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Alternative names

Poisoning caused by consumption of plant material from Jack-in-the-pulpit.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • oxalic acid
  • asparagine, a protein found in this plant
Note: The roots are the most dangerous part or the plant.

Where Found

  • Arisaema triphyllum (Jack-in-the-pulpit)
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • body as a whole
    • burning in mouth
    • swelling of tongue
    • swelling of mouth
    • slurred speech
  • eyes, ears, nose, and throat
    • burning pain in the throat
    • teary eyes
  • gastrointestinal
    • nausea and vomiting
    • diarrhea

Home Treatment

Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Give milk to drink.

Wash skin with water. If eye involvement, irrigate eyes with water.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • the patient's age, weight, and condition
  • the name of the plant and the parts eaten
  • the time it was swallowed
  • the amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the person to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Bring the plant with you to the emergency room for identification.

What to expect at the emergency room

  • Treat the symptoms.

Expectations (prognosis)

Plants containing oxalic acid may cause swelling severe enough to block the airway, but this is very rare.

Update Date: 2/23/2004

Cherlin Johnson, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT