Plant toxins and acute medicinal plant poisoning in children: A systematic literature review

J Res Med Sci. 2018 Mar 27;23:26. doi: 10.4103/jrms.JRMS_629_17. eCollection 2018.


Background: For many years, medicinal plants and herbal therapy have been widely used in different societies for the treatment of various diseases. Besides their therapeutic potency, some of the medicinal plants have strong toxicity in human, especially in children and elderly. Despite common beliefs that natural products are safe, there have been few reports on their toxicities.

Materials and methods: In the present study, we aimed to systematically review the literature wherein acute plant poisoning and herbal intoxication have been reported in pediatric patients. After literature search and selection of the appropriate documents, the desired data were extracted and described qualitatively.

Results: A total of 127 articles with overall 1453 intoxicated cases were collected. The results of this study showed that some medicinal plants can cause acute poisoning and complications such as hepatic and renal failure in children.

Conclusion: The findings of this survey showed that acute plant poisoning can be life?threatening in children, and since a single?ingested dose of toxic plants can cause acute poisoning, parents should be aware of these toxic effects and compare the side effects of self?medication with its potential benefits.

Keywords: Herbal medicine; medicinal plant; pediatrics; poisoning; toxicology.

Publication types

  • Review