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Chapter: Modern Medical Toxicology: Organic Poisons (Toxins): Irritant Plants

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Irritant Plants

Since India is a tropical country, it is host to rich and varied flora of thousands of plants, some of which are extremely poisonous.

Irritant Plants

Since India is a tropical country, it is host to rich and varied flora of thousands of plants, some of which are extremely poisonous. Most people in rural areas depend for their food upon farms and gardens. Cases of accidental poisoning occur not infrequently due to mistaken ingestion of toxic plant products or contamination of foodstuffs. Some cases are related to intake of harmful herbal remedies and “tradi-tional medicines”. A substantial number of cases involve children for whom plants are accessible and attractive. In some Western countries, 5 to 10% of all human exposures reported to poison control centres involve plants. In India, the over-all percentage ranges from 6 to 15%, while if rural populations are taken in isolation, the percentage may be as high as 63%.

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