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In Reply to: Re: Tomatoes and Potatos - Poisonous? posted by nancy on August 28, 2001 at 10:34:56:
Most of what you mentioned appears to be safe but there are a few things that people should be aware of:
Onions: Cultivated onion (Allium cepa) has caused hemolytic anemia in livestock including cattle, horses, and experimentally in sheep. Death can occur in severe cases. The formation of Heinz bodies in the red blood cells is a common occurrence. Heinz bodies consist of a precipitate, denatured hemoglobin caused by oxidant attack (Hutchinson 1977).
Radish, horseradish: Radish (Raphanus sativus) is a cultivated plant with the potential for livestock poisoning from SMCO or glucosinolate toxins contained in the leaves and seeds. However, no occurrence was reported in the literature. See general notes under Brassica oleracea on the effects of these chemicals.
Rhubarb: Rhubarb (Rheum rhaponticum) is a perennial cultivated plant that persists around old farm sites. The plant contains oxalate crystals, which have been reported to cause poisoning when large quantities of raw or cooked leaves are ingested. Anthraquinones (glycosides) have been implicated more recently in the poisoning. The stalks are widely used as preserves and are also eaten raw, without problems. The toxic content is much lower in the stalks. Humans have been poisoned after ingesting the leaves. Human poisoning was a particular problem in World War I, when the leaves were recommended as a food source in Britain. Some animals, including goats and swine, have also been poisoned by ingesting the leaves. Children should be taught to eat only the rhubarb stalks, preferably under supervision (Robb 1919; Cooper and Johnson 1984).
Sunflower: Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) causes allergic contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals after contact with the sesquiterpene lactones contained in fragile, multicellular, capitate glandular hairs (Hausen and Spring 1989). Cattle have been poisoned in Europe after ingesting plants that did not have mature seeds. This is a result of nitrate toxicity, which has caused sickness and death (Cooper and Johnson 1984).
Sweet Pea: Sweet pea (Lathyrus odoratus) is a summer annual commonly cultivated because of its beautiful fragrant flowers. The pods and seeds contain BAPN (beta-aminopropionitrile), which causes osteolathyrism, a syndrome characterized by skeletal deformities and aortic rupture. This chemical was first extracted from sweet pea plants and has since been found in some other members of the genus Lathyrus. Horses are more susceptible to this syndrome than other livestock. Most of the information on osteolathyrism is based on experimental work. This problem has not occurred in humans; instead, see neurolathyrins under grass pea ( Lathyrus sativus). In Canada, ingesting enough sweet pea to cause osteolathyrism is not likely (Selye 1957, Cheeke and Schull 1985).
These are just a few of the plants that are considered poisonous. You'll notice that only one of the listings contains "goats" in it. It is my opinion that too much of anything can be bad. This perhaps stresses the importance of ALWAYS keeping baking soda available free choice.
Alot of people feed alfalfa. Even alfalfa is considered a poisonous plant! Imagine feeding your goats nothing but alfalfa daily. This kind of illustrates that a plant can be poisonous yet useful at the same time to some degree. If the diet consists of different nutritional items, each could tend to counteract the ill effects of another.
Alfalfa: Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) is an important forage and silage crop in Canada. However, under some circumstances, alfalfa can cause a variety of different toxic problems. Ingesting rapidly growing alfalfa at the vegetative to mid-bud stage can cause bloat in cattle and sheep (Hall and Majak 1989). Alfalfa has also caused photosensitization in cattle with white skin (MacDonald 1954). Alfalfa contains phytoestrogens which cause infertility in animals, including cattle and sheep. These compounds are also contained in some alfalfa pills that are found in health food stores, and these may cause problems in some cases (Cheeke and Schull 1985). Alfalfa also contains saponins that can interfere with the growth of poultry and thus reduce egg-laying (Fuller and McClintock 1986, Oakenfull and Sidhu 1989). Low saponin cultivars have been developed.
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