Happy Poinsettia Day

Today we celebrate Poinsettias!

I think we should take the time to say thank you to the Aztecs who cultivated the Poinsettias and another shout out to to the person who thought that using a plant that was wrongly labeled as being toxic to humans would make a FABULOUS Christmas decoration.

I like that kind of thinking and I think that with some hard thinking we can do the same for the Mandrake root- it’s my Christmas wish.

It truly is.

Title: Poinsettia Christmas tree ornament Date Created: ca. 1955

Study of Red Poinsettias Sophia L. Crownfield, American, 1862–1929early 20th century

Poinsettias in a church in the Philippines

( From Wikipedia )

Newspaper headline from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin (1913) wrongly alleging that poinsettia is deadly

Poinsettias are popularly, though incorrectly, said to be toxic to humans and other animals.This misconception was spread by a 1919 urban legend of a two-year-old child dying after consuming a poinsettia leaf In 1944, the plant was included in H. R. Arnold’s book Poisonous Plants of Hawaii on this premise. Though Arnold later admitted that the story was hearsay and that poinsettias were not proven to be poisonous, the plant was thus thought deadly. In 1970 the US Food and Drug Administration published a newsletter stating erroneously that “one poinsettia leaf can kill a child”, and in 1980 they were prohibited from nursing homes in a county in North Carolina due to this supposed toxicity.

An attempt to determine a poisonous dose of poinsettia to rats failed, even after reaching experimental doses equivalent to consuming 500 leaves, or nearly 1 kg (2.2 lb) of sap. Contact with any part of the plant by children or pets often has no effect, though it may cause nausea, diarrhea, or vomiting if swallowed. External exposure to the plant may result in a skin rash for some. A survey of more than 20,000 calls to the American Association of Poison Control Centers from 1985–1992 related to poinsettia exposure showed no fatalities. In 92.4% of calls, there was no effect from exposure, and in 3.4% of calls there were minor effects, defined as “minimally bothersome”. Similarly, a cat or dog’s exposure to poinsettias rarely necessitates medical treatment. If ingested, mild drooling or vomiting can occur, or rarely, diarrhea. In rare cases, exposure to the eye may result in eye irritation. Skin exposure to the sap may cause itchiness, redness, or swelling.  It can induce asthma allergic rhinitis in certain groups of people.

Photographer Unknown

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