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Foxglove poison: what are the symptoms?

Foxglove poison: what are the symptoms?

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Foxglove poison: what are the symptoms?


The foxglove (Digitalis Purpurea) is a beautiful plant that grows in large parts of Belgium and the Netherlands. The plant is known for its showy flowers and is often grown in gardens. However, one must be careful, because foxglove is toxic to humans and animals.

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Identify foxglove

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Foxglove is a plant up to 1.8 meters high. The flowers are bell-shaped and somewhat resemble thimbles, hence the name. It can range from purple to pink and white. The flowers attract bumblebees and bumblebees, contributing to the biodiversity of your garden.

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How toxic is foxglove?

Foxglove contains digitalis glycosides, which have a strong effect on the heart. Ingestion can lead to serious poisoning symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and irregular heartbeat. In severe cases it can be fatal. Therefore, it is important to keep the plant out of the reach of children and pets.

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Symptoms of foxglove poisoning

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Symptoms of foxglove poisoning include:

  • Nausea and vomiting: These symptoms can occur quickly after eating parts of the plant.
  • Diarrhea: This is a common symptom of foxglove poisoning.
  • Abdominal pain: Abdominal cramps and pain may occur with poisoning.
  • Arrhythmia: Digitalis glycosides found in the plant can cause serious arrhythmias, which can be life-threatening.
  • Dizziness and confusion: These symptoms are often caused by the effect of toxins on the central nervous system.
  • – Visual disturbances: double vision and changes in color perception may occur.
  • Fatigue and weakness: These symptoms are often the result of effects on heart function.

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Foxglove: Prevents poisoning


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  • Make sure the plant is out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental ingestion.
  • Learn how to identify the plant to avoid accidental contact or ingestion. Also show the plant to the children, so they know to be careful with this plant.
  • Wear gloves when handling or trimming foxglove to prevent skin irritation and accidental ingestion.
  • Flowers and seeds contain the highest concentration of toxic substances, so be very careful during flowering and sowing. Foxgloves can be planted in spring or fall.

Seek immediate medical attention if poisoning is suspected.


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