It’s All Natural, so it’s Good for You… Right?

Marquette, MIOctober 13, 2014 – Does this look familiar to you?

If you're not herbing it up, you fail as a parent! - A Real (tm) Doctor

If you’re not herbing it up, you fail as a parent! – A Real ™ Doctor

That’s a thing that I just made up, but take a look around the web, or pick up a magazine (you Luddite), and you’ll find ALL NATURAL and HERBAL plastered all over the adverts. Herbal supplements are all on your late night infomercials. LOSE WEIGHT!

There’s GOT to be something to that, right?

Well, sort of…

Belladonna is a sexy name, therefore it is safe.

Belladonna is a sexy name, therefore it is safe.

Presenting the AMAZING Atropa Belladonna! Cures headaches, bellyaches, backaches, leg pains, ulcers, menstrual cramps, and living.

People also take it to get high. It’ll give you one heck of a trip, dude, but be careful or you won’t be coming back home. You know what? Better just pass on it.

Belladonna is otherwise known as Deadly Nightshade for a reason. Sure, a little bit might help you sleep, but a little bit more will help you sleep permanently.


Check your kids school yards for this!  If it's in the playground, it's safe.  Definitely.

Check your kids school yards for this! If it’s in the playground, it’s safe. Definitely.

Dress your garden up with beautiful, colorful Oleander! This plant is perfectly safe for children and pets.

Oh. Wait. No, it’s really not. In most cases it’s perfectly safe to handle, but don’t eat it and don’t let your pets or children eat it either. It will kill you. Usually it’s painful – so unless you enjoy vomiting, diarrhea, irregular heart rate and seizures steer clear of this. Oh, and if you have horses? Get ready for colic.

Contact with the sap won’t kill you (probably), but it can irritate the skin and eyes, so – y’know – just don’t touch it. Overall, it’s a bad idea.


Oh you're kidding me.  These are safe.

Oh you’re kidding me. These are safe.

Okay for real and serious now, daffodils are probably not the most deadly plant in the world. They’re really not. The toxicity levels of the flower and leaves of are pretty low, if they exist at all.

Now the bulbs, on the other hand, are often mistaken for leeks. Offering further proof that I was right when I told my mother that the leeks would be the end of me, mistaking a daffodil bulb for something editable will make you very, very ill.

Thankfully, this one isn’t deadly and usually doesn’t require any direct medical intervention (you may want to get some anyway, just in case but what do I – internet writer person – know?).


So there you go, three examples proving that just because something’s pretty, doesn’t mean it’s perfectly safe. Check your labels before you buy that over the counter herbal supplement. Make sure you know what you’re putting in your body – and make sure you know what that plant is before you try putting it in your garden.

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