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FROM THE ARCHIVES: Brugmansia Poisoning, Beware!

By Walt Meier, first published in Let's Talk Plants! February 2010, No.185, republished February 2022.

Wikimedia Commons.
Brugmansia photo from Wikimedia Commons.

While I was cutting back my Brugmansia (Angel’s Trumpet) I found a seed pod that was ripe. It fell into my hand and some of the juice spilled on my skin. I showed the pod to Jasanna (my wife) and wiped the juice off after taking the pod apart to look at the seeds.

About 10 minutes later while I was working in the garden, a strange feeling came over me and the daylight became so bright that I squinted. When I looked at my hand, it was focused but all subjects in a distance were blurred. For about ten minutes I continued to work and my malady didn’t go away. I went into the house and told Jasanna of my problem.

She looked at my eyes and said, “Your eyes are totally dilated.”

When I looked into the mirror, I was scared. I thought it could have been something I ingested, but I had not eaten anything out of the ordinary. I said, “Let’s go to the internet and see what I have.”

We discovered that I was on a drug. We continued and found out that it was the Brugmansia seed pod juice that passed through my skin.

I said, “Thank God we have the internet.”

We found someone else who was near my age with thin skin that had the same reaction. He went to the emergency room. The effects wore off after about six hours.

From now on, I will use gloves when cutting that bush.


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