Symptoms of Yew Poisoning

by on June 16th, 2014
Share Button

The yew, known as Taxus baccata, is a slow growing tree or shrub, hardy to zone 6. It has nonshowy flowers and evergreen leaves. It can be poisonous when ingested due to taxine and taxol, both chemical compounds found in the plant. They are in the highest concentration in the seeds it bears, but small portions are in most parts of the plant as well. These compounds are the same ones currently being tested as possible breast cancer treatments.


Poisoning symptoms from the yew plant include coma, convulsions, diarrhea, dizziness, breathing difficulty, blue lips, enlarged pupils, vomiting, trembling, slow heartbeat, stomach pain, rapid collapse, muscle weakness, nausea, headache, and an irregular heartbeat. Any of these can be a sign of poisoning, the patient does not have to have all of them to still be in serious condition from too much taxol or taxine.


Call the National Poison Control at 1-800-222-1222 and get emergency help on the way. Do not make the poisoned person throw up unless Poison Control or the ER tells you to do so. Give them all the information you currently have in regards to what was ingested, how much was ingested, and approximate time of ingestion. While at the ER they will monitor their vital signs and stabilize their condition. They will treat symptoms as they occur by activated charcoal, IV fluids, a temporary pacemaker, breathing support, or by a gastric lavage to flush out the stomach.

Outlook for the patient depends on how quickly they are treated.

Source: A.D.A.M., PFAF

Prev Article: »
Next Article: «

Related Articles