internally due to the death that can follow. Frankly, this has to be the worst plant on the list. Believe me when I say that this will effect every part of your body. From Diarrhea, to blurred vision, weakness, hives, slow heartbeat and, like I said, DEATH. You want a good love herb: Vanilla, Rye, and Rose.




Periwinkle- I use to watch this TV show called Blues Clues as a kid. On the show, there was this cute little kitten named Periwinkle that liked to do magic tricks. THIS Periwinkle will drop your blood pressure. The goodnews is, the plant isn't overtly venemous. It's actually used to treat High Blood Pressure. But if you overdose, you're on a one way trip down.




Plumeria- Remember Vanilla, Rye and Rose? Yeah, we have another LOVE herb here that shows it's love by killing you. How poisonous is Plumeria? It's related to Oleander. It's milky sap can burn the eyes and skin. The sap, used in the creation of latex, can cause allergic reactions. Oddly enough, I haven't been able to find much more. Only that it's very poisonous and can cause irritation if eaten. If you happen to be allergic to the sap, be ready for hives, swelling, burning and anaphylaxis (swelling of the throat). All of which can cause shock and, of course, death.


Alternitives: Vanilla and Rye folks. Vanilla and Rye.



Poinsetta- An imported plant from Mexico, this is a very popular plant around the States. While the latex containing sap can cause allergic reactions. According to the American Journal of Emergency Medicine: it takes up to 500 bracts to kill a 50lb child. Though, woe be the person who is allergic to the sap secreated from this popular and beautiful plant.




St.John's Wart- Fun fact, I'm allergic to St. John's. So is my mother. It causes our tongues and lips to swell. Now, this herb is used to treat depression and inflammatory issues. But much like Plumeria, the leaf and stem contains latex sap, which leaves you open to anaphylaxis if you're allergic. (Me, for example. This plant will kill me).


Alternitives: If you're in the same boat, you may want to find better alternatives. While St John's is used for love, protection and strength. It's also used in Divination, something Orange, Cherry and Dandelion will do much better.



Toadstool- Toadstool is nasty. It has muscimol and ibotenic acid laced in it's pretty red and white head that can cause hallucinations, agitation, and loss of coordination. Although they usually aren't fatal, eat too many of them and they will be. As for magical properties, its believed rain falls every time one of these deadly shrooms is crushed, but that's debateable.



Tonka- This plant isn't awful, but it does contain a hepatotoxic that can cause liver and kidney problems in humans and be fatal to small animals. (It causes tumors in rats) The poison comes from the actual seeds which are often used in love sachetts. Try Sage and Thyme for the Wish and Courage aspects of this plant.



Wahoo- This herb sounds like a good time from the name alone. It's not, obviously, or else it wouldn't be on this list. The entire bush can hurt you and will cause a vast amount of effects, like Nausea, cold sweats and prostration. Eating too many of the berries on this bush may require emergency purgative action. aka, laxatives. Lots of them.


Alternitives: Thistle works better for Hex-Breaking.



Wormwood- Wormwood oil is used for digestive disorders, sexual desire, and mental stimulation. This makes sence, since many spells use this herb for psychic powers. Take it from me, use Lemon Grass. While it is considered safe, large amounts will result in seizures, kidney failure, vomiting, tremors, urine retention, paralysis and death.



Yewl- There's a reason people buy fake yewl plants for the holiday. Not only is this plant a trigger for asthma, but it will cause headaches, aches, leathergy, and skin rashes. Fatal amounts will result in tremors, convulsions, collapse, circulation impairment and cardiac arrest. Want to know what's worse. You may show no symptoms at all and simply drop dead. Good news is, human faitalities due to Yew poisoning is rare. Bad News, it still happens.


Yew use to be used in order to raise spirits from the dead. Due to it's venemous nature however, it's since been abandoned.







Added to on Apr 21, 2017
Last edited on Feb 22, 2018
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