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Are Poinsettias Poisonous?

Melissa is the assignment editor and contributing writer for SheKnows Home and Living. While other little girls were playing dress up with Barbie, Melissa was busy remodeling Barbie's house. She now lives out her dream covering design an...

A recent national poll shows that half the population believes poinsettias are poisonous. Over the course of many holiday seasons, we've heard from friends, neighbors and "experts" that poisonous poinsettias can harm children and pets, but rest assured that they are perfectly safe.
A recent national poll shows that half the population believes poinsettias are poisonous. Over the course of many holiday seasons, we've heard from friends, neighbors and "experts" that poisonous poinsettias can harm children and pets, but rest assured that they are perfectly safe.

According to research done by Ohio State University in 1971, while poinsettias may taste terrible and be difficult to digest, the colorful holiday flowers are not poisonous.

The university conducted this research on a group of 55 lab rats who were fed liquefied poinsettias. Even after consuming high doses of the poinsettia solution, the rats suffered no ill effects from the plants.

A child or pet would need to ingest more than 500 leaves to exceed the amount tested in the study, and there's no proof that more than 500 poinsettia leaves could be poisonous. Since they don't taste good and having enough poinsettias to produce 500 leaves is impractical for most homes, your family and pets have nothing to worry about.

With that myth debunked, let's move on. Did you know you can save your holiday poinsettia for the next season?
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