When people tell me about how they react to toxic plants, it tells me that their immune system is not very healthy. The plants they tell me about are invariably ones that have no effect on me. Because I just don’t react to them, I don’t take any precautions. But there is one group of plants that I now have a healthy respect for.
I was happily pruning a succulent tree recently. The branches were touching the power line feeding the house, so they needed to be trimmed back. The tree is quite high, maybe 4m (about 12ft), but I could easily reach the branches in question with my long handled shears.
Being oblivious to the dangers of the milky sap that dripped from the cut ends, I continued. As I was looking up, a drop fell into an eye. There was no immediate reaction, but after a few minutes, I did experience some irritation. So I went inside to flush out my eye. The pain just kept ramping up. For an hour and a half, I can honestly say I have never experienced such excruciating pain.
I didn’t know what the plant was and didn’t have clear enough vision to search on the internet – it’s difficult to see out of one eye when the other is screwed up. All I knew was the extreme burning pain. I was very restless, as pain tends to make us. I spent the time rushing between a basin of cold water and walking about blowing my nose from the flushing my body was creating. I went through nearly a whole kitchen roll.
Even through the pain, I could objectively observe my reaction. The water temporarily soothed the pain, but then it would come back with a vengeance. Not unlike the reaction of cold water on a burn.
I had tried a variety of remedies in my desperation, none of which had really helped. Once I made the burn connection, I took a common remedy for burns, which helped to some extent, showing I was on the right track, but not quite there.
I changed it to another remedy famous for its ability to soothe burning pain as well as for its ability to reverse destructive pathology. I chose a very high potency for the very high level of distress.
Within a few minutes of taking this remedy, everything started to calm down. Within an hour or so, the pain had gone completely. I only took one more dose and probably didn’t need to.
I slept reasonably well that night. The following day, my eye was very bloodshot and a little closed, but there was no pain, no swelling. It didn’t look wonderful, but I was OK, although a little tired and dull, not surprisingly. Sight was normal.
The internet search enlightened me to the very toxic reaction to the milky sap of the euphorbium. Possibly the tree is Euphorbia tirucalli, the milky sap of which is caustic and can cause burning, ulcerations and blindness.
This was just another example of how extremely grateful I am from knowing about homeopathy. I have treated myself successfully repeatedly, with issues that would have created at the very least, a lot of discomfort, at the worst perhaps the loss of the use of a part.
I can’t even begin to imagine the pain that rabbits go through when they are used in the draize test. Toxic substances are dripped into their eyes until the eye is damaged. They are confined with neck clamps, presumably because they would thrash about in the ensuring reaction.
I have never believed that testing on animals was necessary or useful. I have always gone out of my way to ensure I don’t knowingly buy anything that has been. Medications are tested on animals as are personal care products, garden products, household products and any new chemical that appears on the market. None of this is necessary if you use natural products.
Another wonderful aspect of homeopathy is that it is not tested on animals. Testing on animals is not only inherently cruel, it has limited use. The results are purely objective. One species is likely to react differently compared with another. Many drugs that have gone through animal testing have subsequently been removed from the market due to adverse reactions. Thalidomide is a classic example.
To test a new homeopathic substance, we use healthy human volunteers – mostly homeopaths and homeopathic students. Because the substance is in a homeopathic form, the reaction is not violent, as it can be when you take a material dose as I did, inadvertently.
The use of humans in testing a substance gives us far more accurate and useful information. For example, it will give us the common sensation experienced by the substance, such as burning. It will give us dreams, fears, delusions, illusions. How can you get any of that from animal testing? Yet they all go into making up our human nature.
It’s good to know which are the universally toxic plants, the ones that have a caustic effect. Milky sap on its own is not necessarily a problem. Milk thistle has a milky sap yet is not toxic in any way. In fact, it is highly efficacious as a herbal and homeopathic remedy. But the euphorbium are not to be messed with!
Interestingly, the most poisonous substances make the best homeopathic remedies! The remedy retains the energy of the poison, without the toxins that are purely physical.
If you would like to know more about how homeopathy can help you,