Symptoms of Jack-in-the-Pulpit Poisoning

by on March 5th, 2014
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Jack-in-the-Pulpit is a perennial plant botanically known as Arisaema triphyllum. It is from the Arum family of plants and is native to the United States. It has large glossy leaves and a hooded flower that is green with brown stripes. There are bright red berries on the plant as well. The poisonous ingredient in the plant is calcium oxalate.


The signs of jack-in-the-pulpit poisoning from ingesting the plant include teary eyes, swelling of the mouth and the tongue, slurred speech, diarrhea, burning in the throat and mouth, nausea, and vomiting. There may be difficulty breathing if there is severe mouth and tongue swelling.

First Aid

Pour water on the skin where the plant touched, if it touched the eyes have them be rinsed with water. Wipe out the mouth with a wet cloth. Give milk to drink unless there is convulsions, decreased alertness, or vomiting (where swallowing may be too difficult). Call emergency medical intervention.


Rarely, the poison will block the airways cutting off breathing. The emergency workers will monitor the patient’s vital signs and treat the symptoms that they are having. There may be stomach flushing and IV fluids given. Treatment will be determined by how much of the poison was ingested and the general health of the patient when they enter the ER.

Some alternate names for this condition are wild turnip poisoning, brown dragon poisoning, Indian turnip poisoning, bog onion poisoning, wake robin poisoning, and Arisaema triphyllum poisoning.

Source: NPIN, A.D.A.M.

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