Wait… that's poisonous?


As little kids, we were always told various snippets of wisdom of what to do and not to do in order to keep ourselves safe and healthy. We believed these wise words, but only to an extent. Eventually, we reached the point where we would much rather try things out for ourselves instead of listening to what someone told us to do.
Testing the waters could be a rather rewarding experience. However, you need to be careful. There are select things out there that could kill you. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking about poisonous things. So before you go and explore the world, take a step back because I bet you didn’t expect THAT to be poisonous!
Table salt is one of those things that you don’t think too much about. Guess what?! As little as a single level tablespoon of table salt, ingested all at one time, can cause seizures in a toddler. Two tablespoons can be fatal.
For those who play sports or have arthritis or random muscle pains, you might have muscle rubs like Icy Hot or Bengay lying around. If you look at the label, the active ingredient of many muscle rubs is methyl salicylate. This is a chemical that is very similar to aspirin. Aspirin poisoning causes symptoms such as ringing in the ears, vomiting, drowsiness, fluid in the lungs and seizures. If a child were to get a hold of a muscle rub and somehow ingest at least one tablespoon of the extra strength cream, they would be ingesting the equivalent to 19 aspirin 325mg tablets or 78 low dose baby aspirin tablets. The end result would not be pretty.
Nutmeg is one of those spices that is usually associated with the holidays. Did you know that nutmeg is actually a potent favorite for teenagers looking for a buzz? Teenagers can be rather ignorant as they are trying to snort and smoke the stuff. Nutmeg contains myristicin, which in high levels can lead to dizziness, anxiety, nausea, vomiting, tachycardia, headache and hallucinations. If you were to inject nutmeg intravenously, it is extremely poisonous.
With the Cherry Blossom Festival being a popular annual event for us Maconites, a good question to ask is if Cherry Blossoms are actually poisonous. Fortunately, you can eat cherry blossoms and be fine. In fact, some people put them in salads. Who knew?
However, if you have taken a stroll through campus, you may have noticed the bright pink and purple blossoms of the azaleas that are currently in bloom. The flowers, leaves, and even the honey of the plant contain andromedotoxin. You don’t really need to know what that is, but just know that the human digestive tract is capable of breaking down this toxin in small doses. Basically, don’t eat the azaleas. If you do eat them, don’t eat a lot. If you do, you will suffer from nausea, vomiting, abdominal upset and low blood pressure.
By the way, as I researching this topic, I came across this fun fact. Use it the next time you would like to impress your friends. Did you know that it was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up? The frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of its mouth. The frog then uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach’s contents and then swallows the stomach back down again.