Arch Iran Med. 2020;23(2): 117-127.
PMID: 32061075
Scopus ID: 85079360736
  Abstract View: 4822
  PDF Download: 3097

Systematic Review

Poisoning by Medical Plants

Mohammad Hosein Farzaei 1 ORCID logo, Zahra Bayrami 2, Fatemeh Farzaei 1, Ina Aneva 3, Swagat Kumar Das 4, Jayanta Kumar Patra 5, Gitishree Das 5, Mohammad Abdollahi 2*

1 Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, Health Institute, Kermanshah University of Medical Sciences, Kermanshah, Iran
2 Toxicology and Diseases Group, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center (PSRC), The Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (TIPS), and School of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
3 Institute of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Research, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria, Bulgaria
4 Department of Biotechnology, College of Engineering and Technology, BPUT, Bhubaneswar 751003, Odisha, India
5 Research Institute of Biotechnology & Medical Converged Science, Dongguk University-Seoul, Goyangsi 10326, Republic of Korea
*Corresponding Author: *Corresponding Author: Mohammad Abdollahi PhD, The Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences (TIPS) and School of Pharmacy, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. Email: Mohammad@TUMS.Ac.Ir, Mohammad.Abdollahi@UToronto.Ca, Email: Mohammad@tums.ac.ir


Background: Herbal medications are becoming increasingly popular with the impression that they cause fewer side effects in comparison with synthetic drugs; however, they may considerably contribute to acute or chronic poisoning incidents. Poison centers receive more than 100000 patients exposed to toxic plants. Most of these cases are inconsiderable toxicities involving pediatric ingestions of medicinal plants in low quantity. In most cases of serious poisonings, patients are adults who have either mistakenly consumed a poisonous plant as edible or ingested the plant regarding to its medicinal properties for therapy or toxic properties for illegal aims.

Methods: In this article, we review the main human toxic plants causing mortality or the ones which account for emergency medical visits. Articles addressing “plant poisoning” in online databases were listed in order to establish the already reported human toxic cases.

Results: The current review introduces herbal plants toxicity and herb-drug interactions to warn the health professionals about possible consequences of unconscious uses of medicinal plants. The reported cases extracted from our prepared database were classified on the basis of the main toxic effects of plants, and the most prominent constituents of the plants which are responsible for specific toxic effects.

Conclusion: Considering the long history of consumption of herbal medicines in different societies, people may wrongly think that medicinal plants are fully harmless and nontoxic. Prescription, preparation and consumption regulations of medicinal plants are not clear and strict as well as their marketing regulations that differ from country to country. The extensive and various consumption of medicinal plants without adequate observation is the most important reason for poisoning by medicinal plants.

Cite this article as: Farzaei MH, Bayrami Z, Farzaei F, Aneva I, Das SK, Patra JK, Das G, Abdollahi M. Poisoning by medical plants. Arch Iran Med. 2020;23(2):117–127.
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Submitted: 14 Jul 2019
Accepted: 21 Oct 2019
ePublished: 01 Feb 2020
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