Poison Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is on the rise across the United States. Wet weather, over use of of weed killers and damage to healthy soil has created a breeding ground for this highly toxic plant that grows along river banks and in soggy soil conditions in backyards across the country.

How can you tell if your child, pet or loved one has been exposed to this highly toxic plant?

Some of the first symptoms that are commonly reported to emergency rooms in the US are:

  1. Vomiting and extreme nausea.
  2. Dizzy, light headedness and / or fainting.
  3. General confusion
  4. Rash
  5. Trouble breathing
  6. Sweating

What to do if you suspect someone is suffering from Poison Hemlock poisoning?

  1. Rush them to the ER as fast as possible.
  2. Keep them calm and cool.
  3. Do not feed them anything.
  4. Call 911 and/or poison hotline asap.

I am not a doctor and am not giving medical advice.**

Poison Hemlock can look like plants in the carrot family as well as Queen Annes Lace. Some people will think it is a type of fern growing under their trees, but it is not.

These plants like to grow in areas were the soil has been damaged by pesticides, floods and too much foot traffic. I think that Poison Hemlock is a way for Mother Nature to keep her bad children off of an over used area of land.

The sad thing is, most people are so disconnected with the Earth that they are clueless as to what is beneath their feet. I have seen Poison Hemlock growing at every little park along the Truckee River.

Their kids and pets go off romping into the weeds thinking it is natural and safe. This is the farthest from the truth. If you love being out in nature, take a local plant identification class. Learn about organic weed control, and how to protect yourself and loved ones from toxic plants on your adventures.

Toxic plants are a necessary part of our eco system. They provide useful services to the land. Most toxic plants pop up in areas that need recovery of some kind. Their roots go to work at re mediating the soils and eco system.

We will never eradicate weeds, ever. Chemical companies will keep trying though. You know whats funny? Each time a pesticide is applied to a piece of land, it only serves to attract yet more weeds in the long run. Its a brilliant business plan for sure, but an evil one.

How many people have been sent to the emergency room for some mysterious illness only to learn that they are suffering from pesticide exposure?

Most city and county parks use these cancer causing weed killers to spot treat or blanket treat a whole area of the trail to kill weeds. Each spring you can find them along jogging trails, sidewalks and streams, spraying these toxic chemicals that are supposedly killing off the weeds. LOL they are only killing off wildlife, including us humans.