Poinsettias are NOT poisonous!

Hi all! Well, I made it to my second day of posts! I'm on a full on roll now!!
Poinsettia is the traditional Christmas flower, loved for its festive red bracts and dark green foliage. For years poinsettias have been considered poisonous. It was thought that the leaves, stems and milky sap could cause great harm and even death to anyone who ate them. This seemed to apply in a special almost Voodoo like way to cats, as in "OH! that plant will KILL your cat instantaneously while you watch on in horror!" Many people avoid these beautiful plants for this very reason.

The florist trade, in an effort to exonerate the poinsettia, spent thousands of dollars to determine just how toxic the plant was. Extracts of sap, leaf and stem tissue was injected into white mice to determine the levels of toxicity. I'll just throw in here that cats eat mice. The procedure used by the United States Food and Drug Administration was followed with no adverse effect to the mice.

Let me just add that for many, many years we were blessed with a greenhouse cat here at Carey's Flowers named Buster. Each and every year (as Paula Deen would say) she ate herself some poinsettia plants and she went to heaven at the ripe old age of 23.
This means the poinsettia can be removed from the list of poisonous plants.

However the Veterinarians are slow to recognize this fact. I spent the better part of 20 minutes explaining to my Vet, that the facts are the facts and it's time to let the old world thinking and warnings go. I'm pretty sure I convinced her and her staff, but just in case I missed the mark with them, I sent over a bunch of poinsettia plants for the office. Each plant had a note attached that said - ' I am not poisonous to people or animals, I am pet friendly and house beautiful.'
This does not mean I recommend eating the plant, and I would recommend keeping the plant out of the reach of small children, but now you no longer need to worry. Remember some people are allergic (allergic not 'will keel over dead') to the sap. Also eating houseplants is downright yucky if you ask me, and if you have a habit of eating them (houseplants) perhaps you should seek help. :)

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