Poinsettia plants, commonly used during the holidays, are not poisonous. In most cases, eating this plant does not result in a trip to the hospital.
This article is for information only. DO NOT use it to treat or manage an actual poison exposure. If you or someone you are with has an exposure, call your local emergency number (such as 911), or your local poison center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States.
Leaves, stem, sap of the poinsettia plant
Poinsettia plant exposure can affect many parts of the body.
EYES (IF DIRECT CONTACT OCCURS)
STOMACH AND INTESTINES (SYMPTOMS ARE MILD)
Take the following steps if a person is exposed to the plant.
Seek medical help if the person has a severe reaction.
Your local poison control center can be reached directly by calling the national toll-free Poison Help hotline (1-800-222-1222) from anywhere in the United States. This hotline number will let you talk to experts in poisoning. They will give you further instructions.
This is a free and confidential service. All local poison control centers in the United States use this national number. You should call if you have any questions about poisoning or poison prevention. It does not need to be an emergency. You can call for any reason, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The provider will measure and monitor person's vital signs, including temperature, pulse, breathing rate, and blood pressure. Symptoms will be treated as needed.
How well the person does depends on the amount of poison swallowed and how quickly treatment is received. The faster the person gets medical help, the better the chance for recovery.
This plant is not considered toxic. People most often make a full recovery.
DO NOT touch or eat any unfamiliar plant. Wash your hands after working in the garden or walking in the woods.
Reviewed By: Jacob L. Heller, MD, MHA, Emergency Medicine, Emeritus, Virginia Mason Medical Center, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.